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Do I have Impending Discovery Spider failure?

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Discovery been a bit lazy starting of late. Changed battery a couple of months ago, but made no difference.

Fitted new starter motor Monday. Problem cured. Now spins over and fires instantly.

Been moving the Discovery in and out of workshop since new starter fitted without any problems.

Just driven the two miles home today and tried restarting immediately after shut-down with a warm engine.

Engine would barely crank over and sounded like a dead battery on a freezing January morning. Flicked key half a dozen of times and it did the same thing. Wrrrr.....Wrrr.....

Flick key again, and engine fired into life instantly like it should do. Tried it again and again, no problem, fies up moment engine turns over. Left engine running for half and hour, turn off, fire up, no problem, however something is definitely not right somewhere.

All terminals were cleaned and checked prior to new starter being fitted.

All earth leads were removed cleaned and checked.

Read lots about the immobiliser spider, but have no first hand knowledge or know anyone who has actually experienced the symptoms of failure. Seem to recall, you can tell they're on the way out because they refuse to start when warm.

Is the above typical of what they do?

Would it display the flat battery characteristic I experienced?

Is my spider in the first stages of failure?

Vehicle is a 96 300Tdi Auto Disco.

Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome.


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spider detail in tech section

Cheers Tony. Part number for bypass was useful.

My engine tried to turn, rather than did absolutely nothing when the key was turned. Just wondered whether the 'flat battery' symptom was another typical Spider trait before I start ripping the dashboard out.

Now what the hell I do with those radio keys? :unsure:


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No I don't really think so Kev. It might be a new variation on the theme but I have seen a lot of spider failures and they either crank or they don't (or they crank without firing, if it is the fuel solenoid circuit that is burned out).

I have never seen anything spider related in between working and dead/intermittently dead.

I would sooner say it is some sort of fault on either the power or earth circuits to the motor which is causing the problem. Or another dead battery :unsure: or maybe (I think it has one) a dud starter relay - I saw one once (can't remember what on, think it was a Freelander) where the "very thin wire that went to the relay coil" was broken off but touching just enough to make a connection, but when the relay energised, the coil moved enough to break the touch connection then when it fell back it re-energised again and so on, making the relay "chatter". Just a few ideas anyway - good luck...

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Guest diesel_jim

Sounds like the starter motor itself is going bad.

the spider unit just cuts the feed to the starter motor solenoid and the injection pump fuel solenoid, so if it was playing up, you'd get "nothing" when you turn the key.

I'd look at the earth from the engine, the battery connections on the solenoid (and to bypass the solenoid, short a spanner across the back of it and see it the engine cranks into life).

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I would say that it is more likely to be a problem in the wireing somewhere. Double check all the heavy connections on live and earth before deciding it is more seroius. You would not be the first to forget to do up a battery terminal for example!


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Cheers Guys

I was inclined to think it was more likely to be a wiring fault since it doesn't display the 'all or nothing' spider problem most people describe.

Guess what I'll be doing this evening...

Good job it's a nice warm outside tonight!


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You would not be the first to forget to do up a battery terminal for example!


...or to correctly tighten the earth lead from the starter to the chassis!

:blush: Doh!

When in doubt - check the bleedin obvious first.

Problem sorted.



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