Discovery 3’s are not a cheap vehicle, that has to be said. They require diagnostic tools for major services and therefore a dealer is often the first port of call. However, costs can be minimised by finding a specialist with the correct equipment. For minor services a local mechanic, such as Ultratune for instance are perfectly acceptable. But if parts are needed it is better to seek out a specialist.
There are a few things to look out for if you are looking to buy a Disco. Firstly a full service record. For the reasons stated above services can be expensive, ranging from $400 up to $1500, so it’s possible a few may have been skipped. The auto transmission needs an oil change every 75,000 kms and it has to be synthetic, which can be pricey. For diesels its timing belt has to be changed every 160,000 kms so for higher mileage examples, make sure that has been done. It’s an expensive job and would be part of the $1500 service. If, like our long termer, it’s eclipsed a quarter of a million kms, then the alternator may pack up, but you should be warned in advance by a poorly charging battery. The air suspension system can have a few problems and may need changing every 4 to 5 years.
Land Rover Addict in the UK suggest a few more areas to check (http://www.landroveraddict.com/features/2011/4/13/discovery-3-buying-guide/)
Listen for knocks from the suspension – they eat lower wishbones quickly, and at £300 ($500) per side plus a full alignment check, it can get pricey.
Make a point of engaging and disengaging all functions when looking at a potential Discovery. If the warning lights and noises come on, you may be looking at a new compressor.
BIG, ISN’T it? You can’t really see much of the TDV6 lump under all the plastic cowlings, but it sure fills the large engine bay well.The 2.7-litre engine is shared, in Land Rover form at least, with the Range Rover Sport and has proven to be generally very reliable. A common problem is the failure of the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve leading to a loss of power and lots of smoke. A blanking kit is avaliable, but only for Euro 3 engines – otherwise you will have to replace the valve. A criticism aimed at the 2.7 is that it can feel a tad sluggish, and many have been chipped to boost performance.
A COMMON fail point is the electronic handbrake. On well off-roaded examples it can be prone to sticking on or failing completely due to mud and water ingress. You’ll often hear a horrible screeching and grinding as a D3 goes to pull away.
Alternator $850 (fitted)
Air Suspension Compressor $1100 (1400 fitted)
Rear Sway Bars $90
Front Sway Bars $47
Front Wiper Blades $65
Recommended Service Centres
- Ayers Automotive
15 Ada Avenue BROOKVALE 2100
Phone: (02) 9905 6048
- Australian Land Rover Owners