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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'm sure any of you who love your Elises can sympathize with what I am going through right now.

I bought a gorgeous 2005 Lotus Elise yesterday. Before I handed over a check to the private seller, I had it checked out by a Lotus service center. No issues, great car.

I dreamt about this moment for years. So, enjoying my first day, several rides with the kids, no issues. On the last ride, I leaned in, turned the key, put the shifter in neutral and hit the Start button. It lurched backwards as if it were in gear and as if it was being given gas. No one was in the car. I quickly reached in, put the shifter in the neutral position (it was already there of course), but as I'm hanging halfway in the car, it proceeds to crash into a brush chipper parked on the street. Lots of damage. I'm physically ill, emotionally broken.

Has anyone ever had any weird issues like this ? Mind you, it actually accelerated with no one in the car. Brake engaged. Out of gear. Uphill !

Help ? Anyone ? My insurance company is going to love me. Barely got it insured. Full coverage, luckily.

I just want to know that I'm not losing my mind. Any stories or theories may help me sleep tonight. And whiskey. Plenty of whiskey.

Jeff
 

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Massive bummer. You just never know what a day will bring.

Either it was actually in gear or you have the optional poltergeist kit installed.

Did it accelerate, or did your fear level escalate? Or both?

Such an event would make most of us question the wisdom of the Universe. Sometimes it seems there is a twisted sense of humor involved.

I know I'm not alone in wondering about pictures. Including the brush chipper and terrain.

Hope the repairs happen quickly.
 

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Very sorry to hear about that. The Elise's shifter is sloppy enough that you may have thought it was in neutral when it was actually still in reverse and just able to wiggle around.
 

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The transmission must be in gear for that to happen. If the shifter was in a neutral position, you may have a broken shift cable or broken shift link.
 

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Very sorry to hear about that. The Elise's shifter is sloppy enough that you may have thought it was in neutral when it was actually still in first and just able to wiggle around.
Sounds more like reverse, if the car lurched "backwards."

Sucky first day of ownership, at any rate... that's what insurance is for, hopefully they can source or repair a clamshell.

I'm just confused as to where the parking brake was in this situation... when mine's pulled up well, the car's damn well not going anywhere especially under idle-level power.

Maybe the Canadians are onto something with their mandated clutch-interlock starting switch, as well :facepalm
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It accelerated as if someone were driving it in reverse. No one was in the car. Me and my 20 year old son both tried to stop it. It was in neutral. It accelerated UPHILL. No one engaged the clutch. No one engaged the gas. No one was in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It travelled 40 feet and would have kept going if not for running into the wood chipper. It didn't lurch. It took off.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about the damage, but I'm puzzled by your description of the events. You started the engine, but you weren't in the car? You thought it was in neutral, but you didn't have the e-brake set? You might want to delete this thread before your insurance company sees it (and yes, sometimes they do look).


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Discussion Starter #9
For the record, it was in neutral before I hit the start button. I felt the shifter before I hit the start button. And, the brake was engaged the whole time. when I dove in, I instinctively pulled on the emergency brake to make sure (or thinking if I pulled it harder, the car would stop).

And, I don't give a rat's behind if they read the thread. I've already e-mailed them with the same story and, by the way, it's the truth. I'm offended by your total lack of compassion.

I'm just thankful that no one was behind it, so no one got hurt. This will be my last post. Obviously, no help here, just accusations of what I may and may not have done. Again, no one can seem to explain the car how the car accelerated uphill with no one in the car. I know it sounds unbelievable, but it happened exactly as I said it did.
 

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It's clear you had it is reverse. The shifter is VERY sloppy in any gear, especially neutral.

I guess you learned a hard lesson. Hope you recover. Look into shifter reinforcement (stan's shifter mod) and maybe the more robust SCC shifter cables.

To make you feel better: My Elise was in the driveway with the driver door fully open and engine not running. The driveway has a 2 foot wide concrete pillar running located on the edge of the driveway. I was pulling the car backwards holding onto the driver door windshield beam/door when the open door slammed into the pillar. The impact hyperextended the door (like a hyper extended knee) because it impated on the inside of the door jam. It did not do any mechanical damages to the hinge, but left a reminder scuff next to the round red reflector. The impact also tweaked the window glass and possibly even bent the regulator,,,,,? I no longer have the car, but am reminded of my stupidity every time I enter that particular driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I appreciate your compassion, Sleepe. But, even if it were in reverse (which I know it wasn't), if I started it without the clutch engaged, how does it accelerate backwards with no one giving it gas ? It didn't drift. It accelerated. Uphill ! Both me and my son grabbed it. It was under power, not drifting away.
 

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the idle control will drive the car and give it gas

The shifter is sloppy in any gear, especially neutral. it is very hard to tell with out practice. I have had my Elise for 2 years and I still find it hard to tell. the only way I am sure is doing left to right movement than in to gear and out of gear and than again left and right movement.

there are fixes the shifter I recommend stan's shifter mod and letsa shifter

I feel your pain and sorry you had this happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, Lotus90. I know I sound like a nut to most of you, but I've never seen a manual trans car react like this. It happened just like I said. I don't lie. I don't exaggerate. Could it have been in reverse (and, again, I would have had to accidentally put it in reverse without engaging the ring) ? Remote possibility. Idling that powerfully ? Without the clutch ever being engaged ? If that was the case, it should have stalled. I'm sure that when the shop looks at the shape of all components, they'll be an explanation.
 

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Wait this is an 05 cable throttle. Sorry but I call bs. The shifter is sloppy but even in its stock form is simple. Sorry for your mishap but this is owner error. Hope it works out. There is no way with the e brake on it overcame it. This motor has no torque to do that at idle


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Okay, this will be my last post, for real. Unless someone riles me up.

Again, I'm beside myself with grief right now. I'm still hoping I'm asleep and this is a really bad nightmare and I'm gonna wake up and go "Holy Crap !".

So, like a good sleuth, I just went out to the car to recreate. Rear clam is toast, but it still runs fine.

I got in this time before I started it, naturally, so I could grab it if it happened again. I put the car in reverse. I turned the key. I hit Start. It lurched and immediately shut off (like a manual trans car should do).

I even went one step further and put it in reverse, disengaged the parking brake before turning key/hitting start. Again, it lurched and stalled out.

What happened is totally unexplainable. Again, I still think I'm gonna wake up and this will all be a dream. In such case, I apologize for any angry comments I've directed toward any of you. But, in that case, you would just be characters in my dream (nightmare), not real flesh and blood folk, so you wouldn't have real feelings.

This one is going to haunt me for a long time. Again, just glad my 3-yr grandson (who by the way, LOVES exhausts especially when you fire up a car) wasn't behind me. Anyone else for that manner.

And, in case you were concerned about the wood chipper, it's fine. The owner was as sick as me. Pulled up so I could extract the Elise.
 

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Sorry to hear this, pics of the damage or the uphill road?

I often start my car without being in it, but always check the ebrake and gear, also often have wheel chocks if its in the garage. I have once had the car start to roll after a brake change when lowering it because the ebrake was off and forgot that when lowering it, I was lucky to get to the ebrake before it went anywhere. Hope you have it back on the road soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't know how to attach pics. Anyhow, I appreciate your comments, but the ebrake was on and the car was in neutral. Nothing explains that it accelerated, didn't drift, without someone in it. Two of us could have held it if it drifted in gear. I recreated the event, it stalled the way it should have (after lurching). It didn't "roll". It took off and accelerated. I know it's uphill because my daughter, when she was 17, had a man trans car that she didn't fully engage the ebrake. It rolled the opposite direction, downhill and ended up on a neighbor's lawn. And, no this isn't hereditary. It accelerated in reverse up an incline until it hit a wood chipper. Don't any other way to say it.
 

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I believe your story. I've been in my car and thought I was in neutral. I always start the car with the clutch in and brake on (my foot on the brake). I have indeed slowly let up the clutch, thinking I was in neutral and it was in gear. Because of this, I always assume that the car is in whatever would be the worst gear to be in before I start it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes, but you let up on the clutch. If you didn't give it gas, I assume then it would stall (after lurching a foot or so). I didn't engage the clutch or the gas. I wasn't in the car.
 
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