The time is here, folks. My Land Rover Discovery, which generated hundreds of comments, opinions, and laughs from all of you after it (predictably) broke down is up for sale. It was an extremely difficult decision. I love this truck even though it did spend a total of a month and a half at the shop. We had some great memories. I was stranded not once, not twice, but on three separate occasions. I recently took it out to the North Fork of Long Island and saw other old Landys, probably maintained by real adults with real incomes. Maybe that’s why it died five weeks later; it thinks it deserves better.
I Don’t Drive It
Why am I selling it, you may ask? Well to start, I just don’t drive it as often as I would like to. I am a full-time college student. I’m in three orchestras (music content coming soon!) and clubs, and taking 18.5 credits. I’m gone from 7:45 AM-8:30 PM nearly every day in classes. I come home, shower, and collapse in my bed to the sounds of Christopher Cross playing from my Yacht Rock playlist. On the weekends, I am a waiter/manager at a local seafood restaurant, Friday through Sunday nights. During the weekend day, I write silly articles for all of you and entertain a few of you (Hi Thad). My Disco sits in the street, collecting dust. Occasionally, I will hop in it to pick up my sister or run an errand, which is usually 2 minutes from home. All in case, you know, the inevitable happens.
It’s a Land Rover…
Oh, also it’s perhaps the most unreliable POS Land Rover has put out in modern history. The 4.0 V8 Bosch engine is atrocious. It is almost a rite of passage for all Disco IIs to blow a head gasket — though it’s just among the many, many other issues that plague this machine. You all yelled at me and told me everything that went wrong was my fault for not doing preventative maintenance. Folks, “preventative maintenance” doesn’t exist on a Land Rover. It’s just “maintenance.” You’re not truly preventing anything, you’re maybe just slighly prolonging the inevitable. Everything is a never-ending project. Everything is a breaking project.
After sharing my decision with my coworkers there was chatter about my decision, of course. But mostly recommendations on what to get next, that’s what we car people tend to focus on. There are many amazing cars out there, you see.
I Have No Time To Work On It
I promise you all I’m not making excuses. If I don’t even have time to drive this thing what makes you think I can muster up the time to work on it? Stephen, I know you really wanted to see some wrenching from me, and so very graciously offered your help. Perhaps I can put a new cabin air filter in my 4Runner. Will that suffice for wrenching?
I Want To Buy A Car With A Stick To Learn
You read that right. Learn. I, a writer for the greatest automotive publication of all time, The Autopian, do not know how to shift gears. Get this kid off this site! I have to admit, I’m embarrassed. However, in my defense, I grew up in a family where our car, a Honda Odyssey was simply a means of transportation. [Editor’s Note: It is unacceptable for a writer at The Autopian to not know how to drive a stick. Unacceptable! Just kidding; you just turned 20! I’ll teach you, young man. Gladly. -DT]. My ‘rents couldn’t tell a CR-V from a Diablo. I had no cool uncle who had a pristine Miata or 911 in a garage. Heck, not a single family member of mine can drive a stick. Moving on to my friends, the ones who like cars that is, we’ve never had the time to practice. I also do not want to destroy their clutches. I think I would have no friends after that.
Due to this reason, I believe it would be fun to buy a cheap, little, fun car to learn stick. I have no idea what yet, so I’m open to suggestions. Ideally, I’d love to find a Saab 9-2X, with a five-speed. I may or may not have picked the 9-2x just because I want the vanity plate, “IKEA WRX.”
I Want Something New
I’ve had my fun with my Rover, but it’s also a big, giant, boxy SUV that gets horrendous gas mileage. I already have a 4-Wheel drive SUV, my Toyota 4Runner, which I’ve had for four years; it’s my first car. I never plan on selling that, so I’ll continue to daily drive it and use it as a 4WD beach rig.
We’ve all got to switch it up once in a while, right? I could randomly decide to go bald one day and sure I’d miss my hair, but I’d get used to having a shiny head. [Ed note: This is such a random analogy. -DT]. I’ll sell my Disco and I’ll be upset sure, but I might also have a great sigh of relief releasing that ticking time bomb off my shoulders.
What do you all think? Am I foolish for selling it? Am I justified? Are my reasons not valid? Whatever you think, however, I’m still selling it. If you’re interested, please shoot me an email @firstname.lastname@example.org. I still want a NAS Defender, so I am open to trades! Someone would do a one-for-one for this steaming pile, right?
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I learned to drive stick randomly one night when I was 18..don’t ask me for the details…
Anyway I didn’t really learn to drive stick until I bought POS Jeep Patriot with a 5 speed when I was like 24. So no judgment here.
I’m genuinely impressed by the picture of the 4Runner next to the Disco. I don’t know if a single photo has ever better represented the extreme opposite ends of the vehicle reliability spectrum.
Learning to shift — The Click & Clack method:
Standing, idling, in 1st gear: let the clutch out without stalling the engine, and without touching the gas pedal.
Repeat until you can reliably succeed.
Something I emphasize to many younger people making decisions about what car they should have: being able to buy a particular car is not the same as being able to afford owning that car (and for project/hobby cars time is an investment just as money is). That’s a primary reason I don’t own a Bentley Turbo R right now. I could buy cheap ones all day in LA, but insurance, parts money, time, and wrenching skills also come into play.
There’s simply a time to recognize if a particular car is not working for you. I think you’re making a smart decision. On the other hand, purchasing a cheap beater with a manual transmission is a move I could get behind. My son is still driving his first car, a 1992 Honda Civic with a 5-speed. In any case, do what’s right for you and don’t worry too much about the rest of us.
Words of wisdom spoken by a true, sensei. Thank you my friend.
You’re making the right decision.
I think this is a very smart decision. There is an enthusiast out there with the time and patience and deep pockets that will keep the litany of issues at bay. I think you have a great plan, especially the part about learning to drive a manual. It’s great fun!
Thank you! I think a real adult with a real salary would be much suited to own this thing and maintain it. Unfortunately my restaurant waiter and Autopian salaries aren’t sufficing these days….
This vehicle is akin to Long COVID. You must release yourself from this plague. It shall not be missed.
Words of truth!
I’m jazzed for the upcoming “I Put A New Cabin Air Filter in My 4Runner” wrenching piece, my man!
And with the way many cars stuff cabin air filters in impossible to reach places, I promise you that replacing one is real wrenching just as much as rebuilding a motor.
i fully support your decision
So you want to drive to stick and have something reliable?
May I present a 1992 Acura Legend Coupe with a 5spd going up for auction shortly, via a tow company?
I’m sure all that rust is only cosmetic and, because Honda, you won’t need to use the jacking points anyway.
But what if I need to jack it up to change the tire because it got swallowed by a 4foot deep NYC pothole?
There are a few cars I regret getting rid of. Generally, bought the newer version of them a few years later. A Disco wouldn’t be on my regret list…
Save your $$$ and your sanity. Move on to Honda Civic manual. Take a break from worry…