Servicing your Land Rover

We recently completed a 3,000km round trip in the 20-year Land Rover Defender and we are delighted to report that thanks to a good service prior to departure, the Landy hummed like a bird with no issues to report at all.

A couple of weeks ago, we drove down to the Abenteuer and Allrad show in Germany, en route we mostly stayed on the Autobahn and on the motorways in France. Doing long trips like this one in the 20-year-old TURAS Land Rover Defender, always brings with it a bit of anxiety, particularly now that the vehicle is getting on in years. We needed to make sure that the vehicle was well serviced before we left in order to alleviate any potential issues that could lead to a breakdown on the way, so no stone was left unturned when giving it a good going over. Servicing a 4WD vehicle is not like servicing a regular 2WD vehicle as there are more components that require a bit more TLC. You really should refer to your vehicle manual which will give good advice on how often and what you need to keep an eye on when servicing your vehicle.

The Defender 90 has the Td5 engine and we have always kept it well serviced over the years. The Defender is normally in for a service every six months or every 6000-70000 kms. Prior to this trip to Germany we did a bit more to the vehicle than normal when getting it ready for the trip as we did not want to take any chances. Our standard service incorporated the replacement of the oil, air and fuel filters using the Bearmach servicing kit and a couple of other tweeks just to be sure. We had a small deposit of diesel on the driveway a couple of days before we departed and after some investigation we linked this to the fuel pressure regulator. On the Td5 engine this can be a common failure but it also is an easy fix, we got onto Martin our Land Rover guru and luckily he had a spare Bearmach fuel regulator replacement at hand and had it installed within an hour.

Other jobs/tweaks completed prior to the trip included the replacement of all the oils including the 2 diffs, gearbox and transfer case. It goes without saying that you need to make sure that you always change your oils according to your owner’s manual, particularly for 4WD vehicles. Off road vehicles can put a lot more stress on your vehicle when in low range causing more wear and tear on the workings of the vehicle so making sure your vehicle is well oiled is key to increasing the longevity of your pride and joy.

In the engine the pulley and tensioner were also replaced as it looked a bit worse for wear. We also replaced the washer on the bulkhead with a new one. When giving the vehicle a good look over Martin suggested that we also replace the A-Frame ball joint. This was an important repair as the one that was there was well shot. The rear “A” frame on a Land Rover Defender connects the axle centre point to the chassis to prevent sideways and torsional movement.

And lastly, we did a bit of soundproofing on the vehicle, it can get a bit deafening in the Landy when on the open road. The sound from the Td5 engine combined with that of the driveline, exhaust, and road noise not to mention the heat that often comes from the undercarriage can be a bit noisy, but this can also be addressed in fact it can be reduced by anything up to 20% by simply adding some soundproofing . Given we had a 3000km round trip ahead of us, we applied the Bearmach Sound-Proof Heat Mats before hitting the road and this simple job made an impressive difference. These mats create the ultimate in acoustic and thermal protection for your vehicle. After completing all of these jobs, we were confident that the 90- was good to go and that she was.