Monday, May 23, 2011

Land Rover Woes

I've had a spate of problems with the rover lately. Luckily, it's not been too bad. I would get the famous "three amigos" of Land Rover faults: ABS, HDC, and suspension. I did lots of googling to learn about these. Many suspect it's caused by a weak battery, and some dealerships also suggested this to some owners. The theory goes: the ABS system sensors require a minimum of 11.7 volts and when the battery gets weak, they don't get that minimum voltage and so it triggers an ABS fault. The HDC then sends a fault because (obviously) it requires the ABS to work. And the suspension is like the drunken college kid who's heard there's kegger: it joins in immediately. Many have replaced their batteries, but some people have reported their faults continuing.

I was getting these faults while driving on suburban streets, almost always after I came to a stop at a red light. I discovered that I could easily clear the faults by turning off the car, and restarting. At that point, it wasn't too big of a concern.

Then while off roading in the Mojave desert, I experienced a new set of faults. These began with a transmission fault. That was then followed by the suspension fault, and sometimes the ABS/HDC combo. I could still clear it easily, but it began to bother me. So I took it to the dealer.

They discovered a stored code: P186D. This is indicated when either (a) a motor in an actuator inside the rear differential is faulty, or (b) the sensors for that actuator are sending bad signals to the computer.

The repairs would be expensive (>$1,000), but I luckily bought an extended warranty when I bought the truck. I strongly encourage all Land Rover buyers to get an extended warranty. I ended up paying $100, which is my deductilble. The dealer replaced some part in the rear diff, and also replaced the front control arm bushings.

Since then I have had no more faults. Yay.

The dealer also reported that my battery was weak. It failed their battery test. So, I just replaced the battery (see future post for details).

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