Question about Land Rover Discovery

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1996 Disco SE7 4.0 Last summer Stopped for gas shut off engine didn't start for 1/2 hour. Changed ignition switch - ran like champ from Oct 09 - May 10. Hot that day like last summer - starter turns no ignition AND windows don't go up, radio doesn't work and when plugged in OBD II tester did nothing. But the lights and wipers worked. Started 45 minutes later but waited 2 hours for windows and radio to work. Weird and frustrating LR mechanic suggested I bring it in and they'll change out the ECU - yeah right! for ~$4000.

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  • ebarnsley Jul 11, 2010

    See the previous 7/11 comment.

  • ebarnsley Jul 12, 2010

    Please read all previous threads. On a Land Rover Disco all control units are either ECUs or in the circuit diagrams called Multi- Function Units. If I replace the suspect MFU do I need to reprogram it at a dealer shop anyway or will it work just plugged in. And is there a procedure for that which I can do. I've read on landrover forums similar problems that were expensive horror shows as the dealer techs replaced piece after piece with no permanent results.

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Well, You are describing what is known as a hot chip condition and unfortunately the only common piece between all the effected systems is the ECM. You can most likely pick up a used one at an Auto Salvage a little cheaper than what you have been quoted so far and put it in yourself but $1500 to $4000 is in the correct price range fora new one and most likely that is the only thing that will solve your problems.

Posted on Jul 12, 2010

Testimonial: "hot chip condition - now I've got something to go on - thanx, CB"

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Hi! Thats quite expensive to think that the ECU (engine control unit) has nothing to do with it. The ECU controls the air and fuel mixture so it has nothing to do with failing radio or windows. Its better if he said that its the PCM (powertrain control module), the PCM controls all the circuitry that runs in the car including radio, power windows, locks, ignition, transmission, etc... I would suggest that you change the PCM but before you do that, try swapping the battery and see how it goes. If it turns out fine then its just a battery failure. If still no luck, then its gotta be the PCM. Hope this helps and have a good one!

Posted on Jul 11, 2010

  • dj_relly999
    dj_relly999 Jul 12, 2010

    Plug it in first and see how it goes, if its not good then you will need to have it resetted.

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The only thing that make sense on these problems is you have another bad ignition switch or wiring to it. If noone has actually tested anything yet you need to have this done when the car does not start. I know this can be difficult because it runs most of the time but if your being directed to replace the PCM wtihout a diag then there will be no way to know if its the source of the problem. The worst thing for a mechanic is fixing a car that isnt broken when an intermittant issue is happening. It may be you need a new PCM but I doubt it by all the symptoms you stated. I would be more prone to think you have a wiring or connection issue in the ignition electrical part of the switch or problems in the fuse boxes.

Posted on Jul 10, 2010

  • ebarnsley Jul 11, 2010

    Thanks but actually I replaced the switch with an ignition panel - switch, start button and accessory switch [radio and lighter] with indicator lights. During its problem, if I recall, the accessory indicator light doesn't go on and the ignition light is dim. Meaning - no or low juice. Another point is that being a hot day naturally the heater/ac controls are moved from red [warm] to blue [cool]. A thought - might the cool vents/airways be causing condensation on the smaller ecu in the dash?

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