The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was driving to Thunder Hill in Willows CA for an SCCA time trial and stopped at an auto parts store to pick up a tire pressure gage since I’d forgotten one. Car had been fine up until then, but when the start button was pushed absolutely nothing except what sounded faintly like the fuel pump or something in back. Car has 9k miles, not driven much, kept plugged into a NOCO charger in the garage. Drove car daily the prior week to ensure everything was working fine.

Temp outside per the car was 107F when I stopped, so first assumption was that the 3 year old standard battery had died due to the heat. Very helpful guys at AutoZone did a load test on the battery and it appeared fine. We tried 2 jumpstarts with a battery thing, still nothing. Next guess was something off with the alarm. Put a new battery in the key but no luck. Opened the fuse panels, pulled and tested every relay to check since my assumption was that one of them must trigger the starter solenoid. All good. Was able to speak with Greg from Greg’s Race Parts, who was actually at Thunder Hill for the event. He provided helpful advice, including probably ruling out the alarm/immobilizer since it seemed to be working correctly. By that I mean you could lock/unlock car with the key, mirrors would fold in and out, windows and radio worked, and when you pushed the center button on the key the flashing red light in the display went out. Everything seemed good except for the whole no start issue. Greg’s final suggestion was to try a push start, which worked fine. Bagged the time trial and drove home. Parked in the garage (at midnight) and shut off car. Tried to restart and got a little action on the first attempt pushing the button, but car didn’t start and it felt like I hadn’t held the start button quite long enough. Next attempts got nothing. Plugged car back on charger and went to bed.

In the morning tried another start. Same result as previous night, small failed start attempt like I hadn’t held button long enough. Then nothing (but faint fuel pump or something sound) on subsequent tries. Was convinced the battery was fried, should be a simple fix. Put in a big known good battery from another vehicle as a trial - same absolute no start.

Was able to speak with a technician at Gator Motorsport, asked for advice on whether there might be anything else to check in the starter/immobilized circuit. At this point I figured the starter or starter solenoid had fried, probably due to the high temps. Was told that there really weren’t any unusual failure points in the starting circuit to cause this, and also that the starters were generally very reliable and not prone to failure. I was still thinking that the very high heat probably caused the starter solenoid to bind up. But, to diagnose this I had to confirm that there was power to the starter and solenoid when the button was pushed. The super helpful and patient technician, whose name I forget, also let me know that the starter was buried under the air box on the driver side of the engine.

I work on all my vehicles, but up until now have not had to take anything apart on the Evora. All I can say is that it is a real pain to remove the air box! There is a clip on one side that you can just see but is impossible to touch or release by hand. It involved a lot of long pokey type tools just to get the cover off the air box and pull the filter. Had to unhook a tailgate strut to pull out the bottom of the air box to see the end of the starter.

FINALLY - look at the picture. The push on wire to the starter solenoid was pretty much unclipped. Picture is before I touched anything. Pushed wire back onto spade terminal, car fired up just fine. Super simple solution (except for how buried the starter is under stuff).

Seems very unusual that the wire would come unhooked when it did. All indications were that the very high ambient temps were somehow involved. But, timing really appears to be just a coincidence. Wires don’t pop off spade terminals just because things are hot. It was likely never pushed on fully tight at the factory and just finally came loose.

So, this long story is hopefully a useful data point if your Evora suddenly fails to start. I did much forum searching and read many suggestions about pulling the ECU, alarm modules, immediately replacing the battery etc. Start with the basics and rule out the simple things first, even if they seem unlikely.


Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle brake Tire Motor vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
496 Posts
Thanks for posting this! It's sure to be helpful to someone down the road. Haven't seen this issue mentioned anywhere before, but you know, hand built and all that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,635 Posts
Is that pink hue on your shift shaft dried coolant? I know some S2 owners have had issues with the charge cooler coolant bottle/cap leaking, which is roughly overhead of where that lever is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
564 Posts
"When you hear hoofbeats, don't think of zebras" Anon😊
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is that pink hue on your shift shaft dried coolant? I know some S2 owners have had issues with the charge cooler coolant bottle/cap leaking, which is roughly overhead of where that lever is.
Pink stain does look like a little coolant drip. Completely buried under the air box, so don’t really see the path from the reservoir. All hoses seemed clean. Since it appears very minor I’m not concerned about it just yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is the harness trying to tug on the wire, can't tell in the pic. Sometimes a slightly misrouted harness can cause such a thing
Wire did not seem tight or pulled. There is the black plastic protector over the connector, makes it a bit difficult to see/feel that the clip is fully pushed on to the spade connector. Possibly caused initial poor connection issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
FYI, the hard to reach airbox clip is accessed through a trap door in the top of the wheel well.
Bottom access panel makes sense, wish I’d known that. While fighting to remove the air box cover just couldn’t imagine how the Lotus engineers would design a routine maintenance item that was so difficult to access.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,630 Posts
Funny, I had the same issue at Sonoma yesterday in my S1 Elise. Starter signal wire had come unclipped back behind the engine. Took me a while to trace it back given the limited visibility but easy fix once found.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
952 Posts
There have been multiple starters that have been reported dead with the leading theory being the exhaust chimney pipe breaking down and leaking water onto it. Glad this time it was just a loose wire.

As for the coolant it leaks from the cap. Multiple revisions by Lotus and nothing seems to be a silver bullet but just a good idea to watch the coolant level in there as some makes its way out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
Here's a shot of the peek-a-boo panel in the driver's side rear fender liner to help get the air box clips. I did my filter this week and this made it way easier. Still tight spaces...

On the GT, I had to lift the car to get my hand in there, didn't have to remove the wheels, just lift to take advantage of suspension droop.

Part 6..

Automotive lighting Product Automotive design Gesture Font
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top