Most Common Problems of a Land Rover Discover Sport (L550)

17 Most Common Problems of a Land Rover Discover Sport (L550)

The Land Rover Discovery Sport proves that you don’t need to go bigger to get better, still managing to comfortably seat in luxury five gentlemen of bigger proportions from our department, as a matter of fact.

But speaking of departments, the Discovery Sport does lack in some of them, one of which is the “not being riddled with problems for an SUV of its price bracket” department.

So before you roll up to the Disco in your own Disco Sport, you’ll want to be on the lookout for all the common problems we’ve listed that this Rover can give you!

If you’re also considering other Land Rover models like the bigger Range Rover or the more compact Evoque, be sure to check out our dedicated guides for them as well! Otherwise, let’s start by answering the question below.

What are the most common problems of the Land Rover Discovery Sport?

Common problems of the Land Rover Discovery Sport include various engine problems, transmission problems, suspension/steering problems, and brake problems.

Other problems include electrical system issues, seatbelt issues, and the second-row seat back not latching.

The problems we’ve enumerated above are only a general summary of what you can potentially experience in the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

There can be multiple problems that are specific to one major system or component, such as the engine, so it’s worth categorizing such problems depending on their nature.

For instance, the 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport’s problems can specifically include faulty control arm fasteners and malfunctioning infotainment systems.

Thus, we’ll be giving descriptions and potential solutions for each problem, so be sure to take note of them once you start taking ownership of your own Land Rover Discovery Sport!

Engine Problems

Engine Problems

No common (car model) problems guide is ever complete without talking about engine-related problems, and we’re well aware of how major and costly they can be, especially in a luxury SUV like the Land Rover Discovery Sport.

The Land Rover Discovery Sport is known to develop engine problems such as misfires, stalling, engine fire risk due to a short circuit, coolant leaks, and fuel rail end cap leaks.

1. Engine Misfires and Stalling

Land Rover Discovery Sport models equipped with either the gasoline or the diesel variant of the 2-liter turbocharged I4 engine have been prone to misfiring and even stalling. This includes models with the mild hybrid system.

Since many Discovery Sport models are powered by 2-liter engines, the misfiring issue has been observed across multiple model years, mainly from 2015 to 2017 and 2019 to 2020.

Misfires on the Land Rover Discovery Sport or just about any vehicle can reduce both the performance and fuel economy of the engine.

In worst-case scenarios, the misfiring can get bad enough to the point that the engine completely stalls, which can leave you dangerously stranded in the middle of the highway.

When diagnosing the vehicle for misfires, you may detect any of the following trouble codes below.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Misfire Error Codes:
P0300 – Random or multiple-cylinder misfires have been detectedP0301 – Misfire detected on cylinder 1P0302 – Misfire detected on cylinder 2

While there can be many reasons why your vehicle can misfire and stall, problems with the Discovery Sport’s fuel injection system, in particular, are the most commonly reported culprits of the whole issue.

Whether it’s the fuel pump or the injectors, it’s worth getting your Discovery Sport’s fuel system checked for any faulty components, as it can result in the engine not getting enough fuel (fuel starvation) and stalling.

2. Risk of Engine Fire Due to Short Circuit

No vehicle with an internal combustion engine is ever 100% guaranteed safe from a risk of a fire, and this so happens to be the case for certain Land Rover Discovery Sport models with short-circuiting electrical systems.

In particular, Land Rover Discovery Sport MHEV (mild-hybrid electric vehicle) models from the 2020 model year are equipped with a 48-volt electrical system that may overload and cause the MOSFET component to fail.

Once the MOSFET (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) fails, the DCDC converter can short-circuit the 12-volt electrical system to ground. 

The 12-volt electrical system, by then, can discharge and illuminate a battery warning light on the instrument cluster.

Due to these series of events, you may also notice a burning smell and even smoke coming from the DCDC converter that enters through the vents and into the cabin. This is where the risk of a fire hazard actually comes from.

Thankfully, Jaguar Land Rover of North America remedies this in a recall by installing the latest software update on affected vehicles to prevent the electrical shorts from occurring.

3. Coolant Leaks (Overheating)

The Land Rover Discovery Sport, like many other vehicles we’ve written about, is not exempted from developing coolant leaks.

Now, since the coolant is obviously a vital fluid in keeping your engine’s temperature at a normal reading, a coolant leak can spell your engine at risk of overheating.

In the case of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, coolant leaks most commonly occur due to either a damaged radiator, loose hoses, or a broken water pump.

Coolant Leaks (Overheating)

While it’s important to check all of these components, according to statistics by, 50% of reported coolant leaks on the Land Rover Discovery Sport actually come from loose hose connections alone.

But regardless of the specific component, you should look for signs of any wear and tear in your cooling system and have them repaired or replaced when deemed necessary.

4. Leaks from Fuel Rail End Caps (Engine Compartment)

Another type of leaking problem to look out for on the Land Rover Discovery Sport is leaks from the fuel rail end caps located within the engine compartment.

This specific type of fuel leak affects 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport models powered by the 2-liter I4 engine, wherein the fuel rail end caps were found to be incorrectly sealed and led to the leaking of fuel vapor or liquid fuel.

The good news is that the manufacturer has already issued a recall (R/2018/036) for the leaking problem, which effectively replaced the entire fuel rail with an updated version on affected Discovery Sport models (among other affected Land Rover models).

5. Delayed/Lagging Acceleration

When something’s not right with the engine on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, then expect its performance to suffer, as some owners have observed.

More specifically, certain Discovery Sport models from 2015 have received complaints from owners that there is a delay or lag in acceleration. The luxury SUV’s engine seems to take a whole second or two to respond before speeding up.

As you can imagine, this delay in acceleration every time you push the pedal can make the vehicle unpredictable, making it dangerous to drive, especially with other traffic around.

Unfortunately, there is still no current recall for the delayed or lagging acceleration issue on the Land Rover Discovery Sport. However, some people have had luck resetting the vehicle’s adaptive learning system.

The Discovery Sport’s vehicle adaptive learning system is a known culprit to the lagging acceleration issue, so it’s worth giving it a reset by following the procedure below.

How to Reset Land Rover Discovery Sport Adaptive Learning:
With the vehicle turned off, push the “start” button once (keep the engine turned off).Push the gas pedal all the way to the floor and hold it for about 15 seconds.While still keeping your foot on the gas pedal, push the “start” button once again.Let go of the gas pedal.Wait for about 2 minutes.Start the engine and drive around to test the acceleration.

Transmission Problems

Transmission Problems

Another category of problems worth talking about is transmission problems, and just like engine problems, they can all prove costly when not mitigated right away.

The most common transmission problems of the Land Rover Discovery Sport are jerky shifts or slipping gears, transmission fluid leaks, and the transmission suddenly shifting into neutral.

6. Jerky Shifts or Slipping Gears

When your Land Rover Discovery Sport’s transmission starts to either jerk during shifts or slip gears, then it’s time to check your transmission fluid to see if it’s already running low.

But while jerky shifts or slipping gears are common symptoms of low transmission fluid levels, they can also be caused by worn-out or damaged components such as the transmission gears and the torque converter.

Thus, if you notice your Discovery Sport’s transmission is not performing as smoothly as before, then it’s best to have its transmission system checked by the dealership or a trustworthy mechanic.

7. Transmission Fluid Leaks (Overheating)

The Land Rover Discovery Sport’s transmission is another potential source of leaks in the luxury SUV.

If not resolved right away, the leaking fluid can cause your transmission to overheat due to not having enough lubrication for the components. This can cause permanent damage to the transmission and even cause it to fail completely.

Check for transmission fluid leaks beneath the Land Rover Discovery Sport by looking for puddles of dark red liquid on the ground.

The leak may come from either the gearbox cap not being properly tightened, a broken seal, a cracked transmission oil sump, or a defective torque converter.

Of course, if you managed to stop the leak without opening the transmission up, then there’s no need to open it up at all. 

Otherwise, if the leak still persists, then it’s the perfect time to have your transmission checked for any damaged parts, which can be an expensive procedure in terms of labor costs alone.

8. Transmission Suddenly Shifts into Neutral

One notorious transmission issue that has led to the recall of 10,455 units of the Land Rover Discovery Sport (and Evoque) is the transmission suddenly shifting into neutral by itself.

As mentioned in the recall, certain 2015 models of the Discovery Sport have been fitted with transmission sensor clusters that do not have enough crimps in the transmission wiring harness.

Due to the insufficient number of crimps on the wiring harness, the transmission may inadvertently shift into neutral without any input from the driver. Furthermore, this can happen whether you’re moving or just parked.

This sudden shifting can increase the risk of an accident to occur, especially when driving at speed. Then there’s also the risk that the vehicle can roll away when it shifts into “neutral” from “park”.

Land Rover’s solution to this issue is to inspect and update the transmission software of the affected models to prevent the transmission from slipping into neutral on its own.

Suspension and Steering Problems

Suspension and Steering Problems

Continuing the list of potential sources of major Land Rover Discovery Sport problems, there are a few issues with the SUV’s suspension system and steering that you should be aware of.

9. Excessive Noise or Vibrations While Driving

A vibrating steering wheel and a lot of noise are among the most commonly observed issues with the Discovery Sport’s steering, and there can be many potential reasons to blame for this.

The presence of vibrations and excessive clunking noises while driving can be caused by worn-out suspension/steering components such as tie rods, ball joints, and axles.

It’s also a good idea to check the condition of your wheels. Things like incorrect tire pressure, bad wheel alignment, unbalanced wheels, and physical damage to the rims and tires can also contribute to the car vibrating while on the move.

10. Stiff Steering Feel

While the Land Rover Discovery Sport is not a small sedan by all means, it still shouldn’t feel like a boat to steer and maneuver, not unless something has gone wrong with the steering components.

If the steering wheel starts feeling a lot harder or heavier to turn, then you should check if you still have enough power steering fluid in its reservoir.

If your power steering fluid is still at normal levels, then you’ll move on to checking the condition of components such as the power steering pump, belt, and steering rack. Be sure to have any damaged components replaced immediately.

Damage or excessive wear to any of the above-mentioned steering parts can significantly affect your vehicle’s handling and may put you at risk of an accident. 

Moreover, you may even experience clunking or screeching noises from the failed or worn-out steering components.

11. Defective Control Arm Fastener

Defective Control Arm Fastener

One particular issue with the Land Rover Discovery Sport’s suspension is that the front left control arm fasteners are prone to failure.

According to Land Rover’s recall on this issue, the defective control arm fasteners can cause the wheel knuckle to separate from the front lower control arm, hence affecting overall handling and posing a risk of losing control of the vehicle.

Land Rover Discovery Sport models potentially affected by this issue are limited to 2016 and 2017 models with VINs listed in the recall/service bulletin document.

Vehicles covered by this recall will receive new front suspension lower control arm fasteners tightened to the correct torque specifications free of charge.

Braking System Problems

Braking System Problems

Land Rover Discovery Sport models are prone to two main issues with their brakes, namely squeaking noises and premature brake wear or failure.

12. Brake Squeaking Noises

The brakes on the Land Rover Discovery Sport are known to squeak a lot despite being only less than a year old since being sold off the showroom floor.

Of course, the main culprit would be where the friction actually happens, which is the brake pads. 

The Discovery Sport’s rear brake pads are prone to become faulty the most, but you can easily get them replaced by the dealership at no cost if you’re still under warranty.

Otherwise, you can get a set of OEM rear brake pads for the Discovery Sport yourself with this part number (LR095295).  

13. Premature Brake Wear or Failure

Aside from the brake pads, the other components of the Land Rover Discovery Sport’s braking system can also prematurely wear out, which can potentially cause the brakes to fail completely and make the chances of a crash skyrocket.

Once again, the rear brakes tend to prematurely wear out more compared to the front ones, with some owners reporting them going from 8mm to 3mm in as short as 15,000 miles on a new vehicle.

When the Discovery Sport’s brake pads wear out, you’ll receive a “brake pads worn” notification on the dashboard. You may even hear a grinding noise that comes from the rear brake discs that have corroded.

The good thing is that there’s a recall that essentially replaces the rear brake pads, calipers, and discs, though it only covers 2015 to 2017 models and 2018 non-7-seater models of the Discovery Sport.

Electrical System Issues

When it comes to electrical problems on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, you should be on the lookout for a faulty infotainment system and faulty high beam lights.

14. Faulty Infotainment System or Touchscreen

Faulty Infotainment System or Touchscreen

Certain Discovery Sport models from 2015 to 2016 were reported to have faulty infotainment system touchscreens.

The infotainment system can be slow to respond, completely unresponsive, or downright crash, rendering all features controlled by the system unusable.

A faulty infotainment system can be a sign of a software glitch or outdated software, so be sure to have the system looked at by dealership technicians. 

15. Faulty High Beam Lights

Faulty High Beam Lights

Moving on to an exterior electrical problem, the 2019 Land Rover Discovery’s high beam lights can malfunction and turn on without the driver being alerted of this.

While Land Rover’s high beam lights do have a feature that automatically turns them on under certain conditions, the problem is that the malfunction causes the instrument cluster to not display or indicate when they’ve turned on.

As a result, the driver may not be aware of this, and thus, the high beams do not comply with safety requirements for various lighting devices. 

The manufacturer’s recall corrects this issue by installing the latest software update on affected vehicle models free of charge.

Safety Feature Problems

Some known safety feature problems on the Land Rover Discovery Sport to be wary of include the seat belt not locking properly and the second-row seat back not latching properly. 

16. Improper Seat Belt Locking (Pretensioner or Retractor Failure)

Improper Seat Belt Locking (Pretensioner or Retractor Failure)

Some Land Rover Discovery Sport models from 2017 and 2020 have undergone recalls due to faulty seat belt components that may leave occupants not secured properly.

In the case of 2017 models, they’ve gotten a recall (16V942000) for defective front seat belt pretensioners that can fail to adequately restrain and protect occupants if a crash occurs.

2020 models, however, were recalled (21V668000) for seat belt automatic locking retractors that can potentially deactivate too early, leaving the child restraint system not properly secured.

In both recalls, affected Discovery Sport models were inspected and given replacement parts to prevent the issues from happening.

17. Second-Row Seat Back Doesn’t Latch Properly

Second-Row Seat Back Doesn’t Latch Properly

One more safety issue found inside certain Land Rover models from 2015 is the second-row seat back not latching properly in the center section due to a faulty mechanism.

Recall #15V600000 states that the improper latching of the seat back may fail to restrain the occupants properly in place via the seat belt and potentially risk injuring them in a crash.

Thus, the manufacturer will inspect the second-row seat mechanism of any affected models and replace them at no charge if found to be faulty.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)