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Discussion Starter #1
On the weekend I test drove a 2000 Esprit with 29,000 miles from a used car dealer. The vehicle seemed to perform well on the streets and had very good acceleration, etc - no peculiar issues. Returning to the lot I accidentally stalled the car (not accustomed to the clutch) while maneuvering on their lot. Attempted to restart (engine would spin) but could not get it going (would almost catch and die,,,catch and die). Salesman managed to restart and let it idle a couple minutes. I asked him to shut it off and start again. Same issue. Engine would run maybe 1 second and die. Finally got it going and he backed it into a parking space shut it off and attempted to restart. Exact same problem again. There was no smell of gas from the exhaust so I'm assuming it was not flooding. Has anyone experienced troublesome starts on a hot engine? Or offer suggestions what might be the problem? I'm interested in purchasing the car but this malady has me wondering if I should ditch the buying decision.

(Also noticed on the carfax report they provided this vehicle has a habit of failing emissions tests. No other paperwork was provided around servicing. Notice jumper cables in the boot too so they probably had to jump start at one point.)

Appreciate your help.
 

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I had a hot-start issue with my 1999, though it sounds a little different from yours. In my case, once hot it would just crank and crank. Very little catching. We resolved it with 3 things (though we are not sure which exactly did it): crank sensor, cam sensor, and added an extra ground from the block to the battery.

I know others have had leaky fuel injectors cause a hot-start issue as well.

I think I wold either insist that they fix it first, or at the very least have a knowledgeable Lotus mechanic do a thorough pre-purchase inspection to let you know what you are really in for. Good luck!
 

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Could be a lot of things. May be as simple as needing a fresh battery. A weakened battery (often from letting it drain completely several times) can cause all sorts of weird issues.

But yes you better get them to pay to fix it before you buy it unless they want to drop $5k from the price. That should cover repairs.


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Could be a lot of things. May be as simple as needing a fresh battery. A weakened battery (often from letting it drain completely several times) can cause all sorts of weird issues.

But yes you better get them to pay to fix it before you buy it unless they want to drop $5k from the price. That should cover repairs.


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Also without knowing the car has had any type of service done should be reflected in the price. Don't pay a premium for this car just because it's local.
 

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Jump over to the other thread "Poll: Hot Starts on the V-8". With parts and labor it should cost under $1K to fix. A bigger question on the car is "Is it up to date on it's service?". A "C" service with belts can cost over $5K. You cannot fully assess a Lotus by how it drives. You must inspect it thoroughly and review the service history. That can only be done properly by an experienced Tech knowledgeable specifically on that particular model Lotus. You must be especially cautious when buying the Esprit V-8 because parts and labor on it are much more than the 4 cyl Esprit. Spend what it takes to get an expert to go over the car BEFORE you buy it. After you buy it YOU WILL be having it done but by then it will be YOUR bill to pay!!!!!!!!!
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thank you gentlemen for all your input! Some great advice being offered. I'm passing up on the 2000 Esprit above. No service documentation from the used car dealer provided and with the hot start issue all for a (gulp!) low asking price of $38,000,,,,no thank you.

Now considering a 1997 Esprit with 40,000 miles asking mid $20's. Current owner said liners were done by a previous owner but there was no evidence of such in the service documents. I emailed Lotus USA for confirmation and they responded with "no record of such". Car had the ECU and clutch replaced at MAJOR expense! Was surprised that the clutch needed replacing at 26,000 miles???

I am still learning about these cars and some of the info on this forum is quite ominous when it comes to repairs/service.

And speaking of service,,, what is this "A" service or "C" service about?
 

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Thank you gentlemen for all your input! Some great advice being offered. I'm passing up on the 2000 Esprit above. No service documentation from the used car dealer provided and with the hot start issue all for a (gulp!) low asking price of $38,000,,,,no thank you.

Now considering a 1997 Esprit with 40,000 miles asking mid $20's. Current owner said liners were done by a previous owner but there was no evidence of such in the service documents. I emailed Lotus USA for confirmation but have not heard back. Car had the ECU and clutch replaced at MAJOR expense! Was surprised that the clutch needed replacing at 26,000 miles???

I am still learning about these cars and some of the info on this forum is quite ominous when it comes to repairs/service.

And speaking of service,,, what is this "A" service or "C" service about?
We love to welcome new members to Team Lotus, but it's starting to sound like you might have a case of Camryitist.

The Esprit is an old, British, exotic. None of those 3 adjectives equate to low running costs. It's not Ferrari expensive to run a Lotus. If fact, it's much less than a Ferrari. But it's not Camry cheap either.

Some people way over pay for service on the Esprit (I did at the beginning), so to own one relatively cheaply (for an old, British, exotic, not a Camry), you need to be your own mechanic and be religious about service and keeping an eye out for small problems that can turn into big ones.

If you just like getting in and driving, it's going to be expensive and difficult to get good work done.

If you want to learn more about the service of these cars, no need to ask for someone to explain because it's well documented. Searches here and on thelotusforums are valuable. Here's a great starting point: Esprit Guides
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Camryitist???!!! Heehee,,,,not my intention to come across as such though my wife would prefer I take up a love affair with something a little more pedestrian.

Btw,,,Thanks for those links. Exactly what I was looking for.
 

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If the Lotus you are looking at has too low a price that all by itself could be a "Red Flag". You never want to buy the cheapest Lotus you can find. That will be the most expensive car you will ever own. $20K for a '97 with 40K miles is too low a price. For it to also have had new liners, clutch and ECU also raises questions. Probably a car to avoid. Now if you REALLY want a NICE V-8 I know of a '99 red one with 20K miles for $45K. Probably out of your price range but that is closer to what a good V-8 is worth.
David Teitelbaum
 

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You need to set your budget first, and that should include a few thousand for service and repairs. You need to be honest with yourself about what you can and can't do yourself. Then you look at cars in your budget.
Prices of Esprits are all over the place. Paying more does not guarantee a better car. Paying more than you can afford will likely lead to a disappointing ownership when things break.. Finding reliable people to work on it is hard.

The V8 is a beautiful and fast car. It also requires TLC, regular maintenance and a cash reserve IF things break.

The 4 cyl is a bit less exciting, a bit cheaper and quite a bit cheaper to operate. The only major difference between the cars is the engine. Almost everything else is the same including the Tranny.

I would guess that your total budget for a V8 should be at least $35-40k.
An SE budget would be $25k and the S4 and S4s at the tiers in between.
If you are a novice to Esprits and not a mechanic have the car inspected by someone who knows these cars.

Good luck

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Ok,,,I'm indebted to some solid sage advice once more.

Always worked on my own vehicles since I was knee high to a grasshopper so I'm not afraid of turning a wrench or bodywork. Should be able to save a few sheckles in that respect.

Working with a budget of $30k - not a lot of Esprits in this neck of the woods to view (sigh!) so I'm scraping the bottom. Based on your collective advices this next one will probably make you cringe. Nevertheless it peaks my interest from the perspective of a project car or a very nice anchor for my boat. My biggest concern since it tangled with something bigger and lost - possiblility of a frame out of alignment? Is it worth breathing new life into?

Used Lotus Esprit TURBO, TARGA, WOW, UNIQUE, DÉMARQUEZ VOUS!!!, VÉHICULE SPORT CLASSIC 1988 - Stock #82581 - Garage Daniel Lessard

Thanks again!
 

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Camryitist? lol! you must be talking about Evora owners...

cjac, I think what you are experiencing might be vapor lock.
 

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Cjac,

No it's not worth it. You can get one of this vintage in good condition for $5k more, and the Esprit is prone to huge amounts ($$) of hidden damage in accidents.

Plus you need to make sure you like that model. The interior is not to everyone's liking for that year. I personally love the clean look of the exterior of that model year, but not the interior.


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Camryitist? lol! you must be talking about Evora owners...

cjac, I think what you are experiencing might be vapor lock.
Isn't vapor lock a carburetor issue with fuel bowls heating up? Never heard that term used with fuel injection.


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Isn't vapor lock a carburetor issue with fuel bowls heating up? Never heard that term used with fuel injection.


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I'd think the fuel-injection equivalent of vapor lock is when the fuel system doesn't maintain rest pressure allowing fuel in the lines to vaporize. For example, on my DeLorean the fuel accumulator maintains rest pressure and when either that fails or the check-valve on the fuel pump fails resulting in the rest pressure getting lost, you get a hot start problem. Don't yet know the Esprit well enough to be sure the same aplies or whether the fuel pump volume is so high that even with lost rest pressure the fuel lines get re-filled fast enough that it doesn't matter.

Knut
 
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