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Discussion Starter #1
The check engine light went on my "new" Elise. I've owned it all of 2 weeks and was hoping for more of a honeymoon period.

Does the car limit the engine in any way while this light is on? It's not flashing, just staying solidly lit.

I've had check engine lights go on in various cars in the past, and sometimes, not always, they turn off after a few days. There must be some transient condition that caused the engine light to go on, but once removed and a period of time goes by, then the light goes out.

Does this happened at all with an Elise?

I did not notice anything wrong with the engine when the light came on. Everything seemed normal.

The Lotus dealership is about 40 miles from me so I'm hoping it's OK to drive it there should I need to bring her in.
 

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just as you expect, some of the OBD codes will self clear if the condition that caused them has been healed.

there is a limp mode in the elise, but i believe that it only limits the rev range. this limp mode is not activated with every error code, either.

for the many error codes, it should be okay to drive while the code is active, but you should really get the code read so you specifically know what system is having a fault.

most auto part stores will read codes for free. or i could possibly help read the CEL code if you're interested in the help from a random person from the internet.
 

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Even if you don't plan on working on your car yourself, it's worth picking up a super cheap bluetooth OBD scanner:
[ame]https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BY2CK32[/ame]

There are plenty of apps for android and iphone that will let you read and clear codes. Could just be that you forgot to tighten the gas cap, or it could be something more serious:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone. I set up an appointment with Auto Europe just north of Detroit this Friday. They will give the car a full inspection for $200. I wanted to have this done eventually as the car is pretty new to me. I could not do a pre purchase inspection as I bought it out of state by auction. There are a few squeaks and rattles that I want looked at as well as the a/c.

Good idea on getting a code reader. I'll definitely pick one up soon.

Thanks again!
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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Generally speaking in OBD2, an 'on steady' light means that the computer has set a malfunction code, and that the car is driveable, but needs attention. It could be as simple as a loose fuel filler cap, or could be symptomatic of something that will require some attention.

A flashing light means 'stop driving now.' This is usually for the misfire codes.

Don't forget that you didn't buy a new car. Your used Lotus is susceptible to all the usual used car issues.
 

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Make sure they check the cam for wiping, the radiator for any leaking, toe link bolts, and look behind the clams as much as possible for signs of repair. As steely said, it is a used car so expect them to come back with a few things.
 

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I have found that the gas cap is really easy to not get seated correctly and it will throw a CEL. Try the gas cap and get an OBDII scanner to check the error codes and clear them.

Later,
Eldon
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have found that the gas cap is really easy to not get seated correctly and it will throw a CEL. Try the gas cap and get an OBDII scanner to check the error codes and clear them.

Later,
Eldon
Interesting. I was on my way to get gas when the light popped on. I had driven the car for several hours last Saturday without any issue so I'm not sure the gas cap would take that long to trigger an error code if that were the cast. Still, I shall be extra careful when refueling.

Thank you for your reply.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Make sure they check the cam for wiping, the radiator for any leaking, toe link bolts, and look behind the clams as much as possible for signs of repair. As steely said, it is a used car so expect them to come back with a few things.
Thanks for the suggestions. I asked if the cams would be inspected during this post purchase check and they said that only error codes would be examined with regards to the cam shafts. I can ask for that as an extra I suppose.

For the non gear head like me, what's a toe link bolt and what happens when they fail?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Don't forget that you didn't buy a new car. Your used Lotus is susceptible to all the usual used car issues.
Yep- Understood. I'm just a bit bummed I'm going to lose it for the upcoming holiday weekend. I'm going to leave it at the Lotus dealer this Friday and it won't be ready until the following week.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. I asked if the cams would be inspected during this post purchase check and they said that only error codes would be examined with regards to the cam shafts. I can ask for that as an extra I suppose.

For the non gear head like me, what's a toe link bolt and what happens when they fail?
Rear toe links keep the rear wheels pointing straight. When they fail, you lose all control, and the only action should be "Both Feet In" , as in clutch and brake pushed,,,,,hard.

Watch at the 28 second mark.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. I asked if the cams would be inspected during this post purchase check and they said that only error codes would be examined with regards to the cam shafts. I can ask for that as an extra I suppose.

For the non gear head like me, what's a toe link bolt and what happens when they fail?
It's easy to check the cams on your own that I surely wouldn't pay extra, but that should be a standard check. There are obvious warning signs before an error code ever happens, so it is nice to be not caught of guard if they get really bad.

The toe link bolts attach the lower suspension arms to the chassis and are as critical as they sound, haha. They can work loose and lead to failures. Many people sell various different braces, but simply keeping them tight is 90% of the problem.

Edit: not the actual suspension arm, just one link. Still important.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
WOW! That video is crazy. When the toe link bolt fails, just how much movement is there in the rear wheels? 5-10 degrees? More? Pretty frightening stuff.

What might be the "obvious warning signs" before a cam shaft error code appears?

I appreciate all the help here. I'm just 2 weeks into Lotus ownership!
 

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In 10 years of ownership I've had 2 check engine lights.

One was due to a bad oxygen sensor.

The other was due to a dirty MAF sensor.

Both were resolved by addressing those items. The first was replaced, the second was removed, cleaned and put back.
 

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2008 Lotus Elise SC and 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C
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Don't panic. The toe link issues have mostly being on tracked cars. I would just check it to make sure is not getting loose. The cell is no biggie. Get yourself an OBD reader. They are cheap and you can read and reset codes. My Elise recently had a check engine light and it was throwing an O2 sensor cell. I reset the cell using the OBD reader and everything is fine for now. The cell hasn't come back. These cars are super reliable! Enjoy and don't panic.
 

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The check engine light went on my "new" Elise. I've owned it all of 2 weeks and was hoping for more of a honeymoon period.

Does the car limit the engine in any way while this light is on? It's not flashing, just staying solidly lit.

I've had check engine lights go on in various cars in the past, and sometimes, not always, they turn off after a few days. There must be some transient condition that caused the engine light to go on, but once removed and a period of time goes by, then the light goes out.

Does this happened at all with an Elise?

I did not notice anything wrong with the engine when the light came on. Everything seemed normal.

The Lotus dealership is about 40 miles from me so I'm hoping it's OK to drive it there should I need to bring her in.
Whats the year and mileage? My light came on recently and I changed the MAF sensor, cleared the code, and haven't had an issue since. Hopefully it's a simple fix. ;) BTW I just hit 115k miles...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Whats the year and mileage? My light came on recently and I changed the MAF sensor, cleared the code, and haven't had an issue since. Hopefully it's a simple fix. ;) BTW I just hit 115k miles...
It's an 05 Elise with 9k miles.
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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Do you have a code yet? Any generic OBDII reader can pull codes from an Elise. Given 9k miles, I'm expecting either loose gas cap or dirty MAF caused by somebody's oil soaked 'performance' air filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Do you have a code yet? Any generic OBDII reader can pull codes from an Elise. Given 9k miles, I'm expecting either loose gas cap or dirty MAF caused by somebody's oil soaked 'performance' air filter.
No, I wont have that until next week. I'll update the thread so you can follow along with my saga and offer your helpful and greatly appreciated advice.
 
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