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Premium Member
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
The electroluminescent display has gone out on my 2011 Elise. I was told by my parts man that the later Elises, like mine, have sealed displays and it is going to cost over $1,000.00 to replace it.

Does anyone know if there has ever been a recall (bulletin?) on defective electroluminescent displays? Would appreciate a little factory help on this, since my car only has 13k miles on it.

Any help/input would be appreciated.
 

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Acme Super Moderator ** The Enforcer **
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7,594 Posts
Hi,
The electroluminescent display has gone out on my 2011 Elise. I was told by my parts man that the later Elises, like mine, have sealed displays and it is going to cost over $1,000.00 to replace it.

Does anyone know if there has ever been a recall (bulletin?) on defective electroluminescent displays? Would appreciate a little factory help on this, since my car only has 13k miles on it.

Any help/input would be appreciated.
Plug in your VIN.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls

San
 

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Premium Member
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
San,
I plugged both of my Lotus VINs in to the NHTSA site, but got no results for either one.

It stated both times, "The VIN you entered cannot be processed at this time. If the VIN was entered correctly, please contact your vehicle manufacturer for more information."

Thank you for replying. I appreciate it.
Tim
 

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It doesn't work with my VIN either. Instead, go to the same page and click the "Vehicle" tab and enter the year, make, and model. I only see 2 recalls for the 2011 Elise, one is for the oil lines, one is for the turn signals. But there are a bunch of "communications", and at least one of them mentions the "instrument pack".

HTH, -Ed
 

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733 Posts
my EL backlight stopped working when my switch pack had a dying relay. when i fixed the relay, the backlight worked properly again. but my car has the old white dash.

just another thing to check before jumping to blaming the gauge cluster.
 

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Acme Super Moderator ** The Enforcer **
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7,594 Posts
San,
I plugged both of my Lotus VINs in to the NHTSA site, but got no results for either one.

It stated both times, "The VIN you entered cannot be processed at this time. If the VIN was entered correctly, please contact your vehicle manufacturer for more information."

Thank you for replying. I appreciate it.
Tim
My bad, I should have tested it. Looks like AustinP found another way check it and Obeisance has some input too. Good luck!

San
 

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Premium Member
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
D'oh!

No, seriously, I checked it.

Wish it was that...

Thx!
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for your help, San. I appreciate it.
 

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shay2nak
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25,068 Posts
$1000?! wow...
 

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Premium Member
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67 Posts
Anyone parting out an Elige that can help him out? Check the sale thread if you go the replacement route. Speaking electronically, the electroluminescent display is a very simple device, so it is unlikely to be the part to have gone bad.
Dom
 

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Had to have mine repaired a couple of years ago. Had to replace the lighting element. Atlanta Speedometer did the work.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #14
Everything went out today. Now, I have nothing - no electroluminescent display, no speedo, no tach, no display. They all worked fine this morning when I drove it. Then, this afternoon, I decided I didn’t drive it enough this morning. When I started toward the store, I noticed nothing was working. And it didn’t come back on when I came out of the store. Still out. Obiesence mentioned replacing a bad relay solved his problems. But, which relay, sir?

I also recently noticed the high beam switch only works when you pull back on it and hold it on. When I push the lever forward, the high beams do not come on - and this happens on both of my Elises. I’m in electrical Hell.
 

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Speed Racer
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45 Posts
Have you opened the gauge hood? Could be as simple as a loose or pinched wire. Definitely check fuses, relays, wires, and plugs. It is a bit of an octopus back there and easy for a wire or plug to be pulled out of place. Google for a pin-out of the plugs and test the wires with a multi-meter. I am not sure which relay controls the gauge cluster, but there's a few under the dash. I checked the owner's manual and no mention of relays and none of the fuses appear to be tied to the instrument cluster.

Lotus Parts Online has gauge clusters from $800-$1300 depending on the model. You could also go the DIY route with an Android gauge app, android device, and OBDII plug. I haven't done this but it looks possible for a few hundred.
 

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Mine went out twice. There was some poor soldering in the instrument electrics. For a while, I could smack the side of the instrument cluster and everything would start working again, but eventually that trick stopped working.

There is a guy in these forums who made and sells a led version of the display that is more reliable, cheaper, and looks awesome (just like the oem one but with more info and extra screens). I'm very happy with it.
 

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Premium Member
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I appreciate your reply. I strive to keep my cars as stock and original as possible, but it is difficult.

Lotus recently changed the face of the replacement display cluster, so you can no longer buy the exact correct display cluster for a 2011 Elise (and other years).

I was lucky to have found a working reasonably-priced ($350) correct used cluster on eBay from a dismantler in Great Britain. He air mailed it and I had it in 3 days! I sent my old cluster and the working cluster to Atlanta Speedometer, who set the mileage correctly to the working cluster. AS also provides verification paperwork.

I got away for around $650.00, but if it happens again or it fails on my other Elise, I might wind up with one of the ones you are talking about, as it is probably nicer looking than the one now offered by Lotus for $1,000.00(!) Thank you again!
Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don’t fucking believe it, but my cluster is completely out again. I have been detailing the car for weeks and finally decided to take it out this morning and nothing worked. Every light. Speedo. Tach. Out.

I am so far beyond pissed and disappointed it is not even funny. I was so disgusted that I even cut my drive short short and came home.

After all that time, effort, shipping and money to replace the cluster with the correct one (to keep the car original - it only has 13k miles on it), I have to go through it all over again.

I could scream.


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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #19
Okay,
So I tried a few things and got the display to come back on. Everything seems to be working. Knock wood.

First, I tried the setting the needles back to zero trick. That didn’t work.

Next, I disconnected the positive battery terminal for ten seconds. That did it!

Weekend not ruined.

I don’t drink and was about to start this morning.

Will be heading back out early tomorrow morning for a canyon run.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Tim


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My instrument cluster glitched out a couple times in the first year I owned my ‘08 (that I bought new), each time I “fixed” it by doing the same thing (briefly disconnecting the battery). What I learned was that it was caused by one or both battery cables not being tight enough (even though the engine would start and run fine), so ever since I periodically check and tighten the cables at the battery posts. My guess is that the CAN bus is very sensitive to electrical noise that somehow gets caused by a less-than-tight battery connection.


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