LR3 pre-purchase review

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,483
297
Seattle
I checked out an LR3 yesterday - 2008 SE, 148,000 miles, white/beige, 18" wheels with new Cooper AT tires. Previous owner has a long list of preventative maintenance done, new brakes, all fluids. Comes with a bunch of factory accessories: full-length roof rack, tow hitch attachment, cargo/floor mats, and headlamp guards.

Test drive didn't reveal any issues other than aircon inop and a slight drift to the right, so at minimum it needs an alignment and I can only guess what the AC problem is. I didn't see any signs of fluid leaks inside the engine compartment. Footwell carpets were dry. Engine was quiet and smooth. Seems like a pretty solid example. Carfax shows all regularly scheduled maintenance performed, plus LCA bushings replaced at 90,000 miles. No records of concern. Replacements within the last 18 months include battery, water pump, spark plugs, t-stat housing, EGR valve, belts, air intake hose, MAF.

I'm leaning towards buying this truck but before I do, I have questions for the LR3 crowd since my familiarity with this model is limited.

1. What else should I be checking for as potential problem areas? I know what to look for on a D1 and RRC but not so much here.
2. After the test drive I looked under the truck. There was a fresh pool of fluid that turned out to be water. I couldn't tell the source since there are plates on the underside of the vehicle that conceal components, but it appeared to be coming from the back of the engine area/front of the cabin, close to the centerline but a little closer to the passenger side. What could this be? Runoff from the AC drains? I don't remember what setting the climate control was on. It hasn't rained in about four days.
3. What price would you offer?
4. Assuming I buy it, what is the most useful diagnostic computer to get for the LR3?

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Howski

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2009
1,266
121
Alabama
Sounds like a pretty nice example. The water puddling there would typically be the AC.

See if the compressor has been replaced. If not, I bet it will need to be soon. See how long it runs after sitting overnight. Shouldn’t be more than a minute max. Raise and lower the suspension a few times. If it didn’t have the trans serviced yet I’d be prepared to do that.

No idea what the market is like there but a good example here can be had for 7-9 grand.

I have a RSW tool and it works fine but the GAP tool has many more features and easier to use though more expensive.
 

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,483
297
Seattle
Thanks for the feedback, that's helpful. I did keep an ear on the compressor and cycled the heights, it raised quickly. Trans fluid has been replaced but beyond that I don't know if it's been serviced. Friends with LR3s have recommended the GAP tool, as well, so that is the leading candidate.
 

Howski

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2009
1,266
121
Alabama
That’s what I was referring to. New fluid + filter on the trans and you should be set for awhile
 

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,483
297
Seattle
Well, I did it. Bought the damn thing. On the drive home from the handoff the TPMS and transmission warning lights came on. Classic! You can't make this stuff up. Had to laugh, but still, it's annoying. Thankfully I know someone who's owned his LR3 for 15 years and knows them pretty well. I'm going to need some guidance on this thing until I figure it out.
 
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Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,483
297
Seattle
Turns out the warning was the check engine light. This is what happens when you're used to the D1 and the check engine light is a light that says "Check Engine." Read the code, it was P0441 purge valve. Removed and retightened the gas filler cap and it cleared itself. Looking forward to finding out what this thing can do.
 
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Howski

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2009
1,266
121
Alabama
Glad you got it cleared quickly and enjoy the LR3. They don’t have the character of the older trucks but are great daily drivers and ride damn nice
 
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Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,483
297
Seattle
Good for you Tugela!

Thanks. I found an envelope with service records for the truck dating back 3+ years. I haven't added up the numbers, but it's had a lot of work done to it, maybe $5,000+, including some things the seller wasn't aware of, like new air suspension compressor (invoice price for the part alone was $950). Also buried in the notes of the service records was a recommendation to replace the rear diff and an estimate. I'm going to get this checked out, since I'm taking this truck on a 10,000-mile road trip and I don't want any surprises in the middle of South Dakota in late November.
 

Blue

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2004
9,399
461
AZ
Dude, that's a major score on the compressor replacement!!! Hopefully the rear diff was just some mechanic looking for a sucker to make the next payment on his fishing boat for him.
 

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,483
297
Seattle
Hopefully the rear diff was just some mechanic looking for a sucker to make the next payment on his fishing boat for him.

My thought exactly. Tomorrow I'm meeting my buddy with 15 years of LR3 experience to learn some care & feeding recommendations (I already ordered the upgraded front diff breather filter and brass T-fitting for the coolant bleeder) and have him take a spin in the truck. Just as I can hop in a D1 and identify obvious quirks within a few miles, I'm hoping he can do the same with this. Knowing what to listen for, what to feel, what to look for makes a difference. Plus my usual indie Rover shop has been honest with me in the past about maintenance issues that my truck does or doesn't need, what can be deferred, and what's more cost-effective for me to do myself. I trust them.
 

BDM

Well-known member
May 23, 2005
330
28
OR
Good looking example! I've seen these trucks with 330k on the odometer still running strong. I currently have 150k on my 08 and it's been a great family hauler.

The timing guide/chain replacement on these engines can be costly. I've heard of some trucks needing them early and others never needing them with 250k + miles. The key is consistent oil changes. I run seafoam in the engine to keep it clean every other oil change. When it gets cold outside, a tell tale sign in the common tick on start up that will last a few seconds.

Pay attention to the diffs and tcase in these trucks. 30-50k interval changes will keep them healthy. LR originally had a 70k service interval which is beyond stupid. It's no wonder they got a bad rap for eating diff bearings.

If the steel transmission oil pan and filter upgrade hasn't been done yet, get it done. It sounds "all fluids" have been done but double check the transmission and if they replaced the filter. Again, LR's service recommendations don't make any sense.
 
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BDM

Well-known member
May 23, 2005
330
28
OR
Also, check the rubber cowling at bottom of windshield. These are known to warp and leak, causing water collection in the floor boards. For a temporary fix, you can use gorilla tape to close the seam.
 

Tugela

Well-known member
May 21, 2007
4,483
297
Seattle
Thanks for the continued suggestions, all great. I checked the windshield cowl, it's snug and flush. Important consideration in Seattle - we've had some rain lately and the carpets are dry. Met up yesterday with my buddy who's a longtime LR3 enthusiast. He took it for a spin and didn't hear/feel anything unusual, plugged in his IID scanner and found no codes, current or pending. He also gave me a thumb drive from which to download a sizeable collection of technical documents detailing mechanical and electronic procedures. Not a single, comprehensive manual like RAVE, but something like it. I have an appointment for Monday at my trusted indie Rover specialist to give it a thorough going over, plus change oil, transmission fluid, and check out the diff.

Road trip is a seasonal relocation. Winters in Seattle (with only 8 hours of feeble daylight) weigh on my mental health so my wife and I are heading to Florida with a stop along the way to see family. We're knocking out the big distances quickly so as not to miss much work. It is a bummer to be driving nonstop through areas of the country I'd like to explore. Maybe we'll stretch out our return trip.