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Hello All!!

Just bought a Lotus Elise Series 1 last week, having driven it down to London from Scotland it was running pretty smoothly, until this evening.

I've noticed over the last few days, when first getting into the car and turning the engine on that the gear shift was extremely stiff, making it impossible to slip into first gear (or any gear for that matter). Tonight however, the gears wouldn't slip in at all, although i did eventually manage to get into reverse, after which i was stuck in it and had to stall in order to get back out of gear before turning the engine off and starting again.

Upon re-starting the engine, it turned over, turned on and then turned itself off again - leaving the handbrake, battery and oil light on. The petrol tank says i need to refill, although this was not the case before i parked last night.

I'm a complete novice with mechanics - and this is my first Lotus.

Can anyone give me some pointers on what to check out. Some notes to take into consideration before replying with advice:

1) Battery doesn't appear to be flat as lights, radio, heater etc. all work without the engine running.

2) I've not been able to check the oil as its pitch black outside and I have no torch!! Would this be reason enough for the engine to turn over, then turn off straight away?

3) Its parked on a hill, so perhaps the petrol tank seems empty to the car's electrics due to the incline of the vehicle? There are no signs of a petrol leak under or around the car, but it is possible that the car has under 10 litres in the tank.

4) The problem with the gears has become gradually worse over the last week - is this a sign of a problem with my transmission?

Thanks to anyone reading this, it's always been a dream of mine to own a lotus I just hope that the experience has not been short lived!!
 

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Hi Chris! not many S1 Lotus owners on this side of the water. We're basically S2 (Toyota engine and drive train) guys. You might want to log on to the SELOC website (SELOC Forums) UK folks will have loads of experience with S1 models and their Rover engines.

Your description does sound like you've got some transmission trouble. Parked on a hill, the gas tank may have more than the guage shows. The gas may be on the opposite side of the tank from the fuel pick-up. Probably not abig deal. But I'd say the transmission is something you'll want to have looked at asap.

Tom
 

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Sorry to hear your news mate. You should post on the British Lotus site SELOC | Lotus Enthusiasts Club as the series one wasn't available in the US and the series two has a different engine and gearbox to yours. Great group of guys on that site and should be able to help you out.

Let us know how you get on
 

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So, does the starter motor turn the engine over?

Battery could have enough to run lights but not crank car.

Did you try pumping the clutch pedal to see if trans went into gear > easily?

If that works, it's the clutch slave or, less likely, master. Cheap to fix.

Owing a Lotus w/o good flashlight: not a good idea. I have at least two in the car. One is a hands-free "headlight".

Good luck; keep us posted.
 
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