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Old 01-04-2012, 01:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default LR3 Rear Differential Issue Common to All?

Is the LR3 differential problem common to all early LR3s? Basically, if you own an LR3, will the diff have to be rebuilt or replaced eventually or is this a random defect that only affects some?

I'm looking at a 2005 with 65K miles. Its only been serviced at this stealership since new so they have all the service records. The salesman is going to pull all the service records and email them to me.

I've done a ton of reading on this topic and it seems there's no rhyme or reason as to when they go out. I've seen people post of their diff failure at 20K miles and some made it to 90+k before having problems.


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Old 01-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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as long as the fluid is changed in the diffs you are fine. its changing it that helps. Here is a hint ask them to change the front and rear diff fluids.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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RUN RUN AWAY!it would appear this problem is not only on the LR3's but it is on the LR2's as well and for many model years as well. It is an entirely different differential too according to what I have read. Besides the failure being common and reoccuring it is a costly repair and one that should not happen with the frequency it is. rear ends should last almost the entire life of the vehicle with normal fluid changes. wear in differential clutches will happen but catastrophic failures should not. there must be a bad design issue going on. and being covered up with band aid type of fixes that do not prevent the failure from happening again and at any time.
Land Rover needs to address this issue and come up with a practical repair that fixes the issue and or extend the warranty to include a repaired unit further. It is shocking to see a beautiful vehicle and expensive vehicle drop to almost worthless value based upon failure issues and repairs that never seem to end or get repaired correctly. If a rear differential fails once in its life time it should NEVER happen twice! Especially when its driven only on the street! I have litterally beaten, rolled over and abused the entire drive line on several Jeeps over the past 40 years! And other than ripping the ring gear thru the pinion after bashing it into a rock climbing a mountain on the rubicon trail I have NEVER had a differential failure. I drive a Pro street camaro with over 550 HP and abuse it every chance I get with no differential failures. When my 50 yr old wife driving her LR2 on the street has a differential failure @ 28K miles it tells me there is a gross design error in these vehicles that is not being addressed adequately.

I joke "when you know how its built, you will buy something else" well you know these are not built well why in the world would you want to buy one after knowing about the issues? If its too look Kewl so be it but remember you will end up paying for the coolness in the long run. Just because the real house wifes all drive land rovers doesn't mean they dont have a back up car for when the LR is in the repair shop and some one paid them all too and someone sponsored the shows too. Land rover has not made SUV of the year or 4x4 of the year that I can remember.......

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Old 01-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ouch.... Sounds like another satisfied customer.

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Actually, the LR3, LR4,RRS and the LR2 have all won numerous awards. I realize this guy Cannonball (Mr 4 posts) is pissed and has probably felt effects of the main dealer apathy but I don't think problems of this nature are not as common as it may appear.
You get the impression form the Internet that these things happen all the time but in reality the unfortunate few that experience a problem tend to make a lot of noise about it and blow it out of proportion (Mr 4 posts).

Try a search of common failing of a late model Toyota Camry (a well regarded vehicle for quality) and you would think they are all ticking time bombs, or try to get an appointment at a Honda dealership this afternoon, they never go wrong...don't they? So all the mechanics should be sitting around drinking coffee.

I have a 2006 LR3, I got it with 125,000km and it now has 200,000KM on the clock and other than a minor suspension fault and a issue with the radio (fixed) it has worked flawlessly. The diff are original.

I say if it is in daily use and well maintained and shows no faults then I doubt a change in ownership would cause the diff to explode.

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Old 01-05-2012, 02:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I feel the pain, and feel that the diffs should be more reliable, last longer as well. However, I would point out, that anyone who buys a true 4wd vehicle, expressly designed to be used and abused off road, no matter the manufacturer fully expects such repairs as differentials, u-joints and the like.

My primary gripe would be more like, improve the bearings, make parts available, and make the u-joints replaceable. These "whole unit" replacements drive the cost of ownership through the roof.

The fact that, while there as a strongly loyal audience, the company should take heed, and address the common failure items and strive to make the vehicle more reliable. For the most part, the majority of failures are more related the harsher environments I would not, such as the Northeast.

The fact of the matter is, whether we like it or not, all dealers strive to sell cars, not for the profit in selling cars, but for the profit in selling parts and service. As we all know, to that end, engineers design them that way as well. Who here would disagree, that they can predict within 1000 miles of exactly when a particular part will fail under a precise set of conditions. You bet, they can take that to the bank. Our mission is to find better ways to keep the costs down, and improve what we can.

Now, a case in point, that LR might actually be listening or learning, I recently replace my hood struts, as one failed. I figured the other wasn't far behind. When the new ones arrived, they where substantially more stout than the original ones. As it turns out, only one was bad, anyone need a working original hood strut? One new one will support the hood by itself, one of the old ones would not support the hood.

Parts and rebuilds are available for a lot of stuff LR, as a build of it was OEM to someone else. I am trying to collect some old parts from folks for dissection.

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Old 01-05-2012, 04:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I'm not sure I totally agree with that. While production vehicles are certainly tested to destruction by the engineering team far exceeding any 'normal' use a customer would subject their vehicles to there is still substantial room for error.

Because not every vehicle produced has the exact same problems some defects and design flaws may go unnoticed in the first year or two of manufacture or be deemed unusual and not likely cause a problem under different conditions. That's just simple numbers. A design and test team will never be able to test a vehicle the same way as 50,000+ customers all over the globe can. Also the suppliers to the manufacture often inadvertently send faulty parts and only realize after the vehicles have been assembled.

Once the manufactures have deemed a problem is deserving of a remedy (again numbers) a engineering team is tasked with finding an effective remedy as fast and as cheap as possible.

I do agree that modular replacement of entire components is detrimental to both my wallet and the ability of folks to repair their vehicles but I'm afraid that is way all modern vehicles are built now, not just Land Rovers. How many garages still strip and repair starter motors any more? Not too many, most will just R&R a reman unit and send in the core. If total repair-ability is what you want then you need to go back to the Series Land Rovers. That's what I did.
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This vehicle I'm looking at has been really well maintained and only by this one LR dealership. Its had two owners. I've got all the service records dating back to when the dealer first took delivery and did the prep on it.

There are no reoccurring problems in the vehicle's history. In fact, it hasn't been in for repairs for the same item twice. With the exception of three things, every single trip to the dealer was for normal wear and tear items - bulbs out, new wiper blades, brakes/rotors, alignment, etc.

In the last 10K miles, it has had the air suspension compressor replaced, new fuel pump, and new alternator.

In all the customer notes of the service history, there's never been a mention of any noise from the front or rear diffs. This appears to be one of the well made LR3s.


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Old 01-06-2012, 04:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like a nice unit.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sounds pretty well maintained then.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm going to be picking it up later this morning. I'm looking forward to owning an LR3. I hope it turns out to be a great vehicle and continues to be reliable.

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Old 01-07-2012, 06:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The problem is that LR used a coating inside their diffs that eventually delaminated. The coating then worked its way down into the bearings, causing them to fail.

So it's only a matter of time, unless you got a later model (not sure when they fixed it).
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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That contamination was on a limited number of units, and they did a recall on the ones that applied.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm going to change the gear oil very religiously. Hopefully I'll have many trouble free miles out of the LR3. The 6 hour drive home was very nice. Sure beats the ride and power of my '97 Disco and '95 RRC LWB.


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Old 01-21-2012, 11:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I had the 60K mile service at 57K miles where the service center changed the diff fluids. I started to hear a popping sound on the left or right side of the interior rear cabin (depending on whether I was making a left or right turn) ocassionaly so I had the LR service center (different service center because of my relo across the country) check it out when I took the LR3 in for it's 65K mile service. They said that I will need a new rear differential soon at a cost of $4000 installed. BUMMER. I purchased the LR3 in December 2004 and it was delivered in February 2005. I was never notified of a recall for the rear diff. Should I have been?
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