Ran low on coolant - hose came loose. What issues could engine have now? 2011 LR4

Travis

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I have a 2011 Land Rover HSE in great condition with 107,000 miles (gas 5.0L V8). I did the water pump replacement recently on my own. I took it for it's first "longer" drive (25 miles) yesterday after a couple shorter trips. During the drive on the highway, the low coolant light came on. I had brought extra coolant with me anticipating the truck may require some as the air gets out of the system. I couldn't pull off to the side of the freeway easily because there are concrete barriers on the sides of the road. I watched the temperature indicator on the instrument panel closely and it never moved above or below the normal mark. I probably drove about two stressful miles and got off at the next exit. The truck started to lose power on the highway and then shut off after I exited onto the ramp. I obviously didn't attempt to restart it. I popped the hood, added some coolant, and it poured right onto the ground below. I found that the hose connected at the bottom of the thermostat housing had come disconnected. Not sure if I didn't put the clamp back on well or if the spring clamp simply lost tension.

I had it towed on a flatbed to an independent foreign car service shop I've never been to in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. They are going to look at it today.

Fixing the original issue with the coolant hose coming loose should be easy. My concern and question for the group is what issues could the engine have now that it ran low on coolant? Trying to get the forums' opinions on what could have been damaged or if anyone else has experience with repairs after a similar issue.

Thank you
 

ktm525

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The loss of power and shut down does not bode well. Worst case the engine is done. Less worse case is the heads are done and can be redone. Cross your fingers that all you need is the hose hooked back up and some coolant. You will have your answer after that.
 

Quijote

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The loss of power and shut down does not bode well. Worst case the engine is done. Less worse case is the heads are done and can be redone. Cross your fingers that all you need is the hose hooked back up and some coolant. You will have your answer after that.

Yup, it's that simple.
 

gsxr

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Tip for others working on the cooling system... water pump, xover pipes, etc: Use a vacuum filler when done (no concerns about air pockets), AND also pressure-test the system to ~15psi when full. The pressure test may have caught this problem with a loose hose/clamp.

Side note: Anyone know where the dash gauge temp sensor is? If it never showed above the middle, well that's pretty useless.
 

ktm525

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With the OP situation it was not a matter of having hot coolant but one of having no coolant. A sensor cannot measure what is not there.
 

Travis

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Pressure testing the system may have caught the issue I experienced. After I pulled over on the road, I had my Land Rover towed to a service shop, and they put the cooling system together and pressure tested the system. The service tech then started up the engine. He said it ran a little rough and sounded like it was misfiring, and white smoke was coming out of the tailpipe and smelled strongly of coolant, likely indicating an issue with the head gasket.

So I had a decision to make. I called a local independent service shop that specializes in Land Rovers/Jaguars. They said they've repaired a lot of the 5.0L V8s and the V6s (which is basically the same engine with two cylinders cut off apparently). Without knowing the extent of the damage, they didn't have an estimate of how much it would cost to fix. It could be $6,000 they thought. Or it could cost a lot more once they got into it. I also called Sharper Edge Engines to inquire about a remanufactured engine. The person I talked to at Sharper Edge Engines was super knowledgeable regarding the engines in our vehicles. They remanufacture the engines and increase the timing chain from 6mm chain to 8mm chain. They also replace a lot of the plastic timing chain guides/components to metal, and upgrade to a three-layer head gasket. Unfortunately, their engines cost about $10k (shipping included). Their engine would come with a one year warranty. The LR service shop I talked to said installing the engine would cost about $3k to $4k, with all the fluids, gaskets, belts they would need to install. Sharper Edge Engines said that other than their susceptibility to issues with heat after their brittle cooling system spills coolant and the issues with the timing chains, the LR4s are pretty reliable, including the transmission.

I seriously considered getting the remanufactured engine. But on a 10 year old vehicle with 107,000 miles on the odometer that is worth roughly $12,000, I just can't justify it. If I did get the engine fixed, other things could go wrong on the vehicle that could continue to cost money. Other than the engine, my Metropolitan Black edition LR4 is in excellent condition with everything working and it fits my lifestyle and does everything I need. The owner of the original service shop I had it towed to offered to buy it from me for $4,750 (and took care of the bill for towing, etc.). So, sadly, I am letting my LR4 go. And I've never been more sad or had more regret saying good bye to a vehicle.

Now I'm looking for a different vehicle to tow my new boat. It needs to tow over 5,200lbs. I currently have an order in on a new Ford Bronco Big Bend (w/Sasquatch) but won't get that until spring 2022 and it will only tow 3,500lbs. Used vehicle prices are ridiculously high right now, so I'm looking at leasing a Toyota Tacoma Off Road. I've test driven other vehicles, such as RAM pickups, but nothing excites me (or my 14 yo son) as much as the LR4 did. And nothing looks as good IMO. I'm on the list for the Tesla Cybertruck, which would satisfy me completely once its actually available for purchase. The 36 month Tacoma lease would just be a stop-gap until I can get the Cybertruck.

This was actually my second 2011 LR4. I lost my first one in my divorce but my stepdaughter is still driving my old 2011 HSE Lux with 117k miles. So I'm saying good bye to the LR4 and everyone on this forum that has helped me through the years. Thank you.
 

ktm525

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Well that sucks but thanks for closing the loop. Thanks for that. Nothing wrong with your thought process there.

PS. The Tacoma won't be happy towing that for long periods and I hear you on used vehicle prices. There is no easy answer.
 

ZacP

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Maybe check out a sequoia or tundra, those will do your towing figures just fine, and won't have any of the timing chain/coolant issues to worry about in the years to come
 

CRYA

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Wow that's rough. Sorry to hear. Can I ask about your decision? Just curious why, if you're otherwise satisfied with the truck, you didn't want to take it to the specialist shop to get to the root of the problem? Sure it was going to cost some money in diagnostics, but then you would have certainty. I only ask because you first mentioned maybe a gasket for $6k but then you sort of jumped to needing a new motor for $14k. Was it just that you were thinking of more repairs? Anyway, sorry to hear of the misfortune. Good luck!
 

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