Most Common Range Rover Timing Chain Issues

The Range Rover is the epitome of class and style within the Land Rover brand, and one that is exemplified through its design and performance. In its image, the Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Sport have all integrated the same level of precision and quality that denotes its’ precursor.  The Range Rover establishes its mark amongst new and seasoned users alike, whether it be through its off-roading capabilities or all-wheel drive essentials, the numerous features and abilities are a force to be reckoned with.

With great power, comes great responsibility and the Range Rover is not exempt from that; it will require proper maintenance and repair from time to time, just like any vehicle. Educating oneself and having the proper tools in hand will ensure preventative maintenance and understanding common signs to look out for. One’s care and attentiveness to the vehicle are vital to the enjoyment and quality of experience for years to come.

As luxurious and desirable as the Range Rover is, this model has also cultivated a notorious following for a particular repair that has been the point of concession of the decade, the timing chains. This article’s aim is to define, describe and explain the purpose of timing chains while explaining the common reasons for why they may fail over time:

What does a Timing Chain do?

Beyond the exterior of a Land Rover and into the Engine, exists a plethora of mechanical and computerized mechanisms that work symbiotically to co-create an appearing flawless design that reacts, drives and responds to your every command. What does it take to make your vehicle drive from point A to point B? Inside your engine, there are pistons that are connected to a crankshaft that rotates with an up and down motion. The engine’s camshaft is installed above the engine’s cylinders, and it manages the opening and closing of the valves into the cylinders in tandem with the pistons’ movement. In all of this, the timing chain syncs the camshaft and crankshaft to rotate in perfect harmony so that the engine thrusts the car forward. The movement of all these components, heavily rely on the timing chain and its precision as it is fundamentally the core of the vehicle’s functionality.

How Can You Detect Timing Chain Issues?

Which leads us to our next question when it comes to figuring out how we can tell once a timing chain timing is off. Keeping in mind that the timing chain coordinates the crankshaft and camshaft precisely to keep the pistons and valves from colliding with each other, an out of timed timing chain may progress to having pistons colliding with the valves and mechanically breaking down the internal engine. Severity and progression to this state will depend on how much the timing is off and usually accompanied with a ticking noise at idle.

This noise may be a premature timing chain wear and occurs due to increased tolerance as a result of abnormal wear between the timing chain components. Check out the video which represents the improper timing chain noise of 2012 LR4 5.0. For the comparison, here is also the short video example with the right engine sound after timing chain was fixed.

The louder the ticking noise at idle, the higher the odds that your timing will be off to a point that an Engine light will come on and you may experience something called an Engine Misfire. An Engine Misfire will feel like a noticeable shudder coming from the Engine accompanied with drivability issues; such as that of deacceleration, losing power while driving and very poor motor functionality. A misfire will typically come with a flashing engine light, and it is integral at this point to immediately stop driving the vehicle and to turn it off. Choosing to drive the vehicle in this state will have consequential damage to the Engine and other components in tandem with it.

The timeframe from when the chains start making noise and to when they fail, can sporadically happen within a short period of time or take years to progress. It is never a question of if but always a question of when for 2010 – 2013 5.0/3.0 models. 

timing chain range rover

Knowing this, why is it that some Land Rovers experience issues with the timing chains? Some models between 2010-2013 require updated chains, guides and tensioners and will find that once revised parts are installed, they will no longer experience a similar issue. Another common issue is the type of Engine Oil used in the vehicle. Models 2010 and up require a specific Engine Oil that has detergents and additives specifically engineered for JLR Engines. Using a different kind of Engine oil, even if the viscosity is the same, may have long term consequential issues for your Engine including your timing chains. Similarly, the lack of proper maintenance, such that of proper oil changes, may also cause premature internal engine wear/damage and problems with the timing chains with time. This segues to how imperative it is to be mindful and on top of the proper maintenance/repairs that your Land Rover may require.

How to Prevent Timing Chain Failure?

The best preventative measure is to follow the manufacturers service guidelines using only manufacturers approved fluids. Ultimately, components will wear and tear and break down with time, and this is the natural progression from use and age. Ensure to have your vehicle maintained properly with the correct fluids at proper timing/mileage. If your Land Rover has a ticking noise at idle, it is best to make an appointment with a Land Rover Specialized Facility and have it diagnosed. Knowledge is power and knowing what your Land Rover’s service requirements are will prevent premature service-related malfunctions.

Land Rover being a force to be reckoned with in the luxury SUV market, will much like other luxury vehicles from time to time require service and repair. Service and repair your Land Rover properly, there’s no better way to appreciate its reliability, function, luxury and performance!