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The Man
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Let me give you a rundown of the situation with my car and if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.


- This afternoon I went to the bank to make a deposit. Left the bank, started the car and went to lunch.

- I realized I left my phone at the bank so I went back on the way back to the office.

- I shut the car off and ran inside the bank and got the phone and was out in 5 mins

- I got in the car (doors unlocked). pressed the button to disable immobilizer and tried to start the car. I pressed the start button nothing happened.

- I pressed the fob again and the dash light went dim red. I opened to door and closed it a few times while pressing the fob hoping it would reset the light.

- Eventually it did, I heard the fuel pump start and the dash lit up. I pressed start, nothing happened no clicks nothing and the dash red light went dim.

- I got out of the car and kept pushing the fob hoping the doors would lock or the red light would start blinking but nothing would happen.

- Finally the alarm starts going off, I can't get near the car or mess around without the alarm going off even though the doors are unlocked and the dash light is dim red...

- The car is sitting in the bank parking lot and I will be going there to troubleshoot this evening. Can anyone make sense of what is going on?


:confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:
 

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Mulholland>SCC
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2,532 Posts
Or the fob needs to be reprogrammed....
 

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Registered
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1,317 Posts
you can still lock the car with the key... the key holes in the door are a second (very simple) mechanism that disables the door push buttons. Insert key, turn key 1/4 turn if i remember and pull key. Now the push button doesn't work to open the door.
 

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Mulholland>SCC
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I think he'd rather start up his car and drive it home. :D
 

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Super Moderator
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I agree with the weak/drained battery or a loose/dirty connection at the terminals statement. The dash light symptoms you describe are exactly what I have seen with a weak or drained battery and a bad connection will give the same results. If you can take along some booster cables or a boost pack and a volt meter when you return to the car, you should be to diagnose the problem quickly. Before you try anything, take a voltage reading across the terminals of the battery. If it is low, try to jump start the car. If the voltage is normal, check the terminal connections to the battery posts and cables to make sure they are tight and clean. Clean and/or tighten them to the battery posts and try to start the car. I realize the alarm will probably be blaring at you the entire time you are doing the diagnosis, but as soon as you restore full voltage to the car, you should be able to cancel the alarm and immobilizer with your fob and then be able to start the car. Good luck and I hope it is an easy fix.
 

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Registered
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2,716 Posts
To Resync the fob - I keep this procedure in my iphone notes just incase this happens
it is either that or your fob battery is dead maybe replace that from radio shack and then resync - batteyr is a CR2032 - grocery-drug store might have it as well

Make sure doors and rear lid shut tightly

Stand next to the car - Hold both buttons till the LED goes out -aprox 10 seconds
release both buttons, LED should stay on steady
Press large button for 1 sec LEd flashes to confirm, attempt to lock unlock with fob


Also make sure you did not hit your interior light by accident in your rush, it needs to be in the down position - it is a switch as well as a light. If the light is in the up position it will stay on, you cant arm
or set the alarm, and it will drain your battery pretty quickly - when the car battery starts to die, the alarm will go off
 

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The Man
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I agree with the weak/drained battery or a loose/dirty connection at the terminals statement. The dash light symptoms you describe are exactly what I have seen with a weak or drained battery and a bad connection will give the same results. If you can take along some booster cables or a boost pack and a volt meter when you return to the car, you should be to diagnose the problem quickly. Before you try anything, take a voltage reading across the terminals of the battery. If it is low, try to jump start the car. If the voltage is normal, check the terminal connections to the battery posts and cables to make sure they are tight and clean. Clean and/or tighten them to the battery posts and try to start the car. I realize the alarm will probably be blaring at you the entire time you are doing the diagnosis, but as soon as you restore full voltage to the car, you should be able to cancel the alarm and immobilizer with your fob and then be able to start the car. Good luck and I hope it is an easy fix.

Thanks, this was my plan all along but the fact the alarm is armed without the doors or lights blinking is what freaked me out. And the fact i drove a couple times today and only parked for 5 minutes before the problem happened.

To those of you who recommended the key fob reset I will try that as well.

thanks
 

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Super Moderator
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Thanks, this was my plan all along but the fact the alarm is armed without the doors or lights blinking is what freaked me out. And the fact i drove a couple times today and only parked for 5 minutes before the problem happened.

To those of you who recommended the key fob reset I will try that as well.

thanks
Low voltage is also a signal to the alarm to arm itself and the immobilizer (the alarm thinks someone is messing with the car) and this would explain all the strange things it is doing. Again, once full voltage is supplied to the electrical system, the alarm should hopefully repond to the fob commands.
 

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The Man
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
update:

So i went this evening to get the car and when I got there it looked as if the voltage has normalized. The immobilizer light was blinking normally and the alarm didn't freak.

I got in and tried to start as normal. Nothing, no clicks, nothing.

I then jumpstarted the car and all seemed fine. I drive halfway across the lot about 30-40 feet and the car dies. All the while the immobilizer light was a constant faint red.

From what I've gathered so far is that my alternator might be dead and that the constant red light while driving is telling me that the batt voltage is higher than the alt's.

I ended up towing the car home


If this is true I'm not very happy. My car just got out of warranty in aug 08 and have 4100 miles.:mad:
 

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Registered
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+1 and low battery voltage to the alarm logic is similar to the battery being disconnected and responds by switching to the sirens back up battery and activating. In order for this to happen the car battery voltage would probably be very low. I believe you are correct, the alternator is not charging the battery.
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f129/battery-choices-information-64071/
Low voltage is also a signal to the alarm to arm itself and the immobilizer (the alarm thinks someone is messing with the car) and this would explain all the strange things it is doing. Again, once full voltage is supplied to the electrical system, the alarm should hopefully repond to the fob commands.
 

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Registered
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2,524 Posts
MCD, when you find the problem, would you post it here? TIA.

I was thinking 'voltage regulator' but looking at the wiring diagram, it looks like there isn't one. Is it built into the alternator?
 

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Registered
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I'm not very happy. My car just got out of warranty in aug 08 and have 4100 miles.:mad:
Cause of an alternator failure could be any of a number of things...not likely to be Lotus's fault, it's a part of the drive train package from Toyota, I'd imagine. At the very least, ask your local dealer to get in touch with Lotus Cars USA to see if they will extend you any 'goodwill' help with a replacement. The ultra-low mileage of the car doesn't quite mitigate the age, but barely six months out of warranty might get a little extra courtesy extended to you. Good luck.
 

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The Man
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Latest:


- Sat afternoon I went through all the fuses in the car to double check all were ok.

- Sun evening for the hell of it I decided to try to start the car, it started on its own. I took a reading across the batt and it was showing 13.8-14.1v.
I drove up and down my driveway about 10 times and didn't see any signs of the shift light coming on. It looks as if the car is back normal.


I am still skeptical about it and will attempt to drive around the block tonight. I will also be buying a new batt since the existing one is discharged.
 

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Registered
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3,958 Posts
I've had a similar problem that was reoccurring for some time now. I actually have an extra battery that I would keep charged, because I didn't know when the car would go dead. I believe the problem is the clip that is in the middle of the cable from the alternator and the battery. The engine mounts in my car were shot, so I was getting excessive motor movement and putting to much strain on the clip. Since replacing the mounts with stiffer ones my problem seems to have gone away.

See if the clip is tight. It may be the cause of your problem.

good luck.
 

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The Man
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I've had a similar problem that was reoccurring for some time now. I actually have an extra battery that I would keep charged, because I didn't know when the car would go dead. I believe the problem is the clip that is in the middle of the cable from the alternator and the battery. The engine mounts in my car were shot, so I was getting excessive motor movement and putting to much strain on the clip. Since replacing the mounts with stiffer ones my problem seems to have gone away.

See if the clip is tight. It may be the cause of your problem.

good luck.

Do you have a pic of where this clip is and what it looks like? thanks :)
 

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Registered
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That voltage reading is obviously with the alternator running and does not give you an idea as to the condition of the battery.You need to test the battery voltage with out the engine running, and removing the surface charge first, to get an true idea. Regarding replacing the battery, if it is approaching 3 years, yes, I would replace it, but one discharge alone, is not going to kill it.
Michael
Latest:
- Sun evening for the hell of it I decided to try to start the car, it started on its own. I took a reading across the batt and it was showing 13.8-14.1v.
I will also be buying a new batt since the existing one is discharged.
 

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The Man
Joined
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125 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
That voltage reading is obviously with the alternator running and does not give you an idea as to the condition of the battery.You need to test the battery voltage with out the engine running, and removing the surface charge first, to get an true idea. Regarding replacing the battery, if it is approaching 3 years, yes, I would replace it, but one discharge alone, is not going to kill it.
Michael


When I first tried starting the car friday evening before getting it towed the batt read 12.15v and did not start (no clicks, but dash lit up correct). On sunday when it did start magically, the batt read 11.88 before starting.
 

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Puff Daddy
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3,872 Posts
That voltage reading is obviously with the alternator running and does not give you an idea as to the condition of the battery.You need to test the battery voltage with out the engine running, and removing the surface charge first, to get an true idea. Regarding replacing the battery, if it is approaching 3 years, yes, I would replace it, but one discharge alone, is not going to kill it.
Michael
I dunno... these cars seem to be like their ancestors and have finicky electrical systems. It doesn't help that the stock battery is probably the worst thing they could have put in a specialty sports car like this (I'm a bit biased though...).

I'll bet money that replacing the battery with a new one will fix the weird problems.
 
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