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Are the BMW diesel engines in P38 Range Rovers reliable?

With the weather becoming more unpredictable and winter soon upon us I've been looking at a 1999 P38 DT 2.5 DSE with the BMW engine.

1. Are there any known common faults with that engine?
2. Is the engine run by an ECU or is it a pretty basic diesel with a manual pump etc?
3. According to the owner this model 2nd Gen doesn't suffer from rust worm as badly as others, it does look very good topside wheel arches, doors etc but I can't slide under it to look at the chassis.

Asked on 16 November 2023 by Peter Goddard

Answered by David Ross
The BMW M51 diesel engine fitted to the P38 Range Rover is known for its longevity and reliability, but it is important to remember that this engine is approaching 25 years old so some problems are to be expected.

As with many diesels of this generation EGR valves can become clogged, so cleaning the intake and EGR valve can assist smooth running. Frequent oil changes are recommended to maintain the health of the turbocharger, and ensuring the engine is allowed to get up to temperature when driving and allowing it to cool at the end of your journey is also helpful. The fuel injection is operated by a Bosch ECU.

As for rust, unfortunately a thorough examination underneath is the only way to be sure about the state of the chassis.
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