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I read on this board that all Elise radiators eventually fail and leak at the tanks?
Is this true?
 

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Im sure people with 100k miles have not changed their radiator or had problems. But there's a good likelihood they may fail from what I gather.

Mine at 36k with no issues.
 

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I have been keeping an eye on it. On the high mileage thread, and one my neighbor who has a 115K Elise, hasn't had theirs fail.

I don't know if its weak like the BMW plastic stuff, where it is preventative maintenance, or they will all fail.

I am at 22K with no issues, yet.
 

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Nothing is as bad as BMW radiators!

In fact, we just replaced ours a month or two ago

I think one thing that might be causing a few Elise radiators to fail is the wrong coolant type. I have no evidence for this, but I have a hunch more than one radiator got an orange + green = brown mix
 

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I read on this board that all Elise radiators eventually fail and leak at the tanks?
Is this true?
Its nt so much that they are guaranteed to fail... it is just that the failure can be catastrophic. You can be lucky and loose a little coolant... or you could be at full noise down the back straight of your favourite track when it lets go completely and without warning.

Prudent to replace if you have the front clam off for another reason.
 

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60k on my 05 Elise, not a problem *knock on wood
 

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My 2009 Elise has 4 years and 100,000 km and the rad has not leaked.

I had asked my Lotus dealer if the rad on 2009 models was better than previous models. They said they thought there had been an improvement but he couldn't verify that. So I'm assuming it is the same as earlier models.

I've heard that there is some plastic piece that deteriorates over time and fails. Maybe in a colder climate like Canada that will take longer.

Anyways, fingers crossed.
 

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Rads

There are two types of radiators used in the Elise.
Those that have failed and been replaced, and those that will fail and need to be replaced.
Carefully take off the front clam to inspect for the Lotus part number and identify which one you have ...

Lotus Part.# iM-Plastic/sO/Im-Gonnapuke/Sooner/or/later

: )
 

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Like Aedo said.... A failure at WOT with cars all around you on the track could be, uh, not-so-great. I thought there was a faint smell of coolant after a track session and found a tiny bit of evidence that the radiator might be leaking. Changed it the next week. If it were on my Sequoia, probably would not have worried about it.
 

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05, 36K, no issues

I would like to change it, however I think that aftermarket radiators are not allowed in SCCA solo SS class.
 

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is this a philosophical question? Everything eventually fails! I think the elise radiator is only slightly more crappy than the worst of normal mainstream rads.

It is just a pita to replace, so many recommend doing so while the calm is off. My elise had 36k on the original rad and my exige had 15k on the original rad (i think) before failing i got the motivation to replace it.

Its not a ticking time bomb but I like the piece of mind of having an all aluminium one.
 

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Are there any signs of the leak (aside from garage floor)?

Sometimes I get a hazy oily like film bottom of windshield, but I think thats something else.
 

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What he said. I had the clam off for the oil line fix, so it was a no-brainer to change my OEM radiator out at that time to an all-aluminum model.
 

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Mine failed right around 50k. Started seeing drops on the windshield. Changed it when the clam was off for recall.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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2006, mine failed Feb 2013 on a cold morning at 30k miles. Hypothesis is over time the seal between the plastic end tanks and the aluminum radiator break down and you have a leak. Sometimes the leak stops as the radiator heats up (mine did). Some opt to re-crimp or replace with a stock unit. I replaced with a single pass ProAlloy.

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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The original owner of my Elise replaced his under warranty after about 3k miles because of a small leak. YMMV.
 

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Just guessing, but I'd say that only about 5% of the cars I see for sale, advertise an upgraded radiator. Also, based on forum traffic, it sounds like about half of the radiators upgraded, were done proactively. Not that this means a lot.
 

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Mine will be upgraded to full alu this winter, no signs of leakage on my '06 after 46k miles.
 

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Yep, this is in my near future as well.

I'm also spec'ing out a complete Samso silicon hose kit (haven't been able to fine a Series 2 kit) front and rear, and switching to Evans at the same time....quite a job, but once done, I reckon the cooling system will be far more bulletproof than at present.

The notion of a plastic radiator/HE is somehow offensive to me.

Stephen.
 
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