New owner, excitement thwarted by issues - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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New owner, excitement thwarted by issues

*SOLVED*
Don't bother answering the questions in my post below
--------------------------------------------------------------

Hello friends!

I scooped up a 2005 S2 from a non-lotus dealer who knew exactly nothing about the car. My excitement has rapidly diminished as I've uncovered problems. Luckily I've solved 2 of them so far by searching this forum, but 8+ hours of searching for answers leaves me with these still:

What it does:
  • When FOB buttons are pressed, their red LED lights up, but the car responds to nothing from them.
  • Red dash light flashes steadily, as if immobilized, when the car is driving or off. Basically all the time.
  • When following the FOB re-programming instructions, if I incorrectly enter the PIN several times, the alarm does NOT sound, which I understand it's supposed to?
  • When following the FOB re-programming instructions, after I enter the PIN correctly, the dash does not show a solid RED light as it should to indicate it's ready for FOBs to be synched one by one. Instead, a green tell tale (can't tell which) briefly blinks and then the red shift light turns off entirely for a long time. After maybe 30 minutes, it begins flashing the immobilizer again and I'm back where I started.
  • The CDL features DO work if I use the rocker-button on the shifter mount, by the hazard lights.

My Questions:
  • When VVTL-i is failing, it will inform the driver with a red flashing light... Will it flash like this? Does my cars behaviour match failing VVTL?
  • If the bypass has been performed, should the immobilizer be flashing even while driving? Or only when off?
  • If the bypass has been performed, should FOBs still perform lock/unlock? I've found VERY conflicting comments on this. It's as if there are multiple ways to bypass the immobilizer, and doing so without jumper wires renders the FOBs useless, while doing it with the jumpers keeps lock/unlock functionality? Can someone clear me up on lock/unlock expectations when bypass is done?
  • If the bypass has been performed, should I still be able to re-program the fobs?
  • If the bypass has been performed, should I still be able to set the immobilizer to passive so that it's not always blinking?
  • Is there any way to tell whether a bypass has been performed other than removing seats and baulkhead, etc?
  • What other reasons exist for an always-flashing light exactly like this?
  • What other problems might the previous owner have been covering up when doing a bypass? In other words, if I do find the jumper in place and bypass performed, then what might I risk by undoing it? Obviously it could have been for convenience, but is it possible he bypassed it because the immobilizer/locking system is malfunctioning so badly that I could get myself in a BAD situation by undoing it?
  • I've read multiple places that the immobilizer can kill a good battery in days. Is this because of the red blinking light or other sources of draw? In other words, will red blinking light alone kill my batter "in days"? Should I be disconnecting my battery when not driving for 5 days in a row even if my immobilizer is bypassed?


Thanks for everything, also for the community's previous posts which actually solved 2 of my other electrical issues already!

Last edited by lance_mn; 03-22-2019 at 10:12 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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EDIT:

I'm trying to clean my posts to help others read them... I'm going to maintain a running list of current questions in the original post above ^^

Last edited by lance_mn; 03-22-2019 at 11:27 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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It's taking 1 to 2 days per each of my posts to get approved by a mod, which means that when they get approved they are too old to bump this thread to the top of the discussion, and I somewhat wonder if that's causing it to get less attention?

I apologize if this isn't proper to ask, but could my profile be given privileges to post without approval? My hope is that my behavior so far has proven I'm not a bot or spammer, just a brand new owner who's panicked about his purchase and goes to sleep each night refreshing this thread hoping for answers lol
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 06:58 PM
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Is your key FOB doing anything right now? Based on your questions it sounds like the car is unresponsive to key FOB for anything.
If you can start the car without pressing the key FOB and the light stays flashing then it has been by-passed.
So, with it by-passed you should still be able to press the button to turn the blinking light off and it will still beep when you do this.
You can still lock/un-lock/alarm the doors with it by-passed.
I don't think the immobilizer kills a battery quickly I think its more of the alarm system that can. With a standard battery, my car can sit for ~2 weeks before the voltage gets below 12V without the alarm set.

I'm sure there are others that can comment more.

What do you mean by VVTL-i failing? Cam wiping or the solenoid?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-22-2019, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottH83 View Post
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:
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcinr View Post
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!

Last edited by lance_mn; 03-23-2019 at 07:30 AM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 05:17 AM
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Congrats on the acquisition, and breakthrough! When I set my alarm to passive, it took several tries to get the timing and sequence just right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lance_mn View Post
It's taking 1 to 2 days per each of my posts to get approved by a mod, which means that when they get approved they are too old to bump this thread to the top of the discussion, and I somewhat wonder if that's causing it to get less attention?

I apologize if this isn't proper to ask, but could my profile be given privileges to post without approval? My hope is that my behavior so far has proven I'm not a bot or spammer, just a brand new owner who's panicked about his purchase and goes to sleep each night refreshing this thread hoping for answers lol
I believe that when you get to a certain number of posts - 5? 10? - the algorithm will no longer assume you are a potential spammer/bot, and your posts will just go through.

Admittedly it's a hassle, but a necessary one.

Oh, and free bump.
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