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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Cooling System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
60,768 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.

2003 Land Rover Freelander cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2003 Land Rover Freelander Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Nov 232010

Freelander 8-cyl

  • 78,000 miles


2003 Land Rover freeland - began to experience a mysterious loss of coolant. Made multiple trips to local garage - they were unable to locate leak. Checked web site - it's a well-known engine flaw with the freeland that leads to engine failure. I bought this car in 2003 from lr dealer. Technical bulletins were issued back in 2005. Went to dealership yesterday - $8000-$10000 to replace engine if they could get one. Evidently, it's difficult to get engines. Service department knows the problem well - told me my car was junk and lr was well aware. Asked what was done for owners since it was a well known documented design flaw. Nothing! told me I was lucky it did not happen sooner. Lr is just preying on the innocent public by refusing to deal with what is clearly of their own making.

- Richardson, TX, USA

problem #22

Sep 202010

Freelander 6-cyl

  • 82,530 miles
03 Freelander, purchased used with 74,000 miles. Engine had knocking noise, was told by dealer that was "normal", not even ninety days later fuel pump failed. Ok, no big deal. Towed car 90 miles to lr dealer for covered part. Was determined at lr dealer that there were serious issues with engine and vehicle was not safe to drive. Coolant mixing with oil, etc. Have read all of the issues I am experiencing in forums online. This is a defective vehicle and lr needs to be held responsible before someone gets hurt.

- Rehoboth Beach, DE, USA

problem #21

Aug 262010


  • 73,000 miles
I have a landrover Freelander 2003. The car needed a new engine at 41,000 miles and right after that transmission seals had to be repaired right after that air. Heating units were replaced now the car is at 73,000 miles and the dealer is telling me that I need a new engine again for the same problem coolant and oil mixing, which was the problem I had in 2007 when they replaced the engine. The car is at the dealer for the past two weeks and they are refusing to give me a loaner because I have contacted Land Rover to see what they are going to do about the garbage of a car and they are taking their time resolving the issue.

- Miller Place, NY, USA

problem #20

Aug 012010


  • 110,000 miles


2003 landrover freeland - began to experience a mysterious loss of coolant. Made multiple trips to local garage - they were unable to locate leak. Local garage contacted landrover. Turns out not so mysterious leak. It's a well know engine flaw with the freeland that leads to engine failure. I bought this car in 2007 from lr dealer. Technical bulletins were issued back in 2005. Went to dealership yesterday - $8000-$10000 to replace engine if they could get one. Evidently, it's difficult to get engines. I paid $11600 for the care 2.5 yrs ago. Service department was knows the problem well - told me my car was junk and lr was well aware. Asked what was done for owners since it was a well known documented design flaw. Nothing! told me I was lucky it did not happen sooner. Heck - there is event a youtube video posted by another lr dealership which shows exactly what the problem is, and what needs to be done to fix it. Lr is just preying on the innocent public by refusing to deal with what is clearly of their own making. Landrover is a -0- integrity Corp!!!

- Mt Holly Springs, PA, USA

problem #19

Jan 062010


  • 40,000 miles
2003 Freelander Land Rover - transmission died at 40000 miles and coolant system failed 2 weeks later. Dealer will not repair, car is incredibly unreliable and hence unsafe.

- Seattle, WA, USA

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problem #18

Jan 112010


  • 61,000 miles
Coolant is leaking visibly in coolant bowl. I add coolant on a monthly basis and dealer tells me to replace thermostat ($1,000). Coolant still leaking visibly so they replace bowl. Coolant still leaking visibly. I have foggy windows and the dealer tells me this is vapor from the coolant leakage. So now I am inhaling coolant (glycol) which is probably a toxic chemical. Now I have to replace a heating sensor where the coolant is leaking still. Cost is $1100, dealer tells me at least I don't have the big problem. I say, what is that? he says the coolant can leak in about 1/3 of the Freelanders and it can ruin the engine. The cost of a rebuilt engine is $7,000. This is the same engine and will most likely have the same problems!

- Bethesda, MD, USA

problem #17

Jun 302004


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Land Rover Freelander. The contact was driving at an unknown speed rate on normal road conditions. There was a strong odor of coolant inside of the vehicle. Suddenly, smoked expelled from underneath the hood. The driver pulled over to the side of the road and inspected the vehicle. There was a coolant leakage. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for inspection. The technician replaced the thermostat. The identical failures occurred on thirty separate occasions. The components replaced over a period of time consist of the head gasket and replacement of the engine three separate occasions. The failures continued after the repairs performed on the vehicle. There were no resolutions. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The contact had concern of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was unavailable. The current mileage was 105,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Silver Spring , MD, USA

problem #16

Nov 242009


  • 75,000 miles
When I purchase my car Jan 2009 it had roughly 56,000 miles on it. I did notice that when I started it in the morning it had a funny sound. I tried to bring back to the dealership several times to have it looked at, either no one was there to help me or the noise was gone since the car was warm. I notice some smoke a week ago and filled the antifreeze fluid back to max line, then I notice the antifreeze was down past the min line again, with no antifreeze on the ground"?" took it in the shop and he gave a list of this wrong, intake manifold valves always open, bank 1 & 2 lean, he replace my "T" connector, just to name some.. oh yeah and noise coming from three different places.. valve tran, water pump/timing belt and the alternator. No he told me it will cost thousand of dollars to fix it.

- Bigfork, MT, USA

problem #15

Sep 112009


  • 107,650 miles
The 2003 landrover Freelander stalled on 2 seperate ocassions, once in an active intersection with barely missing being struck by another vehicle. The 2nd time ocurred about 4 minutes before the previous instance. Additionally, the vehicle as a whole shouldn't be on the highway. To my knowledge this vehicle has never been in an accident and it's uncertain if it may be refurbished from a area where damage was such that some work and relocation presented it for sale elsewhere. The vehicle purchased at a little over 73,000 miles has been in the shop 14 times in 27 months totalling well over $10,000 in repairs. I paid $12,288 for the vehicle. Intake maniifold gaskets, cylinder head gaskets, head bolts, cam bolts, the famed "coolant leak" that has coolant leaking into the engine causing it to cease up. That's the only thing that hasn't happened mechanically with this vehicle. I ride around, when it's not in the shop, with coolant in the back in case its starts to steam again. Lock assemblys (2X), torque converter motor, themostat and several other issues that make it non-highway worthy. This is just mine, at the automotive forum among the many others I visited there are hundreds of others with the same problems and are left with either, broken down sitting in the driveway, in the driveway after its last repair so miles are kept low for resale or forced to procure another vehicle or mode of transportation, or forced to continue driving it as its their only source of transportation and low resources while still paying a loan on it and an extended warranty company that you hope doesn't dance around the responsibility of paying for repairs that are obvious covered items in the warranty. Finally, if it weren't bad enough to be stuck with this vehicle and not know if it will remain operable for the length of the loan, currently 48 months, I can't even rely on the vehicle to safely Transport my wife and daugther. Landrover mechanics can't keep these vehicles on the road.

- Willingboro, NJ, USA

problem #14

Sep 142004


  • 10,956 miles
I purchased new a 2003 Freelander Land Rover. This vehicle has had so many conditions including the engine, cooling system, brake and lights system, corrosion. At this point the coolant has manage its way into the engine and mixed with the engine oil, which I attribute those whom have had the engine abruptly stalled, the cause for it. There are many sites and mechanics that will explain this failure to be a badly design and constructed engine. Land Rover continues to replace the broken parts but they continue to brake. It needs a totally different construction for this problems to stop. I have all records of maintenance if needed.

- Bayamon, PR, USA

problem #13

Jun 192009


  • 82,607 miles


I am driving an SUV - Freelander SE3 of the Land Rover, and have a defect that is getting worse as the car get into highs miles. I can be driving over 50 miles per hour and the service engine light came up, followed by T/C and decent hill lights, them the car have a strong jump and the D (drive mode) change to a flashing "F" "4"- them suddenly the engine shotoff. I drive with the fear that one day I will not be able to pull over and I will be crashing. Another problem is that the vehicle loss total power and stop moving, no matter how hard I press down the gas pedal.

- Wanaque, NJ, USA

problem #12

Jun 242009


  • 65,000 miles
We were driving our 2003 Land Rover Freelander down freeway in portland, or and all the sudden the thermometer began to bounce around, then the car decided not to go anymore and the engine died on freeway !! someone could have been seriously injured for a defect in the motor that Land Rover has known about. Once three transients helped us we got it to a safe place and lifted the hood while clouds of something was billowing out. Car would start but not stay running and all fluids would run right through it.. Land Rover portland told me that it would need a new motor. This car only has approx. 65K miles on it. Are you serious!!! Land Rover what a cop out... their should be a recall on this motor before someone get seriously injured or killed. So far nothing can be done to correct the failure because Land Rover no longer carries this motor, what are we supposed to do!!!!

- Tigard , OR, USA

problem #11

Dec 212007


  • 85,000 miles
Our lr first started overheating, taking about 10 to 15 minutes to cool down and when checked the coolant would be empty. I was then constantly having to fill it with coolant. I had it in to the shop 3 times for this same problem when after the second time they apparently fixed it so well they caused the coolant to leak into the engine and that caused the traction control to go out and then they said that was because the engine was now gone. Although we did actually drive it into carmax who then drove it to Land Rover. Land Rover said the engine was shot and would need a new one. Our Freelander sat for 9 months with no new engine in sight. Although, warranty money was waiting to pay for it. Land Rover took no responsibility in this and kept telling us and carmax that an engine was being reconfigured and would arrive in March, no July, then don't know when. Finally carmax paid the Freelander off for us and we bought something else. Land Rover had also taken the old engine or the complete guts of the vehicle and laid the back seats down and threw the guts in the passenger part of the vehicle and left the car sitting unlocked on their lot for I don't know how long. We found it this way on a very hot summer day. Land Rover doesn't care about their customers and doesn't do anything to help this situation. My understanding is that this is the fate for all Freelanders not just mine.

- Mt. Juliet, TN, USA

problem #10

Sep 122008


  • 76,000 miles
2003 Freelander with 76K miles began having cooling system leaks immed. After new fuel pump and air conditioning fan. I filled the system, ran the car for 30 minutes in the driveway without incident, and told my wife the car needed to R/T to the dealer.(ventura) my wife and 2 kids were abruptly greeted with an explosion of the cooling system leaving them in heavy traffic in a left-hand turn lane. The car shut down immediately. After a tow to the dealer on a Sunday afternoon they were invited to look at new models while they waited for a taxi to take them for a rental. My first report from the dealer rep. Was that we probably needed a new engine at a cost of 12K so we might consider trading it in for a new model. I must add that after the fuel pump and fan repair I found the air intake disconnected and told the rep. About this during my visit to him regarding this new issue and his response was "I don't see how because they don't even have to lift the hood to make those repairs." After three days of investigation we were told our thermostat and housing were replaced for $600 but we needed timing belts because they could now be heard slapping. I am fairly mechanically knowledgeable, and all of these events point straight to poor product and inept service. Coincidentally, I also found a rubber tube about 4" long sitting on top of my engine after just coming from the mechanic's bay. I have since traded the car in for another brand and will never buy another Land Rover anything ever again!

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #9

Aug 112008


  • 68,000 miles
Car is constantly over heating with only 68,000 miles. Two days ago while driving down the street it loses all power. Turns out there's a fuel pump issue.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #8

Mar 242008


  • 70,000 miles
Land Rover Freelander: The vehicle is a time bomb, at some point early in the vehicles life it will die on you while then have a very short time to get of the road before it locks up. It then becomes a money pit!!!

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #7

Apr 152008


  • 69,000 miles
I got a Land Rover Freelander with 51,996 miles on it. I had it in the shop over 25 time in 10 months! all for the same reason. The engine stopped on me going 30mph and I found out the engine had blown for the same reason I had it fixed for the last 25 times.

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #6

Dec 052007


  • 72,000 miles
'03 Land Rover Freelander S - fall '07 - losing coolant and vehicle was not running properly. Took it to mechanic and the heater core had to be replaced and check engine light turned off. $600 w/ parts and labor. Winter '07 -took to rover dealer to check it out B/C it just wasn't running well. It wouldn't accelerate properly and would often not start on first few tries. Dealer ran diagnostic and said it needed a new intake manifold, a few connector components and a new timing belt - total of over $2000 with parts and labor. Elected to have my father do the work and he ordered the parts online and installed himself taking many hours to figure it out. His cost was about $900 and he opted not to change the timing belt.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #5

Oct 232007

Freelander 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,898 miles
Land Rover deceived, defrauded, and continues to victimize me - an owner of a 2003 Land Rover Freelander. Land Rover diagnosed and acknowledged that the car they sold to me - the 2003 Freelander has significant engine damage caused by a defect in the design of the engine and other key operating units - coolant and oil systems, brakes, etc. The defect in the design of the engine in the 2003 Land Rover Freelander ultimately renders the car inoperable and results in total engine failure. Land Rover refuses to recall this car off the us highways, and disclose the engine's defect to all 2003 Freelander owners. Land Rover advised that it is a matter of time before my car fails completely, and I should not be driving this car. It is now parked in my driveway. The car has been serviced by Land Rover numerous times (related to the problems with the defect in the design of the engine, coolant and oil systems, brakes, etc.) since I purchased the car. Land Rover is and was aware of this defect in the 2003 Freelander's engine, but failed to disclose it to me. Land Rover has discontinued manufacturing the Freelander models, therefore, not able to replace the defective engine with a new one as they state when you contact the headquarters. I last took the car to Land Rover parsippany in October 2007 where it stayed for approximately 7 weeks. Land Rover parsippany further tampered with the car (it was making cranking noise in the engine when I picked it up in January - this noise was not there when I took the car to Land Rover in October - and they acknowledge this), and ordered me to pick it up from their lot after they refused to fix my car and make me whole. I have been mistreated, and lied to by Land Rover representatives thus causing me a lot of financial loss, physical and emotional trauma. I do not have the use of my 2003 Freelander, but still make payments on this car. I struggle every day to get around since January 2008.

- Prospect Park, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 152007

Freelander 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
Car just started running hot I did not see any leaks landrover dealer stated that it was the thermostat. Keep overheating. Has been in shop since October 2007 but has been in the garage since March 2007.

- Akron, OH, USA

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