Land Rover Discovery 3 High Mileage Problems

A good way to get an off-road vehicle to simply enjoy is to buy a used one. Used vehicles often have high mileage, and that high mileage can start to make problems pop up.

This guide is designed to help you identify some of the high mileage problems that a Land Rover Discovery 3 might have before you decide to buy it.

Common Problems The Land Rover Discovery 3 Has As They Age

Land Rover Discovery on a lawn

As vehicles age different components start to need replacing. Some of these problems are minor and some of them may cost a great deal to replace.

Knowing which problems these vehicles show problems with the most will help you evaluate a used vehicle to make sure you want to purchase it or to make sure the purchase price is fair.


The thermostat on the vehicle is responsible for releasing coolant when the engine starts to heat up. That coolant release keeps you from having issues like blown head gaskets, cracked engine blocks, and really expensive repairs.

One problem with older vehicles that may have high mileage is the thermostats in them are often old and starting to stick. 

Signs of a bad thermostat include, but are not limited to:

  • Coolant leaks if the thermostat is stuck in a closed position.
  • Unusual noises
  • The air coming through the vents in the wrong temperature. If you are running the heater but the air coming from the vent is not very warm this could be a thermostat problem.

What to do:

If the thermostat has gone bad, and you recognize this before something else goes wrong, then you simply change the thermostat. Most people can do this without taking the vehicle to a professional.

Ball Joints 

ball joints

Ball joints wear out faster on vehicles that are driven over off-road surfaces. When you look at a used vehicle you should check the tires to see if they are wearing evenly. Uneven tire wear is often a sign that the ball joints are wearing out.

If you take the vehicle for a test drive be sure to get on a paved road. While you are driving vibrations in the steering wheel can be a sign that the ball joints are worn.

You may also notice that the vehicle pulls to the left or the right while driving. These are additional signs that the ball joints are wearing out.

If you cross over a speed bump you might hear clunking or knocking noises. You may also hear these noises when you are turning the steering wheel.

What to do about bad ball joints:

If the ball joints are going bad fixing them will probably cost $300 or less. That is not a reason to not buy the used vehicle but it is a reason to bargain for a lower sale price.

Front Lower Control Arm

The front lower control arm is one of the first problems that the Land Rover Discovery 3 starts to have as they age. They are also one of the reasons why many people decide to sell these vehicles.

When these arms begin to go out they can start to cause noises like squeaking and knocking. Often these noises happen most when you are accelerating or slowing down. The noises are also prominent when you are driving over a bumpy road or speed bumps.

The vehicle will have a tendency to pull to the right or left when the front lower control arm is broken or worn.

How much does it cost to replace a front lower control arm?

If you need to replace this part you could be looking at close to one thousand dollars in parts and labor. This is not astronomical but it is enough of a cost that you really want to bargain with the seller to lower the cost of the sale.

If the front lower control arm is not addressed it can cause you to have an accident. The steering gets hard to control and you will be more likely to have an accident. It could cause you to run your vehicle off the road or into oncoming traffic.

It is recommended that these replacements be done by professionals. When these are replaced there are also other parts and components that have to be replaced and properly aligned.

Tie Rods

When you drive a vehicle over rough terrain like most Jeeps are exposed to you can expect things like tie rods to wear out faster. If you drive on normal paved roads you may get a new car before you ever see tie rod issues, but rough roads, water, and mud found on off-road trails shorten the life of the tie rod.

Vibrations and shaking in the steering wheel while you are driving are indicators that the tie rod ends may be about to break. 

You may also listen as you drive because rattling, clunking, and other noises happen as the tie rods start to age and become loose. The rubber protector boot may be compromised and this allows dirt and grime to enter the joint so you start hearing grinding noises or growling noises.

You can look at the tires and examine the wear pattern. Uneven wear on the tires is a frequent indication that the tie rod end is not going to last a lot longer. Uneven tire wear can also indicate other problems like broken ball joints or U-joints.

Always look at the tires and pay careful attention to how the tread has worn on them. If the tread is evenly worn on all four tires everything is great. If one tire has more wear than the other tires, or the front tires are worn more than the rear tires you may want to do some further investigation and find out if the vehicle has parts that are about to wear out.

Tips To Use when Buying High Mileage Vehicles

When you shop for a used or high mileage vehicle remember the following tips and they may save you time and money.

  • Ask for maintenance records
  • Always inspect under the hood and under the vehicle for leaks of any kind
  • Always check the tires carefully and ask how old they are
  • Always do a test drive before exchanging money
  • Always ask to see the title
  • If possible, bring your mechanic to help you check the car out
  • Make an offer you are comfortable with and do not be pushed into paying more than you believe the vehicle is worth.

High mileage on a Jeep does not mean the Jeep does not have many years of service left in it. Look for obvious signs of wear, and trust your instincts.

People Also Ask

How Long Will A Land Rover Discovery 3 Last?

If the vehicle is properly maintained you can expect to put 300,000 + miles on it.

What Problems Do Land Rover Discovery 3 Owners Report The Most?

The most frequent problems with the Land Rover Discovery 3 are the rear cargo latch, air springs, and oil leaks.

Is The Land Rover Discovery 3 A Good Investment?

Overall the Land Rover Discovery 3 is a sound investment with a longer than average life expectancy on the engine.

Final Thoughts

The Land Rover Discovery 3 is a good Jeep model. It does have some issues, but all vehicles have some issues. If you have found a used Land Rover Discovery 3 and want to be absolutely certain that you are getting your money’s worth take the vehicle to your local certified Jeep repair professional and allow them to go through the engine and all working parts to evaluate their condition. Also, ask the owner if they have a record of oil changes and maintenance done on the vehicle.

You Can Also Read Our 4WD Guides:
1. 4 Wheel Drive Grinding When Turning
2. How Fast Can You Drive In 4WD High
3. Clicking Noise When Turning in 4 Wheel Drive – Fixed

About Brendan Burnett

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