2005 Land Rover LR3 AC mystery

A couple years ago, I agreed to turn my 2005 reliable, much-loved white Landrover over to my husband. He “manned it up” with all sorts of add-ons (lights, racks, grills, etc.) and planned to use it forever….until the A.C. quit working. We took it to the local LR dealer who said the Freon needed to be recharged. They added it and It worked…for about 100 miles and then started blowing hot air again.

So, we took it to a local car shop that specialized in foreign models. They added Freon, checked for leaks, and said it was fixed. It worked…for less than a day.

Since then, we’ve taken this car to two other shops as well as another LR dealer (seriously, I’ve lost count) who had it for two days, added Freon and said it should work. It did…for about 50 miles! They told us the next step would be to take side panels off the vehicle to try and find the leak which they tell us, “could be expensive."

Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated. I love this car but without A.C. it’s not going to be in our garage for long. You are my last hope! Have you heard of this recurring, apparently unfixable issue with LR3 models?

Thanks so much!!

Sad Sharon

You’ve been dealing with morons

They clearly don’t have the knowledge and/or patience to find this leak

Without going into any details, there are ways of finding the causes of refrigerant leaks, that do not involve “taking side panels off the vehicle”

Ask around . . . where do your neighbors and friends take their vehicles to be repaired?

In any case, avoid any of those big name franchised auto repair shops.

You might have to find an independent shop which specializes in Land Rover and Range Rover.

Those morons who worked on the vehicle so far . . . did they at least add ultraviolet dye? I’m guessing they didn’t, because it sounds like they don’t have a logical and systematic approach to diagnosis


Thanks for responding. In fact, each time…each place we took it to…they’d say they put in dye so “if it leaked” they could see where it was…but then the next time we’d take it in…it would be the same story…can’t find the leak! So why they’re saying it must be in an area that’s not obvious. I wonder if other LR3 2005 owners have had this issue. So frustrating as other wise, this car has been perfect. Thanks again.

evaporator comes to mind

But there are still methods of determining if that is leaking, even if you can’t see it or the dye

How long is the delay between adding UV dye and using a black light to find the leak? If you delay too long, the dye will no longer be visible. It seems to me that if they put the Rover on a lift, they can see any leaks down low and can see any higher leaks looking under the hood. If the system runs out of coolant in 50 miles, it seems like the dye should be visible then.

From what you describe, the refrigerant leak is pretty large.

Take the vehicle to a shop that uses a refrigerant sniffer to locate leaks.

These refrigerant leak detectors can locate leaks as small as 1/2 ounce/year.


good point…so taking it right back once it stops cooling to see the dye ASAP. Thanks!

Interesting thx!!! We’ll check that!!

Thank you!!!