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I just had my first service done at Dimmit in Clearwater Florida...very nice service manager named Chris. I just wish the service was all I needed fixed.

First off, I had a horrific "body squeek". Every little bump made my car sound like a junker. They said they greased the bushings on my control arms...but 10 miles from the dealer I still heard the damn squeek as I pulled in for gas.

Second problem was my driver window that refused to close the last 1/2 inch. Thank goodness I read about this problem here cuz I was really worried...on the phone they told me they might have to order a new roof.

Third on the list was the passenger door...seems the trim had shifted lower and was catching the door jam...so the door would stick/drag as ya opened it...they fixed this with no problems also.

Fourth on my list was the SHITTY A/C...driving 3 hours to the dealership in the rain with no circulation in the car except from my window that wouldnt roll up was unacceptable. They told me Lotus is aware of this problem with the A/C freezing up. That a temporary fix is to back the temperature knob about 3 clicks to get it to cycle off and let the A/C "unfreeze"...shrug....I tried this on the way home...didnt seem to do much...but I have to test it out more. But as they said...after 1 hour...my vents barely blow out any air...and what does come out is not cold in the least bit...I love my lil girl, but come summer in Florida with this A/C...this could break me.

Last item on my long checklist was to have Lotus disable the Cobra alarm as my local shop was too nervous to attempt it with the schematic that Stan posted. Well...Dimmit couldn't do it either...they are gonna check more with the Lotus rep for me...but they are not sure how tied into the cars electronics the alarm is. Quite bothersome to have to disarm 2 alarms now.

A new problem I picked up after the visit is a dashboard rattle now...seems the noise is comming from the gauge cluster...they must have pried the cover off to check for the alarm brain and now I have a new noise to add to my body squeek...I swear the girl is talking to me!

anyway, just posting some of my lil problems with the elise....hopefully some of you have had similar problems and can tell me they are easy to fix !
 

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>>> just had my first service done at Dimmit in Clearwater Florida...very nice service manager named Chris. I just wish the service was all I needed fixed. <<<

Maybe this is just not the car for you, which is fine. There are tons of wonderful cars available these days. The Elise is harder to live with in some ways than the average US car. But the driving characteristics, uniqueness, appearance, feel and so forth are huge pluses. Only you can decide if there are more grins than groans. For example the ultra strong stiff frame requires the high side rails that make the car hard to enter/exit. If the car was a less serious sports car they could simply lop off 4-5 inches and hugely improve this matter. Or they could do the same and keep the strength but have to greatly raise the price. It's a deliberate design decision.

>>>First off, I had a horrific "body squeek". Every little bump made my car sound like a junker. They said they greased the bushings on my control arms...but 10 miles from the dealer I still heard the damn squeek as I pulled in for gas. <<<

Lower a-arm bushings...and it goes away by itself over time. I sprayed mine with silicone spray from the side of the car, wheel turned and this killed it off. The a-arms are designed to have minimal slop and play so this may be part of how to do this sort of suspension on a frame like ours. The Designers/Engineers tried to tune things such that the ride and highway harshness was fine and so too the precise handling. There will remain a sort of muted metallic ring from up front that is just part of a light, stiff aluminum framed car like this. Most other cars use much heavier frame structures with lots of sound deadening. Nothing is going to break when you hear this stuff.

>>Second problem was my driver window that refused to close the last 1/2 inch. Thank goodness I read about this problem here cuz I was really worried...on the phone they told me they might have to order a new roof.

>>>Third on the list was the passenger door...seems the trim had shifted lower and was catching the door jam...so the door would stick/drag as ya opened it...they fixed this with no problems also. <<<

Easy permanent fix. It's so easy to adjust that in my case (I'm the one who posted about it) it was just much simpler to look into it myself compared to the time/hassle of having the dealer handle it. I emailed them the info and PICs though so that they can share this with Lotus. If you are super-anal, buy an extra 10 mm locknut for more insurance. You could also use loctite but that could complicate any future adjustments.

>>>Fourth on my list was the SHITTY A/C...driving 3 hours to the dealership in the rain with no circulation in the car except from my window that wouldnt roll up was unacceptable. They told me Lotus is aware of this problem with the A/C freezing up. That a temporary fix is to back the temperature knob about 3 clicks to get it to cycle off and let the A/C "unfreeze"...shrug....I tried this on the way home...didnt seem to do much...but I have to test it out more. But as they said...after 1 hour...my vents barely blow out any air...and what does come out is not cold in the least bit...I love my lil girl, but come summer in Florida with this A/C...this could break me. <<<

The icing thing only kick in over time as the system ices up. Before this occurs if the AC is not cutting it for you, that is that. You could get the windows tinted and even the front windshield if you can get a Dr's note okaying this. This would cut down on heat gain. And you will not get great cooling with the roof off, period. Light, loose, cotton clothing might help personal comfort.

>>Last item on my long checklist was to have Lotus disable the Cobra alarm as my local shop was too nervous to attempt it with the schematic that Stan posted. Well...Dimmit couldn't do it either...they are gonna check more with the Lotus rep for me...but they are not sure how tied into the cars electronics the alarm is. Quite bothersome to have to disarm 2 alarms now. <<<

Sure this could be done.

>>>A new problem I picked up after the visit is a dashboard rattle now...seems the noise is comming from the gauge cluster...they must have pried the cover off to check for the alarm brain and now I have a new noise to add to my body squeek...I swear the girl is talking to me! <<<

The Elise is never going to be as quiet as some other larger, heavier less single-minded cars. Had lunch yesterday with some guys with Vipers, Vettes, Ferraris and they all have their share of nusiance issues too.

>>anyway, just posting some of my lil problems with the elise....hopefully some of you have had similar problems and can tell me they are easy to fix !<<<

I think that part of the situation here might be due to unfamiliarity with such a hard core car as this one. I'm not sure in your case of course. This is why I always suggest at least two decent test drives over time. You will notice more things, sort of like when you see a good movie again, reread a good book, etc. You could have discovered the AC thing in 10 minutes for example. The Lotus AC is deliberately set to a moderate level...it is not designed to chill meat in hot, humid Florida. With the ice fix you can only hope for less suffering in FL Summer and not how to drive while buttoning up your jacket cuz you're too cold from the AC.

Go out and drive the car hard on some twist roads...if this does not bring back some positives, then the car might not be able to meet your needs. The next best thing to a YES is a quick NO.

Hmm wear thin, narrow soled shoes on your twisty road drive too!
Stan
 

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the A/C does indeed need to be addressed. the rest are inconveniences that are remedied fairly easily. please post all your issues as they arise. long time "Lotusi" will enjoy the read. by the way folks...feel free to use that term for lotus owners :D
 

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>>>the A/C does indeed need to be addressed.<<<

It's more than adequate in more Northern areas such as CT. But the actual BTUs are not there for top down, hot / humid weather. Some cars can be driven top down and chill out your face, hands and upper body. The Elise has a light weight, "racing" style AC setup. It is not intended to chill you out in some areas of the country.

I think that things like this should be explained to customers in advance or come out on their own during test drives.

Right in the owner's manual, page 61 it says:

"The small size of the Elise together with the method of construction and emphasis on lightweight, have resulted in heating and AC systems which perform well under non-extreme climactic conditions. In extreme temperatures and humidity the operational limits of the systems may be reached before the desired temperature, or rate of temperature change inside the car is achieved"

The Elise also does not offer digital auto adjusting AC, separate controls for driver/passenger or split level ventilation.

Most folks may tend to run into the AC issues in hotter climates moreso than others may run into the heater limitations since there may not be many Elises driving around in 0 F conditions routinely.

The enterprising sort may be able to tweak the AC for higher output, and cut down on heat gain from the window area, heat coming in from the floor from the road, and heat coming into the cabin from the cooling and heating systems (even if the heater is off).

Stan
 

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It is possible his A/C is actually broken...

I've got something rattling around on the floorboards that I haven't been able to track down. It sounds like a little screw or nut is bouncing back and forth on the aluminum floor everytime I go around a corner. But the only loose nut I can find is the one behind the wheel.
 

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Randy, any chance we could get a field to add our vin numbers near our screen names? It might be useful info on this sort of thread.

<--- Like this?
 

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My good friend that works in HVAC indicated that a properly tuned AC unit should never freeze up, no matter what the level of cooling it provides.

All the rattles and other issues are bothersome, but the AC freezing up and reduced airflow is a serious problem that will have to be fixed.

This is not the time to shrug it off as a Lotus quirk... otherwise this car will go down as every other Lotus car in the US has.
 

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>>> but the AC freezing up and reduced airflow is a serious problem that will have to be fixed. <<<

Yes, agreed. I read that they already figured out the problem...a supplier moved a core temp sensor that is supposed to help cycle the compressor when temps get into the icing range. No dealer fix has been instituted to my knowledge.

>>>This is not the time to shrug it off as a Lotus quirk... otherwise this car will go down as every other Lotus car in the US has.<<<

Yes, but at the same time don't get your hopes up...until the unit starts to ice up, it's capacity is what it is. And it won't be changed when the icing fix takes place. In other words even if the icing issue is resolved on a car...you'll still be hot under certain conditions! You'll just be less hot than with no AC in the car! You can test the effectiveness of the AC and get a feel for what it can do during a brief test drive on a challenging day.

Here in CT I enjoyed my Elise from early August and the AC was fine and did not ice up. But the environment was not nearly as challenging as Florida can be.

Americans are used to wonderfully effective and fast AC setups. This one is not in that category on those killer days. If you live in a hot/humid part of the country and love chilly AC you owe yourself a test drive to see if the thing can work well enough for you. It's fine in the Northeast. It helps a lot with defogging too.

You know what? It would be cool if good ole Freon 12 could be used in our AC systems. Convert over to the old stuff that is. This would noticeably increase cooling capacity. Something like an extra 20-30% and a crisper, cooler air output. More air output from the fans would be nice too, and this might cut down on the icing issue a bit since the increased flow of air through the core would raise the temps.

Stan
 

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There's been a number of threads in the past regarding the AC issue.

1) The AC (when it's working) blows COLD, but not like arctic winds to cool you when the top is off.

2) Do as the Dealer suggested. Click back 3 or 4 notches on the temp. When the air slows from the vents turn the AC off (button), but fan on. You'll notice that after a couple of minutes the air flow will increase (perhaps not cold, but cool), then in a few more minutes you'll feel full air flow and the air will be warm & humid. At that point turn the AC back on. Repeat as necessary. I find that the cycle time is about 15-20 min.

3) Lotus outsourced the AC unit. It worked fine in hot weather testing in the southwest (AZ & SoCal). What was missing? HUMIDITY!!! There is a sensor aft of the evaporator, it's there to tell the system it's too cold and shutting off the compressor, until it warms and then runs the compressor.

In high humidity the moisture is condensing on the evaporator and is freezing (from the center outward). Thus reducing air flow, "warm" says the sensor, keep running the compressor, freezing the evaporate even MORE!

The above preceedure manually does what the sensor is supposed to do.

4) As stated Lotus is aware of the problem, but I've not heard of a fix (relocated the sensor, but exactly where?) or when dealers are expected to be notified. Given that the unit is outsourced I'm certain that they are waiting and pressuring their supplier for the solution.

When driving my car through GA, AL, TN, NC I experienced this exact problem. I used the above proceedure. PITA, but it worked and kept me comfortable. But, when I return to CA, the freezing issue was pretty much gone. Cause - going from 90% humidity to 20% humidity (at similar outside temps).

Kiyoshi
 

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I have a friend in the UK with automotive industry experience who has been driving Lotuses of various sorts for the past five years. He told me to get another car to drive in the summer - the AC is good enough for a German summer or a Spanish spring or fall, but it is just not up to the job of 95 degree weather with high humidity.
 

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Thank god I moved out of central FL. It's hot yes, but when you are sitting on 6 lane roads, surrounded by parking lots for all the adult video stores, gas stations, discount ticket kiosks, and tatoo shops, the ambient air temp while sitting at a stop light in August must be about 125 with 95% humidy. Then, on the dot at 4:00 PM, the sky opens up for about 30 min, not cooling off a damn thing... but turning it into a 105 degree steam room.

YUCK!
 

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Robert,
Probably not it, but may be undertray bolts loose. When I changed mine over to the quick release, I found one of the factory fasteners just rolling around on the tray.

One more reason for the quick release kit.
Chris
 

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Stan, IMO you seem to be talking about the A/C being less than great, but I think madguppy is referring to the same problem I have.

It is not that it is not good.... it is that it does not work. When it freezes up, I get a trickle of warm air. And cycling it, turning the knob back, etc do not seem to have much impact. When you FIRST turn it on, I get a nice blast of cold air, as I would expect.

I have heard reports that there was something about moving a temp sensor, but I have never been told of an official fix. I am waiting for one. The good news is that it is winter.

P.S. The problem only happens when it is hot out.
 

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>>>Stan, IMO you seem to be talking about the A/C being less than great, but I think madguppy is referring to the same problem I have.<<<

I'm attempting to cover both the (1) icing-and-then-no-AC *AND* the (2) weak AC issues = basic cooling capacity.

Fixing (1) should be doable and needs to happen.

Then you are left with (2) and depending on your area this may or may not be an issue for you. Up North the AC is adequate in terms of (2) in my opinion. Areas that have tough conditions tend to run into more of 1 and 2 it appears. I've used the AC a great deal and found some of (2) but none of (1). Running into the icing would be very frustrating since it can only happen under extreme conditions when you really need the AC for personal comfort.

I may be misunderstanding this, but some seem to be grouping the two issues together...as if there is one single issue. If they hang on until there is an AC fix they will be very sad to discover that their AC woes are not fully resolved if they are in a tough area heat/humidity-wise.

Even there, much of this is personal. For example for some reason my Dad has always been an AC maven and simply couldn't stomach cars that did not have meat locker AC systems under any conditions. And just a few seconds to chill time from an all-day park it in the blazing sun situation. Folks like him won't like the Elise ice-up or not. Maybe he'd prefer a Corvette sports car.

Stan
 

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I got say that from day one my AC has never had a problem, never froze up ( VIN 0147 ). I live in south Florida and the AC is nice and cold, I don't run it when the top is dow ( it won't do much) but when the top is up it cools off the car nicely. When it was really hot when I first got the car the AC took a while to cool the interior but it was never insufficient, we just don't have a huge blower, condenser etc in there due to the weight.
 

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actually i am not sure 2 is really an issue. my only problems seemed like 1. turning off the compressor for a minute had the interesting result of the air which had been blowing warrmer and warmer due to icing would start cooling down again as the ice tended to chill the air flowing through the system. when the air temp bottomed out and started rising again i knew it was ok to turn the compressor back on. backling the fan down is not the solution of choice for the icing problem in my experience...turnng off the cold source is. the a/c blows VERY cold air. i have no expectation of it being capable of cooling the car with the top off in summer (or spring for that matter) in a humid climate. i DO have an expectation that it can cool down a car with the top on in summer or spring- no matter what the humidty is outside. i too eagerly await news of the fix- two potential versions of which i recall reading about on here. one involved a spec change on a part at the a/c manufacturer (without knowledge of it being done by papa lotus) and the other as i recall was relocation of a sensor.
 

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Most of the rattles/squeaks in my car have either gone away or I've gotten used to them and don't notice them anymore. Give it some time.

I also have the alignment problem with my door panel (passengers side) but haven't had a chance to take it to the dealer again yet.
 

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When I brought my car in for servicing I asked them to check and see if I needed to have my A/c retrofited with the new part, since I thought Lotus had changed the sensor location after a certaint VIN number and that and older cars needed to have it fixed.

On the sheet I got, it just said that they checked the A/c and that it wasnt low on freon and was working OK. I hardly ever use the A/c and have only driven with the softtop on 3 or 4 times. i thought they would check to see if i needed a part, but their want any mention of it on my bill, so I guess my car is OK. My srail number is aroudn 300. I'll have to try it tommorrow and see if it freezes up, but the highs will be around 80, so I wont get to give it the full 100 degree 90% humidity test during a monsoon.
 

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>>>I also have the alignment problem with my door panel (passengers side) but haven't had a chance to take it to the dealer again yet.<<<

You might be able to handle this on your own with no tools in about one minute! The bottom edge of the door panel is just velcroed in place! There is a hookie thing near the rear lower edge and a plastic screw near the inside door handle at the front lower edge (hidden). But between those extremes, retention is via velcro alone on the bottome so some gentle finger work may be enough to straighten things out for you. If the panel is way off and the basic door alignement is good, you may have to loosen the upper four allen bolts on the panel using the 3 mm allen wrench in the factory tool kit. That way you can shift the panel upward a bit more.
 

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Guys, the freezing problem is common on all poorly designed/laid out air conditioners - hell, even my window AC unit does it. The relocation of the sensor will fix it - just be patient... I think we all know by now that there's no rushing Lotus.
 
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