What kind of chemistry do you have with your car? Love it? Loathe it? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

Land Rover Discovery 2 (2002–2004)

Last updated 30 December 2017


What's good

Fantastic off-road ability and a reasonable drive on tarmac

What to watch out for

Only 89% breakdown free in 2003 Which survey. 2001 -2003 models average for breakdowns and poor for problems and faults in 2003 Which survey. Fuel tank problem on 2002 build TD5s put many off the road for months in late 2004 due to non availability of parts. New Discovery III late 2004. Came 13th = from bottom in 2005 JD Power/What Car Survey of 23,000 cars reg Sep 2002 to Aug 2003 with satisfaction score of 73.9%.

Frequent alternator failures due to ECUs giving an AC ripple on the 12 volts output. Ask for a full computer diagnostic as this should show up the problem. Check for oil in coolant or loss of coolant. By 2007 cracked cylinder heads were becoming a very common problem on TD5s. So much so that the supoply of replacement heads became used up.

Vent plenum chamber drains have conical bungs designed to prevent ingress of water from below, but these very often get clocked by debris so bets to remove them if the car is mostly used on road. If not, water leaks onto fusebox, knocking out electrics.

Excellent source of reconditioned transmissions, drivetrain parts and engines and also manual to automatic conversions www.ashcroft-transmissions.co.uk

Rear wiper motor failure common. Excellent source of used LandRover parts generally is www.equicar.co.uk

ACE actuator mounting chassis mounting brackets prone to failure and some ownwers have been told the car needs a new chassis as a result. Electronically controlled rear air suspension control wiring from the front of the vehicle can corrode causing failure when it gets wet. The repair costs about £1,000.

Rear brake piping also vulnerable to corrosion.

A spring in the lock of the rear door can fail and the door can fly open without warning.

SOLID FLYWHEELS to replace DMFs from www.rakeway.co.uk

1-7-2011: Spate of headlight thefts reported. Apparently they are easily removed withyout gaining entry to the vehlcle.

26-8-2011: Alert over chafing of fuel pipe. "Two of our LandRover TD5 Discos II have strangely just had the same problem in the high pressure fuel lines wearing away on the tank sub frame and spraying diesel onto the hot exhaust pipe. (big fire risk and next to the plastic tank full of diesel). The chafing issue on the plastic (neoprene) pipe is because it is routed/crimped under the rear sub-frame between the plastic tank and wears on the metal body edges. Thus it is unlikely to be apparent below 5 yrs old or hard off road work. This is a fundamental design issue and nothing to do with wear and tear or material failure etc so a medium time dependent issue with LR. It must have been recognised in the early 2000’s by LR as they now split the particular pipe from the bundle of pipes previously sold. And they include an extra sheet or protective sheet."

21-1-2012: Warning: Stick to OEM (Girling) brake and clutch parts. 'Pattern' versions of these parts are often poor quality and frequently fail.

2-11-2013: "TD5 Engine Oil Pump Bolt" problem. The bolt holds the sprocket on for the oil pump in the sump. There are reports of a number of these bolts working loose and falling out causing terminal damage to the engine. There is no Land Rover recall for this issue, but they sell the bolt (part number LYP101400) with threadlocker applied. There is much forum discussion on the subject, but no definitive information on when Land Rover realised there was a problem and ensured these bolts were installed with threadlocker. The TD 5 was introduced in 1998. The following link explains the problem and fix in detail: http://www.discovery2.co.uk/Oil_pump_bolt.html

28-12-2013: The rear of the chassis is a water trap and is not adequately rust-proofed inside so rots from the inside out. Vital to check this area before buying. The metal can be replaced by it's a big job involving the removal of many components including the fuel tank. Obviously, towing weakens this area further.

7-11-2015: Tips about TD5s from DCS: 1. Always have a spare cylinder head wiring harness and replace as soon as there is a misfire; BEFORE oil travels through the cable to the ECU. 2. Over 100k miles, fit a prominent repeater oil pressure warning light, before the bolt that is supposed to retain the chain sprocket on the front of the oil pump shaft comes loose and drills its way out through the sump. 3. Pre- 2001 the ECU relay (yellow) under the driver’s seat was not secured. Vibration will wear out the connectors. Check and if necessary, tighten the Lucar connectors. Otherwise the engine could switch off randomly anywhere and at any time of day or night.

7-10-2017: Report of LandRover Discovery 2 now at 125,000 miles requiring 3 replacement ECUs in 4 years. First time due to oil contanination. That one failed after 2 years 3 months. Next replacement failed in February 2017.

30-12-2017: Report of significant rusting to driver's side chassis member of Discovery 2 TD5, apparently quite common. Some specialists claim to be able to fic it by partch welding, but a proper job costs about £2,500.


March 2004: March 2004: 272,000 Discovery and Defender models built from October 1998 recalled for checks and repairs to their anti-lock braking systems. Land Rover has found that a potential leak in the system could reduce braking efficiency or even lead to complete failure. A further fault potentially affecting Discoverys built between January 2000 and September 2003 could result in fires starting beneath the bonnet. In some circumstances, fluid can leak from the active cornering enhancement system, contaminating the engine oil and causing a fire. The third recall involves Discoverys built between January and March 2003. Land Rover wants to check that their throttles do not stick open once the accelerator pedal has been released.

31-3-2004 Safety recall R/2003/180: (where ABS fitted) possible loss of braking, build dates 1-10-1998 to 1-12-2003.

31-3-2004 Safety Recall R/2003/178: throttle may stick in open position, build dates 27-1-2003 to 26-3-2003.

31-3-2004 Safety Recall R/2003/179: on Discovery II V8 and TD5 possibility of underbonnet fire, build dates 29-1-2000 to 30-9-2003.

11-8-2004 Safety Recall R/2004/093: on TD5 possibility that the rear fuel line may chafe against the harness, build dates 30-6-2001 to 19-4-2004.

List Price from £47,745
Buy new from £43,928
Contract hire from £500.92 per month

Ask Honest John

Value my car