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Been lurking for a while and ready to buy a 2007 Elise I’m looking at. I’m 900 miles away from the car so doing as much as I can remotely. I got the ECU data, but not completely familiar with what to look out for. One thing I noticed was that one digit was off on the ECU vin (model year digit says 2006) but everything else matches. Car only has 12,000 miles. Can anybody take a look and see if anything jumps out?

I’m also a little bit concerned about the car still having the stock radiator. Even if the car only has 12,000 miles, it’s 12 years old at this point.
 

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If the radiator is not leaking, no reason to worry, lots of Elises around with 50-60000 miles still on the the stock radiator.
 
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The report looks great. My car wouldn't read so clean :). If the VIN is off, the dealer should do the ECU recall. Has it had the oil line recall? Agree with @CRG53, if it's not leaking, it's not a concern. These are crimped end caps that tend to leak with age. There's plenty of warning before you need a new radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good to know about the radiator. Oil line recall and ECU recall have been done. The dealer said maybe they made a mistake when the ECU recall was done. Should/can I have them do it again?
 

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If the radiator is not leaking, no reason to worry, lots of Elises around with 50-60000 miles still on the the stock radiator.
I cannot agree with this theory. It would be one thing if one could change radiator on the side of the road, but that isn't the case.

If he drives distances vs. staying within 50 miles of home, I still wouldn't chance it. Sorry, but I do not ignore known weak points that are so important.
 

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I cannot agree with this theory. It would be one thing if one could change radiator on the side of the road, but that isn't the case.

If he drives distances vs. staying within 50 miles of home, I still wouldn't chance it. Sorry, but I do not ignore known weak points that are so important.
Yeah, I changed mine before it was a problem. One, it's a known weakness. Two, I went with a Laminova setup to ditch the oil coolers.

San
 

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I cannot agree with this theory. It would be one thing if one could change radiator on the side of the road, but that isn't the case.

If he drives distances vs. staying within 50 miles of home, I still wouldn't chance it. Sorry, but I do not ignore known weak points that are so important.

I 3rd this.
Heard this many times "There are 2 types of Lotus radiator. Ones that have failed and ones that will fail."

If you dont want to get stranded then you should replace it.
 

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The radiator is no more of a risk than it is in any other modern car. All modern cars use the same construction. It speaks to how strong the drive train is in these cars that a radiator failure mode and rate that is used in millions of cars on the road is even part of the conversation.
 

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The radiator is no more of a risk than it is in any other modern car. All modern cars use the same construction. It speaks to how strong the drive train is in these cars that a radiator failure mode and rate that is used in millions of cars on the road is even part of the conversation.
The difference with most cars is you could change a radiator in a Autostore carpark with an adjustable crescent in less than an hour (after buying the radiator from them that they had in stock).
If you you really had to to get home.

Lotus just takes more planning/time/space
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don’t plan on taking it on many long drives, but this first one will be 900 miles if I drive it back. Other option is to have it transported, but I’d rather fly down and see it in person.
 

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There's plenty of warning before you need a new radiator.
Plenty of warning? How do you figure? One second its working fine, the next second its spewing coolant all over your windshield. I would replace any plastic radiator on a US-based Elige at this point based on age alone. It will blow, it's just a matter of when.
 

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You kind of need to see the max lift part of each lobe in high def. so it's hard to say for sure but it looks ok.
 

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The radiator is no more of a risk than it is in any other modern car. All modern cars use the same construction.
It absolutely is more of a risk. Radiators in normal cars sit upright, typically on rubber mounting feet. Elige radiators lay on their back in a car that has extremely firm suspension, getting bumped and shaken at every mile. Elige radiators literally take a beating compared to a normal car.
 

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Plenty of warning? How do you figure? One second its working fine, the next second its spewing coolant all over your windshield. I would replace any plastic radiator on a US-based Elige at this point based on age alone. It will blow, it's just a matter of when.
I "figure" because it leaks long before there is potential for any kind of overheating damage. There is plenty of time to recognize and repair the part. In fact we're fortunate in that most cars don't have the radiator airflow over the windshield that gives us the signal.

Now I am all for preventative maintenance. In fact, I replaced the radiator on my Miata just last month because the end caps had turned from black to brown, indicating it has become brittle. That original radiator was 25 years old.

But this is not nearly as urgent as some here would make it out to be. There's no sudden failure like the oil line or broken track arm.

Try owning a late 90s/early 00's Porsche, now that car is full of disastrous failure potential without warning.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I guess overall I’m slightly paranoid about getting a PPI done by the dealer it’s being sold from. It’s for sale at a lotus dealer so that’s the logical place to take it. They put in a new battery and said everything else looks great.
 

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It absolutely is more of a risk. Radiators in normal cars sit upright, typically on rubber mounting feet. Elige radiators lay on their back in a car that has extremely firm suspension, getting bumped and shaken at every mile. Elige radiators literally take a beating compared to a normal car.
That's an argument for mileage, not age.
 

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I guess overall I’m slightly paranoid about getting a PPI done by the dealer it’s being sold from. It’s for sale at a lotus dealer so that’s the logical place to take it. They put in a new battery and said everything else looks great.
I wouldn't trust a dealer for an inspection on their own car. Have you ever tried a mobile inspection?
 

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Hard to say from those photos. They can look bad and be completely smooth with no ridges.
The RH intake cam is usually the worst (and in your photo it does look the worst).

Looking at your photo it 'looks' like theres a reasonable ridge but to be honest thats probably the angle of the photo.

You need to run a finger nail over them to really know.

If they are just streaky and strange looking then thats normal. If its scares and ridges then it starting to wear. And the time they last after that is beyond my experience so I wouldnt want to comment.

Edit: For reassurance, from your 2 photos I would put money on it being perfectly fine. The dealer doing their own inspection is not ideal though.

1256501
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I did call a local mechanic nearby the dealer asking about doing the PPI. He was willing to do the inspection, but he actually vouched for the service manager and recommended I just go with them. Still a bit of a gamble, but I’m going for it. Arranging a flight down there to pick it up later this week.
 
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