Long-term update: We overhaul our trusty Range Rover

Long-term update: We overhaul our trusty Range Rover

While the other cars on our fleet are just toys, the Range Rover is the family vehicle and performs the bulk of our transporting duties. We’ve also trusted it as our luxury ride for important time-sensitive meetings and airport drop-offs. As such, it needs to be reliable. Thankfully our greyish-green Vogue has served us faithfully since 2012 with only minor niggles, especially since we properly take care of it. But it is nearly a decade old and has 111,111 km on it, so we decided to do the inevitable overhaul after it started showing signs of tiredness.


The sign came when there were engine belt noises and the eventual safe-mode shutdown, and then started right back up again. We sent our wagon off to Das Auto Works, a BMW-specialist garage whose owner invited us there because, well, our old-school Range Rover has a BMW engine and, well, he used to own one too and has the right diagnostic tools for it, unlike most non-dealer garages.

He said the BMW 4.4-litre engine is generally solid and concluded that the car had a weak alternator and tensioner pulley, which was probably causing the odd behaviour. He recommended a list of parts that were now old and needed to be changed in order to make the car ready to tackle whatever the future throws at it, which included the alternator, new battery, tensioner pulley and several related belts, engine fan clutch, steering-fluid reservoir with related hoses and oil, and many other rubber hoses and seals here and there.

A chip for the suspension height control had burned out, so it was replaced with a used BMW part. We also replaced the weak bonnet struts, the coolant and the brake fluid, as well as threw in an oil change.

So far, the cost of upkeep has been no more than that of a similarly-aged BMW 3-Series, for what is essentially a top-spec luxury car that’ll probably become a classic some 30 years from now, and with the preventive maintenance we’ve put into it, the Vogue is all set to hopefully keep serving us reliably for the near future, until we decide to move up to a new Range Rover.

Original Mileage When Bought: 99,980 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 111,111 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 18.4 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 8486
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 4485

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 25496

Read all 2005 Range Rover long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. So Mash, for 2 years of ownership, you have spent almost half ( or more than half )in non fuel running expense of what it costed you initially to purchase it ?

  2. And why didn’t you take it to Al Tayer?

  3. i have dodge charger and my dealer also taking huge cost of repair can you recommend any good place for american dodge charger because i have to change the brake pads and servicing for the whole suspension system what about the Das Auto Works are they also specialize in Dodge?

    • Author

      They do mostly BMW, but I think any decent garage should be able to do suspension and brakes on an American car.

  4. Luxury comes at high cost, no matter the age of the car. What I knew about RR its confirmed by your ownership. An old RR can make a hole in your pocket any day. The cost is very high for only 12k km covered but hopefully you wont spend anymore untill you sell it.

    • Author

      Cheaper to maintain than a Porsche Cayenne, as I’ve found out.

    • I have a 2008 Cayenne. They find 15000 AED worth of things to replace on every service otherwise my extended warranty will be cancelled! This cost your listed is nothing.

    • @Cory: Wow! I thought owners of Posh vehicles are the last people to be bothered about mechanical issues. Never knew they are doing this with PORSCHE! Insane..Somehow EVERY big and small company in Dubai wants to rip off people at every chance they get

  5. Very high maintenence costs for the mileage run. Definitely not a car for every day run.

  6. Spending 25000 AED on non-fuel costs for 11000 kms of drive speaks volumes on the cost of ownership. But RR is RR. Its like owning an elephant in olden times. Expensive to maintain, but it is a sign of prestige.

  7. I think that’s really high for 12k km whatever the car, still it’s 12k

  8. it is the price paying for class….

  9. 8500 for a overhaul is cheap, u should put a dealer estimate in there for people to realise the difference.

    • Shafiq, the point to note is that this much of money is spent on a vehicle which has seen only 100000+ kms. Plus the current owner spent this money for just 12000 km of use. God knows how much the prior owner has spend on it.

  10. I have a 2007. I make a lot more than 25k a month. Everybody has an opinion here, but just make sure you move out of the way when you see one coming behind you.

  11. Spintwister well its preventive maintenance, so he didnt HAVE to do it, besides its over a span of 2 years don’t look at mileage only. I think he could have driven 50k easily since bought because there is no major flaw in it

    • Author

      Exactly. One of our readers spent Dhs 13,000 to overhaul a used Ford Focus 1.6 at the dealer so he could drive it peacefully for several years. Another journalist I know spent Dhs 90,000 to overhaul his Dhs 90,000 Maserati because it’s special. Neither of them made the wrong decision. I am enjoying a Dhs 300,000 luxury car and its perks, and I’m doing so completely debt-free and for less than the price of a Toyota Camry.

    • Dear Shafiq, the number of years does not matter, the mileage does. If the vehicle is not used much, then where does the question of maintenance occur? I strongly feel that if Mash had driven more, his expenses would have increased further. Again overhauling at a modest 111000 km shows the level of reliability of RR. The luxury taxi operators using Audi, Mercedes, Lexus etc, use their car 600000 km + in 3-4 years, before they sell. None of them go for any major overhauling before that.

      But as Mash pointed out, his decision is not wrong. The prestige of owning a RR is at a different level. For example, try arriving in a RR at a hotel/mall/event, you will notice how different the reception would be.

      The thing to keep in mind is that in owning a RR, you need to shell out some money every now and then for something or the other (besides the heavy fuel bill). It is meant for people like JosephG who earns AED 25000 +/month

    • Plus have a spare car !

    • Author

      Having owned an old Dhs 13,000 Mercedes, an old Dhs 45,000 BMW and everything else in between, my issues have always been due to age rather than mileage. Heat takes a toll on rubber bits, no matter what the mileage, and need to be changed to guarantee reliability on any car, rather than wait for something to fall off at a decade old.

      P.S. I normally don’t talk about my finances, but let’s just say my Zakat “bills” are more than my RR bills at the moment 🙂

    • MashaAllah, Mash to know that your zakat bill is more than the RR bill. Then definitely RR maintenance costs is peanut change for a “arbab” like you. 😉

    • On a serious note, if mash rakes up another 100000-150000kms in his trusty RR without any more of major maintenance issues, I would think of getting an RR for myself!

  12. How about you end up paying 300k in maintenance, eventually all the previous owners of this car if paid on maintenance till this day is calculated it will be over 100k for sure and is this one supercharged? then expect more .

  13. ok Mash we get it RR is not for light hearted

    just people with deep pockets, lots of patience, and a spare car …………

  14. they do.. but not at this rate..

  15. One cannot drive a RR at a maintenance cost of Nissan / Toyota. Spend the money, honey!

  16. Are you serious!! A 2006 BMW does not even cost 1/3rd of that to maintain. I own one, and a top spec 335 at that.Moreover my car has done around 150k kms. BMW’s are 10 times more reliable than these old RR, or from any car for that matter, as far as my experience goes.

    Do you even know what you’re talking about!!

    • Clearly you are lying. The BMW 335i was launched in late 2006 as a 2007 model. And the first several years include free maintenance anyway. Hopefully your warranty fixed the HPFP pump problem, which BMW was denying at first, or maybe you got it fixed later at a ghetto garage, assuming you had a 335i in the first place.

    • top reliable cars according to consumer reports are


      no BMW….. an irritating car to maintain

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