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RobRob

No traction on long uphill stretch

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A mystery! I have a 2003 Disco td5 automatic. All fine on the flat and up and down hills. Except on a particular 10 mile long uphill straight (quite fast)haul when I all of a sudden lose all traction. No way to go either backwards or forwards. Engine revs ok. I also have vapor (oil/water mixture?)which seem s to be coming from the base of the snorkel. I wait ten minutes and the traction comes back enough to turn around and start back down the hill again. Once under way again all seems fine. Even for uphill stretches. Unless I try to attack “the hill”again ! Limp mode kicking in? Anybody had the same problem/have any ideas what that might be please?

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You could say "on the level, its a fine car!!"

Sorry couldn't resist.

Limp mode will kick in when there is a problem with the engine or the sensors perceive a fault. It is there to protect the car. You need to get it on to a computer to see what the fault codes are. My TD5 had an issue with the throttle pedal previouslt and now I have blown the turbo and wreaked the engine I cannot get it off limp mode but know the engine needs replace anyway.

 

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does it have enough oil in the gearbox? if an auto is low & it is picking up air it will cease to drive

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Thanks. Just had all oil levels checked and topped up and no better. Same problem. More than limp mode (which allows you normally to get home albeit slowly) this is “no go anywhere mode” for 15 minutes, and it only occurs after this long (quite fast and straight) uphill stretch. I handle other (quite steep) uphill stretches with no apparent problem. I darent take it out on the motorway meanwhile as I won’t be able to do an about turn in case of need on a hill section !

And the snorkel spitting stuff out onto the passenger window... A hitch up to the computer is planned imminently...

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Just to be clear. The engine runs and revs fine. Just seems to be not connected to the wheels for traction once the problem kicks in ! ;)

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Oil level or a burnt out friction material in the gearbox....

What colour is the gearbox fluid?

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Also keep in mind a D2 auto doesn't have a dipstick for the gearbox oil level, it's a level plug on the front face of the sump & the level needs to be checked with the engine running & after going through the gears, 

If you just remove the plug without doing the above you will get a false level which would appear ok 

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Does sound like an automatic problem, rather than traction. Checking and/or replacing the oil as suggested would be the first step.

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BTW, if you keep driving it, and it is just low oil, then you will be burning the gearbox out in very short order.

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Thanks for the ideas. As mentioned above all oil/fluid levels changed/checked so not that cause. The local mechanic here is stumped too for the moment. He has asked the local LR dealer who says its the first time he’s seen the problem.

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It's possible that the coolant temp goes above 110*C then the management reduces fuelling to protect the engine, unfortunately the coolant temp gauge is a bad joke as it goes to the middle at 70 and stays there untill 120 when it cuts fuelling even more but this is too high for protection if you drove many miles at 115*C, watch the temp gauge when this happens and if it's a bit above middle that's the problem, also if the thermostat in the fuel cooler is shot the same symptom happens cos at too high FT the fuelling is also reduced... also do you still have EGR and the catalysts fitted? if yes these could be the cause too

the proper way to diagnose this would be to record a live data log with nanocom to catch the symptom then the truth will be revealed... otherwise it's a guessing game

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Thanks Sierraferry. No indication of overheating on the gauge and the engine itself seems to be perfectly smooth. I confess to having resorted to putting it in the hands of the local garage mechanic who can’t identify the problem himself either for the moment in spite of having contacted Land Rover too. I’ll suggest the nanocom recording ... Or maybe Santa will bring it with him. Frustrating as it happens on just the one long uphill haul but as a result I can’t trust it to handle the motorways here for fear that the same occurs as doing an about turn on the motorway is not an option !

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If you get that stuck, stick it in low range and crawl up the hard shoulder!

That said, I appreciate your nervousness about breaking down on the motorway....

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Tried that but absolutely no traction whatsoever whatever  the gear range for a good 10 to 15 mins )😩 then just enough to slooowly turn the truck around and head back downhill, progressively picking up traction thereafter. After another 5 to 10 minutes all seems back to normal again even up steep hills...???

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If it does nothing even in low range I'd start looking to the torque converter.

Low oil level could cause it, or just the transmission fluid overheating maybe.

How many km does the car have?

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@elbeko

not so many Kim’s. Only 180k authentic. What stimies me most is the fact that this only happens on that very special long quite fast climbing section, and not with others which are also long, but maybe not so fast. 

Ill insist with the mechanic to check the oil level from the plug , though he assures me all oil levels etc changed and checked.

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Make sure he checks the oil level with engine running, otherwise what looks like a correct level will actually be too low.

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