About two weeks ago on the way to work I began to smell a strong fuel smell (2006 Elise, 26,000 miles). When I got to work I could not locate any visible leak but the odor was very strong. Of course I spent the next hour searching LT for the possible cause of the leak which gave me lots of good leads but none of them panned out. I took the car to Scottsdale Lotus. Chad in the service department located the leak in short order.
What had occurred was the Fuel Feed Line that ran from the fuel pump to the rear bulkhead in the engine compartment had been apparently rubbing on the bottom side of the airbox or possibly an engine mount and a large pin hole had worn through the fuel line. From the location of the leak in the pressurized line I was lucky not to have an engine fire!!!
The line in question is #14 in the diagram and the location of the leak is circled.
Some pics of the actual fuel line.
The close up pic below is about 50% larger than the real line.
Here's the good part. Lotus has clearly identified this problem because they have replaced the old fuel feed line with a new and improved one that is routed in the engine bay differently and has a thick protective rubber coating on it to prevent any rubbing from cutting into the actual line!
The old part number is A120L0001F
The new part number is A128L0019F
I don't know what year the new part was first used, maybe someone can chime in. Inspection is easy. Trace the line from the circled location in the pic below where it plugs in to the line that goes to the engine. You can wiggle around and feel the line as it goes near the airbox....If you feel a flat spot you've got a problem. Time for replacement or at least zip tie some larger diameter tubing over the trouble spot.
It's my opinion that this is a design defect and Lotus would seem to agree by the upgraded line. Thanks to Scottsdale Lotus for fighting for me
but Lotus would not warrantee the item as a design flaw.