1. These cars have large (i.e. dangerous) blind spots. Multivex mirrors are NLA, but RLS (Really Light Stuff) offers very good tape-on replacements.
2. The horns are way too weak (quiet). There’s an inverse relationship: smaller the car, louder the horn needs to be.
Get something such as a Stebel Nautilus.
Stebel: “HONK! LOOK OUT!”
Remove the stock horn; replace with louder.
(I drive with my finger on the horn button in any traffic. Iffy situations, my headlights are on.
Stay to the left of traffic, i.e. avoid passing on the right if you can.
Stop way behind trucks, SUVs, etc. Some have blindspots >50’. )
3. The early cars came with misaimed and dim headlights. If you drive at night, convert to HIDs. While better than stock halogen bulbs are available, HIDs throw more light. Stay around 5000k. As of this writing LEDs are not as good.
4. Ensure your car has had the work required by the recall for oil line fittings done. You could lose an engine and/or spin in your own oil.
The best transmission lube I’ve found is Redline MT-90 plus a little Power Punch Extreme Gear Oil Additive. (Note that it takes two changes to get rid of the previous lube.)
These (lube, mods) make a huge change in shifting.
6. As per some engine builders on these sites, wait AT LEAST 20 -35 minutes aftercoolant has reached full operating temp before engaging cam switchover.
For street cars, consider removing one or both oil coolers. Some cover them. Oil doesn’t get hot enough on street, leading to cam wiping.
I use Mobil 1 5W-40 Turbo Diesel oil. 85k miles and fine, but one is not a useful example.
7. Rear toe-links can loosen and break with disastrous results. You can check tq periodically, or use Nordlock washers. Best is conversion to better engineered brace, such as BOE’s InoKinetic’s for two examples.
8. While under the car with panel off, look around for hoses and wires chafing their way to failure. That’s how this was found:
So I’ve been pretty quite as of late and don’t think I’ve seen this cooling issue addressed before. This last Friday I discovered a small cooling leak originating from the front side of the engine of my Cartoon Car. So I took the undertray off and slid under to take a look at what might be the...
9. The stock radiators are prone to leaking where the end caps meet the metal part. Keep an eye on this. Most of us use single-pass all-aluminum radiators.
10. When your wheel well liner comes loose, skip the lame plastic rivet and use Well-Nuts instead.
11. Life will be better if you disable the auto-arming alarm function on the earlier cars. You won’t have to press a button to start the car. Instructions:
12. These cars cannot be left off a Battery Tender for weeks at a time. Unless dead batteries are a particular joy of yours. Buy one right away. There are numerous threads here about which ppl use and like.
You NEED a digital multimeter (voltmeter) to work on modern cars. Handy around house too. Get one this week.
13, Some on this site are a bit obsessed with hockey pucks for lifting the car. Don’t use these. Too hard and slippery, generally, and too small a surface area. Use a piece of wood, as your hero does.
14. If you are fooling with sparkplugs, remember to slather those tubes in dielectric grease (prevents shorts).
16. Most parts on the car are made by Toyota and others, so buying things like a/c compressors, engine parts, etc. is wildly expensive when purchased thru Lotus.
Toyota dealers, auto parts stores are way less expensive.
17. The soft high-grip tires on most of our cars lose much of that grip when temperatures drop below 50 F. I know of too many ppl who spun their cars when not remembering this. I use hi-performance all-seasons.
Note that many summer tires cannot even be stored in temps below 20 F.