I have looked through various forums for similar symptoms and have found nothing. I have a Land Rover Freelander 2 2007, 3.2 6 cylinder, automatic transmission with 109,000 KILOMETRES on the clock, so really low mileage.

When the car is in P it idles at 950-100 RPM When shifted into R or D the RPM drops to 450-500 RPM. The entire engine begins to shake at it would when driving slowly on a high gear. The car doesn't stall neither does it seem to want to stall. The shudder is so annoying that at a red light I put it into P.

Shifting back into D or R the RPMs drop again and the car seems sluggish at to pull away. Pushing the gas pedal right down doesn't help. On a hill it is so sluggish that even putting the gas pedal to the floor the car has almost no power at all.

I recently parked on a steep slope and when I wanted to backup there was so little power on such a steep slope that I had to pay a tow truck to pull me onto the level.

This car has been in and out of the workshop with mechanics of all breed and shape looking at her. The check engine light is not on, no code comes up with a scan, disconnecting the 02 sensors makes no difference.

I have a new mechanic looking at the car. Fresh eyes, but it would be great to give him some place to start.

Thanks :)

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Nov 29, 2019 at 0:49

1 Answer 1


I'm going to suggest you may have a vacuum leak of some sort. That would be between the throttle body and where the air enters the engine at the heads. This could be in the intake manifold or at any of the gaskets which hold intake manifold and accessories to the engine. Your description of it running a little high when in P/N and it dropping really low, with it running rough when in gear. With a large vacuum leak of the sort, it's also unmetered air entering the system, which means the computer won't be able to keep up with enough fuel and then the engine will run lean, which would make it sluggish under load. When you're running down the road at an even keel, the engine would normally be running lean anyway, so you wouldn't notice much of a difference.

You could check to see if you might be able to find a leak somewhere. There are a couple of ways to do it, one is easy and safe ... the other is a little more risky, so I won't suggest it. To test, get a spray bottle full of water. Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid into the water and ensure it is thoroughly mixed. Set the nozzle to stream the mixture out (versus misting the mixture). Aim it at where you see where gaskets might be and where the intake manifold meets the head. If there are covers in the road, you can take those off, usually fairly easily. Anyway, while squirting the mixture onto your engine, listen to see if there is any change in how it's running. What you are doing is temporarily plugging the hole, which will drop the RPM of the engine for a brief moment. You can further pinpoint by reapplying in the same area until you can find exactly where the leak is at. Hopefully this explanation is understandable.

Once a leak is found, then point this out to the mechanic who can change the gasket for you, unless you are able to do it yourself.

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