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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay guys, been a lurker here for about a year. Ready to purchase now but over the last week I have read EVERY single thread/post on this insane cam lobe wear/rocker arm breaking issue.

To say the least, it upsets me greatly and I am reconsidering picking up one of these great cars. I am coming from a supercharged S2000, where even with boost, the cars engine is almost bulletproof, never would you have an issue like this from my current car.

I honestly cannot believe that the major problems occurring in the Elise are due to the TOYOTA power plant. That is mind blowing to me.

My question is this: Is this more of a consolidated problem that seems bigger than it really is due to reading an internet forum, or is this problem as big as it seems? If one gets an Elise, it almost seems to me, that its not if this problem arises, its when.

Can anyone comment on this and give me some insight?

All of the other little bugs and issues dont bother me, but seeing many cases of these cars developing the issue at 2000 miles kills my desire to get one. It seems fitting that you guys use this smiley: TADTS

Discuss.-poke-
 

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It isn't that frequent. Talk to a Lotus service tech to put it in perspective.
 

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I believe most cases are isolated to the 2005 MY.

Have a Lotus technician remove the valve cover and inspect the cams/rockers before you purchase one! :up:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe most cases are isolated to the 2005 MY.

Have a Lotus technician remove the valve cover and inspect the cams/rockers before you purchase one! :up:
Well I would be getting a 2005. Also, I am picking up a car from a different state so having a tech look at it beforehand is sort of difficult. The car only has 4k miles on it but mileage doesn't really matter from what I have researched.
 

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Well I would be getting a 2005. Also, I am picking up a car from a different state so having a tech look at it beforehand is sort of difficult. The car only has 4k miles on it but mileage doesn't really matter from what I have researched.
See if someone in the state where the car is has a recommendation for a mechanic to take a look at it for you.

Hell, someone on the board might be able to take a look at it, and atleast listen to the idle for you, and report back on whether they heard any bad valve ticking etc..
 

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I have a 2005 that is still under warranty, with around 21,000 miles. I was recently at Newport Lotus to have a seat rail replaced under warranty and I paid to have them pop the valve cover and check for abnormal or excessive wear. The tech looked at me like - ok it's your money.... He said all looked great, no problems and that the wear issue was only a very very small batch of cars in early 2005, very isolated incident, he had only seen it once in all his time working on the cars.
 

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I myself am also a newb ,But one of the forum members did a test and found out its not the actual cam but rather a line run under the cam cover to coat the cam in oil ( cant recall the tecnical term )And on some of them the one sprayer hole isnt properly lined up. itr an easy fix no problem
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a 2005 that is still under warranty, with around 21,000 miles. I was recently at Newport Lotus to have a seat rail replaced under warranty and I paid to have them pop the valve cover and check for abnormal or excessive wear. The tech looked at me like - ok it's your money.... He said all looked great, no problems and that the wear issue was only a very very small batch of cars in early 2005, very isolated incident, he had only seen it once in all his time working on the cars.
1. How is your car still under warranty if its a 2005?

2. From reading countless threads on this, its definately NOT just 2005s, there are many 2006s with the same issues.

And to the next post, the oil sprayers from the valve cover have not been verified to cause this problem. Many people have actually ruled this out.
 

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This is very easy to check. takes about 15 min.

Remove the plastic cover over the plugs...remove the sparkplug boots/coilpacks..
Remove the 10-mm bolts holding the valve cover on. Make sure you get all of them.

Remove the breather pipe. pull cover and look. It should come right off....if it does not...look for another bolt.

About the only semi-difficult part is the breather pipe.

Look and run your fingernail across the intake cams...

Edti...as I recall all you need is a 10mm socket setup...with an extension. 10mm wrench and maybe a 4mm socket to remove the studs on the breather if you cannot get it off without doing so.
 

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Last time I purchased a "bulletproof" engine, it lasted about 2.5-3 hrs (it wasn't a Toyota - it was a "built" 4.6l DOHC FORD).

Keep in mind Yamaha designed the engine for Toyota. Also keep in mind that Toyota dropped revs to 7800 in '05 and the motor was designed to be normally aspirated not supercharged. Lotus added a supercharger and increased revs to 8500 without changing a single thing internally. So you can't really blame Toyota.

I've also seen "bulletproof" Honda motors expire.
 

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1. How is your car still under warranty if its a 2005?

2. From reading countless threads on this, its definately NOT just 2005s, there are many 2006s with the same issues.

And to the next post, the oil sprayers from the valve cover have not been verified to cause this problem. Many people have actually ruled this out.
1. Think about it for a second ...... give up ? It was a brand new unsold 2005 on the lot at South Bay Lotus in July 2006, Abe called me up and told me to come down and buy it since it was the color I wanted and he needed to move it. The warranty starts from the day you buy a brand new car from an Authorized Lotus dealership, not from the year it was built. I am only at 21,000 miles so does that make sense to you now ?

2. Authorized Lotus Techs - ( that is with an s ) that are well known and very trusted, and who have no reason to lie, have told me it was a very isolated issue with a few engines, not very common to see.... there could have very well been some bleed over into the 2006 year....
 

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1. Think about it for a second ...... give up ? It was a brand new unsold 2005 on the lot at South Bay Lotus in July 2006, Abe called me up and told me to come down and buy it since it was the color I wanted and he needed to move it. The warranty starts from the day you buy a brand new car from an Authorized Lotus dealership, not from the year it was built. does that make sense to you now ?

2. Authorized Lotus Techs - ( that is with an s ) that are well known and very trusted, and who have no reason to lie, have told me it was a very isolated issue with a few engines, not very common to see....
Yeah, I believe there's been some 10-15 reports of this problem, there are several thousand Elises & Exiges out there.
 

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delise, you need to go back and double check you warranttee... seriously... well i guess it's expiring in july anyway, but the lotus warranttee policy is ABSOLUTELY NOT that the warranttee starts when you buy it. That is a total falacy, that Lotus apparently has no intent to correct.

It starts when the car has 50 miles on it (if the dealer logs it with lotus, or if lotus uses it as a press car), or it start at the point that the dealer has had the car for 6 months... which lotus keeps track of, which the dealer can't change. If neither situation is true, THEN, and only then, does your warranttee starts when you bought it.

I'm sure lotus can be cool about it if they want to and change your warranttee expiration date to coincide with your purchase, but it's is by no means their policy and they can use it to deny coverage. Ron Mann, their warranttee guy, was totally lame and had no interest in a good faith effort, and used every technicality he could to prevent covering my car for a problem that was present for the whole duration of my owning it... just my lifestyle meant i wasn't near my car when the alarm was going off improperly.

Mine was out of warranttee 9 months earlier than i thought becuase of their ACTUAL warranttee policy which the dealers often don't even knowabout, or lie about. And if Abe didn't know Lotus' warrantty policy when he sold you the car, he certainly knows about it now and i got no support from him either, he's in regional sales now. A very souring experience. Too bad.
 

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i have never heard of the cam problem EXCEPT on the internet. that is to say i or anyone i personaly know, has never had an issue.
 

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delise, you need to go back and double check you warranttee... seriously... well i guess it's expiring in july anyway, but the lotus warranttee policy is ABSOLUTELY NOT that the warranttee starts when you buy it. That is a total falacy, that Lotus apparently has no intent to correct.

It starts when the car has 50 miles on it (if the dealer logs it with lotus, or if lotus uses it as a press car), or it start at the point that the dealer has had the car for 6 months... which lotus keeps track of, which the dealer can't change. If neither situation is true, THEN, and only then, does your warranttee starts when you bought it.

I'm sure lotus can be cool about it if they want to and change your warranttee expiration date to coincide with your purchase, but it's is by no means their policy and they can use it to deny coverage. Ron Mann, their warranttee guy, was totally lame and had no interest in a good faith effort, and used every technicality he could to prevent covering my car for a problem that was present for the whole duration of my owning it... just my lifestyle meant i wasn't near my car when the alarm was going off improperly.

Mine was out of warranttee 9 months earlier than i thought becuase of their ACTUAL warranttee policy which the dealers often don't even knowabout, or lie about. And if Abe didn't know Lotus' warrantty policy when he sold you the car, he certainly knows about it now and i got no support from him either, he's in regional sales now. A very souring experience. Too bad.
At least in Cali my warranty is 3 years or 30,000 miles from date of purchase, I have never been informed by any of the Lotus authorized reps/techs that this is not the case, though it might vary from state to state. When the Newport, Silver Star and Lotus Beverly Hills techs all looked up my vin it shows the date I purchased the car +3 years to the day, as the day the warranty expires - July 16th 2009. Have never seen otherwise and have never even had an eyebrow raised about a warranty claim including my recent warranty radiator replacement just last week, and before that, my seat rail replacement in May. Also your alarm going off could fall under the warranty of the Alarm maker possibly not Lotus ,or maybe it was a could not reproduce case ? If your Blaupunkt stereo broke I think they would refer you to the stereo manufacturer for warranty repairs? The alarm is a 3rd party unit, possibly it is considered a US aftermarket upgrade? Dunno but my experience does NOT reflect yours at all, and I am still under warranty until July 16th 2009 go figure :shrug: I am guessing maybe there is more to your story - Abe is and always has been %100 stand up guy...

As far as Lotus policy, that has absolutely nothing to do with California law, they can say or claim what ever they want, but they are doing biz in Cali, they have to follow cali law, and in most cases the consumer is favored...

Also for what it's worth, when I first picked up my car from Abe, the alarm was set WAY too sensitive from the factory and would go off if a cat jumped on the hood or if a garbage truck was idling nearby ( which is strange for a motion detection alarm) I took it in to South Bay and Abe had it adjusted and ready to go in a matter of an hour or so - no charge. And to adjust it you need to remove the rear plastic cabin wall !
 
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