- so i'll get to it. I've lived around high maintenance rear engined cars my whole life so i have an idea of how much time and effort goes into keeping them running. But around how much does it cost per month to maintain?
Depends on the amount of driving you're doing and how hard you're doing it. Once a month at the track would probably do more to the monthly cost than just tooling around town or being in traffic.
- i'm stationed in texas so one of my biggest fears is weather. from what ive gathered no elise is water tight, no matter what there will always be water somewhere if its raining or wet. what are ways to help prevent this? what are problem areas where water tends to pool?
I think it's going to depend on the car. I have a hard top and a soft top. With the soft top, I get some water leakage around the top of the passenger and driver windows after/during a car-wash and rigorous soaking. Never been in heavy enough rain with the soft top to notice leaks. With the hard top I get the same effect during a car wash but the amount of water coming in (at those areas) is more, so much so that I'll get small pools of water drops along the side sills on both the passenger and driver side. Not a bucket's worth, but enough to notice. You'll definitely want a covered parking spot or garage, or at a minimum a good outdoor car cover.
- what about hot/cold weather? Do elises overheat in hot weather? do they have standing issues in traffic? Aside from tires are there any issues driving them in below freezing temperature?
I bought mine in the summer time here in SoCal. I remember doing the Oil Sandwich Plate delete about 2 months after I bought it and I remember noticing engine temps creep up 4-6 degrees on average. Highest I ever hit was stop n' go traffic in the Inland Empire on a hot (90+) day and the temp was 216F. Never crept up that high again and on an average warm day in stop n' go the temp is usually 205-208 while stopped and jumps back down to 200, 195 and 191ish when moving. No idea about the tires, mine aren't stock and I've never driven in super icy conditions.
- no car is without flaws. there were the recalls for the shifter knob, the oil lines, and the infamous red clutch hose, shoddy radiator walls, the ’05 headlights getting “sunburn”. I’ve heard something about cams wearing out is this true? what about other quirky issues that usually require attention to keep the car runnineg smooth, and is there a place to find a diy for all of them?
The Uber Thread has a lot of good info in it. No major quirks to be aware of for regular use, other than the obvious stuff. Keep an eye on your oil level, your coolant level and your engine temps. Let the car warm up a bit (160F or higher I believe) before flooring it to get to the 2nd cam. I've heard the trannies aren't the greatest and should be treated as such. YMMV.
- i’m not one to put a Gucci folding top on it or lower it and throw oversized rims on it, but I do like to personalize. How well do the stock seats work with a four point harness? Which is more worth while, a clam hinge or a radium clam kit? Which companies make quality products and which ones don’t?
Can't say, I would think you'll have a hard time with a four point harness without modding the seat or going aftermarket. Maybe I'm wrong. Others can tell you more.
Any insight that can give me more perspective on what owning/maintaining an elise is like is very much appreciated
It's like owning any other car, with the following notes:
1) Don't look directly at it.
2) It can reach dangerous speeds on dry pavement
3) It's made from an unknown green material that fell to Earth from space
Just take it easy on the tranny and the engine if possible, don't lift in a turn carrying a lot of speed, check your fluids often, replace all the crap that usually fails or at least be prepared when/if it does, keep it covered or in a garage, drive smart, stay alive, blah blah blah.