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Discussion Starter #1
Does any past Lotus owners have any idea what maintenance costs might be for the Elise, such as oil changes, engine tune ups? How often? Are these sort of things included under the Lotus warranty?
 

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Odd.. Maintenance work under warranty?? Must be an USA thing :p

If the Fed-Elise is like the euro versions then it probably has a maintenance schedule based on 15.000km/10.000miles intervals.

Lotus usually defines service types as 'A', 'B' or 'C'.

'A' service is a minor service at each interval or *at least* once a year. Basically an oil and filter change, 'spanner check' of bolts, check of fluids, brakes, etc.

'B' service is a large service and usually includes spark plugs, air filter, flushing brake fluid and in some cases flushing and re-filling the coolant system. Also a larger checklist for wear items.

'C' service on the Rover engine includes the cam belt change.

The schedule normally runs A-A-B-A-A-C-etc.etc..

There are, however, some items on the Elise which are considered 'wear' parts that are uncommon to wear out on 'regular' cars.

This includes things like balljoints (some people manage to destroy them in 30k miles), track rod ends, wishbon bushings, etc.

Part of this is caused by the design of the car (lower balljoints for instance are under much greater stresses than when used in a McPherson suspension and as a result wear much quicker) and others because you notice any 'slop' in parts so quickly in this car.

Eg. a 'little play' in the steering rack rod ends is hardly noticable on most other cars, but on the Elise you start to wonder why it's handling so strange...

Not even going to mention real consumables like brake pads and discs.. Their lifespan is inversely proportional to the amount of fun you're having :)

Bye, Arno.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Service Intervals?

Thanks Arno for the input. Just to clarify, is it every 10K miles for service A, then another 10K miles for service A again, and then another 10K miles for service B? Which means that you do not complete service C until 60K miles?
- dechien
 

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Re: Service Intervals?

dechien said:
Thanks Arno for the input. Just to clarify, is it every 10K miles for service A, then another 10K miles for service A again, and then another 10K miles for service B? Which means that you do not complete service C until 60K miles?
- dechien
Service C used to be at 60k miles but I believe Lotus have brought it forwards to 48k miles - I know they have reduced the time interval for this from 6 years. This is the most expensive service and generally costs about £500-£600 in the UK assuming nothing else needs doing.
Lakeside engineering a lotus specialist www.lakesideengineering.com show prices on their web site.

The toyota engine will have its own service schedule but I would imagine it will be similar to the Rover engine above. The general costs of running an elise I found to be less than running an Audi or BMW as the servicing costs of both of those were about twice the amount.

I think Arno is a bit optimistic about ball joints lasting 30k miles, mine last about 10k but then my car spends a lot of time on track, runs R compound tyres and spends the winter on snowy roads in the alps none of which help longevity.
 

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amcmahon said:
Out of curiosity what's the cost in replacing the ball joints?
As Bill wrote, the balljoints themselves are not that expensive.. The labor costs are usually the killer here.

Changing them is done by either removing the wishbones and using a hydraulic press (to remove and press in the new balljoints) or by using a 'home made' tool (basically 2 metal plates with some holes and bolts through them to tighten) and do the work with the wishbones on the car.

A workshop/garage would probably charge between 4 to 8 hours of labor, depening on the amount that need to be replaced (there are 8 in total.. 4 upper and 4 lower)

Bye, Arno.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Service Costs

Gentlemen:
Thanks for all your input. This pretty much confirms my curiosity in that the maintenance costs will be directly proportional to use or abuse, whichever the case may be. I have an old Jaguar which seems to cry for a new replacement part everytime I start the engine. But in all fairness, it has some astronomical figures on the odometer.
Regards,
- dechien
 

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Arno said:
Odd.. Maintenance work under warranty?? Must be an USA thing :p
Not as a part of the warranty, but you'd be surprised... a lot of manufacturers now offer free maintenance for ~3 years on new vehicles!
 

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i have not looked specifically at this toyota engine but the engine in the spyder uses iridium plugs if i recall correctly and they are 100k items. also the spyder uses a timiing chain rather than a belt. nevermind that, the toyota service schedule brochure for the spyder calls out changing the timing belt anyway
 

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IIRC since 93 or so USDM vehicles need to go 100k miles for plugs and t belt in CA. As such, most cars tend to do the same for all states (my Miata and a number of Subaru's come to mind).

Paul
 

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Snowphun said:
IIRC since 93 or so USDM vehicles need to go 100k miles for plugs and t belt in CA. As such, most cars tend to do the same for all states (my Miata and a number of Subaru's come to mind).
for the timing belt too? Man, I don't know if I'd trust a belt for 100K miles.

... interesting...

edit... hmm... looks like you're right. wow... again, I don't think I'd trust a belt for 100K miles unless 90% of my time in the car was spent on the highway at highway speeds.
 

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That's right, new engines have to run the equivalent of 100k miles on a dyno without touching them in order to get certified.

Now that I think about it, I'm not even sure if they're allowed to add oil. Does anyone know?
 

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One nice thing about my Exige is that is really "easy" on brakes and tires on the track. This is really nice. I use about one set of tires per season and I'm on the pads (Motorsport brake package) that have about 20 track days in them.
 

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BrianK said:
for the timing belt too? Man, I don't know if I'd trust a belt for 100K miles.

... interesting...
Improvements in belt materials and driveline stress make this a simple enough feat. The 100k+ mile belts I've swap out over the last couple years from a variety of cars have all looked great.
 
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