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Rolls-Royce Problems

Are you having problems with your Rolls-Royce? Let our team of motoring experts keep you up to date with all of the latest Rolls-Royce issues & faults. We have gathered all of the most frequently asked questions and problems relating to the Rolls-Royce in one spot to help you decide if it's a smart buy.

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Why does the choke on my 1985 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit stick?

Carburetted V8 engines in Rolls Royces of this era use a fairly simple choke system, based on a bi-metallic strip. When this strip is cold, it rotates the choke to the on position, thereby giving the engine a richer mixture (more fuel, less air). As the engine warms up, hot air plumbed from the exhaust system heats the bi-metallic strip, causing the choke flaps to revolve into their off position. There’s also a mechanical cam system operated via a linkage from the throttle pedal that sets the chokes on the first start-up and then maintains a fast idle once the chokes have begun to wind back into their off position.

The pipes that carry the hot air to the bi-metallic strip can crack or fracture over time (and heat cycles) and this can mean the strip won’t get hot enough to turn the chokes off. Sometimes the mechanical cam system can become sticky, causing the fast-idle condition to persist. Next time you notice the engine fast idling, try giving the throttle pedal a short, sharp stab to see if that brings the idle back to normal. If not, you may have to replace the hot-air pipes. Removing the choke flaps from the rest of the carburettor will also take the choke out of the equation, but you might find the car is difficult to start and won’t run smoothly in winter.

What are the most common Rolls Royce Silver Spirit problems?

Because it’s a big, heavy, expensive, complex car, Rolls Royce Silver Spirit problems usually only come in one size. These really are second-hand cars for those who know precisely what they’re letting themselves in for, and even then, are not for the faint-hearted.

Start any inspection inside and pay attention to how the car looks overall. Often, cars like this lose retained value to the point at which a service costs more than the car itself is actually worth. When that happens, they get bought by speculators and go downhill fast. So make sure the interior isn’t tatty and check every single switch, button and lever (and there are lots of them) for correct operation. Just rebuilding the climate-control system in a Silver Spirit could cost more than a good hatchback is to buy.

Mechanically, there’s lots to watch out for too. Don’t forget, thee are older cars now, so the engine and driveline could easily be showing signs of wear. Any smoke from the exhaust or noises from under the bonnet are bad news. So is a car that won’t select gears quickly and smoothly. The Rolls Royce uses a convoluted (and, frankly, arcane) braking system that relies on hydraulic accumulators. If these are anything short of spot on, the car could be a death-trap.

Big heavy cars are also hard on tyres (and the Spirit is very sensitive to having the correct tyres fitted) and suspension components. Suspension bushes die early and the shock absorbers are expensive to replace (and require a special service tool to remove the front units). The bottom line is that this is a vehicle for the experts out there who will be able to deal with the problems when – and not if – they occur.

Are Rolls Royce good and reliable cars?

If there are any common problems and complaints about Rolls Royce's reliability or faults, they'll likely show up on our Rolls Royce problems page. You can also calculate a car's projected resale value via our price and specs page.

What is the most expensive Rolls Royce?

The most expensive new Rolls Royce is the Phantom EWB, which is listed at $1,100,000. For more info on the latest models, check out our pricing and specs page, and you'll find all Rolls Royce reviews and news here


What is the cheapest Rolls Royce?

The cheapest new Rolls Royce is the Ghost SWB, which is listed at $625,000. For more info on the latest models, check out our pricing and specs page, and you'll find all Rolls Royce reviews and news here

Where are Rolls Royce made?

Rolls Royce is based out of Goodwood in West Sussex, England. Each Rolls Royce is built in the Goodwood manufacturing facility, which opened in 2003. The company views the facility as an extension of the brand and claim it has a minimal environmental impact having reduced their energy footprint by 29% per motor car in five years. It even features a living roof with sedum plants that covers just over three hectares. 

Who owns Rolls Royce?

Rolls Royce is currently owned by BMW. The history of their ownership is somewhat complicated; Rolls Royce and Bentley had a partnership so when Volkswagen bought Bentley in 1998 and BMW made a bid for Rolls Royce (but weren't successful in acquiring the entire company), Volkswagen and BMW entered into negotiations. After 2003 BMW created Rolls Royce Motor Cars Limited to eliminate any licensing issues, and now Rolls Royce Cars Limited exclusively manufacture Rolls Royce cars.

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Roller temptation

YOU have to go into a car like this with your eyes wide open. Rolls-Royces won't necessarily send you broke, but they could if you aren't familiar with them and where to get them serviced. Stick to the Statesman.

Disclaimer: You acknowledge and agree that all answers are provided as a general guide only and should not be relied upon as bespoke advice. Carsguide is not liable for the accuracy of any information provided in the answers.
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