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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning to look at a 2011 Elise with less than 3,000 miles on it. Are there problems associated with a car that has been driven so little in the past 8-9 years? I'll have a PPI done. I couldn't find information on this issue, if it even is one.
 

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Less is Better
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Dry rubber bushings, dry tires, oil seals, brake lines, injector seals, varnished gasoline, dead battery, same as with any car that just sits.
 

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Gonna drive my car more.
 
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It depends a lot on the conditions the car sat in. Outside FL TX sun or MN winters. Tires 100% need replacement as well as all fluids full flush. I would prime engine rotating manually with new oil and pull valve cover and coat cams with redline assembly lube before rotating. Rotate with spark plugs removed. Once rotated several revolutions and no binding I would start it. If stored in a hospitable environment the bushings should still be good. Shocks on the other hand may need replacement. Make sure a full brake fluid flush is performed before driving and be sure brake pedal modulates freely with good pressure.Take needed measures and the car should be great!

Tommy
 
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Discussion Starter #6
It depends a lot on the conditions the car sat in. Outside FL TX sun or MN winters. Tires 100% need replacement as well as all fluids full flush. I would prime engine rotating manually with new oil and pull valve cover and coat cams with redline assembly lube before rotating. Rotate with spark plugs removed. Once rotated several revolutions and no binding I would start it. If stored in a hospitable environment the bushings should still be good. Shocks on the other hand may need replacement. Make sure a full brake fluid flush is performed before driving and be sure brake pedal modulates freely with good pressure.Take needed measures and the car should be great!

Tommy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot, Tommy. This was a Florida car that has been in Southern California for four years. My plan was for a PPI, then assuming it checked out well, to drive it from Anaheim to San Francisco (home). Given all you said, maybe this isn't a good idea? I kind of doubt the PPI will include the details you've included, but I don't know. The seller said he drives it a little.
 

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Thanks a lot, Tommy. This was a Florida car that has been in Southern California for four years. My plan was for a PPI, then assuming it checked out well, to drive it from Anaheim to San Francisco (home). Given all you said, maybe this isn't a good idea? I kind of doubt the PPI will include the details you've included, but I don't know. The seller said he drives it a little.
How long has it been sitting? How old are the tires?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The first owner drove it 1,200 miles in 3.5 years. Second owner drove it 1,800 in the past 4 years. So I don't know how long it sat, or if it was driven sparingly on a regular basis.
 

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That's the key. Regular use, even if it wasn't much, is better than sitting for a long time. As long as it was more than 15ish minutes at a time.
 

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Acme Super Moderator ** The Enforcer **
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The first owner drove it 1,200 miles in 3.5 years. Second owner drove it 1,800 in the past 4 years. So I don't know how long it sat, or if it was driven sparingly on a regular basis.
Stored inside or outside? Bear in mind there have been older cars for sale here with even fewer miles on them.

San
 

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In my opinion, there is nothing particularly 'wrong' with a low mileage car, it is just there is very little 'right' with a low mileage car.
Simply driving an Elise wears it more than most other cars, paint, seats, floormats, wear poorly compared to a BMW or Mustang, so there is value there

But having such low mileage almost ensures that age related maintenance was not done, fluids not changed, etc.
Other items wear with time rather than mileage. Rubber items for instance.
Usually all the little items that die over 9 years would be slowly replaced. A uber low mileage car, suddenly driven has the potential to be more problematic than a somewhat higher mileage car


It comes to this: IF I were to replace my Exige, I would not think twice about buying an 07 Exige S with 2000 miles. I simply would not pay more than I would for, say, a 25000 mile example.
If, however, I showed up and the owner had a verifiable list of regular annual mileage and fluid changes, new tires, and every little detail, I probably wouildn't buy it, because I would encourage him to hold to his price.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Exigegus is right: seller says he's changed the oil twice; that is all. No fluid changes/flushes, no rubber items replaced. Seems if I do decide to buy it, I should have it shipped directly to Dietsch for servicing. I'll take any guidance here, including if anyone thinks I should keep looking and pass on this one.
 

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By all means - buy it! But it's got to be inspected for imminent issues and prepped for a long trip. I seem to recall Dietsch was getting out of Lotus work, someone local would need to chime in.
 

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Agreed, you should definitely have a pre-purchase inspection done. Chances are the tires will need replacing along with a variety of rubber pieces that may have begun to crack overtime. Lotus Miami is currently planning a service clinic that will offer complementary inspections for owners like yourself. As a proud franchise dealer, we would be honored to help you get your Lotus on the road! If you have any questions, please reach out or contact our Service Manager Eddie Cue at [email protected]
 
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