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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Engine Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,489 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Land Rover Freelander engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Land Rover Freelander Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Dec 092007

Freelander 6-cyl

  • 45,000 miles


The engine/head gasket issue is the repair that is the most critical and terminal condition for the vehicle. The dealers mechanics will never fix the gasket, so they will only offer the engine replacement, but either repair will cost you more than the SUV is worth. And yes, the brake pads and then rotors wear out very quickly, because of the weight of the vehicle (the dealer says). I personally think it has more to do with the fact that there are 2 disc front brakes and 2 drum rear brakes on the vehicle, hence the wear and weight all goes to the front of the vehicle. Another poor design flaw issue, and I was told the drum brakes were there to better allow the off-roading. Yeah, who ever could off road these things, they fall apart on the driveway!

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #14

Feb 012007


  • 60,000 miles
I have a Land Rover freeland that started having coolant leakage in early February of 2007. I tried to get the car in to get fixed and was put off by Land Rover until my warranty expired. They never fixed it. It leaks coolant constantly, it looses power, it over heats and steams, the coolant is an oily brown color no matter how many times I flush it. This car has a bad head gasket I'm afraid and I've read about and know many people with the exact same problem. I've replaced the reservoir bottle, flushed the coolant, replaced the thermostat and nothing fixes the problem. I had a month long battle with Land Rover to fix it and they refused. This entire engine needs to be recalled, this is a terrible car and a hazard on the road, I'm scared every time I see a Freelander that it's going to blow something and kill someone on the freeway, Land Rover should be ashamed and all the cars should be recalled.

- North Salt Lake, UT, USA

problem #13

Oct 012006

Freelander 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
My 2002 Land Rover Freelander began to overheat while I was commuting from NY to NJ via holland tunnel. Once out of the tunnel I pulled over to check under the hood. It was severely hot. I added coolant and waited approx 15 minutes before completing the 7 minute commute to my home. The next attempt to start the vehicle failed. I had the vehicle towed to Land Rover in paramus. The engine was burnt out and I had to have it replaced.

- Jersey City, NJ, USA

problem #12

Oct 152006

Freelander 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


I had my car for less than a year when the radiator/check engine light went off. I brought it to the dealership and said the oil was leaking into the coolant (something like that.. I know nothing about cars). They had my car for a couple of weeks to fix the problem which I was told by their service manager at the time was a manufacturing problem with all Land Rover Freelanders of 2002 and 2003. I browsed the internet for more information, and sure enough, my car wasn't the only one with this kind of problem. Thankfully, when I had originally purchased the car, I had also purchases their extended warranty. But the warranty runs out in 2010, and I'm sure I'll continue to have this problem. I want to sell my car, but I can't justify selling a car that I know has so many problems.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #11

Mar 122008

Freelander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
I have had many problems with my 2002 Freelander. Mainly related to engine over-heating which causes coolant to evaporate and also the coolant leaks into the engine. I mentioned this problem with the dealer when the vehicle was in warranty, but then they simply refused to take care of the core problem which is the engine. This engine over-heating resulted in spoiling the A/C blower and heater core, and also I was left stranded in the middle of no-where 4 times. And each time I had to tow the vehicle ($150 each time) and the only response from dealership was to keep adding more coolant. I am now out of warranty and not sure what do I do with this vehicle. I cannot use this to go anywhere (it can fail anytime), don't feel like cheating somebody selling this car. I am totally clueless and need help to the core issue resolved, which I think is engine.

- Frisco, TX, USA

problem #10

Nov 302007

Freelander 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles
My coolant tank has leaked, my water tank has cracked. None of my safety lights flashed ever, so I drove without any knowledge of the problem and somehow destroyed the engine. Apparently I need a new engine for a car that only has 65,000 miles on it, and the safety lights are not lit.

- Middletown, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jun 152007

Freelander 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Water pump failed, took to dealer for replacement, gas pump failed took it to shop to replace it, gas tank lid failed, both one from dealer to replace it, engine cooling system failed, transmission failed, took it to shop they refuse to fix, they say is not their fault and is not cover by warranty anymore, window motor failed, windshield wiper switch failed, headlights failed, coolant container crack, replaced with new one from dealer. Stop light recalled. Air filtering system retains water which allows mold to grow, air filters replaced.

- Novato, CA, USA

problem #8

Oct 262007

Freelander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Land Rover Freelander. The vehicle would not start. There were no warning indicator lights present. The dealer stated that the head gasket seal malfunctioned and leaked oil into the engine. The engine needed to be rebuilt. The repair was not made. The current and failure mileages were 52,000.

- Harford , CT, USA

problem #7

Feb 162006

Freelander 4WD

  • 52,000 miles
The 2002 land rovers Freelanders have overheating problems and causes the engine to lock and cause accidents on the road. All Freelander become lemon..the failures happen when the car turns 5ok miles. I found out that thousands of people who bought the same car have had this problem. And dealer won't even supply the parts to fix the problem. The Freelanders were rip off and Land Rover dealership stop making after they found out that the car was a total disaster both for the company and they customers. But still no recalls ordered or service campaign is ordered to save the people who paid top dollar for a lemon.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #6

Nov 012006

Freelander 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,034 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Land Rover Freelander. While driving, the heat shut down inside the vehicle. The dealer stated that her heater coil failed. The contact took the vehicle to a different mechanic because it was out of warranty. The heater coil was repaired. Approximately ten months later, the vehicle failed inspection. The mechanic performed a diagnostic but was unable to determine the cause of failure. As the inspection was being performed, the vehicle lost all power and would not restart. The vehicle was towed to the dealer who disassembled the engine and removed the head gasket. She left the vehicle at the dealer and a few days later, the dealer stated that the engine was completely dead. The dealer was unable to determine the cause of failure and stated that nothing could be done because the vehicle was out of warranty. The federal trade commission would not help either. The current and failure mileages were 61,034.

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #5

Jan 282007

Freelander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles


Just before major odometer readings of 30000, 40000 etc vehicle loses power. The problem is elevated when the vehicle is turned off and started again.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #4

Oct 252005

Freelander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,216 miles
Our 2002 Land Rover Freelander began to over heat at 63,216 miles. We were lucky in that we were at a drive through near our house. We took the car home right away. Upon getting an appointment with the dealer, the car was taken in for inspection. The long block needed replacing. This was due to the fact that a cylinder sleeve had slipped. We were able to get the engine replaced. Upon further discussion with the dealer, it seems to be known that the engine will fail. This dealer has had owners come in for their 3rd motor all within the warranty. The life expectancy seems to be between 30,000 and about 65,000 miles. We are lucky that we were not anywhere far away or my wife was on business. This seems to be a bad design and right now it looks like Land Rover will do nothing about it. Those whom are out of warranty are out of luck.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #3

Oct 152005

Freelander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
Engine failure-check engine light appeared & slow acceleration, upper intake of engine had to be replaced at 51,000 miles, dealer not willing to cover due to regular vehicle maintenance not done at dealership, this is a violation of the magnuson-moss act.

- Ravenna, OH, USA

problem #2

Jan 252005

Freelander 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
2002 Freelander. Used 1 quart of oil per 1000 mi. At 12000. New engine was put in. Back window would not roll up. Sunroof leaks. Coolant blew everywhere. And the worst, while driving on a right curve, steering went out and was nearly a 3 car accident. Dealership wants me to drive it without knowing why it's happening.

- Madison, IN, USA

problem #1

Dec 062003

Freelander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,600 miles
I finally got my Freelander back from over 4 months of waiting. My 2002 Freelander required a new engine after it was found that mud and/or debris had entered my timing belt enclosure and caused my engine to jump time and catostrophically destroy my engine valves and cylinder walls. A specific Land Rover dealer noted that "mud" was the total cause of my engine failure, when in fact it was a 1" X 1" hole in the timing belt enclsoure; this hole is a design flaw or oversight and thus allows any dirt/grime/debris/mud to enter and cause severe damage. Freelander never showed visible signs (meter or steam) that it was overheating. Insurance has covered this issue under a flood coverage and has fronted over $12,800 for a new engine. I haven't received any loss-use coverage for the 4 months. Upon inspection of my new 2003 engine, I found a new plastic piece that now covers the once 1" X 1" hole in the timing belt enclosure. This piece also has a piece number and costs appoximately $6. now you can see, a mere $6 item would have saved me and insurance over $13,000. Land Rover has not initiated a recall or service bulletin to my knowledge; I suspect that this will only be installed on an as needed basis for those drivers who do use their Freelander as advertised by Land Rover. In a recent article in Land Rover chronicle, it was stated that the 2006 Freelander will have a better sealed engine compartment, due to the fact that most drivers are using their vehicles for off-road use (as advertised); they also state that this vehicle wasn't designed to match the discovery or defender. On top of it all, my front axle required replacement due to a new engine install (vibration problems), a new 02 sensor, plus I've noticed a small hand-sized dent on my hood (from closing). I still have problems of some sort since my service engine light it on now.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

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