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Discussion Starter #1
The drivers side front turn signal popped out of my 2005 Lotus Elise today (again) as I was driving down the highway - once again staying connected by the wires and proceeding to beat the living hell out of my paint. This happened to me before a few weeks ago and I ordered a new seal and replacement unit from Lotus of West Covina. I got the part and installed it - and then today (less than 300 miles later) - the same damn thing happened. Like everyone else that's had this problem, it's the stupid cheap-ass plastic clip on the bottom that broke. Very upsetting. I sent an email to Lotus of West Covina and told them what's happened and I've asked them if they would either send me a replacement turn signal and seal or give me my money back - but we'll see if they're actually willing to do that or not. In the meantime it's obvious that I'm far from alone with this problem and I've read here about the bunggie cord fix - and if Lotus of West Covina is unwilling to replace the faulty part then that's what I'll do. But this begs the question - WTF? Why would this happen after such a short period of time? Frankly I'm not real excited about just putting another one in there like I did a few weeks ago because I'm worried that the same dang thing will happen again. Is ir right for me to even ask Lotus of West Covina to replace it or give me my money back? Personally I consider this a faulty design and I think Lotus should be flipping the bill this time.
 

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The drivers side front turn signal popped out of my 2005 Lotus Elise today (again) as I was driving down the highway - once again staying connected by the wires and proceeding to beat the living hell out of my paint. This happened to me before a few weeks ago and I ordered a new seal and replacement unit from Lotus of West Covina. I got the part and installed it - and then today (less than 300 miles later) - the same damn thing happened. Like everyone else that's had this problem, it's the stupid cheap-ass plastic clip on the bottom that broke. Very upsetting. I sent an email to Lotus of West Covina and told them what's happened and I've asked them if they would either send me a replacement turn signal and seal or give me my money back - but we'll see if they're actually willing to do that or not. In the meantime it's obvious that I'm far from alone with this problem and I've read here about the bunggie cord fix - and if Lotus of West Covina is unwilling to replace the faulty part then that's what I'll do. But this begs the question - WTF? Why would this happen after such a short period of time? Frankly I'm not real excited about just putting another one in there like I did a few weeks ago because I'm worried that the same dang thing will happen again. Is ir right for me to even ask Lotus of West Covina to replace it or give me my money back? Personally I consider this a faulty design and I think Lotus should be flipping the bill this time.
Had the problem on 2 of my Elises. Used a bungee cord to 'fix' both times, problem cured.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Had the problem on 2 of my Elises. Used a bungee cord to 'fix' both times, problem cured.
I'm starting to think that I should just do that and be done with it - but I sill think Lotus of West Covina should take this part back and give me money back...yes? When you did this to your cars - what did you attached the other end of the bungee cord too? How long of a bungee cord did you use? I assume a pretty short one ya?
 

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Acme Super Moderator The Enforcer
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You bought the parts and installed them. The moment you purchased the parts and walked away from the dealer IMHO you assumed all responsibility, unless the parts were faulty and you returned them unused. After you installed the parts and they flew out and banged around on your front end, why would the dealer be responsible? I might be able to make a case if they installed the parts, but that isn't the case, right? Sorry, but I don't think you have a leg to stand on (figuratively speaking).

San
 

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When its such a well known issue, why bother spending the money in the first place? Spose it can't hurt to ask, but unless they installed the part I think this is "lesson learned." I used springs for mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You bought the parts and installed them. The moment you purchased the parts and walked away from the dealer IMHO you assumed all responsibility, unless the parts were faulty and you returned them unused. After you installed the parts and they flew out and banged around on your front end, why would the dealer be responsible? I might be able to make a case if they installed the parts, but that isn't the case, right? Sorry, but I don't think you have a leg to stand on (figuratively speaking).

San
Well I don't blame the dealer - I blame Lotus for the faulty design (as is apparent based on everyone else having this same issue). I wouldn't expect them to fix the paint or anything - I just don't want to pay for a part that sucks to bad it breaks after 300 miles - and if I'm going to bungee cord fix it - I'll just use the 1st one that broke and they can have this other one back. I was assuming that the dealer could recoup the money from Lotus. But you for sure do have valid points - they didn't install it - so perhaps I'm out of luck - or at least out of luck as far as the dealer is concerned. If they say no I might actually contact Lotus themselves and see if they will do anything. It's not like it was an expensive part - less than 200 bucks - but its sort of the principle of the thing at this point. They obviously have to be aware of the flaw - but they've done nothing to fix it on these models. They should of replaced the cheap plastic part with something made of metal that won't break apart like these do. Considering the cost of the cars it seems to me this should be on them. I'm sure as hell not going to buy a $200 part and repaint my clam every 300 miles.
 

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Acme Super Moderator The Enforcer
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I think you already know you'll get no love (or sympathy) from Lotus. Perhaps if you had a vehicle with a warranty you'd have a chance.

San
 

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This happens in part because each front clam is a little bit different. Another thing to do when replacing broken signals is to fettle a little material away from the opening, so there is less pressure on that long piece of plastic. Since its a little more art than science, most people elect to save the money and change the attachment scheme.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ok ... so what is everyone attaching the springs or bungee cord too under the clam? At this point I'd say no matter what happens with the dealer or Lotus that is what I'm going to do so it don't happen anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I made a new clip from spring steel and screwed it on to replace the broken tab as shown on this website: Lotus Elise Maintenance, Indicator Lens Installation

Hasn't fallen out since doing this and works great.
Yep I saw that. I might go that route instead of the bungee cord route - but the bungee cord seems like it might be easier for me as my skills and tools are quite limited. Hey I'm a software programmer - and this is a hardware problem! hahahaha
 

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It's a surprise when this does not happen to all turn signal indicator lights. It would be difficult to make them any cheaper.

But a known issue with a known solution. Buying a new light and reinstalling will always just be a temporary fix. I've done it more times than I can remember. The fix linked to above is not that hard to do.
 

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At least now I'm ready for a workaround fix when mine decide to go. The plastic bits tend to suddenly let go/break on these cars don't they? Headlight switch panel tab broke a couple days ago for example. Had a VW dealer guy tell me a few years ago that despite all of the superior engineering in euro cars, they can't match US plastics.
 

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Hmm, I feel bad for you and the front of your car. It is a sad situation. Lotus may want to help but I don't think they have any funding to help. Hell, I sent a note to them this past year looking to get the history of a 65 Lotus Elan and would pay for the info. They sent back a note saying they were out of stationary. If I was out of stationary, I'd never put it in writing.

It could be worse. In the sixties, the rubber donuts in the rear suspension would brake, tearing up the rear lower A arm, the trunk boot area, and occasionally would tear a hole in the fuel tank. There was no bungee cord fix. It's like a great girlfriend that has a problem or two. You learn to live with it because you love her!
 

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I used a couple of dabs of clear silicone seal.
 

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I had this happen to me and have been using the bungee cord method. It's held up for about 3 years now.
 

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I'm starting to think that I should just do that and be done with it - but I sill think Lotus of West Covina should take this part back and give me money back...yes? When you did this to your cars - what did you attached the other end of the bungee cord too? How long of a bungee cord did you use? I assume a pretty short one ya?
Hmmm, it's been over 8 years since I did it, so I don't recall exactly. What I DO recall is that it wasn't rocket science, wasn't too difficult to figure out.
 

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You use one of those small thin bungee cords...10" or so. I bought a tube of them at home depot and used one of the smaller ones in the set with the thin wire hook. I drilled a hole into the tab on the back of the light that holds it down, hooked the bungee to the hole and then wrapped and hooked it to some structure behind the bucket hole.

It's a 10 minute fix and self explanatory when you take a look at it....Just need to drill the hole and find somewhere to attach the other end. Makes future bulb changes quick and easy too!
 

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This happens in part because each front clam is a little bit different. Another thing to do when replacing broken signals is to fettle a little material away from the opening, so there is less pressure on that long piece of plastic. Since its a little more art than science, most people elect to save the money and change the attachment scheme.
Yes, this. If the part broke again, it's probably because the plastic clip on the back side of the turn signal is making contact with a flange at the top of the crash structure. Grind this little bit of interference away. It's not structural in any way. Then use a bungee cord to retain the broken turn signal indicator. I did this all by feel, so it's hard to say exactly what wrapped around what, but you want a short thin bungee with thin steel hooks at each end. This is actually superior to the Lotus mounting, since bulb changes simply involve lifting up on the front edge of the signal housing.
 
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