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How do you know if you have one? I thought I might when I was changing my swaybar and shocks this weekend. There was a slight glaze of oil just aft of the front service panel on each side of the car underneath on the aluminum. However, I checked my oil and it's not low. I do not have any puddles forming under the car. Any help? It's still very much under warranty (for 11 more months) so I'm covered. thanks all
 

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I remember reading something about how the crimped metal band that holds the oil line to the oil cooler sometimes gets loose and drips oil. Perhaps that was a problem with older cars that has since been fixed? I am not sure, but maybe it's worth a look. It sounds like your oil spots are in the right place.
 

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I had a leak and had to put some dye in the oil and drive it until you could see with a black light where the leak was coming from.
Very hard to see with the confined access.
I used a small dental mirror on a stick to probe around with the light behind looking for the green glow.
The fitting could be accessed without taking off the clam with a crow foot wrench.
 

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How do you know if you have one? I thought I might when I was changing my swaybar and shocks this weekend. There was a slight glaze of oil just aft of the front service panel on each side of the car underneath on the aluminum. However, I checked my oil and it's not low. I do not have any puddles forming under the car. Any help? It's still very much under warranty (for 11 more months) so I'm covered. thanks all
The original cars sometimes had an oil leak at the oil coolers. It had to do with the oil line fitting being improperly tightened to the cooler and causing the tube on the cooler to crack (you have to hold both sides with a wrench to prevent this). They fixed the procedures at the factory, so that shouldn't be a problem after the early cars.

To see if the coolers/joints have a leak, feel the foam "insulation" - the foam that fills the gaps between the cooler and the shroud. The foam absorbs oil from any leaks, so if it is saturated, you most likely have a leak. The hoses themselves should show oil on the hoses - that oil may or may not get into the foam.
 

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Mine leaked (early '05 model), and I first noticed a few spots on my garage floor. By the time I noticed, my entire wheel well was splattered with oil.
 

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How do you access that, Tim? By removing a wheel liner?
Yep. You need to expose the back side of the cooler that's covered by the wheel liner. You have to poke your finger between the shroud and cooler. There should also be some oil collected on the body under the cooler. Here's a link to a photo in a previous thread - the shroud is the "gray" looking part over the cooler and the foam is under the shroud: http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=263034&postcount=22
 

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How do you get to the lower front hose of the driver side oil cooler? It's too cramped in there to get two tools/hands in so I assume you have to pull it out from the wheel well? how's that done?

Thx in advance
 

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Yellow Fever!
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New oil leak of my own

I'm grateful for this thread, since I just noticed my car is now leaking oil from the driver-side wheel well. Bummer. Now I'm wondering if the body shop that had to remove the front clam, the coolers, and the radiator back in January might have incorrectly re-attached the cooler(s) after the body work. Seems the most likely cause at this point, until I take the liner off to look at it tomorrow.

So, if it is a leak at the connection, what does anyone think are the chances the body shop would own up to it? Slim? None? Worth a shot??
 

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New oil leak of my own

I'm grateful for this thread, since I just noticed my car is now leaking oil from the driver-side wheel well. Bummer. Now I'm wondering if the body shop that had to remove the front clam, the coolers, and the radiator back in January might have incorrectly re-attached the cooler(s) after the body work. Seems the most likely cause at this point, until I take the liner off to look at it tomorrow.

So, if it is a leak at the connection, what does anyone think are the chances the body shop would own up to it? Slim? None? Worth a shot??
Dude I just had my oil cooler leak fixed last week. Sorry dude. Sounds like your car is out of warranty just like mine.

I would take it to a third party -- my local Lotus dealer or a mechanic that I trust. Explain 'em the story and check the car out for incorrect reassembly. If they say it was incorrectly reassembled, you have a case that you can pursue with the body shop. Local Lotus dealer saying this is a stronger case, and they may even call the body shop for you if it is true. I would ask them to do that. However, since this is a common fault on the cars I would suspect that it went bad on its own. But you have to ask.

There are cases where the oil coolers fittings just need a little tightening. Sometimes its the fittings themselves that go bad. However, my oil cooler was bad and leaking (slowly) from its lower portion. My Lotus guy showed me the old part.

Atlanta: if you have a Sport and don't track the car -- technically you only need one cooler. There is a way to remove one of the two coolers and make things work -- save some $$$. That's my plan if the other one goes -- haha!

Oh and it sounds like you have a slow leak. Mine was puddling but the oil level was still full. My Lotus dealer told me I could drive it, but I had to monitor it. I wanted to get it fixed ASAP though. . .

Tomorrow I'm buying an extended warranty so I don't have to worry about this stuff again. They are very reasonable.

Good luck, Atlanta! Mine was $800.00 to fix (the cooler itself is $350ish), but the dealer and I worked out a better deal 'cause I had only had the car three weeks. . .
 

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Yellow Fever!
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I'm hoping to pull off the wheel well liner either tonight, or tomorrow AM to see what's leaking. My understanding from this and other threads, is that it's not so much the early 05's like mine are defective, but that they are an accident waiting to happen (i.e., when someone incorrectly tightens down the connection without supporting the cooler side of it). In any case, I will update here if/when I discover anything significant.
 

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Yellow Fever!
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My leak

Finally got a chance to look, and after pulling the wheel well liner off of the driver's side, I was able to reproduce the leak while rev-ing the engine at operating temperature. The origin appears to be right at the spot where the hose meets the connector (silver). Oil began oozing from around the connector. Just below is where most of the oil has coated everything, so it makes sense. I did an autocross this weekend, and the oil leak apparently was sufficient to splatter back onto the tire; there are 'dots' of oil throughout the wheel well. I'm kinda surprised there weren't traction issues!

Before I take it to a Lotus mechanic (who, I don't know), I may try to tighten the connection (being careful to hold the cooler side stationary) to see if solves the issue.
 

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Finally got a chance to look, and after pulling the wheel well liner off of the driver's side, I was able to reproduce the leak while rev-ing the engine at operating temperature. The origin appears to be right at the spot where the hose meets the connector (silver). Oil began oozing from around the connector. Just below is where most of the oil has coated everything, so it makes sense. I did an autocross this weekend, and the oil leak apparently was sufficient to splatter back onto the tire; there are 'dots' of oil throughout the wheel well. I'm kinda surprised there weren't traction issues!

Before I take it to a Lotus mechanic (who, I don't know), I may try to tighten the connection (being careful to hold the cooler side stationary) to see if solves the issue.
Doesn't sound as big as deal as mine. Hopefully a little tightening, and you'll be good to go!
 
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