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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought my Elise two months ago brand-new, and since then I have logged over 7,500 miles. In two months period, I had "Check Engine" light issue four (4) times!!!

I had my first "Check Engine" light first month around 1,000 miles. Thanksfully I was on my way to Symbolic Motors for my 1,000-mile service (good timing!) They said my gas cap wasn't on properly (although I filled up that morning and tightned it with 3+ clicks) and erased the code.

The second time when the light was on, I was lucky again since I was on my way to Sector 111 for their Wine Run. When I arrived at Sector 111, they erased the code for me and told me that it might be an intake problem.

The third time the light was on (last week), I stopped by Lotus of Bev. Hills and they said I'm getting weird codes so they actually reprogrammed the ECU.

Today... well, I got the light on AGAIN... The engine sounds okay and runs okay.

I think in all cases, the light came on when I was driving at a high-speed (around 90mph over 3-5 minutes). Also I get engine misfire problem quite regullarly while driving on the freeway and random engine stalls at stops. Perhaps they are related...?


What do I do? Do you think it's a bad ECU? Could it be lemon? :shrug: At the current rate, I'll be done with my 36K-mile factory warranty by the end of this year... I would be really pissed if I get these problems without the factory warranty...

I love my Lotus, but this problem (well, along with 12 other issues to be addressed, including blinker problem and others) is getting really annyoing...
 

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Please let us know what the codes were and any mods you might have done!
Sorry about your troubles...
 

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Check the gas cap first, because if it is loose this can throw a code.
You can go to an auto parts store like Auto Zone and use an scan tool to see what code has been thrown.
 

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Sorry to hear about your CELs. I bought an Exige in 5/06 and now have over 9,000 trouble-free miles on it. Though, I found the dealer network to be supportive when a couple of build quality issues arose and were quickly fixed under warranty.

There really weren't any significant changes to the '07s, so the production process should be well sorted. I would guess the CEL matter has never been properly diagnosed due to the recurring nature...been there done that on another (non-Lotus) car.

Given the recurring CEL issue (as well as unresolved ones), I would work with your Lotus dealer to ensure the matters are well documented and fixed under warranty. Should you have lemon concerns, documentation will provide the needed support for such a claim. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't know what the codes were... I don't think the dealerships knew what they were either...

Here's what the last invoice from Lotus of Bev. Hills said. It says,

"ENGINE HISTORY INCOSISTANT. OCT VALUES INCONSISTANT. "A" LEVEL PROGRAM. UPDATE ECM PRGRAM TO "E".

I checked the gas cap many times. I don't think it's the gas cap.

By the way, I must say that Allen and Stephen at Lotus of Beverly Hills were great! I didn't make an appointment (since it happened without warning) and stopped by, and they spent a long time helping me out patiently.

Thanks guys!
 

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Are you sure the gas cap you have on there is OEM? Just a thought...

In my search for a locking gas-cap the first one I tried which came reccomended from elisetalk through me a MIL but after a mod to take out the middle part of the OEM cap and use it with the locking part of the other cap I got rid of it.

Maybe someone placed a jaguar gas-cap in there at the dealership?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are you sure the gas cap you have on there is OEM? Just a thought...

In my search for a locking gas-cap the first one I tried which came reccomended from elisetalk through me a MIL but after a mod to take out the middle part of the OEM cap and use it with the locking part of the other cap I got rid of it.

Maybe someone placed a jaguar gas-cap in there at the dealership?
This is what my gas cap look like. This is what OEM gas cap look like, right? (plz no comments about how soft my hand look like ;))

I got the car brand-new from Symbolic Motors (highly reputable factory authorized dealership for Lotus, RR, Bentley, Bugatti, Lambo, Spyker, etc.) and I don't think they would put wrong gas-caps on new cars...
 

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P420 - Isn't that the 02 sensor? Is your car stock??? How many miles since they performed those reflashes? It looks like they reflashed it twice according to that invoice!
 

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It doesn't sound like a Lemon but since you are in California their laws pretty much almost let you make that call. First you should try to have the car looked at your a original selling dealer or at the same Lotus authorized dealer every time so you can build a case. If you try to make a case now you really only have two dealers resetting a check engine light. It could be an ECU but it could also be a small vacuum leak, a manufacturer defect in the gas cap, bad gas, etc... Lotus might be able to reflash your ECU or replace any of these possibilities fairly quickly but they need to know that you are frustrated and need to have someone seriously take a look at your car. No dealer will be required to buy your car back if you are bouncing around from dealer to dealer. The manufacturer can fight back if you haven't given them at least three chances to fix the problem but again they have a hard time tracking your problem if you go through multiple dealers. Pursuing a buy-back is harsh and a low blow if they haven't had the opportunity to seriously resolve your issue. I recommend that you take it back to one of the dealers that you have been through and spell out to them exactly what you have dealt with and what you want fixed.
I was the head warranty administrator for MV Agusta and Husqvarna for the past year and I dealt with many buy-back issues. The MV's cost between $18k- and $120k so when someone threatened a buy-back we made sure that bike had everyone's full attention until the issue was resolved. If hope that helps and I hope that they find the fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
P420 - Isn't that the 02 sensor? Is your car stock??? How many miles since they performed those reflashes? It looks like they reflashed it twice according to that invoice!

The car is completely stock, except I have Stage-II (installed by Lotus dealership). I have logged about 300 miles since the ECU reflash last week.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It doesn't sound like a Lemon but since you are in California their laws pretty much almost let you make that call. First you should try to have the car looked at your a original selling dealer or at the same Lotus authorized dealer every time so you can build a case. If you try to make a case now you really only have two dealers resetting a check engine light. It could be an ECU but it could also be a small vacuum leak, a manufacturer defect in the gas cap, bad gas, etc... Lotus might be able to reflash your ECU or replace any of these possibilities fairly quickly but they need to know that you are frustrated and need to have someone seriously take a look at your car. No dealer will be required to buy your car back if you are bouncing around from dealer to dealer. The manufacturer can fight back if you haven't given them at least three chances to fix the problem but again they have a hard time tracking your problem if you go through multiple dealers. Pursuing a buy-back is harsh and a low blow if they haven't had the opportunity to seriously resolve your issue. I recommend that you take it back to one of the dealers that you have been through and spell out to them exactly what you have dealt with and what you want fixed.
I was the head warranty administrator for MV Agusta and Husqvarna for the past year and I dealt with many buy-back issues. The MV's cost between $18k- and $120k so when someone threatened a buy-back we made sure that bike had everyone's full attention until the issue was resolved. If hope that helps and I hope that they find the fix.
Very great advice from someone who worked in the industry before. I really appreciate it.

I don't mind the problems that much right now, but last thing I want to see if these problems happening after my factory warranty expire. I log 3K+ miles a month, so I'll be done with the 36K-mile factory warranty in one year.

Thanks, guys!
 

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I don't know what the codes were... I don't think the dealerships knew what they were either...

Here's what the last invoice from Lotus of Bev. Hills said. It says,

"ENGINE HISTORY INCOSISTANT. OCT VALUES INCONSISTANT. "A" LEVEL PROGRAM. UPDATE ECM PRGRAM TO "E".
P0420 - it's right there on your service ticket.
(catalyst system efficiency below threshold)

The ECU compares the waveform of the oxygen sensors located before and after the catalyst to determine whether or not the catalyst has deteriorated. If the catalyst is functioning normally the front oxygen sensor will be switching rich to lean and the rear oxygen sensor should also be switching rich to lean but more slowly. When both the oxygen sensor waveforms change at the same rate, it indicates that the catalyst performance has deteriorated. The ECU counts the number of pre and post catalyst oxygen sensor switches and divides one by the other to determine a ratio number. If the ratio number is greater than 0.6 the code is set.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the warranty, as long as everything is documented, it's a pre-existing condition and would be repaired under warranty regardless.

That being said, get it to a dealership and have them figure out what's going on.
 

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Re: the gas cap, after you have installed it (say w/ 3 clicks), when you go to remove it, is it actually tight? My '07 had a defective gas tank filler tube... the gas cap would click like it was locking, but if you turned it gently counterclockwise it would just come loose.

Gas tank filler tube was replaced under warranty, and it is fine now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
P0420 - it's right there on your service ticket.
(catalyst system efficiency below threshold)

The ECU compares the waveform of the oxygen sensors located before and after the catalyst to determine whether or not the catalyst has deteriorated. If the catalyst is functioning normally the front oxygen sensor will be switching rich to lean and the rear oxygen sensor should also be switching rich to lean but more slowly. When both the oxygen sensor waveforms change at the same rate, it indicates that the catalyst performance has deteriorated. The ECU counts the number of pre and post catalyst oxygen sensor switches and divides one by the other to determine a ratio number. If the ratio number is greater than 0.6 the code is set.
You lost me at "... waveform". :D

In this condition, is it safe to drive (would it hurt the engine)? I would rather drive to the dealership, than get it flatbedded...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: the gas cap, after you have installed it (say w/ 3 clicks), when you go to remove it, is it actually tight? My '07 had a defective gas tank filler tube... the gas cap would click like it was locking, but if you turned it gently counterclockwise it would just come loose.

Gas tank filler tube was replaced under warranty, and it is fine now.
Good point. I'd tighten it with 3+ clicks, but it does come undone when I go counter-clockwise easily compare to my other cars (not sure how it is compare to other Lotus).
 

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When I say easily, I mean that a 3 year old could twist it off. Maybe a 2 year old.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When I say easily, I mean that a 3 year old could twist it off. Maybe a 2 year old.
Yeah, 2-3 yr. olds could twist it easily.


This is what the invoice from Symbolic said the first time when I had the Check-engine light on. Would you say this is consistant with the code that Lotus of Beverly Hills has found? (P0420 - catalyst system efficiency below threshold) Probably a different issue, right?
 

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I haven't checked yet if we are required to run hi-test gas in our cars but lower grade could be the culprit. For the light to come on at 90 it's got to be gas (filter, pump, grade, pressure), intake, or the brain. I would put it ona dyno as well so you can look for faults. Next time your at 90 for a few minutes check the temp also.

Sorry I post slow, not good at multi-tasking. Go with the gas cap.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I haven't checked yet if we are required to run hi-test gas in our cars but lower grade could be the culprit. For the light to come on at 90 it's got to be gas (filter, pump, grade, pressure), intake, or the brain. I would put it ona dyno as well so you can look for faults. Next time your at 90 for a few minutes check the temp also.
Temps have been normal range -- 186-190...

I'm using Shell (and COP 76 time to time) Oct. 91 at the pump.

I not only log a lot of miles, I go fast quite a bit. I go over 100mph daily and cruise around 80-90mph pretty much all the time on the freeway (I go to work 5:00am so there's no traffic). I allow the engine to warm-up in the morning (yeah, my neighbors love me, considering Stage-II when the engine is cold is very loud), don't redline the engine at all, but I do use the second-cam at least 3-4 times a day.
 
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