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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello fellow Lotus owners! Can anyone recommend a good reliable Lotus mechanic in the SF bay area? I just purchased a beautiful yellow 2002 Lotus Esprit V8 from PA, had it shipped to SF. Tried to smog it but failed due to "O2 sensor not ready". I've followed the tips on this forum and have driven it over 150 miles, through hwy and city, winding roads, fast and slow, 55 mph - 20 mph with AC/Rear defrost on, but the O2 sensor is still not ready.
The car also suffers from "hot start" problems. After driving it for 30 minutes, pulled over to get gas, car won't start. Had to wait 10-15 minutes for the car to cool before it finally started again. Service records show the car was serviced with the timing belt replaced less than a year ago and it also has a new battery. These issues really shatters my dream of "the exotic car ownership experience". Any recommendation would be highly appreciated. Thank you!
 

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I’d give Barry Spencer a call. He was one of the original engineers on the Esprit in Hethel and now has a shop in Rohnert Park. I learned about him from the great folks here on the forums. I don’t think he actually works on the 8 cylinder cars but he can probably get you pointed in the right direction. Sounds to me like you may need a new O2 sensor but that’s just a guess.


The hot start issue could be the starter or relay or possibly the Immobilizer system. @Esprit1 is fighting the same issue with his ‘98.


Try not to let it get you down. These are old British exotics so they do take some care and feeding. Doesn’t sound like your issue is anything too major.

-Eric
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Eric! I'll try changing the O2 sensor. Not sure this car came with a immobilizer. There were no fobs and no Cobra alarm module in the trunk. Came with just one key and the doors lock and unlock with key only. However, it does have all the pins and even a synching thing next to the gas door open button. I did find a loose wire with a toggle switch at the end next to the drivers seat? Why would anyone hack or disable a factory alarm/immobilizer? The dealer has no clue about the alarm system.
 

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I don't think there's an issue with your o2 sensors. Getting the o2 readiness monitor to complete is very tricky.

The Esprit needs very specific conditions to complete the o2 monitor and it’s very unlikely you’ll find yourself in those conditions during normal driving. The Esprit needs to be fully warmed up, slight incline, constant load, in 5th gear at 35mph for about a minute.If you have a scanner, monitor MAP and TP. 9% Throttle, MAP around 60 kPa, 35mph, 5th gear, less than 80 degree ambient temp works for me every time.

What do you mean by "hot start" problem? The car cranks but doesn't fire up or the car doesn't even crank?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think there's an issue with your o2 sensors. Getting the o2 readiness monitor to complete is very tricky.

The Esprit needs very specific conditions to complete the o2 monitor and it’s very unlikely you’ll find yourself in those conditions during normal driving. The Esprit needs to be fully warmed up, slight, constant load, in 5th gear at 35mph for about a minute.If you have a scanner, monitor MAP and TP. 9% Throttle, MAP around 60 kPa, 35mph, 5th gear, less than 80 degree ambient temp works for me every time.

What do you mean by "hot start" problem? The car cranks but doesn't fire up or the car doesn't even crank?
Thanks for the advice. I'll try driving a mile at 35 mph with the hazards on. The hot start problem is eminent after driving the car for 10 minutes and shutting it off. The engine cranks slowly but doesn't fire up. However, after waiting 10 minutes when the engine cools down, it fires up after several cranks. It sputters before firing up...just like the old non fuel injection cars but would eventually start after spraying Gumout down the carburetor with flap wide open...aahh old memories of my old beetle days.

Thanks,
Robert
 

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I'd listen to @gmendoza , he is a pro and is very knowledgeable regards V8 Esprits. 🆒

ISTR that injectors can cause a hot start issue. I remember waiting for @jtrealty 's V8 to cool down so it would start after a drive, and that fix was injectors.
 

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I'd listen to @gmendoza , he is a pro and is very knowledgeable regards V8 Esprits. 🆒
Yep. Another vote for Mr. Mendoza. From everything I’ve heard he’s pretty much the west coast guru when it comes to the V8s. Only problem is he’s at the wrong end of the state! 😜
 
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