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Firstly I would like to explain my situation, I currently work for a Landrover dealership in the Midlands, I work in the after sales side, therefore I am constantly in and out of Freelanders of all ages, models and engine options. The Freelander concept is basically a good one, the cars are designed as a road car which has excellent four wheel drive capabilities. these 4x4 features still make it the best in class. The build quality and engine reliability is what lets this car down. Everyday I see car after car come in with the same problems, rear door seals, head gaskets and engines on the 1.8i, anti roll bar links etc etc, I am sure all the Freelander owners out there know what I am talking about. But despite all of these problems the cars are getting significantly better. The new 2002 my cars are released now and they are significantly improved on the previous efforts, predominately in my opinion, due to the involvement of Ford. The build quality id much better and the BWM TD4 engine is the best diesel I have ever driven, apart form perhaps the TD5 in the discovery. If any one out there has any questions they would like me to answer or queries about Freelanders or landrover in general email me or respond to this opinion.
To add to my opinion I would like to include a few things specific to Freelanders that should be looked out for when purchasing used one of the earlier models.
Firstly the security panel in the boot. This is prone to filling with water, due to faulty rear door seals. therefore it is also important to avoid placing CD autochangers here. I have seen numerous flooded changers and LR will not necessarily contribute due to the fact that they recommend auto-changers be placed under the passenger seat. This smacks of LR knowing about the problem but doing little about it. Secondly it is important to check the history of the car, try to find out where it has been serviced and ring the dealer and ask them to talk you through any major work they have done to the car such as diffs, engines, head gaskets etc, In my experience, although I’m not sure why, Freelanders tend to be either bad 'uns or good 'uns. in the trade this is called Friday afternoon syndrome, i.e. that particular car was badly put together because it was done on a Friday afternoon when all the guys on production wanted to go home. Only buy a car if it has full dealer service history , as you then have 12 months parts warranty if the same thing goes wrong again, which it probably will!
Thirdly if you can at all help it don't buy a 1.8i The engine is very underpowered for the size of car. This leads to them being thrashed which in turn causes all sorts of mechanical problems. The most common being headgaskets, where I work we usually replace around 3-5 headgaskets a week and usually 1 engine, which is a fairly large number if you multiply it by the 126, the number of UK dealers.
Thirdly ensure it has had the recent safety recall done. I know all you Freelander owners thought it was just for the handbrake or wiring loom, but each Freelander had a number of other items checked and replaced such as the inlet manifold gasket, another contributor to headgasket problem, which the customer was not informed about.
Is the 2.0l ok for pulling a horse trailer, well just call it a heavy caravan.
Really thinking of getting a second hand one and worrying if the 2.0l will have the same problems as the 1.8l if it is regularly being used to tow.
SleazyTarget 18.08.2005 12:52
Thanks for the heads up - was considering the 1.8 as my next purchase... Any 'insider' info on the V6 ?
suzuki1100 02.03.2004 00:58
Couldn't tell who you worked for but Guy Salmon had our 1.8i in for service and on return the cooling fan overran for 30 seconds everytime we switched off the engine even on the coldest days and shortest trips. Each time we contacted them we were told 'that's quite normal' but it was actually overheating within about 3 miles and then dropped back to just above normal. The sequel to this is that our neighbour (who works for LR) checked it out and said it was not normal and proceeded to bleed the cooling system of a large air lock which resolved the problem . I contacted Sytner's head office which resulted in an insulting letter from the Managing Director of Salmon's more or less saying my neighbour was an idiot--which he most certainly is not. I have to admit that car salesmen with me rate just below solicitors and just about on a par with estate Agents when it comes to telling the truth so I don't suppose at the end of the day I will get much satisfaction from them. So a word to the wise--if Salmon's are servicing your vehicle check it over yourself to make sure the servicing has been carried out correctly.
Somehow makes nonsense of FSH.