Who: Crazy dog lady that knows nothing about cars.
What: My 2004 Land Rover Discovery with 80K Miles
When/Why: The check engine light came on in my disco about 3 weeks ago after filling up a very empty tank with cheap gas (I have a terrible habit of almost running out of gas frequently). This was the first time I’d ever put anything but super in the car. I brought it to our LR guy who we trust and did a bunch of research to find. He said there was exhaust in the radiator fluid and the #6 cylinder has low compression. The leak down test was ok.
His diagnosis: Discos often have engine issues and cracked engine blocks are common. This may be a head gasket issue but a dropped sleeve or cracked engine block/head were likely. He thought by putting money in to fix a head gasket problem we would get into the job and find it was actually the engine. Ouch.
Additional data: I love my car but forget to take care of it sometimes. I went 20,000 miles without an oil change by accident. No damage seemed to be done and oil was still in the car. There has been only one other issue with the car ever, it has a funny smell after startup due to (we are told) coolant dripping on the catalytic converter (I don’t even know what that is). I have also noticed a film that builds up on the inside of the windshield and I’ve never noticed that in any other cars I’ve owned. This has happened for the last few years.
We had the mechanic shut off the check engine light and drove it 250 miles before the light came on again. (Again, I was almost out of gas - like below the red). The burning smell does seem to be a little worse.
Desired outcome: I’d like to find a way to fix my car without having to put a whole new engine in it. I’d like to keep it 4 more years at least. It’s looking like I need to buy a new engine or trade it in. We have started looking for a new car but, I really want to keep mine. It’s a perfect Newfy hauler and I love it, dog drool and all. Do I have other options or is there any way to tell more precisely what is the cause of the symptoms the car is exhibiting?