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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I still love my orange & black MY 2017 Evora 400. But, in the 8? months that i've had her, this is the fourth time she hasn't started for me. Twice, she didn't start for me at home... but this is the second time this has happened while i'm out driving.

I've had her on the Lotus supplied trickle charger for the last two weeks because it has been too cold to drive. Indeed, since the first time this happened, i keep her on the charger daily. Since today was warm, and i had no where else to be, i took an enthusiastic drive on a nearby well known scenic route. It was 98 miles worth of driving - should be plenty of time for the alternator to charge an already charged battery... but when i stopped at a store on my way home - it did not even come close to turning over. Being an electronics tech, i tend to have a decent DMM nearby. Battery measured 10.9V, dropping to 9.6V when attempting to start.

I took it to the dealership after the first time it left me stranded (at a gas station). After two weeks, they could not find a problem, and they ended up charging me for the (well paid) technicians time since "no problem found" is not a problem that is covered under warranty.

What do i do now? Other than keeping battery charging cables in the trunk. Other than not driving it.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Similar experiences?
 

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Acme Super Moderator ** The Enforcer **
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I still love my orange & black MY 2017 Evora 400. But, in the 8? months that i've had her, this is the fourth time she hasn't started for me. Twice, she didn't start for me at home... but this is the second time this has happened while i'm out driving.

I've had her on the Lotus supplied trickle charger for the last two weeks because it has been too cold to drive. Indeed, since the first time this happened, i keep her on the charger daily. Since today was warm, and i had no where else to be, i took an enthusiastic drive on a nearby well known scenic rout. It was 98 miles worth of driving - should be plenty of time for the alternator to charge an already charged battery... but when i stopped at a store on my way home - it did not even come close to turning over. Being an electronics tech, i tend to have a decent DMM nearby. Battery measured 10.9V, dropping to 9.6V when attempting to start.

I took it to the dealership after the first time it left me stranded (at a gas station). After two weeks, they could not find a problem, and they ended up charging me for the (well paid) technicians time since "no problem found" is not a problem that is covered under warranty.

What do i do now? Other than keeping battery charging cables in the trunk. Other than not driving it.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Similar experiences?
Voltage level without a load is useless. That said, your voltage reading without a load is way too low. Any decent AutoZone, Pep Boys etc. can measure if your battery or charging system is a problem. Your dealership is obviously worthless.

I'd look to see what's draining your battery, or not charging it properly. Whether it's the alarm, another load, or if your charging system is not doing it's job. What's the reading when the car is started? Is it static or fluctuating?

Your battery may be toast because your charging system isn't properly charging it. Or it may just be toast in spite of the charging system. Find out what the cause is and then have someone from Lotus corporate reimburse you for your time and expenses, to include the money they charged you for doing little to nothing to fix your issue.

San
 

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I took it to the dealership after the first time it left me stranded (at a gas station). After two weeks, they could not find a problem, and they ended up charging me for the (well paid) technicians time since "no problem found" is not a problem that is covered under warranty.
Wait a minute. The car left you stranded and you took it to the dealer but because they couldn't find anything wrong they charged you?
Lol you're kidding I hope. I've never heard of a dealer doing that, that's ridiculous.
 

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Given your battery only had 10.9V but you were able to drive for 98 miles without the car dying, it seemed the alternator was generating electricity when engine was running. If the alternator is normal, you probably have a dead battery as it cannot store the electricity generated.

sometime in the past, either the battery was left draining to empty and damaged the electrodes/electrolytes or it was defective from factory. Trickle charger wont revive a dead battery. probably need a new battery.
 

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I would also pick up a small lipo jump starter to keep in the car. Pretty popular with my friend whose Maserati is temperamental with its electronics.
 

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I suspect (and have since I took delivery of my car) that a combination of high parasitic draw coupled with sitting around on a dealer's lot for a few months frequently can result in the original buyer getting an already weakened battery. My car exhibits low voltage symptoms within a short time, perhaps as little as a five days to a week, if left without a charger.

As oldmansan mentioned, testing a battery by measuring resting voltage tells us very little since surface voltage isn't representative of the actual current delivery under load. Just turning on your headlights while measuring may result in a more accurate reading but as was also mentioned, a trip to an auto supply store that has a battery tester will answer a lot of questions since most of us have no way to put a measured load on the battery. It's not possible to measure current without a load and this holds true for batteries, amplifiers and other such electrical devices that are intended to deliver or amplify electrical power.

These cars seem sensitive to battery condition.

Regardless of their findings, your dealer is a tool for charging you what would be done for free at an O'Reilly's, especially if they're the people that sold you the car. After all, it's still under warranty.

Assuming it is the battery and it's not too far gone, it may be possible to restore most of its capacity through the proper recovery process but if I discovered that my battery was suffering diminished capacity sufficient to strand me, I would probably just replace it and then keep it on its charger whenever I'm not driving it for much longer than four or five days.

Get it tested professionally and you will be able to either identify the battery as an issue or rule it out of the equation and hunt elsewhere. I suspect you won't have to go past testing the battery to find an answer but either way, you'll be pointed down the right path.
 

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I would also pick up a small lipo jump starter to keep in the car. Pretty popular with my friend whose Maserati is temperamental with its electronics.
YES. I love these things.

So, the car didn't crank?

Put the meter on the battery posts when engine is running to see if alternator is actually charging.

To ensure connections are good, put meter across posts, then clamps; should be equal.

Check ground from battery and ground from engine.
 

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Do you have any attorney friends? They will probably not be able to help fix the car, but that dealership is atrocious, and they could help with that. A sale and accompanying warranty constitute a bilateral agreement (at least here in Louisiana). They are, in at least two ways, violating their obligations under that agreement (at least here in Louisiana). Ask an attorney about so-called "Lemon Laws" (or "redhibition" laws as we call them -you guessed it - here in Louisiana) and other laws involving new cars. Many allow for a possible award of attorney fees if you prevail. Good luck. If you were here I'd send them a letter for free.

BTW: what dealership are we talking about?
 

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I suspect (and have since I took delivery of my car) that a combination of high parasitic draw coupled with sitting around on a dealer's lot for a few months frequently can result in the original buyer getting an already weakened battery. .
I am going with this. Odd that it would start in the morning but not get charged while driving, so I would probably connect your DMM so you can read it while driving to make sure you get proper voltage consistently, but having bought a leftover daily driver new and replacing the battery 2 years later, it seems likely to me.
 

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Have you replaced the OEM battery? If it has been drained even once, I'd replace it, and it sounds like it may have been drained more than once? Second, make sure the trunk lid is firmly closed. Even with a trickle charger, the battery can drain if the trunk light is on - don't ask me how I know this! If you have trouble making sure it's latched, have the dealer adjust the latch. It's still a tricky thing (has been posted about here before).
 

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How does someone end up owning a Lotus while not knowing how to test a battery under load?
Conversely, why does someone with a brand new, $100k car need to know how to test a battery under load?
 

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Conversely, why does someone with a brand new, $100k car need to know how to test a battery under load?
Exactly. They don't. It shouldn't need to be done, especially after the dealership had the car for an extended amount of time, couldn't find the problem and had the audacity to charge the OP.

San
 

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Any thoughts? Suggestions? Similar experiences?
You need a new battery. Consider installing a simple kill switch on top of the battery to stop the parasitic draw when parked for more than a few days.

Your experience is nothing unique to the Evora 400. Many non-DD cars end up in this situation at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Given your battery only had 10.9V but you were able to drive for 98 miles without the car dying, it seemed the alternator was generating electricity when engine was running. If the alternator is normal, you probably have a dead battery as it cannot store the electricity generated.

sometime in the past, either the battery was left draining to empty and damaged the electrodes/electrolytes or it was defective from factory. Trickle charger wont revive a dead battery. probably need a new battery.
Los - i think you are spot on. In fact, this was my assumption from the beginning. It was nice to hear a few people offer up the same opinion without my prompting for it - now i just have to figure out how to get the dealership to replace it under warranty - whether Lotus pays or they do.

I would also pick up a small lipo jump starter to keep in the car. Pretty popular with my friend whose Maserati is temperamental with its electronics.
Great idea - but not the ultimate solution. A great confidence booster, though, for when i get a new battery installed! Thanks for the idea.

I suspect (and have since I took delivery of my car) that a combination of high parasitic draw coupled with sitting around on a dealer's lot for a few months frequently can result in the original buyer getting an already weakened battery. My car exhibits low voltage symptoms within a short time, perhaps as little as a five days to a week, if left without a charger.

As oldmansan mentioned, testing a battery by measuring resting voltage tells us very little since surface voltage isn't representative of the actual current delivery under load. Just turning on your headlights while measuring may result in a more accurate reading but as was also mentioned, a trip to an auto supply store that has a battery tester will answer a lot of questions since most of us have no way to put a measured load on the battery. I suspect you won't have to go past testing the battery to find an answer but either way, you'll be pointed down the right path.
Lotusquacious, Your response was the most eloquent and thoughtful of all... You are right on all accounts. Indeed, i did take much more data than what i mentioned in the post. I did not want to be overly loquacious, though... as i am oft accused of this! The initial Fluke 179 DMM readings of 10.9V were indeed *unloaded* (i'll speak to this later), but other measurements found that:
With engine running (after a jump), alternator read 13.7V with as low a load as possible
With engine running, fan, radio, seat warmers turned on (i.e. a higher load) alternator read 13.3V
Highest voltage seen while running - 13.9V while revs were fairly high for a sustained period. Reading not from the Fluke, but from a cheap LED voltage monitor plugged into the 12V
adapter in the cabin... soo.... :shrug:
Conclusion: alternator is good - and the voltage is seen at the battery terminals, not just the lugs connecting the cables (i.e. ruling out parasitics owing to corrosion of the lugs).
I did want some external validation to the theory that the battery is not properly holding a charge, though. Thanks for helping with that!


Put the meter on the battery posts when engine is running to see if alternator is actually charging.

To ensure connections are good, put meter across posts, then clamps; should be equal.

Check ground from battery and ground from engine.
This is great advice, and i've instinctually already done so, but i understand that it is worth mentioning.

Do you have any attorney friends? They will probably not be able to help fix the car, but that dealership is atrocious, and they could help with that. A sale and accompanying warranty constitute a bilateral agreement (at least here in Louisiana)...
...BTW: what dealership are we talking about?
This actually comes close to the advice i was most interested in... I'm certain the battery in my car, as delivered was not to spec. Sub par. Less than nominal. In only two weeks, it left me stranded the first time. As Lotusquacious would mention, i do not technically have the equipment to prove it. Evidently, they couldn't prove that the battery was faulty either. Does the dealership owe me a properly functioning battery that can hold a charge overnight without a battery tender hooked up at their own cost? They offered to put a new one in, for full list price and around $200 an hour.

So my big question really was - do i just go out and buy one myself and forget about this mess - or - do i push back and try to "make" them do it without my wallet? But then again, there could be something obvious that i've missed... so i posted the question.

Have you replaced the OEM battery? If it has been drained even once, I'd replace it, and it sounds like it may have been drained more than once? Second, make sure the trunk lid is firmly closed. Even with a trickle charger, the battery can drain if the trunk light is on - don't ask me how I know this! If you have trouble making sure it's latched, have the dealer adjust the latch. It's still a tricky thing (has been posted about here before).
And this was the kind of thing that i was thinking that i may have missed - so thank you, Dylan. When the battery failed to charge on Saturday, i pulled out the trunk lamps when i made it home - perhaps because of your posting of this problem before? Perhaps it was someone else, but - i put it on the charger, and the next day (super bowl sunday), it happened again. I drove to a friends house expecting this problem, though - so prepared with jumper cables. Same results all around. Almost certainly a battery that won't keep a charge, the alternator is quite well.

How does someone end up owning a Lotus while not knowing how to test a battery under load?
This is the response that had me, honestly, a bit peeved. Is this directed at the OP - i.e. myself? If not - i apologize to you for my being peeved! If it *was* directed at me, i apologize to everyone else for feeding a troll. I expected Oldmansan (or someone like him) to educate everyone who trusts an unloaded battery voltage measurement. But clearly, i did not *just* measure the battery unloaded. My next few words described the voltage as the battery was being loaded during cranking. Doesn't that seem like the description of what a person who understands how to measure voltage on a battery would do? Again, i knew some people would want to point this out - and Oldmansan, to his credit, responded to my second measurement of the battery during a load and agreed with me that it was too low. You, on the other hand, don't offer any insight and did not even seem to read the original post.

That said, if you came across a 9V in your kitchen drawer - wouldn't you pull out a DMM and see if it even reads close to 9V unloaded? Yeah, of course you would. Unless you want to claim that you are so awesome that you test it on your tongue first. Fine. If it doesn't shock your tongue, or if it reads below 7V - wouldn't you conclude the battery was junked? Of course you would.

Same thing here. My car didn't turn over. I had a decent meter with me. I checked the resting voltage and it was obviously too low. While stranded in the parking lot of a store, i did not happen to have my clamping meter leads, so i could not check voltage at the battery posts *while* cranking with a good DMM. Is that a surprise? It then occurred to me that i had a cheap USB charging port in my glove box with a voltage readout. While not exactly calibrated, 'tis what i used to watch the drop during cranking. So i gathered the data as i could.

Thanks kindly to everyone else for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You need a new battery. Consider installing a simple kill switch on top of the battery to stop the parasitic draw when parked for more than a few days.

Your experience is nothing unique to the Evora 400. Many non-DD cars end up in this situation at some point.
Thanks, +TSRAGR. Should it be under warranty, though? Or should i just buy a new one myself. The kill switch, obviously, would be on me - but wouldn't you think we shouldn't have to worry about whether our cars come with decent batteries or not? I charge it every day, and unless it's colder than 40F in the morning, i DD it every day. True, it has been about two weeks since i could drive it even one day. I know it's only a couple of hundred dollars, but i was kind of shocked that the dealership didn't even want to drop in a new battery for a new customer. Then they blamed Lotus for not being willing to cover the cost, then charged me for just checking it!

I guess i should get used to that, and just buy another battery - and a Lipo charger!
 

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How does someone end up owning a Lotus while not knowing how to test a battery under load?
Your post is rude to say the least, and while not quite a personal attack, it isn't far from it. Please keep these types of comments to yourself in the future. Thanks.

San
 

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I am having my own battles with Lotus right now over my IPS tranny. 5 times its been into the dealer for the same problem and Lotus will not throw a single part at it, or diagnose the issue. It's a **** company that went out business multiple times which doesn't surprise me one bit. For people who are worried about Geely / Chinese taking over, I say its got to be an upgrade over the piss-poor British workmanship and business practices.
 

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For both the OP & xxaarraa, I think a simple but firm letter from an attorney will get these dealerships off their donkeys. Frankly, Lotus USA (or whatever it's called) should regularly monitor this chat site and THEY should get the dealerships to perform in at least a mediocre fashion. (BTW: Lotus of Jacksonville (my experience) and Lotus of Nashville (per several reports) are great service facilities.)

It is this type of poor after-sale care that is rumored to be a major deterrent to people in the US buying new Lotuses. $100,000 for these types of problems and a disinterested dealer would be the ruin of any auto manufacturer let alone one which is already invisible to most potential buyers. When Lotus starts selling SUVs in the US they will have a quite different type of buyer. It will not be do-it-yourselfers who still tolerate a measure of unreliability and quirkiness (also sometimes called "old world hand-crafted charm"); it will be buyers who expect an expensive vehicle to actually frigging start or, alternatively, who want warranty repairs made IN ONE DAY!
 

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Just go put a new battery in yourself. If you want to put up a stink, send an invoice to Lotus USA along with an explanation of what happened along with the poor service from your dealer. May not amount to anything, but you never know. If you try to fight this through the dealer you will be left frustrated and tired.
 
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