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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone!

Quick intro: New the the forums and I love it, you all have a great sense of humor and share something very cool/unique in common. I live in South Florida and have recently decided to upgrade cars and the Elise wins.!

I am looking to buy a used Elise and believe to have found one in South Florida. I have yet to test drive the car, but this will happen 3/24. This will be the big, I LOVE IT/I HATE IT moment. But I have no doubt that I will love it.

Possible future Lotus...

2005 Lotus Elise, Orange (not sure what specific color)
10,000 Miles
Perfect Condition. (whatever that means, need lotus inspection)
Sport package, Star shield, Touring package, Power Windows and Doors.
Hard Top and Soft Top.
Upgraded stereo system (1000$) with CD, Ipod cable, satellite Radio and Blue Tooth.
Manual 6 speed.
Air conditioning.
NON-smoker

I believe the car was purchased in Massachusetts but he now moved to South Florida.

$29,900

(Sounds reasonable to me?)

What do I need to look for and ask when purchasing a used Lotus Elise?:shrug:

- How many owners?
- VIN to get CARFAX report
- Tracked or NOT
- Driven in SALT/SNOW?
- I know the 2005 models had a few "issues" covered under warranty...Were those taken care of?
- Is it NECESSARY to take it to a Lotus Dealer for inspection? Is it unreasonable for me to ask for that to be done? Is that expensive for a checkup of sorts?

I see this is great group of people who love there cars and are extremely helpful. I hope one day to return the favor.

Any advice/help/comments/questions would be extremely appreciated, please let me know what I should look out for and be thinking.

I know I'm going to love the test drive, so Im taking the plunge. No turning bank. I will take my Digital SLR camera and get some shots. Post em Tomorrow.

Sorry for writing so much, thanks for reading!

- Jose :D
 

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Do not rush into a decision either way. Its a buyers market right now, so dont think you need buy the moment after you drive it.

Do some research here for your answers, but look for normal wear and tear. I would suggest getting it checked out by a Lotus dealer, because even a small amount of chassis damage could be costly. It will be money well spent for a proper inspection since you are new to the Elise and not sure what to look for.

Enjoy the test drive!
 

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You say the car is in 'perfect condition.' I guess that's about all you need to know!

Seriously, what criteria was used to determine it's in perfect condition? Lotus tech inspect it? Look thoroughly for crash damage? ECU dump?

Or does it shine up nice and detail-out to look 'perfect?'
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do not rush into a decision either way. Its a buyers market right now, so dont think you need buy the moment after you drive it.

Do some research here for your answers, but look for normal wear and tear. I would suggest getting it checked out by a Lotus dealer, because even a small amount of chassis damage could be costly. It will be money well spent for a proper inspection since you are new to the Elise and not sure what to look for.

Enjoy the test drive!
Today will ONLY be a test drive and hopefully its everything I think of and some. I'm sure it will be! I do feel that I have some advantage in this "buyers market"

I dont want to do anything irrational, but Its pretty much everything I want, right color, right specs. I dont want to let it slip away!

I used search.

I used 'Buying a used elise checklist' as my search term.

This was the first thread that came up: http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f118/pre-purchase-inspection-checklist-37668/
Thank you. I see my search wasnt thorough enough.

Definitely have it checked by a Lotus dealer. It has enough quirks that you want someone knowledgeable to look it over... if not, you could end up like this

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f231/fu-k-sh-cr-p-damage-30674/
Having a dealer inspect it sounds great. Wilco!

You say the car is in 'perfect condition.' I guess that's about all you need to know!

Seriously, what criteria was used to determine it's in perfect condition? Lotus tech inspect it? Look thoroughly for crash damage? ECU dump?

Or does it shine up nice and detail-out to look 'perfect?'
That was a more of a copy and paste from the AD. But I wont know unless I have a lotus tech check it as its been advised.

thanks for your time:nanner:
 

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have a dealer inspect the car, get a ecu dump, check carfax


enjoy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Reference the ECU dump, this is done at the inspection correct??

Is it normal for me to ask for this from the dealer ? This is something something which the seller shouldn't object to, because if not then something isnt right....
 

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Reference the ECU dump, this is done at the inspection correct??

Is it normal for me to ask for this from the dealer ? This is something something which the seller shouldn't object to, because if not then something isnt right....
Absolutely. Lotus dealers will know exactly what you're asking for. The seller should not object. Some dealers may charge $50 for the ECU Dump, and some may include it in the inspection.

Once you get the ECU Dump, scan it and post it here so people can have a look.

Welcome, and Good luck with your purchase!
 

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In for a local with the same name. :D

I've been looking for months now so don't rush into the first car you fall in love with. :p
 

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I would totally use the checklist.

Some miscellaneous crap to look for that you might not think of that bugged me:

1. what color is the starshield - can you see a difference in the paint covered with it or not? if you can, it's typical, but it might mean you would want to replace it... I did.

2. rotor rust. dude, I can not STAND rust on my new-to-me Lotus... the rotors will be gone soon on mine... what shape are your prospective rotors in?

3. do the climate controls work? CHECK THIS... I didn't and my resistor pack was fried. luckily the car was under warranty

4. engine bay - look at the carpeting in the boot area to see if it is damp or discolored from fluids. saw one that was, didn't buy that one.

5. if you have it inspected, LOOK AT BOTH SIDES OF THE BELLY PAN! if yours is as NASTY as mine was, you may want to inquire as to WHY

6. when you go over bumps, do you hear any banging noise from the steering column? if you do, that's a problem

7. was the stereo upgraded? LOOK and see what speakers are in there. write them down if you don't recognize them and see if they are stock - does the deck work? what about the CD player, does it work?

8. the top - you need to take it off when you are driving it. if you smell an excessive gas smell, you have a problem that needs to be addressed. you will know if you smell it because you will have a headache in no time.

9. the top -good opportunity to learn how it goes on and off

10. let the car heat up - i mean go for a ride and then when you get back, stop and let it heat up until the temp gets above 190. take off again. do you smell antifreeze? i did. sucked to be me.

11. turn the wheel and hold it in a long turn. does your front end feel like it is bouncing? mine did... then I noticed the steering wheel was cocked to the right... is yours?

12. rims - got chunks of paint missing?

Oh yeah, and "Perfect" is a very different thing for different people. Perfect to a photographer like you will be VERY VERY different than most. I would bring my camera if I were you and shoot photos of everything wrong with it, or anything that MIGHT be wrong... I did and it helped me weigh the decision.
 

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just an FYI, there was a 05 Chrome Orange Elise in Miami area that was damaged and the seller lied about it that was posted here and on ebay a few times over the last 2 years...not saying that its the same one, but I would post VIN and Pics on here, I think I saved the info on that one somewhere...but for sure, get VIN and post....

Im not saying you are looking at the same one, but it cant hurt to check..
 

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What is an ECU Dump?
A Lotus Scan Tool is attached to the OBDII port on the car and the stored information in the ECU is "dumped" to the scan tool and can be viewed, printed, reset, etc. That information includes such items as the number of standing starts, highest RPMs seen, RPM range durations, speeds, etc. It allows a potential buyer (or Lotus for warranty purposes) to determine how a given car has been driven/abused/babied.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am in S. Florida, may I ask where the car is?
Michael
Located in Ft. Lauderdale it still has a Massachusetts tag.

TEST drove the car today for 6.2 miles. Everything I expected. He seemed fairly straight forward and "honest". He really didnt try to hide anything and even told me little details like rain getting into the car. He treated me as if I didnt know anything about it, which was fine, I dont know a lot but I learned a few things from you all here.

He walked me around the car showing me 2 visible imperfections, no dings, or cracks / rust that I could see. I was unable to take pictures because I had the wrong lens on my DSLR, I had a ZOOM lens I use for aviation photography. Lame! But 1st was the star shield nicked, the size of a pencil eraser, still there but "flapping" ... it was hanging. Really small. From everyday driving I assume.

2nd: when he showed me the engine, the plastic clip to hold the metal bar down in place, when the lid isnt up, is broken.

Those were the only two visible major defects.

Upgraded radio w/ blue tooth/ sirius satelite (i dont use it) upgraded speakers all around. Sounded just fine. He said he spent near $1,000 (doesnt sound $1,000 nice :huh:)

Took it for a test drive, has 11,000 miles. He explained waiting for the temperature to show up on the LCD before taking it over 6k RPM.

He hasnt TRACKED it, but he said he had "DRIVEN IT" a few times here and there. He said, the car is built for it. You dont have a car like this and not punch it every once in a while. (sounds about right)

Pushed it in 2nd gear through 7000 RPM and i was in disbelief. It threw me back in the seat, i shifted into third and slowed it down! I was impressed! I cant say anything else but this just dropped my jaw. :clap::drool::clap::drool::clap::drool:

He then told me to make to turns and when I hit the brake he said, PUNCH IT, I DID. And the car hugged the road! It was maybe like 10-15 minutes of Driving time 6.2 Miles.

He is the 3rd owner. 1st owner, had it for a few thousand miles. His buddy 2nd owner, had it for another few thousand, he had it for the last 5k? Dunno specifically but roughly thats it. I need carfax report to confirm.
Total 11k Miles, 3 owners.

Never driven in snow, first time driven in rain was in miami.

He has taken the car in to regular oil places to get it changed! He almost said it like, OH no I would never do it, I TOOK IT IN. O.O:no:

He said HE DID not think they were the STOCK tires. I dont, I know they were yokohamas but I dont remember the specs. (srry) I HOPE they were stock cuz, wth, 10k miles and burning through tires already??? He didnt sound too sure. Maybe the pics I post will help.

Um. Looked good. Felt good. Nothing crazy. Mind you my first look at a lotus, dont know whats missing or what not.

He said its clean, to check carfax. here is the VIN
SCCPC11155HL30243

He did not object to taking it to a Lotus Dealer for a proper inspection.... ( is that expensive??? , I need to call )

Since I had a zoom lens on my camera these were the only good pics I was able to get.











 

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sounds all about right...

I know how excited you are right now. I was the exact same way. try to mellow a few days, and if possible when you get it inspected, go through the big list and the list I wrote out for you above.

you need to do that for a car like this.

Re: tires being smoked in 10K - that is expected in this car if they are using the OEM Lotus tires, which looked to be the case by the tread shapes. It also appears that the rear tires will need to be replaced soon.

good luck bro.
 

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Those wheels are not sport pack wheels. So either the car does not have sport pack or the sport pack wheels were replaced with stock wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Those wheels are not sport pack wheels. So either the car does not have sport pack or the sport pack wheels were replaced with stock wheels.
That is not good to hear! I mean can you guys post a sports pack tire VS stock (which these appear):shrug:

Following is 2008 Sport Pack Options... I guess I have to look for all that at the inspection....


• Lightweight Forged Silver Alloy Wheels
(6J x 16 Front / 7.5J x 17 Rear)
• Yokohama AD07 Advan LTS Tires
(175/55 R16 Front / 225/45 R17 Rear)
• Lotus Sport Tuned Suspension
• Twin Oil Coolers
• Lotus Traction Control
• ProBax™ Sport Seats (in cloth unless combined
with Touring Pack)

Sport Pack eliminates approximately 20 lbs. from curb weight.


sounds all about right...

I know how excited you are right now. I was the exact same way. try to mellow a few days, and if possible when you get it inspected, go through the big list and the list I wrote out for you above.

you need to do that for a car like this.

Re: tires being smoked in 10K - that is expected in this car if they are using the OEM Lotus tires, which looked to be the case by the tread shapes. It also appears that the rear tires will need to be replaced soon.

good luck bro.
New tires are def. needed. I will do that full check list for sure, it looks good. Earlier someone posted another check list which I dont have the proper software to view it....----->

I used search.

I used 'Buying a used elise checklist' as my search term.

This was the first thread that came up: http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f118/pre-purchase-inspection-checklist-37668/

But over all I am trying to take it easy... and well you know, hit the BUY IT NOW BUTTON in my brain. lol.

Thank you all for your time and help, truly appreciated!
 
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