Land Rover Discovery wierd noise

Hey Guys!

I am the proud new owner of a 2000 Land Rover Discovery II. Because it is a new car to me, I am hyper-sensitive to every noise that it makes. I’ve noticed a weird sound when the engine is idling in neutral. It occurs every 5-10 seconds and sounds like a light moan from the engine. (If I was on the phone I could simulate the sound exactly). I am a little perplexed by the sound because it does not seem like anything is running at such a low RPM that it would take up to 10 seconds to get around the sound. The previous owners took excellent care of the “DISCO” and I plan to do the same. I’d like to know if this is a belt that I need to change out. Please help! Thanks guys! Love the podcast…I look forward to it every week!

-Christian Hurston

From the Space Coast, FL

PS. For some crazy reason, you let my sister on your show with a question about her Lexus last August…so, you’ve got to air my question now…it’s a sibling rivalry thing. Thanks!

Sorry, Tom and Ray don’t play here. Is the AC on or the heater set to defrost? Open the hood with the engine running to check if the AC compressor is engaging when the sound occurs.

Replacing the serpentine belt on a 10 year old vehicle is not a bad idea. I replace mine every 3 or 4 years on the average. The Goodyear Poly-V belts are the quietest on my vehicles. A transmission fluid and filter change (not flush!) and a coolant change might not be bad ideas either.

Good luck,

Ed B.

I could also be the cooling fan engaging and disengaging.

Pop the hood, stick your head under, look and listen. I’ll bet you can easily tell the origin of the sound.

It’s the ABS brake booster pump, though it shouldn’t cycle every 5-10 seconds. The pump is located on the left inner fender, it’s a silver cylinder about 1 & 1/2 inches in diameter by about 8" long.

Get someone to sit in the truck with the engine running and foot on the brake, you should be able to hear the pump running.

If it is running every 5-10 seconds it’s indicative of a failing pressure reservoir or pump, get it looked at ASAP.


I think you are right. The ABS Brake Booster pump is a very common problem with the Discovery’s. Currently, the ABS, TC and Brake lights are all illuminated on the dash. From what I hear from other Discovery owners though, these lights usually spend more time lit up than they do turned off.

I have found a number of home fixes for the ABS problem online. What do you think about fixes like the one shown on the website listed here:

Thanks for your help! Have a great day!