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post #1 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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How do! I am purchasing used...private party...

Hello! Been lurking for a little bit now, using the site as an amazing research resource...

Here's my question for the board:

I am purchasing a beautiful 2007 Elise (starlight black with biscuit) with only 2500 miles on it sometime within the next two weeks. The seller seems to be a great guy, sent me excellent, detailed pictures (and explanations) of subtle scratches and scuffs...we have agreed to take a test ride, both he and I driving...unsolicited he said he broke the car in to Lotus specs (specifically under 4500 rpm for the first 500 miles)...

What should I be looking for on inspection?

I am not mechanically inclined.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:28 AM
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Not from a Lotus standpoint - since I don't own one yet. Look for a good service history (tells you it was taken care of and not "that little oil light on the dash that is on tells me I have oil right?" kind of maintenance. Have you gotten a carfax on it? That would help to see if there is any damage from accidents etc (good to know).

It's fairly new so there shouldn't be too much to look for as far a wear items. I'll let the ones who know who they are talking about take it from here. There's always vehicle specific thigs to look for - this widget wears out quickly etc.

Congrats on the upcoming purchase. Sounds like a beautiful ride.
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post #3 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cadfael_tex View Post
Not from a Lotus standpoint - since I don't own one yet. Look for a good service history (tells you it was taken care of and not "that little oil light on the dash that is on tells me I have oil right?" kind of maintenance. Have you gotten a carfax on it? That would help to see if there is any damage from accidents etc (good to know).

It's fairly new so there shouldn't be too much to look for as far a wear items. I'll let the ones who know who they are talking about take it from here. There's always vehicle specific thigs to look for - this widget wears out quickly etc.

Congrats on the upcoming purchase. Sounds like a beautiful ride.

Car fax was super clean...tires look very fresh in the pictures...he even took shots of the undercarriage...


Thanks! I can't wait.
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post #4 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:34 AM
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Am I the only one that feels most people act like the cars are made of glass? People act like a car with 10,000 miles is "high mileage". The car has 2500 miles on it! That's all of one oil change.

/rant

You can look for body damage, but anything mechanical is still under warranty.
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post #5 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Am I the only one that feels most people act like the cars are made of glass? People act like a car with 10,000 miles is "high mileage". The car has 2500 miles on it! That's all of one oil change.

/rant

You can look for body damage, but anything mechanical is still under warranty.
Actually, I think he said he has had the oil changed twice...but who's counting?

I just want to get my ducks in a row here...I can't let my enthusiasm and obsession with this car blind me.
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post #6 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 11:42 AM
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Actually, I think he said he has had the oil changed twice...but who's counting?

I just want to get my ducks in a row here...I can't let my enthusiasm and obsession with this car blind me.
Sorry, I'm probably biased. I'm selling my Exige and I get a lot of people acting like the 18k miles on my car is "high mileage". It isn't an F40.
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post #7 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:00 PM
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If you are really that worried take it to a lotus dealer to get inspected. You can also ask dealer to do a ecu dump, then you can see standing starts, max rpm..etc.

Some people will look under the car for damage....

PS: just saw that you are from Philadelphia, contact wallabyguy and he will point you in the right direction. He might even know the car that your trying to buy.

Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

"Comfort is for kids. I would want to make my passengers weep in fear" - Agent One
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post #8 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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If you are really that worried take it to a lotus dealer to get inspected. You can also ask dealer to do a ecu dump, then you can see standing starts, max rpm..etc.

Some people will look under the car for damage....

PS: just saw that you are from Philadelphia, contact wallabyguy and he will point you in the right direction. He might even know the car that your trying to buy.
Cool. Thanks! He mentioned that the ECU was "upgraded" as part of a recall? Does that sound familiar with the 2007 model?

The car is from Michigan.
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post #9 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadfael_tex View Post
Not from a Lotus standpoint - since I don't own one yet. Look for a good service history (tells you it was taken care of and not "that little oil light on the dash that is on tells me I have oil right?" kind of maintenance. Have you gotten a carfax on it? That would help to see if there is any damage from accidents etc (good to know).

It's fairly new so there shouldn't be too much to look for as far a wear items. I'll let the ones who know who they are talking about take it from here. There's always vehicle specific thigs to look for - this widget wears out quickly etc.

Congrats on the upcoming purchase. Sounds like a beautiful ride.
Other than the 1K service which would include changing the oil, and probably a 2nd oil change since the car is 2 years old, what good service history can there possibly be with 2500 miles?

To the OP, take it to a Lotus dealer and have them do a pre-inspection report along with an ecu dump. That should take care of all your questions.
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post #10 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:21 PM
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My Elise has 41,000 (s)miles on it.
Mileage wise, it's ready for the city dump.
Although it looks brand new, drives perfectly and still is a hoot (!), even with the upgrades, nitrons, exhaust etc.....no one would give a wooden nickel to buy it! It's an OLD Elise with HIGH mileage! High Mileage is a deadly disease for a Lotus Elise.

Well, if no one wants it.....I guess I'll keep it!
I was planning to keep it until I die anyway!
Bury me in my Elise somewhere near Buttonwillow.......

Wexler: I hope the thrill of owning and driving a Lotus will NEVER wear off! CONGRATULATIONS!

--Hal

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post #11 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SKYVUE View Post
My Elise has 41,000 (s)miles on it.
Mileage wise, it's ready for the city dump.
Although it looks brand new, drives perfectly and still is a hoot (!), even with the upgrades, nitrons, exhaust etc.....no one would give a wooden nickel to buy it! It's an OLD Elise with HIGH mileage! High Mileage is a deadly disease for a Lotus Elise.

Well, if no one wants it.....I guess I'll keep it!
I was planning to keep it until I die anyway!
Bury me in my Elise somewhere near Buttonwillow.......

Wexler: I hope the thrill of owning and driving a Lotus will NEVER wear off! CONGRATULATIONS!

--Hal
I will accept the congrats if and when the transaction is complete...

Seriously, I slept maybe 4 hours a night thinking about this car for the past week. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything is cool and we both part ways happy.

The worst part about this absolute torture is that I live less than 2 minutes from a Lotus dealer...for the past 4 years I have driven past, or walked the lot on Sundays when it was closed, counting inventory and DREAMING that one day I could own one of these incredible machines...sooooooooooooo close...sooooooooooo close...sooooooo worth the wait.
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post #12 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Wexler View Post
I will accept the congrats if and when the transaction is complete...

Seriously, I slept maybe 4 hours a night thinking about this car for the past week. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything is cool and we both part ways happy.

The worst part about this absolute torture is that I live less than 2 minutes from a Lotus dealer...for the past 4 years I have driven past, or walked the lot on Sundays when it was closed, counting inventory and DREAMING that one day I could own one of these incredible machines...sooooooooooooo close...sooooooooooo close...sooooooo worth the wait.
Your story is IDENTICAL to mine! I'm two minutes from the closest Lotus Dealer (Thousand Oaks) and I couldn't sleep at all thinking about owning a Lotus. GET ONE......NOW!!!!

The good news: If your deal doesn't happen, there are PLENTY of used Lotus Elises/Exiges for sale...most of them are "babied" and "low mileage". Pick any color and option! And the price can drop below $25K! WOW!!

Take Serpent's advice:
"Studies show 100% people die. Might as well have fun."
I take his advice EVERY DAY!!! Thanks Serpent!

--SKYVUE
Resident Astronomer

'05 Saffron Elise,SOLD!
'07 CaymanS
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post #13 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 12:59 PM
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+1 on the ECU dump.

I so wanted a Lotus that I bought my used 2006 from a seller in a different state after only one test drive and a 15-minute "once-over". In hindsight, I was probably pretty foolish, but the odometer had less than 7,000 miles, the CarFax was clean, and I figured nothing could be seriously wrong with such a low-mileage car. I've had the car now for almost 2 years with relatively few problems and no major repairs.

Sounds like your seller is straight up and has really cared for the car. If you think it may help you get 5 or 6 more minutes of sleep at night, you may want to verify that the chassis s/n matches up with the vin number on the window placard. The chassis s/n is stamped on the Al-You-Mini-Um frame on the inside of the right front wheel. If you have access to a decent OBD-II code reader, you may also want to plug it in and see if its throwing any codes (extremely doubtful for such a young engine) during/after your test drive.

But it sounds like you're probably in good shape. Congrats on the upcoming purchase.
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post #14 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by D Britt View Post
+1 on the ECU dump.

I so wanted a Lotus that I bought my used 2006 from a seller in a different state after only one test drive and a 15-minute "once-over". In hindsight, I was probably pretty foolish, but the odometer had less than 7,000 miles, the CarFax was clean, and I figured nothing could be seriously wrong with such a low-mileage car. I've had the car now for almost 2 years with relatively few problems and no major repairs.

Sounds like your seller is straight up and has really cared for the car. If you think it may help you get 5 or 6 more minutes of sleep at night, you may want to verify that the chassis s/n matches up with the vin number on the window placard. The chassis s/n is stamped on the Al-You-Mini-Um frame on the inside of the right front wheel. If you have access to a decent OBD-II code reader, you may also want to plug it in and see if its throwing any codes (extremely doubtful for such a young engine) during/after your test drive.

But it sounds like you're probably in good shape. Congrats on the upcoming purchase.

Excellent! Thanks for the help! And yes, this guys seems straight up, but you never know. That's why I am being so cautious.
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post #15 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-28-2009, 01:29 PM
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Take Serpent's advice:
"Studies show 100% people die. Might as well have fun."
I take his advice EVERY DAY!!! Thanks Serpent!
hahaha, thx

To be fair, i stole the quote from Demonized . I'm not sure who he stole it from but THANKS to Demonized

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Originally Posted by Wexler View Post
Excellent! Thanks for the help! And yes, this guys seems straight up, but you never know. That's why I am being so cautious.
Is the seller a member on LT? you said the car is coming from Michigan? maybe someone from Michigan could go and do a more detail inspection for you.

Studies show 100% of people die. Might as well have some fun.

"Comfort is for kids. I would want to make my passengers weep in fear" - Agent One
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post #16 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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Is the seller a member on LT? you said the car is coming from Michigan? maybe someone from Michigan could go and do a more detail inspection for you.

I don't think he's a member...and he gave me the name and number of the service manager of the dealership where it was serviced.
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post #17 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Here's another question...

Beyond modifications, what would void the warranty? I ran a search on this site for "warranty & violation" and not much came up.

Thanks!
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post #18 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Brennon View Post
Am I the only one that feels most people act like the cars are made of glass? People act like a car with 10,000 miles is "high mileage". The car has 2500 miles on it! That's all of one oil change.

/rant

You can look for body damage, but anything mechanical is still under warranty.
You'd think so, but maybe not.

In 2500, a lot of standing starts and overrevs can be done...and warranty claims on low mileage cars being denied are not unknown based on these showing up on ECU dumps. Especially if those engine ticks and codes start showing up.

This one had its ECU reflashed per a recall....that does not mean the original data isn't in Lotus' database, in fact if an ECU dump was done at 1K with the original flash, all data up to that point is on file in Hethel.

This car is probably a great buy, though.
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post #19 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 05:54 AM
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The current owner should have a copy of his 1kmile, 1st dealer-post-sale-inspection ECU dump print out. I know when I brought my car in for this, it was offered to me. Get a copy of the ECU-dump print-out, just to be sure the warranty has not been voided by egregious over-revs & that aside, it sounds like you're heading down the trail to a really great purchase!

Good luck.
-Grant

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Desnorkelled, Stage-2, HID's, DRL Defeat, Sector111 Tow-hook & Fire Extinguisher, Deeply Fettled Roof S/C Air Intake, Schroth Prof II ASM 4pt Harnesses, RLS Lightweight gunmetal coated intercooler tubes, Saikou-Michi catch-cans, dual-SPAL hi-perf intercooler puller-fans, custom painted engine cover
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post #20 of 110 (permalink) Old 05-29-2009, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Scrumpot View Post
The current owner should have a copy of his 1kmile, 1st dealer-post-sale-inspection ECU dump print out. I know when I brought my car in for this, it was offered to me. Get a copy of the ECU-dump print-out, just to be sure the warranty has not been voided by egregious over-revs & that aside, it sounds like you're heading down the trail to a really great purchase!

Good luck.
-Grant
This guy is such a good dude...I am probably driving him crazy with all my questions. Here's the highlights to his response regarding the CPU:

CPU service was a update in programing only from the OEM when the car goes in for service like an oil change they will routinely check on all the systems in the car by hooking it up to a computer to see if everything is up to date...merely an upgrade from an older chip to the new one which was recommended by the approved dealer.

Thoughts?
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