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Discussion Starter #1
Does your elise have rust in these areas and is it normal? Does the 8 year lotus rust warranty cover this? Most of the car is aluminum so I can't see that rusting. (Also read that the aluminum conducts charges that can make the iron/steel components rust easier?)

I focused on the rusty areas (so it looks real bad), but the rest of the car is clean, thank goodness:D

FL car it's whole life. I and the 2nd owner garaged it. Not sure about first owner. MY06 with 26k miles. Clean carfax and all i.e. no floods

tow hook area behind front center grill


brackets on front side grills


bolts on radiator view through front center grill


oil cooler line on the passenger side right behind right front grill, no oil cooler since my elise only has one cooler (left one is clean no rust)


same oil cooler line, pic after wheel liner was removed


trunk lid hinge


bolt on exhaust manifold heatshield


hub? on the inside of the front wheels


passenger seat rail


driver seat rail


seat belt bracket
 

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I have a 2006 Elise and live in Mi, I have zero rust on my car, I see you live in Florida if you live by the ocean any Car will rust quickly.
 

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Orlando is not on the ocean. Makes me wonder about the history and the attention that the previous owners gave it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
well I got my answer, this is NOT normal :( but on a brighter note, I believe the parts can be easily replaced. well all but the cooler line

Where has the car spent its life? a rain forest? Lots of overnites outside?
25,000 miles on the coasts of FL, Palm harbor and titusville, few hundred miles with me in Orlando

I have a 2006 Elise and live in Mi, I have zero rust on my car, I see you live in Florida if you live by the ocean any Car will rust quickly.
thanks for checking, yea first 25k miles were on the coast

Orlando is not on the ocean. Makes me wonder about the history and the attention that the previous owners gave it.
you're right, it's only been in Orlando for a few hundred miles since I bought it. The previous 2 owners lived by the ocean. The 2nd owner is a good guy and I spoke to him before buying from the Orlando Lotus dealer, he took care of the car, garage, all service at the dealer. The 1st owner has records of it being regularly serviced at the dealer, but he lived by the ocean too. History on car is clean, ecu dump is clean, no tracking/autox history, 2nd cams appear good, engine is strong/compression wise, fluids maintained, starshield and paint are good. just the darn rust from the ocean
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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It's the ocean air that did it. I drove my 100% clean Hona civic hatchback (don't even start guys) to the beach one time during a tropical storm to check out the surf. A couple waves broke over the road, spray hit the car etc. in 3 months, there was surface rust all over the unpainted exposed interior bits. Salt kills. Is the anodized aluminum intact? Your under panels are rust free? You are probably fine then. Pretty sure Lotus anodized all the aluminum.
 

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My car have 6 000 miles only, it has never see rain, always garaged and my front wheel hub on the inside is all rusted like yours..


So I guess this is normal.....:shrug:
 

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It all looks normal with the salt air exposure however limited...except for the seat rail (didn't expect that!). You should see some pics of the cars that run around on the other side of the pond!!!
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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My car have 6 000 miles only, it has never see rain, always garaged and my front wheel hub on the inside is all rusted like yours..


So I guess this is normal.....:shrug:
:tadts:
 

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My Elise is three years old with about 30,000 miles on it. It has been through rain, salt and snow.

Most of it looks perfect but in some of the places you have shown, mine has a similar amount of rust.

The connectors around the front oil coolers have a lot of rust. Once my 3 year warranty is up I am going to get in there with some rust paint to prevent further corrosion.
 

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On the plus side, if your oil connections are rusting, then they can't be leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's the ocean air that did it. I drove my 100% clean Hona civic hatchback (don't even start guys) to the beach one time during a tropical storm to check out the surf. A couple waves broke over the road, spray hit the car etc. in 3 months, there was surface rust all over the unpainted exposed interior bits. Salt kills. Is the anodized aluminum intact? Your under panels are rust free? You are probably fine then. Pretty sure Lotus anodized all the aluminum.
Nothing wrong w/ civic hatchbacks. Light and can be modded easily when you're young. never had one though. Aluminum panels and parts inside and outside are pristine

Manufacturers normally warranty against rust (corrosion or perforation) of a body panel or structural member. Surface rust is not covered.
Michael
I knew of this too, but since the aluminum can't really rust, so I thought maybe it applied elsewhere. OR maybe aluminum can rust

My Elise is three years old with about 30,000 miles on it. It has been through rain, salt and snow.

Most of it looks perfect but in some of the places you have shown, mine has a similar amount of rust.

The connectors around the front oil coolers have a lot of rust. Once my 3 year warranty is up I am going to get in there with some rust paint to prevent further corrosion.
I may use rust-oleum and rid some and repaint some parts

On the plus side, if your oil connections are rusting, then they can't be leaking.
that's true, but if they ever do, it may be a pain to unscrew. or if it rusts through and through
 

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The brackets to my rear diffuser/grill were VERY rusted. I sanded all the rust off and sprayed it with Rustoleum BBQ grill paint.
 

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I was the second owner of this car and it was garage kept the 3 years I owned it. When I bought the car, it did have some of the rust already on it. I bought the car from Lotus of Jax. but I got to speak with the original owner. He lived on the beach in Jax but he did keep it garaged. It had 17k miles on it when I bought it. I've seen some other Elises with rust in these same areas and they were garage kept as well.
 

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Metals (even non-metals) will corrode. The easiest concept to grasp is the galvanic corrosion cell. Take 2 dissimilar metals, connect them through a metallic path, add an electrolyte. Per a question above... Aluminum corrodes much differently than Iron does. In mild environments, it will form a protective layer...... like chrome does. So initially you get corrosion, but once the layer forms, the corrosion rate decreases significantly. Now put that same material in an aggressive environment i.e. sea water, and the material's corrosion rate dramatically accelerates.

Your "on exhaust manifold heatshield" picture looks like a textbook no no. I.E. small anode/large cathode. This leads to rapid degradation of the anode and as it is a bolt, could fail.

What to do, if anything? if it is as simple as a bolt that is rusting and what it is connected to is not, replace the bolt with the same material as what you are connecting to.

What else? Try to stop the corrosion cell from forming. I.E. keep the electrolyte from contacting the material. But the idea here is to eliminate electrolytic contact entirely, b/c again, if you coat all but one spot..... then you get small anode/large cathode again.

While you won't be able to stop it entirely, your objective is to get uniform corrosion across the whole structure and at a low rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The brackets to my rear diffuser/grill were VERY rusted. I sanded all the rust off and sprayed it with Rustoleum BBQ grill paint.
I'm going to do similar when I'm motivated with time. Already did the brake rotor hubs and lug nuts

I was the second owner of this car and it was garage kept the 3 years I owned it. When I bought the car, it did have some of the rust already on it. I bought the car from Lotus of Jax. but I got to speak with the original owner. He lived on the beach in Jax but he did keep it garaged. It had 17k miles on it when I bought it. I've seen some other Elises with rust in these same areas and they were garage kept as well.

Thanks Rob for the additional details

Metals (even non-metals) will corrode. The easiest concept to grasp is the galvanic corrosion cell. Take 2 dissimilar metals, connect them through a metallic path, add an electrolyte. Per a question above... Aluminum corrodes much differently than Iron does. In mild environments, it will form a protective layer...... like chrome does. So initially you get corrosion, but once the layer forms, the corrosion rate decreases significantly. Now put that same material in an aggressive environment i.e. sea water, and the material's corrosion rate dramatically accelerates.

Your "on exhaust manifold heatshield" picture looks like a textbook no no. I.E. small anode/large cathode. This leads to rapid degradation of the anode and as it is a bolt, could fail.

What to do, if anything? if it is as simple as a bolt that is rusting and what it is connected to is not, replace the bolt with the same material as what you are connecting to.

What else? Try to stop the corrosion cell from forming. I.E. keep the electrolyte from contacting the material. But the idea here is to eliminate electrolytic contact entirely, b/c again, if you coat all but one spot..... then you get small anode/large cathode again.

While you won't be able to stop it entirely, your objective is to get uniform corrosion across the whole structure and at a low rate.
yes, I read this somewhere, makes sense. Not sure if I'll be able to replace the bolts with the same material, I'll have to figure out what the materials are first. On the exhaust heatshield, is the shield steel? what's the bolt made out of?
 

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Yeah the drivers side was much worse then the right. I'm guessing the exhaust heat is the main culprit. either cooking off the paint or speeding up the electrolytic corrosion
 
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