4WD/AWD heads: Haldex units

Probably the wrong place but fuck it.

Last year the Haldex unit on my car, in short succession, had a hydraulic pump failure, a drive train sensor failure and a CPU failure, all of which were repaired at significant cost at the dealership.

Just got off the phone with the dealer and have been told that the whole unit now needs to be replaced because water got inside.

The car has only 20k miles on it, has never been hooned or beaten of flogged off road, just the odd bit o sand and gravel.

First issue (hydraulic pump) ws dealt with 2 weeks out of warranty.

My dealership is taking the piss, aren't they? This is my first ever new car and it looks to be a lemon.

What does RoF advise?

Oh, and its only been 4k miles since the CPU/sensor was replaced. 6k since the pump.

I don't even know what a Haldex unit is but definitely get a quote from someone other than the dealer before parting with cash.  In my experience main dealerships are very, very keen on the 'oh x part has to be replaced completely' when things can actually be fixed by a small garage.

The Haldex is the bit that controls the all wheel drive, sending the power to the right wheel/axle at the right time

this is one of the reasons I tend to think its best to steer clear of new cars


Let all the other people find the issues with them, then once they have all been well documents find a good example and put money aside for the predicted future woes 

And I think you are right on that. This one was not strictly new. It had 2.5k miles on it, the original owners having swapped it for a Disco Sport. The result was a newish car with 25% knocked off the price.


I thought it was an excellent deal at the time...


sorry to say this is Karma for buying a meaningless car with no soul 

I get what you are saying, but the thing is, Haldex issues notwithstanding, the goldilocks car for me. I can fill it full of manure, or lumber or whatever, but it still will happily pottle along comfortably on a motorway at 90mph. Also, roads here are far too narrow for a Disco or a Land Cruiser. I've already lost both wing mirrors on the Freelander once a piece already.

I want a Series III ragtop for the summer weekends, but it could never be a daily driver.

If I had to replace it today I'd have no idea what to replace it with.

Wasn't there some judgement to the effect that a car that will not go is not a car at all?

Thus, total failure of consideration 

I knew from the moment I read the OP that this had to be a Land Rover vehicle.

Just get rid of it. It will give you no end of arse ache. Buy something else.  This is entirely normal for a Land Rover.   They are built by khunts.

I am getting a whole new Haldex unit, with he price offset by the cost of the parts that I have already had to replace and a new 2 year warranty.Hopefully that will be the end of it, but I suspect that Mutters will be right.

To answer the WTF is it question

A Haldex unit is part of the process for managing 4 wheel drive - regulating drive to or locking out the rear axle in a car which has variable drive as between all four wheels.

Basically, a Haldex unit is a coupler that works as a sort of pump device the pressure of which is created by the movement of the unit by the prop-shaft-to-differential assembly. The Haldex has a swash plate on one side and pistons on the other. The unit  is designed to give variable pressure according to need from the way you're driving the vehicle or choose to set it up.

What happens is that the two halves of the unit spin and if they are spinning at the same speed then the pump does not produce any pressure and everything carries on as normal (either as you've set it up with the terrain response button or just as normal without any settings fixed). But when the front half of the coupling spins faster than the rear then the swash plate depress the pistons as it rotates faster relative to the rear part of the unit. This piston pressure is used to pressurise a wet clutch which partially locks up & drives the rear half of the final drive. This can be regulated electronically as part of of the terrain response system in a Land Rover or happen automatically in cars without manual terrain response settings.

Land Rover Discoveries, Velars and Freelanders have different ratios in the front & rear diffs. The pump is always producing some pressure & is ready to go when you click the terrain response switch. If the Haldex has gone then it is incapable of offering you any rear wheel independent drive and no terrain response override.

Two things regularly go with Land Rovers in relation to terrain response. The Haldex (drive ratio regulation) and the air compressor (height regulation).  They cost a mighty lot to put right.  Without these things you have a heavy two wheel drive unit in low suspension road going mode. How shite is it that an "off road" vehicle suffers from regular failure of the very units that command its off road ability. Buy a Mercedes-Benz. ;)

The idea that LR think it is ok to put a unit of that importance under a car that is incapable of holding water out is laughable. Unless you've smashed it on a rock and left a crack in it or something...

they said the water came in the bleeder valve, which to my minds suggests that the valve wasn't closed properly after, well, bleeding it.

or they stupidly designed the drive system to have a bleeder valve that could be knocked off or gradually unscrew itself.

A van which someone has cut a bit out of on the top and attached a tent. Yes, well I can see the attraction. At least the Germans will deliver something fit for purpose. It will not fail to turn into a half-tent or fail to behave like a van.  The main advantage of it is space. If LR built it, half way through owning it the insides would inexplicably contract leaving you with half the space you bought. You'd take it into the workshop and they'd say "yeah, shit. They do that" and ask you for £2000 to put it right.

It really sickens me that LR trade on their off road capability which they regard as their heritage and market as world beating but I don't know anyone who hasn't been let down by some element of that part of the car.

I still really really want a defender. At some point in my life I will have to buy one just to scratch the itch. Do you still have yours mutters (I’m the poster who occasionally bothers you for info on the defender)?

Yes I do my friend. Decided to keep it. It’s got 160k on the clock and new turbo, shocks, one new hub, a new lift pump, new clutch and clean egr valves. So it is staying.

Brave. I taught Mrs G to drive. We lasted four lessons before divorce was mentioned and we got the chequebook out and agreed to get as many lessons as it took provided we didn’t have to talk about it again. 

other than the modified D90s and similar I just am not sure I can get my head around LRs and RRs 

Never send to know for whom the scrap man calls; he calls for thee 

I went on a landrover driving day years ago. they started you off in the defender - great fun, impossible hill climbing and descent, tilts to an insane degree etc.  loved it.

then we did some clay shooting, also ace.

then lunch, acceptable for corporate shizz.

then the afternoon big tamales: range rover followed by the then brand new discovery.  

a slightly bumpy drive around the edge of a field. on the one descent you pressed a button and took ypur feet off the pedals.  boring as fuck.  took it no way near the fun sploshy climb course.

"will you be buying the new disco?" asked my host, one of those old school gammon faced IPs from the big 4.

Disco?  ffs.

"no it is 65k and I am an NQ on 50 u absolute douche canoe" I said (in my head, apart from the no).