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RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 23: “Back With A Shake!”

It’s been a while since I wrote about Raymond the Range Rover and the reason is that he has been running like an absolute dream. Ever since the post MOT issues, he has been the perfect car. However, the dream has now ended.

The other day when I was driving him, everything was fine until the steering wheel started to violently shake. Thinking I perhaps has a flat tyre I pulled over and had a look. But to my surprise everything looked fine. I carried on, driving very slowly home, the issue still persisting. The next day, I took him out for a drive, and he seemed to be all okay once again. I hoped that would be the end of this issue and I could have my well-behaved Raymond back, but no less than a week later, the shaking was back and worse! This time when I pressed the brake pedal the shaking became scarily violent. I took him straight to the workshop and onto the ramp. The findings were a seized front right caliper, and the brake disc was now blue, from all the overheating through contact. We had to change this right away, so a new caliper, brake discs and pads resolved this issue.

Now he is back to being an absolute trooper on the roads! Happy days, but for how long this time?

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 22: “Raymond’s Best Features”

Chapter 22: Raymond’s Best Features

Since the nerve wrecking MOT experience, Raymond has once again been trouble free. So, in place of the usual “what’s gone wrong this week?” I thought I would tell you just a few of the better features of the L322.

Firstly, we have to mention the storage. This car comes with an abundance of storage, with spots all over the car. There is the very deep glovebox, the centre console, the glasses case, the multitude of cup holders, the rear seat pockets, and of course the enormous boot space (which we previously showed could fit huge sheets of plasterboard).

Secondly, there is the level of comfort. Heated seats in both the front and back, heated steering wheel, very efficient air conditioning, comfy leather seating, electric headrests, adjustable arm rests, air suspension providing a smooth ride, adaptive cruise control for those long journeys and then amount of room means that even tall people with long legs can fit without being squashed.

Thirdly we have a very practical feature, which is the split sun visor, meaning that if you are constantly changing direction on windy country roads, you don’t need to keep moving the visor to block the sun, meaning you can relax and enjoy the drive without being blinded.

Finally, we have the HDC (Hill Descent Control) switch, which does exactly what it says. This clever system when enabled slows the car down automatically when going downhill. There is the normal setting, as well as low range, which controls the speed more aggressively. This feature, whilst not necessary, just makes driving around that little bit easier.

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 21: Raymond’s Future Hangs in the Balance

Chapter 21: Raymond’s Future Hangs in the Balance

The day was finally here, the MOT and Raymond had been a very solid car for the week leading up to today, however this morning he decided to test my nerves. When I got in the car ready to leave, I put the car into drive, however nothing happened… Why, today of all days?

I took a deep breath and then tried again, however nothing again. Well, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. I put him in drive for a third time and finally he started to move, however it felt as if the brakes were on for the first 30 seconds.

Finally, everything seemed normal again and we headed to the MOT, however once again Raymond filled me with fear when I heard not one, but two very harsh gear changes within a 5-minute window.

I dropped Raymond off at the garage filled with nervous energy. The agonising wait to find out one of two four letter words, pass or fail. After what felt like an eternity the tester came out and with a smile on his face informed me that Raymond had PASSED! An enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders. Only two advisories, one for a slight oil leak and one for a cracked window, but the main thing is that for another year Raymond is legal!

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 20: “The Dreaded Day Looms…”

Chapter 20: The Dreaded Day Looms…

Every year there is one day that all motorists dread; the MOT deadline, and we are no different. Raymond is booked in to have his MOT in a few weeks which means we needed to get him prepared.

A quick check showed Raymond was in good shape; the front tyres were wearing on the inside edge, so as a precaution we swapped them for new ones. All Raymond had to do now was behave for a couple of weeks….

New Tyres

The very next morning, I got in the car and was greeted by a light show on the dashboard. Every single warning light was on. What was going on? Has Raymond suddenly become a practical joker or was something wrong. I turned the wheel quickly left and right and thankfully the lights went off, however there was a warning on the dash saying, ‘Suspension Inactive’. This is the last thing we needed on the buildup to the MOT. I turned off the engine and did the old “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?” trick and once again luck was on my side as I could hear the suspension kicking in.

For the rest of the week Raymond decided to not cause me any grief, that was until the morning of the MOT…

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 19: “Sleepless Nights”

Chapter 19: Sleepless Nights!

After Raymond’s previous heroics I couldn’t have been happier with him, but that was all going to change. Nothing had gone wrong so far this week, however as we know by now, a problem free week is rare, and luck was not on my side. The time was 2:23am when I was awakened by this issue and there was no ignoring it. Raymond was blaring his alarm to the whole neighbourhood. I grabbed the keys and headed out and attempted many times to turn the alarm off. I tried unlocking and locking the car, but nothing happened. I tried turning on the ignition, but Raymond didn’t want to turn over. 10 minutes later, half asleep and now with a headache from the alarm, I decided enough was enough and went to grab a socket set, opened the bonnet, and got to work on disconnecting the battery… Finally, some quiet.

The next day I decided to charge the battery, thinking maybe it was an issue of it being flat again. As I reconnected the battery the familiar sound of a screaming alarm began ringing out. I quickly jumped in the car and started the car, this time successfully, and the alarm noise ceased. I took Raymond for a quick drive, and all seemed fine once again. But of course, that isn’t the end of the story. Fast forward to 3.40am the next day and another repeat performance from Raymond and his annoying alarm, resulting in the same ending, the battery being disconnected.

To save my neighbours and myself from another sleepless night, I thought it best to leave the battery disconnected over the next night. Whenever possible the workshop technicians will need to do some investigating to find out what is the cause of this irritating issue. For now though, it looks as if I want sleep, I’ll need to disconnect the battery every evening.

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 18: “Raymond Saves The Day!”

Chapter 18: Raymond Saves The Day!

The longer that we have owned Raymond the less drastic the problems have been. Thinking back to all the major issues we’ve had to complete, a lot of it was in the early days. The last major issue we had was the air suspension, since then they have all been slight inconveniences that haven’t been too problematic. Not bad for a car that is 20 years old.

That being said the small annoying problems are frequent and are a part of being an L322 owner. This week as I was driving along, I heard a slight clicking noise coming from the back of the car. I pulled over and found the noise to be coming from the rear window. It appeared as if the window was trying to shut itself, despite it already being shut. I pressed the button to lower it and once I let go the window went up on its own. Tested it again to make sure it wasn’t random, and it did the same thing.

After some investigating the cause was a faulty window switch, meaning this would need to be replaced. The workshop has been quite busy at the moment so for now we have found a clever workaround to stop the noise. Putting the child lock on seems to override the fault and stop the noise.

Raymond saves the day

On a positive note, Raymond was used to transport some plasterboard this week and he fit the sheets in with ease and with room to spare making the whole transportation much smoother. Had Raymond not been around to save the day, we would have had to mess around with open boots held shut with rope and other dangerous methods like that.

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 17: “One Step Forward… Two Steps Back.”

Chapter 17: One Step Forward… Two Steps Back.

Raymond has been running brilliantly so it’s treat time. Raymond has an LCD fault on the dash display, a common L322 fault. A bit of internet research revealed a repair that was available in the form of a new LCD ribbon. A few pounds spent and a couple of days wait, and we had the part in front of us.

The Pixel Issue

We booked Raymond in the Workshop and waited. The day finally arrived, the instrument cluster was removed, and the stripping began in earnest, for about 5 minutes. Apparently, Raymond decided to melt the coils that controlled the Rev Counter and Temperature gauge. We could not remove the needles and therefore could not proceed any further with the repair. To top it all off neither the Rev Counter nor the Temperature Gauge work anymore. Things were not going to plan.

The Stripped Instrument Cluster

We have ordered some more new parts to complete the repair so watch this space.

To top it all off, Raymond started to make a loud ticking noise which mysteriously disappeared 5 minutes from homeand has not reappeared. We assume Raymond was not happy and wanted to share his feelings.

In summary unlike the title suggests it was more three steps back than one step
forward and two steps back.

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 16: “Some Well Deserved Praise…”

Chapter 16: Some Well Deserved Praise

During this series a lot of the time we mention the faults and issues that Raymond has and how we combat them, but Raymond has lots of redeeming features and that’s what I want to write about. Firstly, the comfort; when sitting in Raymond you feel like a king, the seats are comfy and heated, the ride is so smooth you can barely feel the potholes of Britain. Raymond is spacious in all regards; you never feel cramped when driving or as a passenger. He also has a lovely big boot, so you can easily do a big shop for the whole family and not worry about whether or not you can fit it in the car. The heated steering wheel, front and rear windows were life savers during the winter months.

Using the big boot space!

The thing to note with Raymond is that he tries to make life as comfortable and easy as possible, and if the price to pay for that is that you need to constantly look after him, then that is pretty good value for money. Raymond isn’t just any car, it’s a driving companion with personality.

Heating working nicely!

All that being said, there of course has been an issue this week. He started making a random noise on the way home, however it then disappeared, came back momentarily and hasn’t been back since. Fingers crossed that it was a minor blip and not something serious.

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 15: “Shake, Rattle and Roll!”

Chapter 15: Shake, Rattle and Roll                                 

Perhaps a fresh start with Raymond? Hopefully all the issues are a thing that we leave behind us. The first few trips looked promising, Raymond driving smoothly and without a problem, however this was too good to be true and within 3 days, we had something to fix.

As I was driving along, suddenly Raymond started to shake, the wheel vibrating in my hands. I quickly pulled over and did a quick check of the car in case I had blown a tyre. However, upon further inspection, I couldn’t see anything. I decided to brave it and get back in the car and continue. Thankfully there was not a recurrence, that was until the next day. I was mere minutes from work when he started shaking like a rollercoaster. I began to brake, however this time this made matters worse, and the shaking became violent. Once I finally got it to work the Workshop technicians had a look and found that the front brake discs were warped and in general bad shape.

Raymond carries on his streak of being in the workshop at least once a month, but that’s the fun of owning a low budget L322. The technicians fitted shiny new brake discs and pads. With these now replaced Raymond is back to 100% and driving flawlessly. Whenever Raymond is working, he is an absolute dream and it kind of makes it worth the constant stress.

RAYMOND THE RANGE ROVER Chapter 14: “Don’t Forget About Raymond”

Chapter 14: Don’t Forget About Raymond                                           29.12.2022

Over the past few weeks there has not been much to write about. Raymond has carried on working like a trooper throughout a month of very low temperatures. For the most part, Raymond has been a solid companion on the drive to and from work. So, I thought I would treat Raymond to a nice clean-up. A good hour with some warm soapy water and a sponge got him looking all lovely. I then thought I would give him a rest for a bit as he has been working really hard over the past few months. This, however, would be a mistake, because when I came back to Raymond, he was not well.

All Cleaned Up

Firstly, he was as dead as a Dodo, nothing was working, so we needed to get him on the life support instantly and get that battery charging. Whilst waiting for Raymond to burst into life, I opened the tailgate to get something from the back and suddenly I felt the weight of the top half crash into the top of my skull. The gas struts that usually hold up the tailgate had given up and the price for this was a lump on my head. Maybe Raymond shouldn’t be left alone for any more extended periods.

Back in the Shop

I took him to work once he was charged up and got the gas struts replaced so that he was back to a healthy L322 again… well apart from the ongoing battery issue… but other than that, smooth sailing.