Reader Question Hi Mr. Davis,
I recently bought a 1999 Land Rover Freelander with
44000 miles on it. It has a 1.8 liter gasoline engine
and a 5 speed manual transmission. The motor and
clutch are new, having been replaced by a Land Rover
After buying the car I read on the Internet
that this car is prone to blowing head gaskets and
having clutch problems. I would like to head off any
future problems in these areas. Are there any
preventive maintenance procedures that I can take,
besides the normal services, that will help prevent
problems in these areas. Thanks! Jim
Thanks for your email. I don’t have a lot of hands on experience with Land Rover, but I have heard of trouble with head gasket failures in your model. BUT, since the dealership has replaced the engine lately I would call them and ask if the new or rebuilt engine they installed is a newer engine and not susceptible to the same head gasket failures as the original.
Usually the manufacture will make needed updates and modifications to their products after a common failure has been determined. So I would HOPE your newer engine is not going to produce the same failure.
I think the head gasket failure was caused by poor design and product failure which would not be something you as the owner could easily avoid.
The common cause for head gasket failure is overheating. The engine overheats and the driver continues to drive the vehicle and the pressure and heat physically burst the gasket material that is located between the cylinder head and the engine (head gasket).
Watch your temperature gauge, maintain a clean and proper antifreeze to water ratio inside the radiator and pull over and turn off the engine at the first sign of overheating.
I do have some great maintenance schedules you can follow and print out, these should be in addition to what your owners manual recommends. I found my recommendations to be “better” coverage on the items that ACTUALLY wear and break down. Maintaining these expensive items will not only save you money in the long run but will prolong the life of the vehicle and will help reduce breakdowns.
In my opinion, most owners manuals provide only basic maintenance recommendations I.E. lubricate the hood release cable, and don’t really cover the items that take the most wear and tear due to regular driving.
Here is the link to MY 45,000 mile maintenance schedule on my sister site.
Austin C. Davis