I've solved my issues! OMG what a relief!
First off, thank you Scott for taking the time to help! It was helpful to know that I should
still be able to use the fobs and wasn't following a red herring.
What do you mean by VVTL-i failing? Cam wiping or the solenoid?
I had read that a blinking tach light could mean failing VVTL-i, from this post here:
The first issue, blinking tach light and 6200RPM rev limiter is what happens when the VVTL-i system isn't working for some reason, and the ECU disables the second cam. It could be as simple as a fuse, or something really bad could be going on.
So since I wasn't certain my car had been bypassed, that seemed like an unlikely but worst case scenario.
Anyhow, I've solved it and will explain for posterity:
- Bypassing allows you to start the car when the car is "immobiliezed" but that system is otherwise still operating. This means you can still lock/unlock the car, program fobs, and even sound the alarm.
- The alarm won't actually "go off" while entering your PIN incorrectly, even if you're doing the PIN hack
to learn your PIN. Your alarm isn't busted if it doesn't sound during this procedure.
- If you do the procedure to add a fob while the tach light is blinking, and in other words immobilized, then you will NOT get the final solid light allowing you to add fobs. Instead, it briefly disarms the immobilizer, at which point you can start the procedure over and actually add FOBs
- The ignition must be ON while you prime your fobs for programming by holding both buttons. In fact, I had the car running/idling when I did it. This might not be obvious because the owner's manual does NOT tell you to do so, and it's also not necessary for other procedures involving entering the PIN. SirLotus's post
is the only place I've seen that properly directs you to have the ignition already on at the start.
Mannnn buying a lotus elise from a know-nothing dealer has cost me some real time and stress haha. I should have bought from a private party who could explain the car. But I think I'm good to go now! I set the immobilizer to passive using Sir Lotus' directions and the red light isn't blinking at all and I can (sort of) use my FOBs to lock/unlock. Although, I can see why the previous owner bypassed because my immobilizer does some WEIRD s***. If I press to unlock, it will actually sound the alarm at the same time it unlocks. It's a mess. Better than nothing when I park downtown at night though :P
As usual, thanks guys!