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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys - weird thing happened today. Over 100 degrees F and I was driving my 2017 Evora 400 with 5100 miles in 2nd gear at 30mph when I heard a loud squeal from the engine bay, the car felt like something was dragging on the brakes, and then I noticed the wrench light on. This lasted for maybe 3-5 seconds then it went out, I gave it light throttle and the squeal happened again and the car slowed (almost like a brake was dragging or the engine was in a limp home mode). After a few seconds, the light went out and the car felt fine. But the AC was blowing warm air now. Drove a mile or so, parked it for half an hour, then came out and started it again. The wrench light was on the dash for a few seconds, then it went out. Turned AC on, fans blew warm air so I shut the AC off and drove about 3 miles home.


Jumped on both forums and saw some posts about belt slippage causing a fault code because the speed of the belt wasn't correct for the rpm. The solution seems to be clear the faults via the OBD so I pulled out my laptop and Komo Tec dongle and did just that. Then I started the car up, turned on the AC, the idle dropped (compressor kicking on?) and was inconsistent for a few seconds, then I started to smell burning rubber!?! Turned car off, popped the rear hatch and a little smoke came out of the right (passenger) side and the smell was pretty bad. With a flashlight I can't see much from the top side and won't have time to take the undertray off for a few days.

What the heck has happened???
 

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I don't know the answer but it better not happen to me. We have the same weather.

My first thought follows what I think you're thinking. For some reason the compressor created more drag which caused the belt to slip so you felt both drag and heard slipping alternately. Or vice versa. Perhaps drag increase before a compressor fails....or you sense it as an alternating drag and release? I know that's not very helpful but I'm curious to learn the answer. Hope they fix it good and fast Champ.

Just on a wild hair, is there an oil film at the rear of the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the good wishes, lotusquacious! I think compressor failure makes as much sense as anything - I was thinking belt failure because the smell is very much a rubber burning smell to my nose but maybe it was the belt rubbing on a stationary pulley? What a mess.

No oil film anywhere - are you thinking supercharger issue?
 

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Sounds like the compressor is locked up. Will cause it to happen until it detects it, releases the electronic clutch and throws the wrench light to let you know it's gone wrong. I wouldn't clear it again, because it's protecting you from eating up your serpentine belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good point, esseye - thank you! Nearest dealership is 90 miles away. That will be a fun drive in this heat . . . NOT!
 

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Strange for the compressor to die after only 5100 miles, but I suppose if there's a sizable leak, you could have lost all your refrigerant and oil.

Maybe your dealer would be willing to send a flatbed to retrieve it?
 

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Agree with Esseye. Will be good to here resolution of problem; hopefully not a bad "batch" of compressors should this be the culprit..............
 

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Thank you guys - compressor seems to be the consensus on both forums. I will update this thread as things develop.
 

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An AC issue WILL give you the wrench!!!
 

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Thank you for the good wishes, lotusquacious! I think compressor failure makes as much sense as anything - I was thinking belt failure because the smell is very much a rubber burning smell to my nose but maybe it was the belt rubbing on a stationary pulley? What a mess.

No oil film anywhere - are you thinking supercharger issue?
Yes but it was a wild stab and the AC issue wouldn't have arisen from that failure. It would have been coincidental. I suspected the compressor as you and everyone else did but thought it might be something to look at just in case.
 

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Looks like the compressor issues may have carried to some 400's from the S1's. I had mine go out a couple years ago on my 11 (as well as a few others on this board). Mine went kaput around 28k miles or so. No belt smell for me, just no cold air and the infamous spanner light.
 

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My Experience

When I got my Evora 400 last year the AC was very weak. At first chalked this up to Lotus quirkiness but then read a number of threads extolling the cooling power of the AC. Finally decided to get the dealer to look at it early this summer so drove the 45 miles. When they went to test the AC the compressor seized and broke the drive belt :surprise:. They had to tow the car back to the dealership and then I endured the 2 week+ wait for authorization, shipping, install of parts.

I have a feeling your compressor went and needs replacement. If it were me I would not drive the car unless you are confident the drive belt is not damaged and the compressor is not creating additional drag on the drive system lest you get stuck somewhere on the side of the road. Best to you to get this diagnosed and fixed promptly!

Here is a cautionary point if they do have to replace compressor and the drive belt. In my case, they told me after install that the belt was making some noise after starting to drive. They said they consulted Hethel who allegedly told the dealer that they are using a new drive belt that has more grip and it takes a little time to bed in so would expect a little noise. I drove home and the noise was pretty loud and concerning but got home fine, albeit with a burning rubber smell when I opened the engine compartment. Drove for another week until my drive belt snapped :surprise:. I towed back to the dealer and called Lotus USA who was incredible in helping. Apparently the dealer may have put the drive belt on incorrectly (missing one of the rollers). Lotus USA said they have seen this before and it is pretty easy to mess up if you aren’t experienced with 400 belt replacement or conscientious about reviewing the technical diagram to know exactly how the belt should be routed. Maybe mention this to your dealer...

3 weeks in the shop and two trips to dealer to fix my AC which was at the time very frustrating but just got back from the track and now it is a distant memory...
 

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Just a wild guess here, so if I'm wrong, please realize I have good intentions! Here goes ...

This compressor is quite possibly a Toyota component. (Others will chime in, I assume.) If so, unless your car is still under warranty, I might go to a Toyota dealer or indie repair shop that's not scared to look at a Lotus & have them diagnose/fix the problem. If they will do so, it could save you a lot of time & a bundle of green and white presidential portraits.

Good luck!
 

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Just a wild guess here, so if I'm wrong, please realize I have good intentions! Here goes ...

This compressor is quite possibly a Toyota component. (Others will chime in, I assume.) If so, unless your car is still under warranty, I might go to a Toyota dealer or indie repair shop that's not scared to look at a Lotus & have them diagnose/fix the problem. If they will do so, it could save you a lot of time & a bundle of green and white presidential portraits.

Good luck!
Check the "How to.." forum; there is a thread about the compressor being a Toyota part....gives part #....
 

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Whew is right for the OP! Using the stock Lotus parts, my warranty repair for replacing the compressor was $5500. When I saw the costs on my service printout...sure was glad that wasn't coming out of pocket!

FYI for others that may stumble across this thread with an AC issue. On the S1's (could possibly be the same for the 400's) it's a Denso part and can be had for a fraction of the cost of what Lotus charges, it's a couple hundred bucks. There are a few threads on this issue that list the part number of the Denso compressor if you poke around.
 
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