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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at buying a 2005 Elise that "may" not have had the first oil change until 5,000 miles. What are the possible repercussions? Would it stop you from purchasing the car if otherwise it was mint?

I am doing some further investigation here. All the other TSB's have been performed on this particular 2005 Elise, so it is possible the break-in oil was changed around 1K. However, up to this point there is no record of it.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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The oil's not a big problem (though I would question why this wasn't done as scheduled, indicates a general lack of care). The problem is that there's a required ECU dump at the 1k mile checkup to verify that the car was broken in prooperly. If Lotus doesn't have that 1k mile ECU data, they could conceivably void the warranty on powertrain-related items.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The oil's not a big problem (though I would question why this wasn't done as scheduled, indicates a general lack of care). The problem is that there's a required ECU dump at the 1k mile checkup to verify that the car was broken in prooperly. If Lotus doesn't have that 1k mile ECU data, they could conceivably void the warranty on powertrain-related items.
Matt, thanks for the reply. I believe the car was sold to a new owner with only around 800 miles on it, so it is possible the oil change got lost in the shuffle. Again, a check on the VIN showed that all the TSB fixes were done (I believe there were 3 or 4), so I am hoping it was done, along with the ECU dump you mention.

I will call Lotus or a dealer on Monday with the VIN and see if they can pull up the service records in the computer. The new owner said that when he got the car, it didn't have the manual or service book with it. He did request, and receive, a new manual and booklet from Lotus, and he has taken exceptional care of the car. It is immaculate. I am just trying to cross all my T's and dot all my I's before laying my money down, and this is the last item I have to check on.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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It disgusts me how people can be so careless with their cars. Personally, I think not changing the oil in the break-in period IS a big concern. That's when all the metal flakes from the new engine are being cleaned out with the oil change. Much more important to change the oil in the first 5K miles than it is in the second or third 5K miles. I doubt there will be any repercussions, but still...
 

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Amazing. I've just completed my 3rd oil change, at 2500 miles.
First at 1000, and the next two after each track event.

I'm guessing it was done, but find the dealer that did the 1K service,
they should have that record.

Cheers,
-Darryl
 

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The oil's not a big problem (though I would question why this wasn't done as scheduled, indicates a general lack of care). The problem is that there's a required ECU dump at the 1k mile checkup to verify that the car was broken in prooperly. If Lotus doesn't have that 1k mile ECU data, they could conceivably void the warranty on powertrain-related items.

As an 05 it may already be off warranty or will be relatively soon.

I would not buy a car like this unless I could fully verify its maintenance history. And I would want to see the delivery oil changed out on schedule, and subsequent services performed on time.

There are a goodly number of 05's on the market, all colors/options, with low miles at reasonable prices. Wait for one that you know has been properly maintained.

Remember, 05's are the most common of US Elise's, with about 2500 or so delivered. Lots of variety, you can find what you want if you don't get in too big a hurry.
 

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Amazing. I've just completed my 3rd oil change, at 2500 miles.
First at 1000, and the next two after each track event.

I'm guessing it was done, but find the dealer that did the 1K service,
they should have that record.

Cheers,
-Darryl
Changing your oil too often is not good for your engine. I was told by a lubrication engineer that the magnesium oxide wear inhibitor in the oil needs to be "activated" by heat which takes about 1,000 miles or so. So, there is actually more wear occurring with fresh oil than oil with 2-3 thousand miles on it.
 

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I was working for a construction company long ago, and one of their new truck had never been oil changed or even been checked since new, until the engine finally gave up @ 38,000 miles.

It was a diesel engine which usually are running in lower RPM. I don't think a gasoline engine could last that long without oil change.

Do you think how long a normal engine could go without oil change?:popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
As an 05 it may already be off warranty or will be relatively soon.

I would not buy a car like this unless I could fully verify its maintenance history. And I would want to see the delivery oil changed out on schedule, and subsequent services performed on time.
Thanks for the reply. This particular car is still under warranty up until June of 2009. If I can find out from the dealer whether or not the 1K was performed, then I should be fine I think, as the next service wouldn't be due until 7,500, and the car currently has around 5,000.

That 1K service is the X factor at this point. If I find out the service wasn't done, I will call Lotus HQ and see what they say.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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It was a diesel engine which usually are running in lower RPM. I don't think a gasoline engine could last that long without oil change.

Do you think how long a normal engine could go without oil change?:popcorn:
A modern Mercedes diesel oil change interval is 10,000 miles and the Mercedes gasoline engine requires oil changes every 12,000 miles. It depends on the type of oil you run and the design of the engine. Mercedes, for instance, carry extra oil and use synthetics which do not breakdown as quickly. The 1,000 mile activiation issue previously mentioned may also not apply to synthetics. The old oils are a different story.

With respect to break-in oil, it's a good idea to let the oil do it's work for the full 1,000 miles then change. Less or more usage with this oil isn't great, but it also may not be to harmful. With that said if service was done by a dealer, it's likely the oil was changed out with the 1,000 mile service work. Then 4,000 more miles on synthetic oil isn't bad. I think it's rated at 5,000 miles per change right? The only issue then would be how many seasons did the car sit and allow water to build up, if there were major temperature swings. That's very dependent on where you live and somewhat of a debatable issue. If the car is driven year round, albeit not alot, then the water can't build-up because the heat evaporates it.
 

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the next two after each track event.
You're changing way too often. You should do some oil analyses on your own and you'll see how you're likely wasting your time, money, and oil. As long as your track events are relatively close to each other, you should be able to get several weekends in before the oil starts to break down from it's optimum thresholds. I have actually gone 8 track weekends and when I sent my oil to Blackstone, the results were nearly identical to oil that was street driven after 1000 miles.
 

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That is the most bizarre thing I ever heard.
I think it had something to do with the detergents in the oil. The theory was that when you put in new oil the detergents were strong until broken down. Changing oil to frequently meant the parts and seals were exposed to alot of detergents.

But again modern oils have dramatically changed the equation. Oil analysis is a great tool to determine when you should be changing oil. And the best part is that if you do it often enough you can detect problems with the engine too!

I'll stick to whatever the manufacturer recommends, and avoid the local oil shop's recommendation.
 

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Changing your oil too often is not good for your engine. I was told by a lubrication engineer that the magnesium oxide wear inhibitor in the oil needs to be "activated" by heat which takes about 1,000 miles or so. So, there is actually more wear occurring with fresh oil than oil with 2-3 thousand miles on it.
Was the lubrication engineer speaking in reference to normal driving conditions, or track use?
I do find it somewhat suspect that heat activation is mileage dependent, however. Hmmm. Any more details?

Nevertheless, this oil change was a change from the 5W40 to the heavier weight 10W60 as per the manual for extensive track use.

Cheers,
-Darryl
 

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The only thing I would be weary of is if there were any warranty issues involved in missing the first scheduled service. With newer oil technology, I wouldn't start to get worried until past the 7,500 mile mark.

I still change mine every 3k-4k in my cars though, and planning on about 2k in the lotus. Compared to how much you spend on gas between oil changes, the oil is cheap.
 

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I have actually gone 8 track weekends and when I sent my oil to Blackstone, the results were nearly identical to oil that was street driven after 1000 miles.
Good to know. I'll start doing that... Thx.

Cheers,
-Darryl
 

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I would not buy a car like this unless I could fully verify its maintenance history. And I would want to see the delivery oil changed out on schedule, and subsequent services performed on time.
Sounds to me like the only evidence that the oil was not changed for 5,000 miles is the fact that it's not in the service 'history' of the car. So what, I change my own oil in my Elise. I guess that means that the oil hasn't been changed since 3,500 miles when I bought it. It now has 11,000 miles on it with no 'history' of an oil change. Hmmm, guess all you other Elise owners out there who change your own oil haven't had an official oil change either and won't be able to sell your cars! WHATEVER! :rolleyes:
 

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Sounds to me like the only evidence that the oil was not changed for 5,000 miles is the fact that it's not in the service 'history' of the car. So what, I change my own oil in my Elise. I guess that means that the oil hasn't been changed since 3,500 miles when I bought it. It now has 11,000 miles on it with no 'history' of an oil change. Hmmm, guess all you other Elise owners out there who change your own oil haven't had an official oil change either and won't be able to sell your cars! WHATEVER! :rolleyes:
Actually, that is not what is being said at all. Most do it yourselfer car guys I know keep maintenance logs, and appropriate receipts for oil/filters and other parts. They do this because it helps them track what was done and when, so that when they resell they can show the buyer the maintenance history, and most importantly so that if they are doing these services while the car is under warranty, and there is a related problem, they will likely get the warranty issue upheld.

If I were looking at your car with 11,000 miles and you couldn't produce anything, receipts for oil/filter, dates/mileage of service done, I'd probably pass.

Lotus would probably pass on warranty work related to oil functioning as well under those circumstances.
 

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I change my own oil except for the first 1000 mile service.

I've not kept any records. Not the receipt from the required service, and not a log of my own. But it's all done, done right, done early, etc. I know I should probably not be so lax about the paperwork, but at least I'm not lax about caring for my machine, and that's the important part to me.
 

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If you know cars, you won't need to see a 'log' of oil change history with receipts. Warranty issues are not dependent upon whether or not you have history or receipts. I have never once been asked to produce a log of oil change history or receipts in my nearly 20 years of vehicle ownership. Check out the car, you can tell if they've been maintained well or not!

:wave:
 

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The break-in "oil" you spoke of, that comes in the brand new Lotus cars, is special stuff, and as you said, designed to be changed at 1000 miles.......so leaving it in for 5000 miles sounds like no one gave a hoot about the car.

Check the computer readout from mile one.
 
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