New First Time D2 Owner Questions


Active member
Jan 1, 2023
Portland OR
After a few months of looking, I finally found an excelleng 2003 D2 SE that I'm picking up this Sunday!

Some observations and questions I have about D2 quirks:

1) Iginition Cylinder - On 3 out of 4 D2s I looked at, I could not get the ignition key to turn with reasonable effort (feared snapping off the key). Each time the owner, said "let me try" and they were able to turn it and start it. Even immediately after that, I had difficulties and was afraid of breaking off the key.

On one of the 3, the owner had a second key and that one required less effort and turned more easily -- this leads me to believe that it is more of a worn key issue with starting. It was odd that each time, the owners acted like it was odd that I could not get it to start.

On the 4th one, the one I'm buying, I did not experience this -- the key just turned as expected on repeated attempts.

I'm no stranger to old vehicles and even those with worn keys/worn lock cylinders but found this particularly odd. Is this a common issue? Thinking I'll just get a new door and ignition lock cylinder as a preventitive measure.

2) Stock Key w/ Plastic Base & Transponder - Building on point 1 above, the plastic key base feels incredibly weak and an added risk to snapping the key off. Are there stronger alternatives for retaining keyless entry?

3) Plastic Coolant Hose T and Y Fittings - noticed that Carr 4x4 sells aluminum alternatives and there are many knock offs on eBay. How common of a failure risk are these vs. bling?

4) Front Seat Heat - the D2 I'm buying only has seat heat on the base cushions, not the seat backs... is this the stock setup or is there seat back seat heat that is not working?

5) What is the recommended coolant for the 4.6?

Thanks in advance for the insights!


Well-known member
Apr 3, 2011
Doylestown, PA
The end/tip of the key is worn. Just pull the key back out from fully inserted into the cylinder by a little bit and it will work fine.

I'll leave the rest of others to tackle.


Well-known member
Nov 10, 2009
1. not sure, haven't really had an issue with the keys in mine.

2. i have had a blade fall out of the plastic fob, but it reinstalled easily and has not been an issue since.

3. if you plan on taking this Rover to remote areas it will be worth the peace of mind to replace the old, brittle plastic coolant T and 4 way connector. you may even consider the Inline Thermostat option. this would eliminate the plastic T that sits by the alternator.

4. seat heat only. no heating elements in the seat back that I know of.

5. I, and many others, run the old school green coolant. just as many, if not more, run the OE OAT orange coolant. and then some run whatever they have on hand for their other vehicles. whichever you use, just don't mix green and orange.

and, welcome to the club. Discoverys are great vehicles that will take you anywhere if well maintained.


Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
Suffolkshire, UK
3. Get the CARRS4x4 coolant T and a LR 180° soft spring Td5 thermostat or go the online thermostat mod route as mentioned above.

5. For my 4.0L D2 I use Valvoline’s Zerex G-05 HOAT yellow coolant. No issues after 4 years and 2 coolant system flush/refills.