No Full Time Garage- Bad Idea - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
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No Full Time Garage- Bad Idea

Hello everyone,

I'm closer than ever to being able to buy a Lotus Elise but one thing is really slowing me down and that's the fact that my house does not have a garage. I have a driveway and car port that is attached to the house and is covered. If I get a Lotus, the car will reside there during driving season (I'm in Michigan). From November to May-ish I'll pay to have the car stored in a proper heated garage. During driving season the car will be exposed to the elements and weather.

If I did have a garage, that would not really change the humidity level that the car would see, but it would keep dust and sporadic rain off the car. This is a toy car, not my daily driver, not even close.

Is the idea of buying a Lotus without a proper garage a totally daft idea? Anyone else here in the same situation I am in?

Thank you for your replies.

tom
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 04:43 PM
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Nothing wrong with a carport in the summer, in fact it may be preferable to a damp garage. I don't know where you are in Michigan but my garage becomes quite damp inside in the spring so I try to open it every day. However I also have multiple issues with squirrels outside (a lot of nut trees around) and squirrels have invaded my Miata's AC duct system, eaten the hood liner, and jammed walnuts in the brake calipers. I would be somewhat concerned about these things with the Elise, along with the soft top. Depending on where you are there may be a break-in issue as well.
But at the end of the day, its a used car, and it probably won't kill it if you left it parked outside. People do this all the time with cars that cost much much more and never think about it.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 05:02 PM
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Not a big deal, just buy a good car cover.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 05:28 PM
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What about investing the money on a house (w/ garage) 1st prior to buying a toy? You can buy a dehumidifier for the garage, moisture issue solved.

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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 05:29 PM
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The roof over the car is the important item for protecting the car (hail). Having sides on the car port to make it a 'garage' are more of a cleanliness and safety (theft) advantage. As long as you're not a clean freak or live in the hood I don't see any issue with a car port.

Besides, you could always close it in for a few hundred bucks in lumber and siding if you decide a year from now that is needed.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 07:53 PM
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Get a good outdoor car cover and if it sits for two weeks without being driven get a good trickle charger and don't worry about it. I not like Lotus of years ago. It's a real car. Enjoy it!

Oh, it will seep some moisture someplace. Bring a towel. Maybe buy another set of wheels for the snow tires!!!

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kaklemmer View Post
Nothing wrong with a carport in the summer, in fact it may be preferable to a damp garage. I don't know where you are in Michigan but my garage becomes quite damp inside in the spring so I try to open it every day. However I also have multiple issues with squirrels outside (a lot of nut trees around) and squirrels have invaded my Miata's AC duct system, eaten the hood liner, and jammed walnuts in the brake calipers. I would be somewhat concerned about these things with the Elise, along with the soft top. Depending on where you are there may be a break-in issue as well.
But at the end of the day, its a used car, and it probably won't kill it if you left it parked outside. People do this all the time with cars that cost much much more and never think about it.
I'm in Ann Arbor and actually have a lot of squirrels and chipmunks in my area due to my daughter feeding them all the time. I never thought about the possibility they could damage my car (a Focus ST). So far no problems but maybe the Lotus would not be so lucky.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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What about investing the money on a house (w/ garage) 1st prior to buying a toy? You can buy a dehumidifier for the garage, moisture issue solved.
Not an option. I would not move just to have a car. My wife and kids love our home and that's waaay more important than any car I can buy.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Not a big deal, just buy a good car cover.
Yeah, that would be something I would have to do if I end up getting this car. Can car covers scratch the paint or damage it in any other way?
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 04:50 AM
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+2 for a garage for your potential Elise, specially if you plan to keep it for a long time.
Any Lotus deserves to live in a garage, it's a special car and needs to be treated well.

Car covers will scratch the paint, unless the car is washed and dried first.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 05:39 AM
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Welcome to the list. Always good to see another Elise owner in Michigan. What part of the state ? I agree with Kaklemmer in that a roof over the car is the most important part. Not a big fan of using car covers outside as Kubera said, they will put scratches in the clearcoat.

This is about as far out of the garage as my car will venture during the winter!
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Last edited by Familyman951; 01-03-2019 at 05:50 AM.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 06:12 AM
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These cars sat outside at the port of entry.

I recall seeing 20+ of them sitting outside for weeks at a time at a big, long standing Lotus dealership in Maryland.

Leaving it under your car port is no problem.

These are not Ferraris, Lambos, or fragile classic cars.

Co-worker didn't have a garage for his Evora 400. It was parked outside in his townhome community all the time. No worse for the wear.

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Familyman951 View Post
Welcome to the list. Always good to see another Elise owner in Michigan. What part of the state ? I agree with Kaklemmer in that a roof over the car is the most important part. Not a big fan of using car covers outside as Kubera said, they will put scratches in the clearcoat.

This is about as far out of the garage as my car will venture during the winter!
Potential owner as I dont have one yet. I live in Ann Arbor and have seen a few Elises on the road from time to time during the summer months.

Your car's color is awesome!
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 07:16 AM
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Mine sat outside for the first three months I owned it. Keep it out from under trees and be careful about sunlight burning your headlight embellishers if you don't have the embellisher rings around the projector lenses.

You will find any water leaks the car has the first time it rains. Soft and hard tops generally do pretty well. You can get water in around the side windows if they're not properly adjusted (easy to do). Mine had two leaks - one was around the bootlid louver mounting screws and dripped into the boot. I fixed it by removing the screws, putting some RTV on them around the washers, then putting them back in. The other still exists - a joint at the rear of the tub isn't fully sealed so water dripping into the engine bay runs forward into the footwell when the car is parked nose downhill. I work around this by parking it nose uphill until I get into the engine bay and seal it there.

The second one was a mystery that I finally figured out by doing a 'leaking Elise' search here. There are a lot of leak modes, and the car does not cope well with leaves plugging up drain holes, so reach into the radiator exit louvers and fish any debris out regularly.

Obviously a car cover would be very helpful, but covers abrade paint if the car has any dirt or dust on it. I bought my car to drive, not to wash, so it gets washed once a week if it's lucky, and does indeed get dust on it between washings.

I'm going to be putting up a carport so that I can evict the Elise (and other DD cars) in nice weather without it sitting out in the rain, sun, wind, sap, and bird droppings.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Mine sat outside for the first three months I owned it. Keep it out from under trees and be careful about sunlight burning your headlight embellishers if you don't have the embellisher rings around the projector lenses.

You will find any water leaks the car has the first time it rains. Soft and hard tops generally do pretty well. You can get water in around the side windows if they're not properly adjusted (easy to do). Mine had two leaks - one was around the bootlid louver mounting screws and dripped into the boot. I fixed it by removing the screws, putting some RTV on them around the washers, then putting them back in. The other still exists - a joint at the rear of the tub isn't fully sealed so water dripping into the engine bay runs forward into the footwell when the car is parked nose downhill. I work around this by parking it nose uphill until I get into the engine bay and seal it there.

The second one was a mystery that I finally figured out by doing a 'leaking Elise' search here. There are a lot of leak modes, and the car does not cope well with leaves plugging up drain holes, so reach into the radiator exit louvers and fish any debris out regularly.

Obviously a car cover would be very helpful, but covers abrade paint if the car has any dirt or dust on it. I bought my car to drive, not to wash, so it gets washed once a week if it's lucky, and does indeed get dust on it between washings.

I'm going to be putting up a carport so that I can evict the Elise (and other DD cars) in nice weather without it sitting out in the rain, sun, wind, sap, and bird droppings.
Thank you for your reply!
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 10:00 AM
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It might be a bit unsightly, but you could consider putting up some side walls for the carport made from tarp? Not ideal but could get you by for a bit as you plan for another solution. Perhaps adding some walls to carport would be a more permanent solution.

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 10:53 AM
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These are not Ferraris, Lambos, or fragile classic cars.
While our Lotus is not a Ferrari, or has the price of a Ferrari, it is a car not longer manufactured, the current models are not sold in America, in reality our cars will become more rare as time goes on and there are fewer ones left alive. Might as well keep the ones that are still alive in good shape and take good care of them.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 11:29 AM
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Hello everyone,

I'm closer than ever to being able to buy a Lotus Elise but one thing is really slowing me down and that's the fact that my house does not have a garage. I have a driveway and car port that is attached to the house and is covered. If I get a Lotus, the car will reside there during driving season (I'm in Michigan). From November to May-ish I'll pay to have the car stored in a proper heated garage. During driving season the car will be exposed to the elements and weather.

If I did have a garage, that would not really change the humidity level that the car would see, but it would keep dust and sporadic rain off the car. This is a toy car, not my daily driver, not even close.

Is the idea of buying a Lotus without a proper garage a totally daft idea? Anyone else here in the same situation I am in?

Thank you for your replies.

tom
Hi! I've owned my 06 Elise for the last 6 months with no garage, no problem. Biggest issue i have is keeping the stray cats off my car when it is uncovered (some days i will take the lotus out for more then one drive). Initially I was worried about the cover scratching or marring paint but that has not been a problem. Currently the car is still spotless going on 2 months since i gave it a good wax. Every other week i will reapply/clean any spots with spray wax as needed. Hasn't impacted my driving at all, i usually take out the car out 4-5 times a week.

The most important thing in my opinion that you should consider is do you feel comfortable leaving your car outside in your area.
I live in a very high traffic area (town square) with low crime. Given that I am the only Lotus driver in my area it would be a pretty bad car to steal. Our town home parking lot is very well lit and in view of all residents/apartments.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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While our Lotus is not a Ferrari, or has the price of a Ferrari, it is a car not longer manufactured, the current models are not sold in America, in reality our cars will become more rare as time goes on and there are fewer ones left alive. Might as well keep the ones that are still alive in good shape and take good care of them.
Yes, I agree completely. I think a garage is best for a car but that is not something i will have any time soon. My car port can keep most of the elements off of my car, but in extreme wind rain and or snow can lightly settle on it. I dont know how much "damage" this will do to the car over the long term. For my daily driver (Focus ST) I dont care much about it but for something like a Lotus, I think a lot about this before moving forward and getting serious about buying one.
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 12:16 PM
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There are retractable covers out there that will cover your car without touching the paint. (Prevents possible paint abrasions from dirt and wind and does not require your car to be immediately washed prior to covering.)

Right now, I can't remember the name of the company (that made them in the US) I was researching, but they made taller and shorter ones (for sports cars). They are especially useful in a carport, where the car might still be covered by blowing rain or light snow, but a true snow load would be prevented by the carport roof.

Here's an example of what I mean:



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