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Basic jobs on Defender

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Okay, sorry if this is the wrong forum but have been reading about basic maintenance and want to ask:

1. do I need to drain the fuel filter every 1500 miles or so?

2. check and top up swivel pin oil levels and Check front and rear differential oil level. Check main and transfer case oil levels. Grease driveshafts U-joints and sliding parts. Adjust rear brakes (drum brakes only) every 3000 miles??

3. when to change the engine oil???

I already check clutch, break, coolant, tyres, power steering and window wash because that's not unusual to do. But is the list above over kill or should I do some of it myself and have a 6 monthly service for the rest???

Any ideas?

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I hardly ever drain my 110's fuel filter.

once every 3 to 4 months would be ok for fluid levels, greasing of propshafts

change engine oil 6 monthly would be more than adequete

do it all yourself.

Drain fuel filter ? Never done that. As for the rest. I service every 6,000 miles or 6 months whichever comes first.


If you've been in water, then grease the props as soon as you can.


Youve been in DEEP water the check and regrease the hub bearings

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Hi, Unfit seeing as your new to Lr's and new to this vehicle it would be a good idea to have a look at the major service items and go through them yourself e.g. renew all oils replace air, fuel & Oil filters then make a note on them when they were replaced, one thing to note is the sedementor in the fuel line this sits on the chassis by the rear wheel and is the 1st filter from the fuel tank, its job is to catch heavier particles and water. If this is fitted include it in your 1st service, then your good for a couple of years unless you get bad fuel.

It will probably be filled with black jelly, there is a plastic drain tap on the bottom- this often snaps off, before stripping the sedementor get a seal kit for it, its only 3 "O" rings.

The service checks are use dependant, if the vehicle has an easy life then the service intervals can be stretched out however I would change and replace air, oil and fuel filters every 6months along with an engine oil change. do this with a quick check over the underside & regrease the prop UJ's do that twice a year - thats not bad.

The parts will be about £15 your choice of oil extra.

If you replace the gearbox, transfer box, and axle oils now then you will know its been done. and will be good for a year or two unless you get a leak.

swivel housing - early 90's had oil in the swivels, evidenced by leaks down the swivel housing later ones should have grease in for life and is replaced after work on the swivel housing.

You will get used to parking and looking for drips and leaks on the road/drive seeing new ones will prompt you to slide under it for an hour on the weekend.

Regards all


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Cheers good advice.

I got the truck because i wanted to be more hands on and learn to maintain a vehicle. Still very new to it all, mechanic at the local garage is ex army so we have bonded. Will look at greasing next I think, as it been through a lot of water in the current weather.

Learning quickly and giving those in the know a lot to laugh at, thought that the throttle was broken as it kept sticking, so took it out and cleaned it. Only to have same problem a week or two later....caused by the mat catching the pedal!!! Mechanic said its called land rover cruise control....

Today I mastered draining the fuel filter of water, and a fair bit of diesel.

Any advice on tools needed for the grease and oil changes?

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After deep water or off-road use, clean it (the mechanicals, not just the bodywork) and check everything (all oils, filters, etc. where water or mud could get in), 10 minutes spent laying underneath with a grease gun in hand is time well spent, helps you spot problems early.

A good grease gun is well worth it, we tend to covet decades old Wanner ones.

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I don't have much to add other than if you need to buy tools then buy the best you can afford and look after them.

Also get yourself a bin bag full of rags and a drain tray neither need be expensive but saves a lot of mess!

Other useful items if your starting from scratch:

52mm hub nut socket

Discovery bottle jack

Pair or 3ton axle stands

Spanner set from 6-32mm

3/8 drive socket set

1/2" breaker bar

17,19,22,24,27,30 and 32mm 1/2" drive sockets

Wire brush

Oil filter strap

And probably many other things but tools are an extremely personal thing with everybody having different ways of doing the same job.

Try and avoid the cheapest services kits opting for decent brand filters where possible- cooper, mahle, fram, delphi ect.

The best thing to do is spend hours and hours reading on here and then hours and hours swearing under your landrover.


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Get a note book. Then you can write the date of oil changes in there.

Take note of the post by muddy. That's good advice

I have one of these for oil filter removal http://www.vehicle-wiring-products.eu/product.php/62/universal-oil-filter-wrench

I also fitted one of these http://www.femcodraintechnology.com/ No more oil up your armpit. Check to get the correct sump fitting, not forgetting the drain tube

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Engine oils are meant to be replaced every 6k and transmission oils every 12k. To keep things simple, I replace the engine oil and filter every multiple of 5k and all oils and the fuel filter every multiple of 10k. The prop shafts are greased with the engine. You are right to check the oil condition and regrease the props if you have been wading. Don't forget to check the timing and fan belts. I also check lights and fluid levels every week, but that is only inspection, not replacement (unless there is a problem).

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