TVR Tuscan

How Do I ...

Start the engine

Once you've unlocked the door and got in, you have about 20 seconds until the immobiliser will activate itself. Put the key in the ignition, turn it until the electrics come on, the battery and oil warning lights come on and you hear the fuel pump whirring. If none of this happens, with the key in the ignition, press the key fob button or if you have the small black immobiliser activation key, press it into the socket to the left of the steering wheel. You should now be able to turn the engine on. You may need to use a little bit of gas when doing so as there's no automatic choke.

Leaving the engine to idle from cold is not recommended - follow the warmup procedure below.

Warm up the engine

The general consensus among Tuscan owners is that many of the earlier specification cars (and many of the newer ones) suffered unnecessary engine wear and failure due to oil starvation at the top-end of the engine. This was due to a host of different reasons, but most would agree that sticking to a good warm-up procedure will limit or at least reduce the possibility of engine damage.

Leaving the engine to idle from cold is not recommended and never, ever thrash the engine from cold!

  1. Start the engine with minimum use of throttle.
  2. Drive off as soon as possible.
  3. Keep under 2,500 RPM until oil temp is at least 40C.
  4. Keep under 4,000 RPM until oil temp is at least 50C.
  5. Keep under 6,500 RPM until oil temp is at least 65C.
  6. If temp exceeds 110C, keep revs below 5,000 RPM.

On colder days, some people report their oil temp never reaching above 60C, so common sense should be applied in all cases.

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Check the oil level

Tuscans should have their oil level checked at operating temp as they have a dry sump and the level will drop as soon as the engine begins to cool.

  1. Drive car until a hot oil temp is reached (60C - 85C).
  2. Park on flat ground, leave the engine running.
  3. Get out car and open service bonnet.
  4. Loosen the oil filler cap (use a cloth - it's very hot!)
  5. Turn engine off and remove the oil filler cap.
  6. Dip the stick to check the level, don't screw it in.
  7. Wait about 20 seconds and check again.
  8. If the oil level is below max, top it up.
  9. DO NOT OVERFILL!

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Jump-start the car

View pictureSince the front wheel has to be removed to access the battery, a special lead is required to jump start the car. This is available from several outlets such as Leven Technologies or Ebay (myTuscan.co.uk users get a 10% discount if buying via Ebay. Click here for more info), and has an Anderson connector at one end, and standard jump lead crocodile clamps at the other end.

Once jump started, the leads should be left connected for around 10 minutes. The reason being that when the leads are removed, the alternator sees the 'dead' battery and immediately ramps up the current which has been known to blow the ECU on occasions. By leaving the leads connected, the batteries get a chance to charge/equalise slightly and reduce the chance of blowing the ECU.

  1. Plug in the connector to the Anderson plug, accessed from under the car about 30cm behind the passenger side front wheel.
  2. Attach black crocodile clip to negative terminal on donor car / battery.
  3. Attach red crocodile clip to positive terminal on donor car/ battery.
  4. Remove the clips in the opposite order, red first.

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Remove the airbox cover

View pictureThe airbox is located on the driver's side of the engine (see picture). You will need an allen key and two cable ties. The cable ties will be used to secure the three holding clips once you put the airbox back together.


  1. Open the service bonnet and remove the main bonnet.
  2. Unplug the ECU cable attached to the top of the box by pressing down the small metal level and pulling apart.
  3. Unplug the large tube at the front of the airbox which connects to the oil sender and wrap it out of the way (facing away from you if you are going to be working with the engine turned on).
  4. Unclip the two clips on the left of the airbox. There's a third overcentre clip on the other side, halfway down and under the pipes to the throttles. These can sometimes be secured with cable ties.
  5. Use the allen key to undo the two bolts holding down the left part of the airbox cover.
  6. Carefully lift the cover off slightly - there's two more tubes that need to be unattached...
  7. Unplug the small tube on the right hand side near the front.
  8. Unplug the small tube at the back. You may need to feel around for this as it's hard to reach.
  9. The cover should now come off easily.

When putting it back together, make sure that you connect both the smaller tubes before you bolt it back into place. Tie the two side clips with cable ties to prevent them from accidently opening (they have small holes through which the cable tie passes).

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Clean the speed sensor unit

View pictureSometimes the speed displayed on the pod can be slightly erratic. It can be a good idea to give the sensor a clean.

As you look at the car from behind, the sensor is located on the left hand side of the car above the differential of the rear axle. You will need to jack up the car (one side is sufficient) and use an axle stand in order to safely crawl underneath. The sensor basically looks like a metal peg with a wire coming out of it. It is positioned close to the teeth of the crown wheel so that it picks up "pulses" from the teeth of the wheel as it rotates.

It is a bit fiddly to reach and will require a reasonably keen set of eyes and probably a torch. It is important to not disturb the gap of the sensor to the wheel otherwise it may not read at all. To clean it, get a piece of card with a pea sized blob of Autoglym metal polish on it, slide it into the gap and used it to clean the head of the sensor. Use a folded paper towel to slide into the gap to clean the polish off.

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Open the service bonnet

View pictureWhen opening the Tuscan's service bonnet, make sure you don't pull it too far forwards or you can snap the hinges. There's a small strut to keep the bonnet open located on the left next to the windscreen washer filler cap.

  1. On the driver's side just inside the service bonnet, located on the main bonnet itself is a pull level which will unclip the top of the service bonnet. This lever can be locked with a key and it's quite difficult to get the key into the hole without dropping it into the fans, so many people leave this unlocked.
  2. On each side of the service bonnet are push clips which hold the panel in place. Firmly grab hold of the bonnet panel on one side and pull it - it should pop open. Do the same on the other side.
  3. Don't open the panel too far forwards. Prop up the bonnet on the strut brace.

When closing the bonnet, make sure all the catches are properly engaged by pushing down on the panel above them until they click into place.

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Remove the main bonnet

View pictureThe main bonnet panel removal can be done by one person but we'd definitely recommend two people attempt to remove and replace it to avoid damaging paintwork.


  1. Open the service bonnet.
  2. Remove the four bolts and washers which hold the main bonnet down. The bolts are located near the service bonnet holding clips and by the service bonnet hinges.
  3. At the top of the main bonnet on either side, where the indents on the main bonnet panel are there are clips that must be pushed inwards (so you'll be pushing them to the towards the outside of the wing) to release the holding catches - stick your finger into the indent and you'll feel the clips. The top of the bonnet should pop out.
  4. You will now be able to lift the bonnet panel out.

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Remove the scuttle panel

The scuttle panel is located below the windscreen, underneath the wipers. It stops water from running down into sensitive parts of the engine bay.

  1. Disconnect the windscreen spray hoses. The smaller hose pulls out of the larger one, near the hub of the wiper arm. Push the hoses back through the panel.
  2. Remove the wiper arms. To do this, remove the plastic cover plate, then remove the 6mm allen bolt which retains the arm. You may need to rock the arm back and forth a little to remove it from its splines.
  3. Remove the nuts, steel and rubber washers from the wiper arm spindles.
  4. Remove the two screws holding the scuttle panel to the body - there is one in each corner.
  5. The panel will now slide out. Take care not to scratch it on the main bonnet retaining clips. These can be removed if preferred, but its is not necessary. Another option is to put a cloth over them in case they touch the paint.

Refitting is the reverse of removal.

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Remove the targa roof panel and rear screen

  1. Inside car, undo the roof clip above rear view mirror.
  2. Open the boot and pull the two pulleys at the bottom rear of the boot to disengage the roof holding rods.
  3. Remove the rear screen panel by undoing the clips at the bottom holding it in place.
  4. Put the screen in the boot before the roof panel. You can store it in its protective case.
  5. Reverse the roof panel so that it goes in backwards, painted side up. The roof catch clip fits into a notch against the boot above the Tucan badge.
  6. Make sure the roof is level when in the boot. It might need moving gently from side to side but it does fit.

Reverse all the steps to put it back in. Remember to do up all the clips and push the roof rod pulleys back in!

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Connect a laptop to the ECU for engine diagnostics

The ECU diagnostics connection socket is located on the right beneath the steering column, underneath the dashboard. The connector is a black 3 socket plug attached by three wires. You will need the ECU connection lead to connect to a laptop computer (the lead is available from Clever Trevor) and the ECU software is available from the downloads section of this website. You will need an RS232C serial port on your laptop, otherwise you will need to buy an additional serial-USB converter.

When starting the software, ensure that the ignition is turned on and the immobiliser has been deactivated. Some owners have found that they haven't been able to get the software to connect nomatter what they try - if this is the case it is advisable to head to your nearest TVR servicing centre to test the ECU connection.

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Change clock, RPM light settings and display contrast

  1. Switch electrics on.
  2. Hold down the rear fog light switch for 2 seconds (top left button on dash).
  3. Push the pod menu button (top right, underneath hazard warning button).
  4. Push the pod menu button to advance through the menus and turn the switch to change settings.
  5. Push the fog light switch again to leave the menu.

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View recorded maximum data for RPM, speed, temp

  1. Switch electrics on.
  2. Hold down the rear fog light switch for 2 seconds (top left button on dash).
  3. Push the pod menu button (top right, underneath hazard warning button).
  4. Press the menu button to scroll through the features. On the last page you will see the car's recorded maximum and minimum data (speed, revs, voltage, temperature, etc).

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Reset the dash pod data to factory defaults

  1. Switch electrics on.
  2. Hold down the rear fog light switch for 2 seconds (top left button on dash).
  3. Push the pod menu button (top right, underneath hazard warning button).
  4. Scroll through the pages until you see the option reset to factory defaults. Accept this selection and the Pod data will be reset. Note, this will reset the RPM lights to light at the factory default settings.
  5. To just reset the trip counter, scroll to the page with trip information and rotate the menu switch

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Deactivate the immobiliser

Can be done a number of ways - if you don't start the car after 20 seconds the immobiliser will rearm itself...

  • Press the keyfob to unlock the doors, turn the ingition on within 20 seconds.
  • Put the key in the ignition, turn ignition on, press the keyfob and you should hear the fuel pump start and the oil light on the dash will illuminate.
  • Use the small black contact key in the socket located next to the central locking button, to the left of the steering wheel and pod unit.

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Get in if the key fob stops working

There is an emergency entry method into the car if the keyfob fails to unlock the doors however due to the public nature of this website you must contact your dealer for an explanation on how to do this.

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