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I will be shopping for an Elise that will be a daily driver so will have to be able to handle rain. I have heard about the soft tops letting in water but is the hardtop reliably dry? Also it will not be garaged so has to be outside during heavy Florida rain. How soggy will it get? Any advice?
 

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Both the soft and hard tops seal pretty well. The soft top actually a bit better in my experience as it has a better seal against the window glass. Both will stand up to a lot of rain.

One thing that won't, however, is the coil pack cover. A lot of water will accumulate under it and around the coil packs. That's not a huge problem in itself, though if you don't have a good boot seal you can end up with plug tubes full of water, and if your plug tube gaskets fail, you can end up with water contamination in the oil.

If you're going to park it outdoors in very heavy rain often, it's not a bad idea to modify the coil cover to extend past the edge of the valve cover, or toss a trash bag over the valve cover when expecting extremely hard rain.

Alternatively, just get a waterproof car cover.
 

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Some leak... mine does a teeny bit but doesnt matter too much because I don't drive it in the rain. Light midengine car .. careful in the rain with hydroplaning and lose the r888/a048s for standing puddles

Also on surfaces that kick up a lot of mist with traffic (101 freeway does it up here in spots), often the elise is so short it becomes even more invisible for other drivers -eek-
 

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Drove through thunderstorms on the soft top, with no issues. As long as your windows are aligned, and the top isn't worn out, you're good to go.
 

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Watch the rain - they will get loose quick - went through a quick thunderstorm and boy she wanted to slip and slide - really need to pull back when its wet. be safe and have fun!
 

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No worries! The car is 80% waterproof!

Problem is that the windows roll up different heights for soft and hard tops. So, you can only get a good seal on the hard top of the soft top, but not both. At least that is what Criswell (Lotus dealer in Maryland) told me. Could be BS.

All I know is that get slight dribbles on my arm and leg when it rains. When I wash the car, water runs down the inside of the passenger and driver windows.

I think it actually drives pretty well in the rain. I've auto-crosssed several times in heavy rain and the car handled surprisingly well.
 

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You want to make sure that the 4 drain holes are drilled in the front chassis member otherwise the blower motor resistor pack can corrode, a major expense.
Michael
 

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...my boot's always stayed perfectly dry, even parked out in the open through torrential downpours which lasted hours...my door sills usually have a few drops of water on them afterward, but not enough to be an issue and as noted above, the softtop seems to perform slightly better in this regard...

...the cabin even keeps reasonably dry while driving topless through light rain, but if the heavens really open up, not so much...
 

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No problems with either top on mine in the rain or when I wash it. It seals pretty tight, IMO. Theviper can you elaborate on this topic some more please - thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #13
...
One thing that won't, however, is the coil pack cover. A lot of water will accumulate under it and around the coil packs. That's not a huge problem in itself, though if you don't have a good boot seal you can end up with plug tubes full of water, and if your plug tube gaskets fail, you can end up with water contamination in the oil.

If you're going to park it outdoors in very heavy rain often, it's not a bad idea to modify the coil cover to extend past the edge of the valve cover, or toss a trash bag over the valve cover when expecting extremely hard rain.

Alternatively, just get a waterproof car cover.
I'd like to know more about this as I don't know enough of the layout of the engine. Does the boot lid really leak so much that there ends up with lots of water on the coil packs and plug tubes? Are these under the edge of the boot lid? Why not fix the leaking lid rather than the coil covers?
 

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I am having a bit of a problem with the passenger side floor mat getting wet after being out in a big rain. The water is coming in from somewhere under the passenger side door area...not the roof, not the window...but it's like the water is running down the outside of the door line and some how into the car.

The driver side is fine.

Three questions:

1.) Any idea why this is happening?
2.) Any suggestions on how to fix (beyond parking and covering)?
3.) Is this something I should be concerned with?

Thanks!
 

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+1 Get a car cover that will keep the water off of the car while parked. Both of our cars leak a little with both hard and soft top while driving in the rain or washing the car. The trunk stays dry however or we just don't notice.

Personally I would not park this car outside for days on end.
 

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Watch the rain - they will get loose quick - went through a quick thunderstorm and boy she wanted to slip and slide - really need to pull back when its wet. be safe and have fun!
That is completely tire dependent. My Elise handles superbly in the wet with snow tires.
 

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True about the tires - but it is also true to say the elise is more much more likely to lose it than say, a camry.
 

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True about the tires - but it is also true to say the elise is more much more likely to lose it than say, a camry.
I would also point out the cars tendancy to loose it in wet if it has LSD - which I know is contrary to what you would expect, but the Lotus LSD is not exactly the same as you find on most cars.

Also on the topic of how tires influence its ability in wet - personally, IMO, tires arent going to compensate for the weight blance, momentum dynamics and iniertia. Many of us know that you dont let off the gas in certain circumstances while tracking an Elise or Exige - same balance priciples apply on the street in emergency, light traction circumstances. I will concede the right tire can help, but tires can't alter the laws of physics.
 

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I would also point out the cars tendancy to loose it in wet if it has LSD - which I know is contrary to what you would expect, but the Lotus LSD is not exactly the same as you find on most cars.
Any car with LSD will lose the driven wheels the moment the LSD locks up...unless the driver is very experienced, very sensitive, and prepared for the handling character of the car, road, and tires.

Also on the topic of how tires influence its ability in wet - personally, IMO, tires arent going to compensate for the weight blance, momentum dynamics and iniertia. Many of us know that you dont let off the gas in certain circumstances while tracking an Elise or Exige - same balance priciples apply on the street in emergency, light traction circumstances. I will concede the right tire can help, but tires can't alter the laws of physics.
Tires can still help out, hugely. For ordinary street use, I selected Sumitomo HTRZ IIs (205/45R16 front and 235/45R17 rear on a set of Rota Slipstreams). The Sumis are night-and-day different from the Yokos...either A048s or AD07s...in the wet. The Sumis are not as crisp in the dry, and definitely do not have the ultimate limits of even the AD07s, but in the wet they stick very well and are forgiving.

The Sumis are also annoyingly noisy when they are about 40% worn. I thought I might have had a bad wheel bearing until I switched over to the Yokos for an upcoming track day.

As with a lot of other tings, "it depends"...on many factors, not the least of which is a driver's ability.
 

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I'd like to know more about this as I don't know enough of the layout of the engine. Does the boot lid really leak so much that there ends up with lots of water on the coil packs and plug tubes? Are these under the edge of the boot lid? Why not fix the leaking lid rather than the coil covers?
It's not that the engine cover leaks, it's that there are vents on the cover over the engine and water can easily get to the top of the engine. If it pools there and you don't have a good spark plug boot seal, the water can "leak" down into the spark plug wells and cause problems. Care can minimize this (as well as dielectric grease on the plug boots).

Some people have problems with small leaks into the boot area if the car is parked facing downhill. Many others have no such problem.

I'm one of those that have no problems with any kind of water leaks. :shrug:
 
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