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Discussion Starter #1
I recently came across a dealer that has a 2009 Elise with 20 miles. Yes, 20 miles. He claims it never sold.

What service would you want to have done if you were buying it? I mentioned oil, coolant flush, brake fluid, clutch fluid, and a new batt. Anything else?

The dealer is unwilling to do any of this stuff on his dime and wants the buyer to pay, which is ridiculous. He claims it's been stored indoors and periodically "moved" (not sure if this means driven), so that the fluids are fine.

The price is firm at US$65K. Keep in mind this car is in Canada where Lotus has been ripping us off with higher sticker prices. So for a Canadian car, the price is not bad - it's an SC with Touring, which prob snickered in the low to mid $70s.

Oh, and he claims the hardtop is extra - didn't the SCs come std with a hard top?

Help me out - stay away or pursue it further?

Thanks!
 

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Carbon Fiber
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Give up on the fluids, and I have yet to see/hear of an Elise that came with a hard top
 

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Meet him halfway... accept the oils and coolant (you can have the coolant tested)... but don't give up on the brake fluid change... it is hygroscopic and the brake fluid service interval is yearly irrespective of miles. :)
 

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Did they start the warranty at any point?

Poster "Abe" is a great resource, and although I believe he is in the US, he may have access to information about cars in Canada. I think he would be able to confirm whether the car had ever been sold or registered. In the past he has been able to tell how many cars of each year and each type were still available, but might be US only. He may read this or you could pm him.
 

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Many of the services are recommended per mileage OR per time, whichever comes first. You'll need to do most of the fluids. Oil and brake/clutch fluids for sure. Just do those yourself. I don't think the tranny fluid would need to be done yet. I'd probably go ahead with the coolant too.
 

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Mulholland>SCC
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The engine oil and transmission oil are fine. Brake fluid should be changed definitely. Coolant should be tested. No one has mentioned the gas. Hopefully the gas tank is not full of gas from 2009. If the battery has been on a tender it is fine, but doubtful in a dealership, it may be fine. Otherwise spend the $100 and replace it for reliability.
 

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I agree with most the postings above. Also, ask for an ECU dump; run time better match well with the stated miles. You will want to see if the car has any/many standing starts on the ecu log. I only say this because a dealer *can* use the ECU log to say *you* abused the car and deny certain warranty coverage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone. What to do if the fuel IS from 2009? Hopefully they added a stabilizer, but how can that be verified? It would be obvious when the car is running if the fuel has degraded, correct?
 

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siphon out what you can and dilute the remaining with fresh fuel.

Id prob attend to the gas and change the otherfluids in the near future. THe coolant is fine. The brake fluid should be changed but is not dangerous as is.

My only real concerns would be gas/bat/flat spots on tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
siphon out what you can and dilute the remaining with fresh fuel.

Id prob attend to the gas and change the otherfluids in the near future. THe coolant is fine. The brake fluid should be changed but is not dangerous as is.

My only real concerns would be gas/bat/flat spots on tires.
Thanks. Are both issues (gas and flat spots) immediately apparent when you drive it? I of course will test drive before finalizing the deal. I doubt this dealer will admit to anything - so I will have to "prove" that the gas was bad and that the tires have flat spots.
 

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A1 Automotive & Smog
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The engine oil and transmission oil are fine. Brake fluid should be changed definitely. Coolant should be tested. No one has mentioned the gas. Hopefully the gas tank is not full of gas from 2009. If the battery has been on a tender it is fine, but doubtful in a dealership, it may be fine. Otherwise spend the $100 and replace it for reliability.
I approved this message!
 

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You will definetely feel flat spots in the tires. As for the gas just open the gas cap and smell it. If it smells like turpentine it is fouled. If you can get a gas sample bad gas will also have a yellow color to it. If it IS contaminated do not run it! It may run ok-ish but if it has ANY yellow to it it will cause the engine to suck a valve.
 

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In other words, any quality dealer will attend to items that could cause harm
1. gas (hopefully on empty anyway which means a couple of gallons. If its that low, do a fillup and a LONG drive (full tank) to clear out if it doesn't seem fouled. Otherwise drain it!!
2. Brake fluid. ABSOLUTELY and easy to do. DIY and get yourself a set of Speed Bleeders 1010"s up front and 1010s" in back to make that easy.
3. Coolant just check but should be fine. If its clear its fine for now.
4. Oils are fine IMHO
5. Tires will wake up after a while as I'm sure car has "moved" around periodically.
Offer him 60K to take it off his hands and be patient.
6. Battery will need replacement in VERY near future but just test it for now.
7. No one mentioned rotors. make sure they aren't badly pitted. Take for drive to clean up which means a proper bedding cycle. If they have pits you'll know and see them
8. Car should get a thorough detail in and out
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you, very helpful!

The gas is very low - there are zero bars showing on the fuel gauge. They will fill the tank with about a gallon before starting her up and taking her to a gas station.

I will be sure to check the brakes -- they are going to do the PDI, so I'm sure this will come up.
 
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