Discovery 3 transmission

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 at 12:27
ThreadID: 73711 Views:14356 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Hello everyone.
I own a 2005 TDV6 SE which has done only 67000km, of which about 30000 has been towing a 3 tonne caravan. Started to get "shudder" about 2000km ago when at about 2000rpm range in acceleration irrespective of gear.
Problem turned out to be torque converter after having gear box removed and inspected. Have friend with same car and ditto problem, also towing.
Interested to know if anyone else has had the same problem.
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Reply By: AlanTH - Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 at 13:19

Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 at 13:19
Try on oztrekker as they will have all the answers regarding LRs.
AnswerID: 390989

Reply By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 at 18:43

Thursday, Nov 12, 2009 at 18:43
Hi Oztracker,
According to the spurts, all auto 4wd vehicles will eventually have problems if they tow a heavy van. Even Holdens & Falcons. The mob I took mine to were working on a couple of Discos, three Toys and a Jag and a Holden. All except the Jag towed heavy C/vans.
I run a TD5 auto that tows a 2 tonne van and is at present at the doctors being fixed. Problem, not locking up in o/drive. Clutch plates tired and torque converter problems.
According to the repair blokes and several others I queried, you have to change your driving habits when towing heavy trailers etc with autos.
On starting you should drive it like a manual box. Ie. 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on.
Coming under heavy load and climbing a steepish rises you should change down one gear.
In sand or mud start in 1st or 2nd to get it moving Dont start in drive!
Very regular oil changes. At least once a year.
Mine had done 210,000 kays.
You watch the critics come out of hiding.


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AnswerID: 391028

Follow Up By: Russ n Sue - Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at 00:11

Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at 00:11
G'day Tony,

no offence mate, but the advice you gave in your post (above) is 100% contradictory to what I was advised, by Land Rover Australia, to do when towing with and automatic Disco 3.

I specifically contacted them when I purchased my vehicle because I had heard many stories of "blown" auto trannies in all makes of vehicle.

Land Rover's advice is as simple as "put it in drive and the transmission will take care of itself". They specifically advised AGAINST using the manual mode of operation when towing.

The reasoning is that the trans is both adaptive and intelligent. It interacts with the engine ECU to ensure that the right gear and the right revs, fuel mix etc are made available to keep the gearbox within its operating parameters at all times. They argued that locking the trans in a specific gear would heighten the risk of overheating the transmission.

We pull a 3.5 tonne 'van and have done 83,000 trouble-free Kms so far. I don't know the circumstances of the trans failure that the original poster had but I do know that in the 6 months I spent working at a Land Rover dealer last year, not one D3 came in with transmission failure.

ZF are so confident in the transmission that they manufactured it so that you cannot check or top up the trans fluid and it is not checked by a dealer until the vehicle has done over 200,000 Kms.

It will be interesting to see a follow-up post about this issue once they have determined what went wrong.


FollowupID: 658912

Reply By: Member - ian R1 (NSW) - Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at 17:30

Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at 17:30
I have a 2005 TDV6 auto which has covered 110,000 km including 30,652 km towing an Ultimate off-road camper to areas such as across Simpson, Mitchell Plateau, etc.

No problems with transmission. To reduce liklehood of any problems I have had a transmission cooler fitted by Davis Performance Landys at Annangrove NSW - they also recommend changing tranny fluid 'regularly' even though LR say it is sealed for life. Towing performance (departure angle, ball height etc) improved by fitting Mitchell Bros (Brookvale NSW) hitch receiver.

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AnswerID: 391140

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at 21:42

Friday, Nov 13, 2009 at 21:42
I have heard the same advice from reliable Land Rover workshop employee in the know. Even though marked as 'sealed for life', he told me to change the tranny oil around every 100K at least.

FollowupID: 658990

Follow Up By: dbish - Saturday, Nov 14, 2009 at 10:23

Saturday, Nov 14, 2009 at 10:23
Fords also recon there transmissions are that good you never need to look at them. But if you are towing any thing large by a bout 100000ks if you drop the trans sump you will find the oil pump filter is pretty damed dirty. Personaly i would change the filter & fluid, which is about all that can be done as bands dont have adjustments anymore they are shimmed at manufacture. There philosiphy these days is drive till it dies, then fit a rebuild.
FollowupID: 659019

Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Saturday, Nov 14, 2009 at 13:39

Saturday, Nov 14, 2009 at 13:39
Agree with what mikehzz and dbish say. The boxes dont have bands any more, just two sets of clutches.
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FollowupID: 659038

Reply By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Saturday, Nov 14, 2009 at 13:32

Saturday, Nov 14, 2009 at 13:32
Hi Russ,
No offense taken Russ they are constructive comments. The information has now been given to me by two different auto specialists. The one I was recomended to, specializes on L/rovers.

I also rang them and got a simular answer befor I bought my TD5.
From my past experiences, L/rover Aust. unfortunately are not always very truthful. Either that they don't know or, drive company vehicles and don't tow heavy vans. Also they only do so many kays before the vehicles are changed.

As I said the "manual mode" is only used when taking off NOT whilst driving unless, you are changing back to third. Bacically all you are doing is getting the vehicle and van mobile. The box certainly is not going to overheat in that short space of time.

The ZF boxes are quite satisfactory under normal conditions however L/R should have been upgraded to the heavier box ie the one they use in the V8 L/rovers when they designed and built the Series 2.

Sorry for the delay I started to type this yesterday afternoon when I received an upsetting phone. Once sorted out went to a granddaughters B/day party. When you have ten screaming 8yr old girls, brother!!!

Yes it would be very interestig to see the outcome on the 63,000km D3s.


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AnswerID: 391192

Follow Up By: Russ n Sue - Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 15:24

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009 at 15:24
G'day Tony,

Here's a development!

Just yesterday my Land Rover dealer personally came to see me. He had just been to Sydney to do the Disco 4 training. At that training session the subject of the Disco 3 transmissions came up. It seems that Land Rover are aware of the issue of towing heavy 'vans with the auto transmission and they have issued an edict that the "sealed for life" transmission should be opened and the oil changed at approx 80,000 Km intervals. They actually call it a "service enhancement". What a joke. They have a problem that costs the vehicle owner a heap of money to solve and it becomes an "enhancement".

Here's the best bit.....the transmission oil is a very special formulation and is all but $100.00 per Litre. That means a bill for at least $450.00 plus labour!

The driving instructions (the official line from Land Rover) remain unchanged, let the transmission do the thinking.

I was lining up for the Disco 4, but now I'm not so sure. I don't like surprises being sprung on me AFTER I've purchased a vehicle in good faith, which is what has happened with the current vehicle.


FollowupID: 659701

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