The official, ONE AND ONLY, Can This Lotus Be Used As A Daily Driver thread - Page 5 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #81 of 265 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 09:33 AM
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My main question is: Does the lotus elise leak that bad? Can it be driven in the rain often without a problem? Or should i look for another car?
I've had my 07 Elise 2 years now, in the Seattle area (know for rain) and my elise has never leaked.

Except that one time I left the top off. =)

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post #82 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 09:28 PM
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mine leaked in a touchless car wash a few days ago. i promise i was only in it to get the salt/sand off the car i swear.

ive started thinking about the car as less of a car, and more of a really practice motorcycle. makes more sense that way.
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post #83 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 09:30 PM
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mine leaked in a touchless car wash a few days ago. i promise i was only in it to get the salt/sand off the car i swear.
I would go more because you got salt on it than I would go because of the car wash.

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post #84 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 09:43 PM
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daily driver in boston, stuff is hard to avoid. its more sand than salt here though, at least from what i have seen
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post #85 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 01:04 PM
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Last questions about making the Elise a daily driver.

I have read through this forum and have been made aware of the following:
1. Potentially poor air conditioners
2. Potential trunk and roof leaks
3. Bring a towel
4. Its loud
5. The clam is expensive to repair
6. The aluminum frame is easy to ruin.
7. Buy a torque wrench because suspension boats will loosen.
8. It's handling is good in rain, ok at best in snow, forget it in ice (then again what's not)

All that said I am interested in buying a used Elise and live in St. Louis. We get one maybe two snows per year that stick for 1 week at best. However, they do salt the roads. Does anyone have any experience in aluminum frames in dealing with these types of conditions? Are there preventative measures that one can take (outside of not driving it) to avoid ruining the frame with salted roads?
If you live in the St. Louis area or a similar climate have there been times when weather conditions have prevented you from using the car? If so what was it?
If I don't plan to take this car on the track do I have to be concerned about loose suspension bolts?
Is there a good Lotus dealer/repair shop in the St. Louis area?
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post #86 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 02:21 PM
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Hi....welcome.

You might want to send a PM to KareemofWheaTT. He lives in St. Louis and has owned his Elise for several years.

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post #87 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Total Package View Post
7. Buy a torque wrench because suspension boats will loosen.
Quoted for truth!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZHH8pSfKb8



I semi-daily drive my Elise in NorCal (no salt/ice issues so can's speak to that), but the rest of your assessment is accurate. I have not had any problems w/ AC or leaks (trunk or roof), but the potential exists. Also have not had any suspension bolts loosen on me, but I did reinforce the toe-links w/ one of the aftermarket options.

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post #88 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 07:37 PM
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Thanks for this thread. Very interesting. Unfortunately, it confirmed what a lot of folks have been warning me about. Have always wanted an Elise and just came into a little $$ and was going to do it. But I really need to use it as a daily driver, so this thread grabbed me. Now I have a considerable sportscar resume. A lot of Alfas in my 20 and 30's, 3 9ll's in my 30's and 40's, and during that run, a 72 Europa 20 years ago and up until 2 years ago, a '91 Elan. None of them were new or mint, except the Elan. It was not until I bought that car, 5 years ago, that I owned a car with AC! I kinda like it. Actually, had a Boxster S last year that was also mint, and I really liked the electric top, temp and cruise control.

Think I am going to pass on the Elise. I love light and nimble, and the austere interior is a delight. Actually, the Elan was a wonderful car too despite the GM footprint (austere is not their forte). But I don't think I am up for lame AC, leaky roofs, and the ingress issues (in your late 50's, this could be a bitch).

Thanks again. From reading this, you don't know how painful this realization is for me.
Getting older feels alot more depressing now.. Life must get crummy when it starts to hurt when you get in and out of a car

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post #89 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Implosion View Post
Quoted for truth!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZHH8pSfKb8



I semi-daily drive my Elise in NorCal (no salt/ice issues so can's speak to that), but the rest of your assessment is accurate. I have not had any problems w/ AC or leaks (trunk or roof), but the potential exists. Also have not had any suspension bolts loosen on me, but I did reinforce the toe-links w/ one of the aftermarket options.


I think these cars make great daily drivers as most the people I have known over the years used them everyday. Of course they had an extra car, but on most days they were driving their Lotus to work or wherever they had to go.
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post #90 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 09:21 AM
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I finally used my lotus as a "daily driver" and took it to work today to see what it would be like navigating the socal freeways in the morning. WOW. Best drive I had to work ever!!! I looked at any gap in traffic and she read my mind like a good gf every time. I could totally see myself doing this on a regular basis now. Looks like it's gonna be lotus fridays at the office now

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post #91 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 12:29 PM
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I've had my Elise for about a year and its been my daily driver, except on rare snow days. I have a short commute and was attracted to the Elise over other performance cars because it's small (good in the city) and has great gas mileage. I think it's a excellent commuting car. It's a blast to drive, which means I look forward to the commute.

The boot is large enough for my gym bag and my kid's school pack (which is huge). It'll also hold a couple bags of groceries.

I live in Portland where it rains a bunch. I don't have any problems with leaks (hard or soft top). I do get windshield condensation, but the defrost blower with the AC clears that well. I do get some water inside when on ingress and egress, but no big deal.

My one complaint is that the front tires throw lots of mud and debris on the doors, sills and leading edge of the rear fender. It's hard to keep it looking nice in wet weather.

For reference, I'm a middle-aged professional with a family. I also own a large SUV for frequent trips to the mountains, hauling gangs of teenagers and generally covering the heavy duties. My wife has an Audi A4 that is great for the whole family around town.

I've never quite understood the whole garage queen mentality. When I buy a car, I want to drive it. Daily driving is what I do most, so that's when I want to drive my favorite car.
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post #92 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 04:22 PM
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I've never quite understood the whole garage queen mentality. When I buy a car, I want to drive it. Daily driving is what I do most, so that's when I want to drive my favorite car.
+1

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post #93 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 04:41 PM
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+2 for middle aged guys...the car is too much fun to leave in the garage and makes a great commuter. Of course the fact that my commute takes me over windy coastal mountain roads doesn't hurt...
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post #94 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 06:09 PM
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Daily driver newbie

Ok, so I did all my research prepurchase with out the availability of the LT community and have had my elise for approx. 6 weeks. Its a 2005 that had 2,500 prepurchase miles on it, and now it is over 5k miles. (I plan on doing the endurance part of the testing). That said, I absolutely love the car and the LTcommunity. I have not had any issues with the car except the driving it in the wet. At 60+ hours of work a week, my time is better spent if I don't have to wash it every time its done raining. (shouldn't be a problem in Dallas). At 50 years of age my response to those who ask about getting in and out with the top on is 1 of 2 responses. a) take yoga b) its a little like some sex positions-a little difficult getting there but well worth the effort.

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post #95 of 265 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:24 AM
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haha thats great line about the sex positions. i love seeing all these daily driven cars, esp. if they are in snowy states. im really jealous of you warm weather guys

slalom boy- just out of curiosity, how do you like Perfect pass? i dont think ive ever skied behind a MC with it, and have experience with the Moomba version (forget its name) and it suuucks. you can actually feel the boat slow/speed up in a turn before it kicks in.
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post #96 of 265 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 01:16 PM
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"The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen up the body, and polish the spirit." Morihei Ushiba
2005 Elise-Nightfall blue, Biscut interior, custom Venture Shield, hardtop, "touring pkg", V-1, lidbone, and more to come. 05 Tacoma double cab, V-6, TRD sport pkg, factory towing pkg (gotta pull the Prostar), K & N intake. 97 MasterCraft Prostar 209 with Perfect Pass-Personal best--the whole course 22 off @ 33mph on an 08 HO Monza

Check this out: I am an expat living in Lagos Nigeria. I own a Lotus Elise back home. I own a 98 Correct Craft and got the bronze medal for Nigeria in the first African Olympics held in Ivory Coast. That is my 7th year training Aikido! (BTW saw your quote of Uyeshiba)

Now tell me how cool is that? Are we running parallel lives in two different continents?

Scary man...
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post #97 of 265 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by stea1thviper View Post
I finally used my lotus as a "daily driver" and took it to work today to see what it would be like navigating the socal freeways in the morning. WOW. Best drive I had to work ever!!!
At a previous job I was talking with my HR rep and she asked me: "Do you like working here?"

"Depends on which car I drove to work."

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post #98 of 265 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 05:32 PM
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It may be an obvious question, but how much does a little salt matter on the Elise underbody (since it is all aluminium and doesn't rust)?

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post #99 of 265 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 05:38 PM
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It may be an obvious question, but how much does a little salt matter on the Elise underbody (since it is all aluminium and doesn't rust)?
Do you have a piece of sheet aluminum? If you do, wet it and put salt on it and check it in a few days. I think you'll find it starting to corrode....
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post #100 of 265 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 06:00 AM
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Thought I'd pass along two tips.

I used to bring a briefcase to work. In an Elise it is very awkward to get into the car holding a briefcase. I shopped around and got a much smaller bag. What I picked up was a laptop bag. I use it to hold a brown bag lunch and some pens and paper.

Now I can toss it onto the passenger seat when I get into the car. I don't usually have a passenger so I also leave a towel on the passenger seat to protect it.

The next thing I noticed was that there wasn't a good place to put CD's. I don't have an MP3 player (believe it or not). I found out that the ledge behind the driver's seat can hold 3 CD's, each lying flat. I bought a rubber material at a dollar store that lies flat on that ledge. With that in place, the CD's don't slide around.
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