Land Rover Freelander Engine Failure

I bought a Land Rover Freelander in 2008, at the time none of the reviews I saw mentioned any major problems with the vehicle. Recently my “Service Engine Soon” light came on and I found out that the cylinders on the engine are slipping into the block causing coolant to leak into the engine. I’m now finding out that this is not an uncommon problem and the only way to fix it is a new engine. What’s worse is that there is no guarantee that I wont have the SAME problem with the new/rebuilt engine. My question is this, does any one know of a different (preferably cheaper and more reliable) engine that I can put into my Freelander to avoid having this problem ever again?

The problem with installing a different engine (it can be done) is that it may not be economically viable either and depending on where you live, could be against the law due to emissions, etc.

I’m not familiar with the Freelander at all but a quick read seems to say that the cylinders are designed to project above the engine block a certain amount to help seal the head gasket. Eventually the liner sinks for whatever reason and the head gasket lets go.

Some other vehicles in the past such as 70s era Subarus, Renaults, etc. have used this design. In the case of Subaru the liners sat on copper gaskets of varying thicknesses designed to project the cylinder liners up a certain amount. Copper being a soft metal of course and combined with 15k mile intervals on head retorques would cause the liners to sink and the head gasket would go belly up. Bad design very prone to problems and it sounds like the Freelander is afflicted with roughly the same disease.

It may be time to get rid of the vehicle as is and consider it an expensive education unless a new engine is guaranteed (in writing) to have a redesign and the shop will stand behind it (also in writing) for X miles.

In addition to ok4450’s sound advice, I want to add another caveat just in case the OP does decide to go ahead with an engine transplant.

Installing a different design engine in the vehicle would also necessitate installing the correct Engine Control Module (ECM) for the new engine. And then, there is the question of whether a different ECM could communicate properly with the original Transmission Control Module (TCM) of the Rover. Most likely it could not interface properly, thus leading to extreme shifting problems.

Unless the OP wants to gamble on a rebuilt Rover engine, the only practical course of action is probably to sell/trade-in the vehicle.

My question is this, does any one know of a different (preferably cheaper and more reliable) engine that I can put into my Freelander to avoid having this problem ever again?

You need to sell your vehicle, and buy something that fits into your current economic situation.

Trying to cheap out on your engine replacement is only going to make the vehicle worthless, and less reliable, in the long run.

For however much it is going to cost to replace the engine (OEM or different), you can buy a better car.


Hi im a newbie here. I guess i could help with your problem. I’ve done the replacement two years ago, which made me shell out a cheap amount. Sad to hear that buddy but you could always come up with the solution. try checking out and you’ll gonna find recon and used engines yet still good in conditions.

Hope this helps!

For more Land Rover repair questions, try visiting

Wait till the warranty is nearly up and trade it in then.

I’d put a used engine in it and sell it. No practical way to legally put a different engine in it. Time to move on.