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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-25-2009 05:29 AM
Tyger Haha, I'm imagining their taking off that front wheel being the "tipping point" here, to their extreme surprise.
12-24-2009 08:21 PM
Hello Kitty
Heres waht happens when you take it somewhere else

12-24-2009 04:39 PM
Espritfinalrun I purchased my Final Run last month in Chicago and the first thing I have done is take it to Aston Martin/Lotus in Boston for a full service plus timing belts, battery, fluids, etc.. I just got the car back last week and they have done a very good job, expensive, but very good.
The service managerīs name is Kirk and he has 3 Lotus specialists
12-16-2009 06:28 PM
jtrealty An exotic car such as a Lotus can be expensive. A lot has to do with how it was taken care of previously and if it was by a Lotus experienced tech. All too often if the car was not propelry maintained or the tech was not qualified, much of what you will be spending your money on is undoing the previous work and doing it right. There is also history. If the car was "beat" on then things will wear out and need to be replaced earlier rather than later. The clutch and transmission are the big (read expensive) areas that cannot be properly inspected without disassembling them. The clutch all by itself in parts is over $2K! If the brake fluid was not replaced regularly you will have problems with the brakes. Ditto for the clutch cylinders. Timing belts on the V-8 Lotus are very specific as to how it's done and the special tools required. You do NOT want to cheap out on them. The savings by having the wrong (cheap) person do it aren't worth the consequences. That's why the service history is so important. If a "C" service is due the price you paid for the car should have reflected that. A "C" service is more than just a couple of belts. A full "C" service can cost between $3-4K depending on what has to be done and the condition of the car. I have two '99's and they both needed TLC to get everything sorted out. It can get very expensive if you cannot do any work yourself. IMHO a large part of the enjoyment of this car hobby is the satisfaction of being able to take care of the car besides being able to drive it!!!!!!!!
David Teitelbaum
12-16-2009 04:10 PM
jimh3063
Timing Belt

I know Mike and he's a honest guy who knows what he is doing. I know the Lotus of New England. I bought 1999 Esprit from them. I had a great experience with the Esprit.

I now own a 2006 Exige. I needed to get a part from them for my door. I small plastic part that holds the rod the connects the door handle to the door latch. It was the most painful experience I've ever had at a car dealer. They would look for the part and not be able to find it. They wanted me to take a picture of it. Don't they work on these every day. When all this was going on, the car was under warranty. I kept asking if I could just get the part because it was had for me to be able to leave the car there. Finally about a month ago I spoke to the owner. He was an ignorant snob. As someone who has purchased a vehicle in the past from them I was totally surprised. It was if they didn't get the repair money they wanted nothing to do with me. I'm guessing by the appearance of the outside of the building they're are in trouble. I'm not stating this as fact but anyone who sells $250K Aston Martins from a building that looks like theirs does must be in deep ****.


Go to Mike. He'll charge you a fair price and do a good job.

Enjoy your Esprit.
09-20-2009 07:18 AM
TrapperJohn On the contrary... One very fun, but very expensive vehicle that I maintaned myself was a Mercedes 6.9. Fast, but every time something ordinary broke, it was a fortune for parts, and those parts were purpose built for a very expensive car, and priced accordingly. Loved the big Benz, but it ate me out of house and home with maintenance costs.

With the Esprit, a substantial portion of the parts are off the shelf GM or Toyota. If you know where to look, the parts can be surprisingly cheap, especially if you're living in the US. The Esprit isn't unique in this respect, but it is unique in second sourcing parts that are widely available in the US from mass producers. Much of the high cost of the Esprit is it's limited production and handbuit nature, not the parts. 600 man hours was the figure I heard, over ten times that of a mass produced car, and labor isn't cheap. Even turnip farmers have to make a living.

True, if your idea of service is dropping the car at the dealer, any exotic will be expensive to maintain. If you know something about mechanics, but don't feel confident enough or have the time to tackle a cam belt change, you can still maintain an Esprit for less than most exotics, by knowing where to find the parts, and finding a mechanic who won't damage it or feed you a line. Or just knowing how to get online and do a bit of digging.

Any exotic, including the Esprit, is not a good daily driver, for a variety of reasons, including service and being down for parts. But, for someone who wants to live out a dream on a budget, and doesn't mind putting some of their own time into it, the Esprit is one of the most affordable exotics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristar Racing View Post
These Esprit threads make me laugh, mainly because everyone who says they are inexpensive to maintain does the work themselves.

Now I do consider myself mechanically inclined, and work on my cars quite often. I also work from home. Some people are not as capable working on vehicles, or they just plain do not have the time to do so. For anyone to assume everyone can work on their own cars and thus factor it into maintinence costs is misleading.

So for those people who dont have the time or capability, the Esprit is expensive to maintain; as expensive as its almost 100k when new buy-in would suggest. Dont discount this fact. Seriously, what car is "expensive" to maintain if you can do all the work yourself?

Carry on with the debate folks, I will still be chuckling to myself though...
09-18-2009 03:44 PM
gregte Lotus Garage does sell parts at a discount, you had better be patient though...they are slow.

The quote you show is just listing the parts at suggested retail, and the labor seems to be in line. As far as extra parts that may not be needed, they are correct to show everything up front, it's a lot better than telling you after the fact.
09-18-2009 02:20 PM
Simba
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomer602 View Post
So, Simba, which items am I grossly overpaying for?
Check the parts on lotusgarage, for example.

Cam belts: $149.50 ea, not 185.
Tensioners: $156.55 ea, not 182.

Crank pulley is around $170, not $450, and you shouldn't need one unless it's damaged.

The labor is reasonable, but all of the parts have a $20-80 premium on them, and some of them are highly unlikely to be needed. Either the shop is trying to take you for a ride on part costs / parts needed, or they have no clue what is actually needed and are going with the shotgun approach, and hence billing you for their learning curve.
09-18-2009 10:47 AM
Vampyre
Quote:
Originally Posted by E5PR1T View Post
.....
For those who talked about Esprits but don't own one. How many Esprit owners you know that complained about maintenance on their cars? I can easily show you a lot more Elise/Exige owners complaining about their cars on this forum......
Umm, this forum started as an Elise forum for years, remember Elisetalk.com
09-18-2009 08:39 AM
Zoomer602 Here is the parts pricing I am receiving with about $700 in labor. I have no problem with the labor costs. The first column is list, the second is my price the third is the extended price (if more than one of an item). So, Simba, which items am I grossly overpaying for?

Part Number Description QTY List My Each Total
5910 LOCITITE FLANGE SEAL 1 59.77 55.59 55.59
A918E0023F GASKET-PLENUM TO MA 2 39.38 27.25 54.50
A918E0094F WATERPUMP TO FRONT 1 17.00 11.36 11.36
A918E0102F WASHER CAMSHAFT PU 1 59.94 35.48 35.48
A918E0122F SEAL-SPARK PLUG HOL 8 13.99 8.94 71.52
A918E0124F SEAL 12 9.72 6.21 74.52
A918E0219F IDLER PULLEY 2 236.95 173.15 346.30
A918E0342F SEAL SPARK PLUG COV 1 47.04 28.55 28.55
A918E6019Z O-RING 1 9.35 5.58 5.58
A918E6021F O-RING COOLING 1 9.35 5.58 5.58
A918F0123F GASKET CAM COVER 2 131.96 88.35 176.70
A918W5225F BOLT 1 52.21 36.13 36.13
B918E0295J IDLER SPROKET/FLANG 1 627.99 458.92 458.92
C918E0297J TENSIONER 2 248.74 181.77 363.54
C918E0298F TIMING BELT 2 253.91 185.55 371.10
DEX COOL Dex Cool Antifreeze 2 10.77 10.77 21.54

Parts = $2116.91

Labor is described as such: $700
Replace Timing Belt & Water pump
Disassembled front of engine,checked all oil seals for leakage,
replaced water pump,timing belt,drive belt.Reassembled refilled
cooling system & bleed.Road tested ok.

This is another quote (now from a non dealer - about the same price)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba View Post
No, they are not, unless the car has been neglected or otherwise beat on.



You'll be waiting a good long while, unless beating the crap out of it on a routine basis. The gearbox isn't the strongest thing in the world, but it's also not made by Subaru out of tin foil.

Regarding the cam belt service-- $3k is a bit out there. The cam belts cost $300 for a set, the tensioners another $300 or so, and the idlers are around $260. $1800 for ~$900 worth of parts is ridiculous, some of which you may not even need. So is $136 an hour for labor. Find a good independent Lotus mechanic and have them take care of it for you-- shouldn't be more than $1,500-$1,600 or so.

The Esprit has some fairly specific things that need to happen for a cambelt change, but none if it is anything terribly complex. The "special cam tools" are metal dowel pins, you can buy them or make them. The belt tension tool is something that any exotic service shop should have.
09-08-2009 11:34 AM
mvesprit I think I looked at this Esprit before buying mine. What sticks out, if this is the same car is that the (PO Mr. Von something ) when I did a google search
on him - someone had a website dedicated to him as the second coming of Satan. Very funny!!!

Second, ITS A SUPERCAR!!!! Of course it will be a little expensive to maintain!
If you cant fix it and fix it right or maintain it at all -- DO NOT BUY ONE!!
( had my belts,idle and tensioners done at Lotus of ATL 2300K) so 3K is high
but whats high if you cant do it yourself ( CRAZY DIY ) and its your only option vs complete engine faliure!!

I have seen many posts that as soon a someone takes delivery of an Esprit, the first question is where can I get cut rate labor or parts -- This will only lead to DPO!!

I have wanted an Esprit since 1990, took me this long to get one B/C I am finally able to do it right and keep it running

Please, please enjoy your esprit, treat it right and maintain it correctly

I just finished taking mine on a 1000 mile trek and other than the right tailpipe weld breaking at the cat where it was modified by the PO to straight pipes it was flawless and FUN FUN FUN.

final note as stated by Alan, I have a V12 BMW that puts the Esprit to shame in the upkeep arena!!

sorry for the rant, but I am very passionate about the Esprit. Always loved it, always will and God willing the Evora sells like hotcakes and Lotus will indeed make a new Esprit.

Good Day
09-08-2009 07:50 AM
8KRedRacer FYI - My 1997 had the timing belts changed at Aston Martin of New England-Lotus Motorsports in March 2006. They were changed the former owner with 6.9 hours labor @ $125.00 per hour and $244.36 for belts. The grand total was $1,106.86 for the timing belt replacement.

I have mixed feelings about these guys, because of several phone conversations with service manager. I found that work was stated to have been done on the invoice did not match the actual work.

Regards,
Alan
09-08-2009 07:35 AM
maz Michael is solid. Get a bigger radiator. God help you. The cars are either Really cheap to run,. or shatteringly expensive. There is no middle ground.
09-08-2009 07:10 AM
billt I have a '99 and 'had no major issues other than a $30 relay. The V8 esprit is pretty tough and will last a long time if it's treated correctly. If you power shift it, rev it to 7k and drop the clutch, etc, yes you will have tranny problems. If your Esprit is 20 years old you're likely to have more problems than a '99 w/ 46k miles. Congrats on your purchase - enjoy it!
09-08-2009 06:32 AM
gregte I did not mention in my earlier post that I am currently on my 5th, yes 5th, Esprit. I have collectively put on well over 100k miles on them and have NEVER had any major issues. Tires, oil changes, brake pads... that's it! The cars are bullet proof! It amazes me how people can come on here and give advice about something they heard second hand without any personal experience.
09-08-2009 06:19 AM
E5PR1T I agree the Esprits are more expensive to maintain comparing to a later Lotus Cars. Considering they're Lotus Developed Engines; you can't be comparing a V8 Twin Turbo motor to the Toyota built 4 cylinder. Keep in mind about the performance of the two engines. The 3.5 liter Twin Turbocharged V8 has a lot more parts than a 1.8 liter in-line 4. On top of that, there are less people working on the car as well. For a similar performance car, the Esprits maintenance is totally not bad.

Yes, it'll be better if Esprit owners know about their cars. But I think the same rule applies to any exotic car owners. If Esprit owners do not know how to preserve the car, the tranny would fail fairly quickly, however, any car would fail in someway if the owners don't know how to drive the car properly.

For those who talked about Esprits but don't own one. How many Esprit owners you know that complained about maintenance on their cars? I can easily show you a lot more Elise/Exige owners complaining about their cars on this forum. I would like to specify that I'm using this point as an example only; with all the respect, Elise/Exige are wonderful cars.

As for the cambelt change, $3000 is BS, don't pay for it, You're looking at ranges between $1600 and $1900 from a good Esprit independent mechanic like Michael's Motorsports. BTW, for those that talked about how expensive it is to maintain an Esprit, perhaps you can check and see how much is it for a cambelt replacement on a BMW M3 or Acura NSX first.

One last thing, please do not comment if you don't know the car well enough. Thank you.
09-07-2009 11:02 PM
Bibs_TLF It depends on your definition of expensive.

Cost of servicing vs new car value?
Cost of servicing vs current car value?
Cost of servicing vs daily hack?
Cost of servicing vs comparible performance supercars?

The Esprit is a reasonable car to maintain (esp here in the UK!) for it's performance in my opinion and experience. True, it costs more than a daily driver to look after for probably less miles but it's a sub 5 second 175mph supercar, you didn't expect it to be similar to a Ford Focus to run did you? In light of it's peers for age/performance, the Esprit is incredibly well priced to maintain well and a solid, reliable car if used and looked after.

With regards to V8 belts, in the UK we would expect to pay £700-£800, I guess this is $1100 to $1300. The $3k quote is (imo) very, very expensive just for a belt change.
09-07-2009 08:26 PM
Tristar Racing These Esprit threads make me laugh, mainly because everyone who says they are inexpensive to maintain does the work themselves.

Now I do consider myself mechanically inclined, and work on my cars quite often. I also work from home. Some people are not as capable working on vehicles, or they just plain do not have the time to do so. For anyone to assume everyone can work on their own cars and thus factor it into maintinence costs is misleading.

So for those people who dont have the time or capability, the Esprit is expensive to maintain; as expensive as its almost 100k when new buy-in would suggest. Dont discount this fact. Seriously, what car is "expensive" to maintain if you can do all the work yourself?

Carry on with the debate folks, I will still be chuckling to myself though...
09-07-2009 07:22 PM
s4s Hola,

In hindsight I do agree my choice of words could have been better (and apologies to those offended), <text deleted by Mod>.

Note, the first person to chime in about Esprit reliability has never even owned one! In my book this rates their input as zero value to the thread and the OP. If the mods needed to delete a post, <text deleted by Mod>.
.

Agree or disagree, but bottom line why should we permit inexperienced users to malign the Esprit over something they heard from their uncles, cousins best friend back in 1984 ......

Adios .....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernguy View Post

I think that is a little harsh considering Chris M has been a member her quite sometime with thousands of posts and you have um...10.

You may not agree and that's cool but that response is a litte uncalled for
09-07-2009 11:26 AM
Chris Mackey
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn View Post
Not too long ago, I talked to a former Esprit owner at my company. He sold it because he had spent $12k in four years keeping it on the road. It was a 90 SE, just like mine. In the nine years I've had mine, maintenance has been maybe $2k, and 700 of that was tires. The rest is oil changes, cam belt change, chargecooler impeller, replacing a couple of fuel lines.

The difference? He was paying a shop to do everything, not a Lotus dealer, and obviously, they were charging him for the learning curve. I do the work myself, don't trust anyone locally. Wish I'd met that guy a year ago, I could have saved him a ton of money.

So, yes, if you pay someone else to fix everything, and they aren't an expert, it can be expensive. Do the little stuff yourself, and it doesn't cost much to keep one on the road.
Thank you.

When I bought my Elise, I did some research into getting an Esprit, as well. This forum was a big part of the decision to get the Elise instead. The Esprit, relative to other cars, is an expensive car to maintain. Just because a few gearheads on this board do the maintenance themselves doesn't change that fact.

I have done all of the maintenance on my Elise. The only shop work done on was body work, which was expensive, of course.
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