Q: Car independently drops from 70 mph to 5 mph

asked by on August 15, 2016

My vehicle has approx. 112,000 miles. While driving, my car independently shifts into extreme lower gear, around 5 mph. The F4 displays and also the service engine light, traction control, and hill descent control. I moved to the side of the road, turned off the engine, waited for less than 5 minutes and then the car started, but with no lights. For the past two years I’ve driven less than 5,000 miles because my car is not dependable. The mechanic changed the sensor and that helped for a couple of months, but then the same problem occurred again. Next, they cleaned off the parts and then it functioned for another couple of months - then the same thing happened Again! When it does work, my car works very well, but this problem is extremely dangerous, especially driving high speeds on the interstate. I never know when my car will drop from 65-75 mph immediately down to 5 mph. Do you know of a permanent solution for this problem?

Hello. Unfortunately a permanent solution will be hard to reach because Land Rover continuously has problems with this particular make of transmission. In fact many Freelander owners have filed a class action lawsuit against Land Rover for such failures. In your case the transmission may not need to be replaced yet but sensors on the transmission known as the brake solenoids on the valve body likely does.

The solenoids are supposed to help the driver stop by switching to a lower gear when the driver is braking. A fault that may develop is the solenoid switching to a lower gear without the driver braking. A transmission shop will likely be able to diagnose and replace the needed solenoids cheaper than the Land Rover dealership.

If you’d like a second opinion on this, have a certified technician, like one from YourMechanic, take a look at the car. They’ll be able to diagnose your car’s brake system and suggest a fix from there. Best of luck.

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