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2005 Lotus Elise, Lotus Racing Green, Bone Stock
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I seem to have all the symptoms of the CDL failure and have been locked out of my car, even though I have the keys in hand. I have read from others that they were able to unlock the door using a wire coat hanger. Does anyone know how to do this or have any tutorials?

I have called a locksmith using AAA, and they were unable to unlock the car using a slim jim. They have also tried using one of those wire loops by wedging open the window and looping a wire over the lock plug and tried pulling it up (they said it was 'deadlocked'), and then gave up and drove away.

Any advice would be graciously appreciated.

Thank you so much!

05 Lotus Elise Stock US.
 

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Did you lock manually or use your fob?
 

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What orientation is your door key? Needs to be horizontal. My bet is carefully use coat hanger to hit your unlock switch
 

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2005 Lotus Elise, Lotus Racing Green, Bone Stock
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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Catsail27. Thank you for responding so quickly. I had locked with the FOB, also I made sure that the door key is all horizontal.
 

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Humm how old is your fob battery? Does the fob talk to the car? Can you see if leds change when hitting large button to start the car while peering in? Have you tried passenger door?
 

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2005 Lotus Elise, Lotus Racing Green, Bone Stock
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Discussion Starter #6
So...the FOB does talk to the car. The FOB can lock the car and turn off the immobilizer (LED Changes), but no signs of unlocking at all. The FOB battery is also only 2 months old.

The car battery is strong, and not diminished, so we should be good to go there. Also, the door locks from the outside using the key do both turn Horizontal and Vertical. When Vertical, the door locks are easier to push in when Horizontal, but still, in either direction, I am unable to unlock. I have left the door lock position horizontal.

I have similar symptoms to this guy: Central Locking problems Please help

Although some how he was able to get the door unlocked with a coat hanger...
 

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Humm I would try with coat hanger to reach opposite door pull with coat hanger. Going to be like an amusement park thing just not amusing. Hopefully others may have ideas.
 

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I cant remember if the inside door handle works if the central locking was used. Almost certain it doesnt if you lock it manually with the key (I realise thats not what you did)

Iv been able to use a coathanger to release the back softtop roof pin. Then got my arm down to pull the door lock up.
 

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If you're going to use a hangar, at least wrap it in tape so you're not scratching everything up.

San
 

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2005 Lotus Elise, Lotus Racing Green, Bone Stock
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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for the feedback and some guidance. So I finally was able to get into the car. This is a write up of my mini little adventure. I'll start at the beginning.

In the morning, I had a great ride to work, everything is feeling good and strong. When I parked and went to the office, using only the FOB to lock the door. I realized when I got to my desk, that I had left my phone in the Elise. When I got back to the car and tried to unlock with the FOB, the inner door lock / pin would not disengage and the door lock pin would not go up. However the car alarm/immobilizer would beep, and the flashy indicator on the dash would disappear. Pressing the FOB button again, the doors would try to lock again (you could see the door lock pin want to move down, even though it was already locked and down). Phone was locked in the car.

So I went back to the desk and Lotus Talked the issue and came upon some awesome threads to which I followed:
The good folks recommended making sure that the outside key door locks remain in a horizontal position, and that the immobilizer lock and the door locks were two completely separate and independent mechanisms. (I had never seen anything quite like that!) They also recommended to try disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. The final item suggested before replacing the CDL (Central Door Lock) was a relay bypass. As all of those trials were pretty quick and easy to try, I tried them all out without success. The inner door lock pin would not disengage and unlock!

I had read on the forums that some folks had success using a wire coat hanger to unlock the door. I had done something similar on my old 90's Mazda Protege with success (crazy how easy it was to open car doors back in the day). So I gave that a shot and fiddled around with the coat hanger on both the drivers and passengers door sides without any success, even watching youtube videos to find out general location and strategy and looking up Elise diagrams of the mechanism. Finally, I gave up and decided to call a locksmith as I didn't want to end up damaging or destroying the interior of the mechanisms or any switches.

So...I called AAA and they sent out a locksmith. This did not go well. First off, the locksmith complained that I had a Lotus and asked why I didn't get something like an Aston or Bentley, and was constantly sounding annoyed. He tried using a slim jim on the passenger side, but wasn't able to get it unlocked and he did not even want to try on the drivers side. He then tried wedging the window open on the passenger side towards the rear and used a wire type device to lasso the lock to try to pull the door lock pin up to disengage. However, he said that it was lock jammed and stopped. I suggested if he would try using the device to try to unlock the soft top, to which he did not want to and said that it wasn't possible and gave up and drove away.

I then called Loudon County Exotics (I went to them to get my car inspected and they were just a pleasure to do business with), to see about getting my car towed to get fixed. They recommended Potomac Towing. The driver from Potomac towing, Julian, was absolutely phenomenal. He gave a shot at trying to open / unlock the door as well. At first he used a device to wedge the window open that included a pump...and then used a long thick metal flexible rod device to try to open the door using thew driver side door latch. Upon engaging the latch, the door lock pin still would not move up and disengage. I had suggested to him about trying to open the soft top latch with his device. It took a little bit, but sure enough, we were able to get the top off and I was able to unlock the door and get in by pulling the door lock pin manually with a pair of pliers covered in cloth (That sucker was hard to pull, even when trying to unlock using the fob, and the door lock in the proper position). LOCO exotics and Potomac Towing were awesome! And I was finally able to access my mobile. Its crazy how useful that thing is, especially when I did not have it and was trying to coordinate with auto services.

Also, I can't imagine solving this solution with a hard top. The only way we were saved was due to the fact we were able to remove the soft top to be able to get in!

As for the Elise itself, I truly believe the issue lies with the CDL. However it is crazy how a CDL failure and quite possibly and electrical failure can leave someone stranded in the Elise!
  • Clicking the center console button underneath the hazards doesn't disengage the locks
  • Engaging the door latch does not disengage the locks (even though there is no child lock)
  • Using a physical key doesn't unlock the primary CDL as it is a different system
  • It is hard to manually lift the door lock pin from the inside with just fingers, I had to use a lot of strength and Pliers wrapped in cloth. I have no idea how people were able to use a coat hanger to disengage the lock, when I had such a hard time physically trying to move the door lock pin up with my fingers!
I am now going to have carrying inside of the Elise, a window breaker/knife combo, just in case. Also as the CDL issue is not yet fixed, we have disconnected the solenoids for the inner door lock pins, and will just use the key for manual outer door locks...just to not get into a locked out situation again before getting the CDL replaced.

Anyways, just my experience. I hope this helps some other folks in the future!

Forums used that had great information:
 

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2005 Lotus Elise, Lotus Racing Green, Bone Stock
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Discussion Starter #11
Oh... And when I got back in to drive the Elise again... Almost all was forgiven...That wonderous feeling... :)
 

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Glad to hear it worked out. Be sure you know your (5) digit PIN and how to disarm if/when needed...
 

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Hello its usually not very difficult to fix the locking module. The same thing happened to me, and i just bought a pair of new relays on ebay and soldered the old ones off, and the new ones in, and all was ok. Good lock...:p
 

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