Long-term update: Range Rover maintenance costs aren't too bad yet

Long-term update: Range Rover maintenance costs aren’t too bad yet

Apparently, if you keep asking Land Rover’s PR agency politely for the past eight years why you weren’t invited to any of their major press events, they keep saying they have no space. Then when you publicise that they aren’t inviting you to events, instead of making amends, they simply bury their heads in the sand and ban you. So we won’t be able to bring you any review of the Explorer-esque new Range Rover, but we can certainly keep bringing you updates on our very own Range Rover. It’s been four months since we picked it up, and we’ve finally taken it in for an issue that’s been bugging us since we bought it.

When we purchased the used Range Rover, the brake-pedal feel was absolute mush. When you pressed the pedal, nothing happened until near the end of the pedal-travel, where the braking power would be just fine. But it was a disconcerting feeling, and increased our reaction-times in emergency stops. Drivers of Toyota Land Cruisers would think such awful brakes are normal, but we guessed it was time to change the brake fluid, as a Range Rover isn’t supposed to be like this.

From our experience, dealer service-centres are reluctant to change the brake fluid, and many service schedules don’t include it on their lists of regular maintenance items. For whatever reason, you have to specifically ask for it. We had the same issue with Mitsubishi and Jeep service centres. When the Range Rooney was in for service, we forgot to ask for it, and they were more intent on selling us entirely new brakes than pointing out that we maybe needed new fluid.

So after driving around by keeping huge safe distances on the highway for this long, we finally found the time to take the Rooney in for a brake-fluid flush. Initially, we tried to take it to Emarat Fasttrack, but after several assurances that they could do it for Dhs 400, they backed out at the last minute, citing their fear of electronics! These time-wasters should specify from before that they can only handle Corollas and Tiidas.

Next we went to Dynatrade on Sheikh Zayed Road, a polished independent garage that we had a fairly positive experience with, when we took our Mitsubishi Galant GTS there. They initially quoted us Dhs 1,300, and said they’ll do a full flush and check for leaks as well. We figured this was their “Range Rover” tax and we’ll argue about it later. Next day they called me up, said the car was ready so we could come in for a road test, and that the charge was only Dhs 500 now. We went the day after and drove it for a bit with the mechanic.

The brakes were still on the mushy side, but the feel was a fair bit better than before. The car actually starts stopping as soon as you press the brake-pedal in a little. It was finally behaving like a car we could confidently tailgate with, as Range Rovers were apparently born to do. They also confirmed that they used the correct “DOT4” fluid, since using the wrong “DOT5” fluid is never a good idea. And it cost us Dhs 500, so there was no “Range Rover” tax in the end. However, we actually didn’t ask the Land Rover dealer itself how much this job would’ve cost, so we don’t know how much money we saved, to be fair. Maybe the dealer was cheaper? Yeah, right.

So Dynatrade still remains our garage of choice for basic maintenance, if not for more specialised issues with specific cars. The experience was fine, except that we had to wait more than an hour to get the car washed after the road test. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one, since we showed up there just before lunch break and most of the staff had disappeared at some point.

Frankly, we find it astounding that so many dealer service-centres of various brands treat this brake-fluid safety issue so lightly. It is very dangerous, and the fluid needs to be changed every two or three years. With the advent of “free service contract” deals, some greedy dealers are skipping the brake-fluid part just so they don’t have to do it for free. If your brakes feel like air, go ask for a fluid flush, and make sure they don’t just top it up like they normally do.

Original Mileage When Bought: 99,980 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 102,800 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 17.8 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 500

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 8480

Read all 2005 Range Rover long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. Mash,
    You spent 8.500dhs in four months on your RR and you are saying that maintanence costs are not too bad??!!

  2. Author

    I’ll clarify the Dhs 8000 spent before, for those who haven’t read the previous updates. Out of that, Dhs 2100 was regular maintenance, about Dhs 4000 was to replace some leaky engine gaskets by the dealer (which wasn’t necessary as the leaks were very minor, but I wanted the tune-up) and the rest was for a goofy steering-adjustment motor (which again wasn’t necessary, but I did it anyway).

    • Necessary or not it’s money spent on this car to make it run better or just as it should. I find 8500dhs a lot of money for only 4 months of ownership.

    • Author

      If everybody could afford to run a Range Rover, it’d be the next Toyota. But it isn’t. And that’s the point.

    • That is true.
      However, some of us can afford it easily but choose not to pump money constantly in an older RR. So we get a new Toyota, Nissan, Lexus, Infinity (cars over 150k dhs) etc……a matter of choice at the end of the day.

      Anyway, RR is still one of the cars I like very much and I apreciate you got one and spend all this money on it to make it run as it should.

  3. They BANNED you…..hahahaha….idiots!!

  4. 500 is still a bit on the high side. A good garage ( not the roadside Iranian one) should charge only 100-200 max max on labour. Rest will cost of brake fluid.
    How many hours of labour did dynatrade charge you for?

    • Author

      Don’t know, but I was just comparing it to the Fasttrack quote. There’s always a cheaper option when it comes to garages, but I preferred this garage for its premium setup.

  5. Generally I don’t like to buy 3+ yrs old cars except low mileage cars (less than 50000 km)
    I feel it waste of time , money & peace of mind
    Everytime you will fix something then enjou for a while then other problems will show up

  6. So…… Have you dared to take this reliable vehicle off road yet? 😛

  7. Agreed but what do you expect from a car after 100000 km …out of waranty , service contract , exhausted engine , suspension , tires battery ….etc

    Even if nothing happens the regular maintenance

    cost over 100000 km is very high

    Plus your confIdence for going long trips will be ??

    • There is nothing to worry about the long trips. Trust me if you have done the scheduled maintenance given as per the owner’s manual dealer or trusted independent garages it will run good without letting you down in the middle of the road.

      I have friends who have vehicles with over 500,000KMs and even 700,000KMs but not a Range Rover. And the 500,000KMs one running fine whereas the 700,000KMs one needed an engine overhaul because of worn piston rings (loss of compression and oil consumption).

      The only car you can get best resale is Corolla irrespective of its KMs that probably what Adnan meant. Or some commercial vehicles again doesn’t matter how much it ran. 😛

  8. Plus after 2 yrs this car supposed yo run around 150000 km , so guess the resale process & value

  9. @Adnan you misunderstood me
    I mean the resale of any kind of used car done 150000 km

  10. Lol@people worrying over resale value of an old used car.

  11. Agreed with Mash.. When buying Luxury cars they are worst at resale… especially during early 3 years

  12. I kinda get it now why they do not invite you Mash..your always thrashing them buddy… I mean think about it… your article started off on a negative note…
    Chill buddy, good luck with your site..

    • Author

      ^Are you angling for a job at some other local car magazine/site? That’s the right attitude then, haha.

    • I kinda get it now why they do not invite you Mash…************

      RE: You do realise that is perhaps the main reason for the popularity of this site?

  13. I love what Mash is doing because we need some truth out there in this region and even in other region. Rarely people mention the negative side of the car compared to other car makers. Keep up the good work. And if people think alot about the resale you should probably buy gold instead cars value rare increase in normal sitaution ( most common car market).

  14. Agree with Mash. I have the same issue with Fast Track. My brakes were not too good for a while when I bought my used Nissan Pathfinder. Although Fast Track was truthful about my break-pads but were suggesting some other very ultra-high-tech way of checking if the brakes were fine. I called up Mash ( buddies ) and he asked me to change the brake fluid. They were reluctant to do so and kept on telling me the fluid is absolutely fine until I forced them to do it. They did it for free as I remember, maybe cost 15AED, but the brake feels great since then and its been almost a year now.

  15. Hi all, I have been using a Land cruiser got it brand new , had used it for 6 years- no issues. but need a change. Have an ideas of going for a Range Rover sports. what is your view. advantages and disadvantages, moving from Japanese to English. your comments will be very vital for me .

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