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· Super Moderator
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DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.

Please post new info & I'll try to incorporate it. I'm trying to remain neutral & would appreciate neutral comments.

Many links are to one post for clarity. Check the linked thread for more info. Also visit

Due to a 20,000 character limit per post, I've split this post into multiple posts. The extra space will allow me to add more content with better descriptions.


· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts
Rattles, Squeaks, Noises, etc.

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.


Every post here links to a potential fix. Be sure to read through the threads for the solution to the poster's problem.

  1. Brakes squeal or moan - Try the bedding procedure.
  2. Chirp over bumps - Should go away in a few thousand miles. Some have sprayed silicone on the bushings.
  3. Window Rattle
  4. Snapping or Cracking sound "mostly when first accelerating or when braking/letting off the gas . . . "
  5. Anti-Rattle Door pins Anti Rattle Door Striker Pins - £18.95 : Lotus Elise Parts,
  6. Seat noises
  7. Idle Noises
  8. Mid-RPM Buzz
  9. Loose shear panel
  10. Clicking noise while shifting
  11. Loose bolts
  12. Loose license plate
  13. Clunk thunk know on start/stop could be boot hitting scoop or motor mount - knock on firewall
  14. Running noise. No solution - rear brake noise right before coiming to stop
  15. Console rattles with shifting - Console stiffening fastnener
  16. Sound/Resonance control using dampening material
  17. Roll bar cover squeak

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Routine Maintenance

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.


  1. Reference Material
  2. Air Filters
    • goelise wrote an excellent how-to change the air filter post.
    • Stock air filter is same as Toyota Matrix XRS (17801-22020 Denso from factory or 17801-0D020 for same filter in the USA).
    • The K&N part number is 33-2252.
    • A TRD version is available online as the replacement for the Matrix XRS.
    • The left rear wheel and wheel well liner are removed to replace the air filter. Note the orientation tab or it won't fit.
  3. Brake pads - Porterfields keep coming up as the way to go. See link in the replacement-mods section.
  4. Headlamps and bulbs
  5. Oil Change
    • DIY Oil Change and save time and $.
    • Havoline 5W-40 Synthetic (or similar high-quality, approved syn)
    • Plug gasket #90430-12028
    • The Library has good info about oil.
  6. Oil Filters
    • 90915-10004 was the preferred filter but no longer available
    • The Mobil1 209 is another alternative & the Mobil1 103 is the smaller version.
    • The K&N HP-2009 (HP-1003 is the smaller version) was a popular, larger alternative & easy to get, but the design and manufacturing location changed and quality and popularity diminished
  7. Transmission Fluid
    • DIY Transmission Fluid change.
    • Redline MT-90 (available online) seems most popular. Redline MTL isn't.
    • Mobil1 75W90 is more available & a few are using Motul; do a search for pros/cons.
    • Torque for the fill/drain plugs are 29 lb-ft.
    • Requires approx. 2.4 qts.
    • Washers are the same as 05 Celica GTS (90430-18008)
  8. Soft Top Cleaning - Proper soft top care
  9. Wiper Blade - Stock wiper is 26 in. There are aftermarket options and some are using smaller blades for better contact.

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Things Owners Should Know

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.


  1. Fuel line leak warning
  2. Coolant U-Tube is prone to damage and failure.
  3. Torques - Rear - Front - when you change oil, before track days, etc. Pay attention to the toe link inner ball joint /wishbone to subframe which had its torque value increased from 50Nm to 60Nm. See pics of the nut to torque. Many have had issues with this on the track & it's a potential safety hazard. A brace is available from or Lotus. No non-tracked cars have reported problems with component failure.
  4. The stock, black, nondescript battery is known to leak. See replacement mods below. No known issues with the white Exide battery.
  5. The windshield frame isn't structural. Don't hang on it & don't let others hang on it.
  6. Be careful not to lift the boot lid too high & damage your clam. The Lidbone (see above) prevents this.
  7. Highlights from the manual
  8. There's no neutral safety switch. Always start in neutral, clutch in, & brake engaged.
  1. Your security code.
  2. What to do if the fob isn't unlocking your doors.
  3. Hockey pucks can be used to prevent a jack from damaging the chassis.
  4. Soft top fits behind seats when you need it to, even with the seat all the way back.
  5. Always disable immbolizer before turning key (primes fuel system) or car may have trouble starting.
  6. Rear clam destruction - Battery & loose objects in boot have been known to cause serious damage. Take steps to secure the battery better and consider further protection such as the Welcome to Sector 111, home of Lotus Elise Aftermarket Performance Parts and Exhaust Accessories. bootie.
  7. Minimum tire temperature (don't let tires (A048 and AD07) get below 14F)
  8. Winter storage tips - See reference section
  9. Simple Green is bad for aluminum
  10. Steam may rise off the engine or radiator when stopped in rain and is normal.

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Read the Manual

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.

There's invaluable info in the Owner's Manual
And, the Alarm Manuals
And, the stereo manual
For example:

  1. Automatic Car Washes - Don't, including touchless. It's been done you will get wet and so will your trunk.
  2. Battery Life - Stock battery is only good for about 3 wks. storage depending on whether alarm is enabled. An automatic trickle charger is needed when storing longer.
  3. Interior Lamp - Leave the interior lamp in the down position or the alarm may not work properly
  4. Jacking - Using the wrong jacking points may lead to serious damage.
  5. No Bumpers - Don't bump anything & beware of parallel parking.
  6. Non-Breathable Carpet Mats = bad
  7. Shear Panel - The perforated panel under the fuel tank bay is structural. Do not use the car with it removed.
  8. Softop Removal/Install - Start & end on the passenger side every time. Many have suggested that the left will do as long as you're consistent, but this post indicates otherwise. Focusing on placing the front end in first may help prevent paint damage at the rear.
  9. Snow - Yes, it can be driven in snow. Proper tires are a must. Remove snow from radiator cooling outlet grills before driving.
  10. Push Start - Don't push/tow start. It's bad for the catalytic converter.
  11. Tell Tale Lamps - Tell tale lamps (except ‘security’ tell tale; see Car Security Alarm section) should light for ~6 secs after ignition switch on.
  12. Towing - Use tow hook when towed & only onto a flat bed, secured by the wheels
  13. Trunk Capacity - Max weight which may be carried in the trunk is 110lb
  14. Alarm Code - Know your alarm code & how to use it.
  15. Alarm Fob Resync - How to resync after battery change, although I've changed it in both fobs & never had to do this?

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Common Problems and Fixes

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.


(It's worth noting that these issues don't affect every car and are often trivial repairs or workarounds.)

  1. Rattles, Squeaks, and Noises section
  2. Alarm Issues
    • NOTE:Ensure interior light is in down position, the bulb works, and you are non using a polarized LED before you try anything else. This issue was eventually resolved in production. Replacing with a non-polarized LED may resolve this requirement.
    • Goes off for no reason - Parked near a microwave oven or other microwave source?
    • Goes off in the rain covered under warranty. Campaign 2006/15, part# A065M6008V
    • Long beep after arming - Possible bad sensor where the alarm thinks a door or panel is open. Also, the light switch must be in the down position for '05 and possibly some '06 models.
    • Remote Range - Range is normally very limited. Check fob battery. See the no-cost mod to extend the remote range.
  3. Body
  4. Door(s)
  5. Electrical
  6. Front Plate Mount
    • Factory bracket requires drilling the clam and is too low.
    • The Library has the Tow Hook Mount solution.
    • Make your own or order a Euro-style plate if you think it's better than nothing.
    • Search for additional solutions.
  7. HVAC
    • AC Not blowing cold - There was a Sensor Issue probably limited to early (pre 2/05?) cars
    • Warm air from vents - A bypass valve modification is available and appears to eliminate the problem.
    • Warm air from vents - Seal off the intakes. There's a thread about this [NEED LINK]
    • AC not strong enough = Open recirculation path. There's a thread about this [NEED LINK]
  8. Headlights
    • Aim Your Headlights. The headlights are good but may need adjustment, but some dealers won't adjust under warranty.
    • Melting Headlight Housing - Early models get gouges after sitting in the sun. Get the embellisher trim rings (part# A117B0721F) from your dealer or custom trim rings.
  9. Key
  10. Leaks
  11. Moldings, Trim, etc.
  12. Seats
  13. Shifter
    • Shifter Recall - Early cars (pre 2/05?) only. Grab shifter arm by boot. If round, it's ok. If hexagonal, needs the fix or it could break off suddenly.
    • Loose Shifter
    • Shift to reverse problem
  14. Speedo Inaccuracy
    • First, if it's off by more than 8% try a speedo reset
    • There's no fix and is apparently an intentional margin added by Lotus. It's not specific to Lotus and there's a Car and Driver article about this subject.
    • Speedo is 7-8% fast but tests vary. Mine reads [email protected]
    • The issue doesn't affect the accuracy of the odometer.
    • Some have said their DBW or non-DBW speedo is correct.
    • You could try a bicycle speedo or dash mounted GPS if you need a more accurate reading.
  15. Starting & Stalling Problems
  16. Vibration @ 80MPH - Common problem. Probably tire balance but some steering rack issues have been posted. Possible out of round wheel. Retorque wheel bolts since that can improve the issue. Many haven't resolved their vibration but many haven't tried every option.
  17. Windows

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Good Ideas?

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.


  1. Protect Your Rear Window - Road debris can enter the interior & smash the rear window. Replacement isn't trivial.
  2. Clear Trunk Drain - If water does get in, it should at least get out. The drain hole located directly above the license plate is often obstructed by wiring harness tape.
  3. Emergency Unlock Procedure - Keep the emergency unlock procedure in your trunk in case you need it. If your fob stops working, the key won't get you into your car. (Note: removing the battery from fob for 10 secs. & replacing may resolve your fob issue, so try that 1st.)
  4. Leaks - Check for leaks when you change oil, before track days, etc. Oil coolers, which were a problem, in early builds, may leak. Oil may collect on the clam under the oil coolers in the front wheel wells before any oil is noticed on the ground.
  5. Torques - Rear - Front - when you change oil, before track days, etc. Pay attention to the toe link inner ball joint /wishbone to subframe which had its torque value increased from 50Nm to 60Nm. See pics of the nut to torque. Many have had issues with this on the track & it's a potential safety hazard. A brace is available from or Lotus. No non-tracked cars have reported problems with component failure.

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.



  1. Side View Mirrors - Multivex = improved visibility. I've heard there are availability issue through Safety Mirrors (who got multivex to make them for us) you may want to go direct to
  2. Battery - Stock one leaks! Lighter option are popular but have about 1 week storage time. I went with PC625. The Library has a PC680 write-up. Optima Red Top & Braille seem to be gaining some popularity. PC925 keeps stock life & weight but without leaks. Search for other options/info.
  3. Wiper Module - KAE & Bosch provide programmable intermittent wipers by swapping the wiper relay. 5 min. mod.
  4. Boot Lid Prop Rod - Lidbone makes frequent boot visits easier.
  5. Intake - Current design is a vacuum cleaner & kills filters in 5k miles. Many have simply removed the snorkle. See the maintenance section for drop filters such as K&N and Green. There are a number of intake replacements including the XRS intake and the TurboXS which looks popular & costs less than others I haven't listed.
  6. Horn - Because clams aren't cheap.
  7. Lug Bolts or Wheel Studs - [CAUTION: It has been reported that the BMW lug bolts may break.] Lotus tool & bolts tend to strip. The tool is unique making it difficult to replace. Another source is unknown.
  8. Toe Links - Lotus rear suspension brace strengthens rear toe links. Only an issue for track use so far. Aftermarket is working on cheaper/better braces.
  9. Rear View Mirror- Smaller mirror improves forward vision.
  10. Speakers - Cheap replacements superior, stock grills known to pop out in heat & warranty replacements are ugly. Speaker R&R Procedure
  11. Brake Pads - Porterfields = Less dust & better braking.
  12. Carpet Buttons - Welcome to Sector 111, home of Lotus Elise Aftermarket Performance Parts and Exhaust Accessories. replacements for the cheap looking, often malfunctioning plastic.
  13. Locking Gas Cap: Stant 10521 (Stock is Stant 10851)
  14. LED Headlight headlamp - Please see posts from Mconte05 before choosing an LED replacement over an HID modification (see below for HID) which describe deficiencies
  15. LED Parking and Interior Light
  16. Better windshield washer nozzle
  17. LED interior light
  18. Quick release steering hub
  19. LED Tail Lights
  20. Custom Dash Gauges
  21. Brake Light Pulser - Your Lotus stops fast. Make sure the driver behind you knows you have the brakes on by flashing the third light a few times with a Brake Light Pulser. Keep in mind that some people behind you might not like it.
  22. Cigarette Lighter to Dual Output USB Receptacle with Digital Voltmeter

No-Cost Mods

  1. Trim, Moldings, etc.
    • Sun Visors & Pins - Removal improves visibility. Visors slide off pins with some effort & pins can be unscrewed but be careful as noted in link.
    • Central Locking Button Orientation - Left is unlock & right is lock. You can rotate the switch so that up is unlock & down is lock, like the manual locks on doors. Simply pop out, rotate, & pop back in.
    • Tail Light Flip - Some find the tail light pattern unusual & have flipped the inner tail lights to match outer tail lights.
    • Rotate Power Outlet Cover 180 deg. to help keep it closed - Remove surround which is held in place by 3 phillips screws. Rotate power outlet & reinstall.
  2. Remove Camber Shims - Some say these shims add understeer & numb the steering. Removal is an autocross norm & something anyone who wants a more neutral balance might consider.
  3. Pedal Box Adjustments - Non-DBW pedal box can be tweaked to preference.
  4. Electrical(Lights, Alarm, Radio, etc.)
  5. Intake
    • Remove Snorkle - Reduces debris in air box. Louder. Possibly slight power gain.

Other Mods

  1. Paint Your:
  2. Key integrated into fob. Also, see BlackWatch Racing fob (No longer available?)
  3. Add Gauges in vents, bracket, etc.
  4. Driving Lights
  5. Car Plaques - The current Car Plaques thread has links to the original thread which has the ordering details. Basically, if you send your info and a padded SAE to Wayne he'll send you one.
  6. Seat Padding - I created a Kemmler padding summary post with the information needed to add Kemmler foam to the seats.
  7. Exige Soft Top - The Exige and Exige S can be converted to use a soft top. Check for warranty concerns.
  8. Trunk Light - LidBone users can add a cheap trunk light.
  9. Lotus Badges/Lettering/Logo mods
    • Lotus Letters - The raised Lotus letters that come stock on the Exige can be purchased from the dealer.
    • Rear Lotus Badge - A badge like the one on the front of the car is available for the rear.
    • Aftermarket Letters - SweetDaddyD makes a variety of sticker options. There are also aftermarket versions of the raised Lotus letters to replace the stickers that come stock on the Elise.
    • Black Nose Badge - Sector 111 has black nose badges in the old font
  10. Front Plate - Using a front plate may result in negative consequences, but not using a front plate may result in a ticket. There are several ideas out there including one to make you own plate. Of course, there are the potential legal issues you would need to contend with.
  11. Brake Pedal - You can reduce brake pedal mushiness that come from the factory.
  12. Harness Install, Schroth 4-point - How-to. Note: Other posts have suggested that the screws used to secure the seats vary and caution should be used to ensure that you reinstall screws to their original holes.
  13. Euro style rear tail light setup
  14. Battery tender quick connect
  15. Force induction solutions comparison
  16. Von Hep Custom fitted interior Bags
  17. Cupholders
  18. Heater Core Bypass Mod (Tony Wa) [How To]
  19. Paint Calipers
  20. iPod Install
  21. Flush mount multivex
  22. DIY Lotus Sport carpets
  23. Blue Dash Lights
  24. Mityvac - brake fluid vac/pump change tool
  25. Ear plugs for the Elise
  26. Clutch Pedal Stop / Travel

· Super Moderator
3,183 Posts

DISCLAIMER: For reference only. You determine what's correct & what isn't.


  1. Acronyms & Abbreviations
  2. Wheel Sizes
  3. First Time Track Day Tips
  4. There's no such thing as the touring wheels/suspension. This mistake will likely result in a :thwack: from Tim Mullen.
  5. Best Roads
  6. Winter Storage Tips
  7. Fix-a-Flat shelf life is 5-years.
  8. Spring Rates including some notes on base Elise suspension tuning philisophy.
  9. The Elise Models and Variants
  10. Weight Tables - "Decide where money is best spent in terms of saving weight."
  11. Tire Puncture Repair
  12. Elise name origin: In 1993, Romano Artoli, Bugatti Industries chairman, bought Lotus from GM. "Elise" is derived from Artoli's granddaughter's name.
  13. Early Production numbers
  14. Unused Wire in Boot / Trunk
  15. AD07 type differences
  16. Trail braking
  17. SELOC TechWiki
  18. OBDII codes
  19. Lotus Service Manual Welcome | VSI
  20. Elise Heel and Toe -
  21. Heel and Toe vid
  22. Center of gravity and roll centers
  23. Pic of air bleed screw
  24. Actual S2 rotor specs -
  25. Dash Lights pre-start

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· Super Moderator
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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