by Alain Hoffmann
Maintenance - Checking
and changing engine oil
should check your oil level every 500 miles or once a week. Well, if you
are at the point you really MUST do this to top up it's time to think
about a rebuilt..
The oil gauge is on the left side of the engine block on modern Rovers.
You should place the car on as level a place as you can find..
Take it out, wipe it off and feed it in again. Take it out and now read
it. This is necessary as it's likely some oil will creep along the gauge
when the engine is shut off so the first measurement will be faulty. There
are 2 marks on the gauge. On TDi's there are 2 notches, on V8's it's a
pattern on the metal. The oil level must be between the upper and lower
marking. You will find in your owners manual how much oil you must add
for topping up. Generally this will be between 0,5 and 1 litre. On Series
you will find 4 marks. The lowest is 'Low On Road', the next 'Low Off
Road'. The second highest is 'High Off Road', the highest being 'High
On Road' (Hope I got this right). .
On Discoveries with the 200 TDi you need 1,0 litre for filling from "LOW"
to "HIGH". The V8 on Discoveries needs 1,4 litres for the same.
NEVER OVERFILL. This does all sorts of bad things to the engine. Seals
may start to leak, foaming o the oil occurs, pushing oil into the intake
etc. By overfilling I don't mean the occasional 'just over the mark' thing.
But if you have filled let's say half a litre in excess you must first
get it out again. If you don't know how this is done call your local garage.
Don't drive up to them. .
If you fill it up you must first clean the area around the filler with
a towel. Any dirt around will, according to Murphy's law, get inside the
engine. And that's bad. If you cleaned the filler cap put the towel near
the side of the cover (arrow). Spilled oil always runs to this side and
than drips down the sides. The towel will catch most of it..
Choosing the right oil is more important on modern engines than on older
Series. TDi's require an high quality oil, V-8's aren't so sensitive but
it never hurts to use an good quality oil. TD5's are very sensitive to
wrong oils too.
the end a little horror story..
I heard of a guy - well let's call him Ernie - who knew his engine needed
an special oil. Well, that's not quite right but Ernie being a dumbhead
his local dealer told him only to use genuine Land Rover oils. Ernie now
went into holidays with his brand new Defender. After 2 weeks and close
to return home he decided to make a maintenance. In his case that meant
checking the oil. He was baffled when he saw the level being already a
bit under the low mark..
Ernie now being as dumb as ever remembered his dealers' warning: "Only
use genuine oil". So he left everything in place, closed the hood
and drove home. The inevitable happened after 1200 km and just an hour
from his home when the engine, after a long time of making strange noises
called it a day and quit..
The repair wasn't covered under warranty and it cost close to 8000 US$.
On a car 2 months old..
So let this be a warning to you. You SHOULD only use an specified high
grade oil. BUT if your oil level is dangerously low you can use any mineral
or synthetic oil around. You even can use salad oil from the local supermarket.
In any case you should change the mixed oils as soon as possible. This
means THE SAME DAY! If you use non-engine oils like the salad oil I mentioned
avoid high loads (no flat-out racing) and don't let it cool down. Have
it changed while it's still hot. .
Click here for oil change tips and