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Old 01-16-2013, 03:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
pax
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A Guessing Game!

So we get in the Lotus (2007 Exige S) to head to Jersey (clearly always the start to what's bound to be a brilliant day), and I look down as I near t he corner of 30th on 6th Avenue and see 230 DEGREES flashing as my coolant temp. I quickly pull over because that's absurdly high given that I've been driving for all of 5 minutes and it's only slightly drizzling outside.

Tow truck came ~45 mins later to take it to Manhattan Motor Cars.

Manhattan Motor Cars called me a couple hours ago to say that they have it in their service bay and are going to investigate, and also that my car isn't eligible for the oil line recall. They'll call me back tomorrow once they've figured out what's going on.

So, best guesses on what's up?

My initial obvious thought was that an oil line broke (happened to my Elise), but it sounds more likely that the coolant tank broke I guess? Estimates on what I should plan to end up spending to replace it if that's the case?
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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possibly cracked radiator end caps since it was drizzling outside you probably didn't notice the coolant misting onto your windshield.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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+1

Definitely a coolant system problem. Could also be a stuck thermostat, low coolant, air in the system, etc.

If it was an oil line, you would have likely seen a low oil pressure light on the dash (not to mention an oil leak).
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My money is on a frozen/stuck thermostat...
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If it was the rad end cap that broke, make sure you upgrade to an aluminum one so it doesn't happen again. It's a common problem with these cars. Best of luck with it, Hope it's something small. It's good that they are performing the oil cooler lines under warranty or recall, as it should cover the labor for removing the front clam. a new aluminum radiator was about $500 shipped I think.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another vote for broken plastic radiator caps. Go with the proalloy radiator and maybe replace the oil cooler line fittings with the NCI kit while you're at it
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am going with the stuck thermostat. No engine damage.

How many people would have driven many miles without noticing a temp?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This probably isn't your problem, but ...

Maybe you were simply very low on coolant. Our cars lose coolant more rapidly as they get older, but we tend to think we only need to add coolant as often as we needed to when the car was new. The problem is that even when low on coolant, about an inch still shows in the reservoir. This happened to me, but in my case, it started running intermittently hot for a while before spiking high. Even though an inch of coolant was showing in my reservoir, I had to put in almost a gallon of coolant over the next few drive cycles before it stopped taking more.

If you were very low on coolant, and you got an air pocket in and around the water pump, it can cause the pump to stop pumping completely (the pump is no longer primed) and the temperature will spike to over 230 degrees. This air pocket at the pump problem is very common when changing coolant.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Is replacing the radiator caps a clam-off job?? That's going to be a scary amount of money for what seems like a pretty small job

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottycali4nia View Post
It's good that they are performing the oil cooler lines under warranty or recall, as it should cover the labor for removing the front clam.
They -aren't- - they said my car isn't covered by the recall. =/

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Maybe you were simply very low on coolant.
That seems pretty unlikely - if I was that low on coolant, I'm almost positive it'd be attributed to a coolant leak/a broken coolant reservoir. I couldn't have possibly lost that much coolant since the last time I drove it unless there was a major problem.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Another vote for broken plastic radiator caps. Go with the proalloy radiator and maybe replace the oil cooler line fittings with the NCI kit while you're at it
Sorry to derail the thread, but where can I get the this fittings kit you mentioned?
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delomike1049 View Post
Sorry to derail the thread, but where can I get the this fittings kit you mentioned?
RLS sells it: Oil Line Kit | Really Light Stuff
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If the radiator needs to be replaced, yes it is a clam off job
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6i9 View Post
If the radiator needs to be replaced, yes it is a clam off job
Even just the end caps?
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax View Post
Even just the end caps?
Not sure if Lotus sells just the end caps or if you need to buy an entire new radiator. And if that's the case I wouldnt go with stock, even though the 2007+ "black" radiators are supposed to be improved...as you now know.

The cooling system on these cars aren't designed for longevity, they're designed to a cost cut budget. For peace of mind, I would invest in an aluminum radiator.

That is, if the radiator is indeed the culprit. But even still I would take this opportunity to fix all known cooling issues.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Radiator:

Unfamiliar with Pro Alloy, but you really want a single pass radiator. Many of us had good success with Wizard Cooling. All aluminum and nicely made.

Oil fittings:

The lines are fine; change only the fittings. Mine came from BAT and I also got their Oetiker (sp?) clamps for an extra measure.

BOE may sell them as well.

A search will find you a couple of threads on this.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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On a "normal" car, one can detect stuck (closed) thermostat:

Upper hose is hot; bottom hose is cold.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Just heard back from Manhattan Motor Cars: apparently a clamp holding a line leading to the coolant reservoir broke/came off. $500 later, it's resecured & new coolant in :v

Also, my right turn signal is loose - I'm pretty sure I remember that you can drill a small hole through the bottom to secure it? Or something like that? (which would obviously be way more cost-effective than ordering a new one) - can anyone chime in with the exact fix?
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax View Post
Even just the end caps?
You can't replace the caps insitu... and there are two failure modes for the plastic caps one being the joint between the cap and the radiator (the other is cracking at the edge). SSC (in Australia - not much use to you) take the failed OEM radiators and tig weld aluminium end tanks onto them... but again this cannot be done in the car.

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Originally Posted by pax View Post
Just heard back from Manhattan Motor Cars: apparently a clamp holding a line leading to the coolant reservoir broke/came off. $500 later, it's resecured & new coolant in :v

Also, my right turn signal is loose - I'm pretty sure I remember that you can drill a small hole through the bottom to secure it? Or something like that? (which would obviously be way more cost-effective than ordering a new one) - can anyone chime in with the exact fix?
The solution you are describing is to drill a hole in the remains of the front clip and tie a bungy cord to that with the other end tied (or hooked) to the crash structure (ther are a number of holes that can be used for this).

See here - Indicators - TechWiki
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pax View Post
...
That seems pretty unlikely - if I was that low on coolant, I'm almost positive it'd be attributed to a coolant leak/a broken coolant reservoir. I couldn't have possibly lost that much coolant since the last time I drove it unless there was a major problem.
Actually, you wouldn't notice a low coolant problem until the point at which the water pump starts sucking air (the high pressure side of the cooling system, which includes the radiator, would still be full of coolant when the engine is running), and by then, the coolant is really low.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Manhattan Motor Cars said they won't secure the turn signal - they can only order a new one. $300+ to have the same thing happen in a few months? Nothx.
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