Jump to content

Range Rover 4.0 Auto wont go into low ratio


Recommended Posts

My Range Rover P38 was using low ratio fine over the winter when I pulled some cars up our hill in the snow but now it wont go into low ratio and also the auto gear wont go all the way down to 1st gear. It almost seems a little off alignment so it wont go through a gate to low ratio.

Is there some kind of adjuster as all the gears seem a little off on the selector and its driving me mad.

Thanks for any help on this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

on the back of a p38's transfer box, is an electrical solenoid which rotates to engage high / low.

mine had the problem of not engaging low, so i took this solenoid off and tested it by giving it 12v then -12v (i.e. backwards) and it did as it was supposed to.

i searched the net a bit, and found that the ecu have a habit of freaking out. so i bought one on ebay for about £30, swapped it out and it's worked fine ever since ! :) it's one of the many under the passenger seat :ph34r:



Edit : sorry, do you mean the actual gearstick won't move across and down ? if so, then it's time to strip it and have a look whats fouling.

Edited by zim
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info.

I guess I am not sure if the auto level is prevented from moving across as nothing comees on in the dash to say changing to low as it used to over winter. But the gear wont go into 1st either 2nd is the lowest it will go and each selector seems a little off on alignment. I am not sure if there is some kind of adjuster for the auto selector stick or sometihng underneath.

The vehicle gets limited use around the local area as a car for my wife so its not hammered or used off road so seems strange that something would have moved.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

i still cant get it into low ratio yet but I did fix the issue of not going into 1st or been fully aligned with the gear selectors.

There appears to be an adjuster bar on the side of the gearbox (very tight) with a nut and pushrod which moves up and down the threaded bar where the nut lock it into position.

seemed pretty straight forward and managed to loosen it and tichten up the adjuster however it either went into 1st or Park but would go into both if I moved it one full turn in either direction.

Interesting option was to adjust it on quarter turns and tighten the locking nut and twist the pushrod back into place as the bar itself resists a little but hey presto after about 12 small adjustments and the wife moving it from park to 1st every time I seem to have cracked it and can now select all gears from 1st to Park with no issues. Hasnt fixed the low ratio problem yet so I am still digging around where the motor and some switch type sensors are.

Are there any books on the P38, I notice Haynes do not make a manual.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok... lets start at the beginning then :)

Does the truck drive fine in high range ? Can you use all the gears - 1,2,3,D,N,R,P ?

If the above is yes then put the gearstick into neutral high.

Push it across to the left into neutral low.

Can you hear something (the noise will come from the transfer box) ? A bit like a "clunk" as the actuator engages low.

Does the LCD display on the dash say "low" ?

This is the "thing" that's rotating to engage high / low :


Depending on how good you are with a multimeter, you can remove this and test it on a battery. It's dead easy to get to and remove. Giving it 12v to see if it rotates. In my case, this was working fine, but the ecu wasn't.

With regards to a haynes manual - download rave :)http://green-oval.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=13&Itemid=29

But having said all of the above, i'd check to see if it's going far enough across, as you said you had to readjust the gearbox cable.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats the problem I have the gearstick wont go across when I put it in neutral and I assumed before it was due to the selector not been fully lined up hence finding the adjuster.

But now it lines up with all gears but when its in neutral it wont push across almost like some kind of gate is stopping it. Nothing comes up on the dash with the cogs like it used to so I want to try and establish if there is some issues preventing it going across or if the ECU controls access to high low and you can only push the stick over when it lets you.

It worked fine over the winter when I towed several cars out of the snow near me with no issues.

The gears are all fine and I have never had any issues with the gearbox.

i have seen the device you have pictured on the back but havent touched it and all looks good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

As embarrassing as this is I decided to follow up with an update on this issue.

After some months of tinkering in my spare time (I was still refitting the V8 into the series 3), I have actually found the issue with the low ratio not working.

I had pretty much given up on all the components I had checked and worked through the RAVE book (which is great by the way) only to find the issue was the most obvious and simple.

This weekend I decided to remove the factory fitted hands free kit which came with it when I bought it (really old nokia fitting) and wanted to do it all properly so stripped most of the interior panels, centre console etc. Once complete and I realized how exposed the auto selector was I decide to dive a little deeper to see if there was something jamming the selector and to my amazement I could select low ratio with no plastic, H gate, anything fitted. Screwed it all back together and same problem.

Light bulb comes on !! Something is jamming in the plastics, well it turned out to be the lug on the silver look selector built into the auto gear knob which one side had snapped meaning the selector didn’t push the pin down far enough to clear the H gate mechanism but it did go down far enough to change gears.

With a few bits off added plastic cut from a CD glued into place it seems to work fine, just need to find another P38 auto gear knob now to replace it but I am happy again knowing I can select low ratio :) thought it was going to be a garage job and expensive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience. By using our website you agree to our Cookie Policy