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Discussion Starter #1
Today was going to be a fantastic day. Many of us Michiganders I'm sure were getting the 'itch' with the weather these last couple days, especially since it has been an exceptionally cold winter. Today was the second day of 65+ degrees. I was looking forward to getting the elise out the first time this year and taking the wife to dinner.

I go around the car and pick up all the "anti-mouse" dryer sheets, set tire pressures, and off I go right?

Not so fast. I noticed a darkened area on the garage floor centered at the left front corner of the car. At first I passed it off as an old stain from a previous 15 year old car that had been parked there in the past. Then I decide to feel the bottomside of the elise, just to be safe. And what do I find, my hand comes back wet with motor oil. I get a flashlight and see a 3" diameter pool of "fresh" oil.

I think the old stain is just that, an old stain, but that fresh oil is obviously from the Lotus. I can only assume it is the oil cooler or the fittings for the lines.

I made sure there were no mouse furnishings in the vicinity to rule out animal damage. The only thing I can think of is the exceptionally cold weather caused the cooler or fittings to crack. I suppose the leak could be slow enough that only when the car was sitting long enough did I notice it (dipstick showed 75% filled)

Anyone else had this happen?

I guess its first trip this spring will be on a carrier to the dealer :(
 

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Unless your garage was approaching liquid nitrogen temps there is absolutely no way the metal components in the oil cooler system could by cracked by thermal "shock". Rubber components are somewhat more susceptible to cold temps, but even so it would probably take some pressurization or flexing of the components while they were at very low temps to induce a problem.
 

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Anyone else had this happen?
Maybe. What year is your car?

Some of the early '05s had a problem with the oil cooler connections cracking. It had to do with them being improperly assembled (tightening the hose connector without holding the cooler's fitting with a wrench) - after they changed the assembly procedures at the factory, the problem went away (mostly). Later cars shouldn't have the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
2007. I'm hoping that the fitting is just under-torqued. Yesterday I ran the car for about 20 minutes, I could see oil had collected at the fitting again, but it was difficult to pinpoint exactly what part of the fitting was leaking. It seemed almost as if it was leaking on both sides of the hose fitting nut. Since I can't get tools in there and I'm still under warrenty, I will be bringing it in, just as soon as I get some mods installed. (shifter and fire ext bracket).
 
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