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Discussion Starter #1
Driving this weekend, listening to the enormous amount of rattles in my Elise, I'm wondered what these cars were like brand new? Were they silent? Was the experience completely different? My Elise is an 05, but only had 8700 miles on it when I bought it a few months ago. Yet it has so many loose things moving around in the cabin (that I cannot find no matter how hard I try, and have failed to have fixed despite 2 times to the dealership) that I am literally embarrassed to give rides in the car.

So for those who bought an Elise from the showroom, with no miles on it back in the day, what was it like?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Pull the seats you may get rich from loose change
I'm 99% sure that whatever 25 or 50 things are rolling around are actually under the car, not in the cabin. I say that because the length of sliding that I hear is far longer than anything could slide inside the cabin.

When I hit the brakes on my car, it sounds like I took 100 pennies and just threw them as hard as I could. Very very embarrassing when I have a passenger.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
:TADTS:

(They All Do That Sir)

Seriously there will ALWAYS be rattles and noises. It's a sub-ton roadster handmade by a small British company ;)
Yes I know that. I was just wondering if they rolled off the lot sounding the same way or did it take time for such nuances to build up.
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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Pull the seats you may get rich from loose change
Seriously - the whole tub is aluminum. Everything rattles and resonates against it. I can hear the showercap in its bag sliding around behind the seat as I make turns. If you get a new mysterious noise, the first thing to check is something new rattling around in the floor like a coin.

Also, adding lightness means deleting things like rubber bushings that would damp vibration (noise) caused by things rubbing against each other. You end up with a noisier, but lighter car.

I find it a welcome tradeoff compared to the upholstered rolling caves that most people seem to prefer.
 

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I bought a new 2009 Elise. There were very few rattles.

Currently, 10 years later there are still very few rattles.

Both windows rattle a bit in the mid-position but are pretty quiet when fully up. One rattles a bit when fully down.

My heat shield is a bit rusty and vibrates from time to time but I think I can either replace it or secure it.

Overall, when I demo the car there are no embarrassing rattles/vibrations.

My softtop has no squeaks. The hardtop makes a variety of squeaks when entering the parking garage at work. But it is pretty quiet on flat highways.

Read up on this site about noises. You should be able to get rid of most of them.
 

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Plural of Lotus is Lotus
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I'm 99% sure that whatever 25 or 50 things are rolling around are actually under the car, not in the cabin. I say that because the length of sliding that I hear is far longer than anything could slide inside the cabin.

When I hit the brakes on my car, it sounds like I took 100 pennies and just threw them as hard as I could. Very very embarrassing when I have a passenger.
Check and re-grease drivers side seat rail. Your symptom is similar to bearings rolling around in the channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I find it a welcome trade off compared to the upholstered rolling caves that most people seem to prefer.
I would too. There are all kinds of noises coming out of the suspension, doors, rollbar, and dashboard. I can tune those out and most passengers don't notice. But the whatever it is under the car is just a monster of a noise, drowning out conversations at times. It is just embarrassing and so I don't let people in my car much anymore. It truly kills the mystique. They end up laughing at how comical the car is.

Twice I went to the dealer to have it fixed with no success.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Check and re-grease drivers side seat rail. Your symptom is similar to bearings rolling around in the channel.
No, whatever it is moving around in my car can slide in all directions. Left, right, front, back...where ever momentum sends them; they will slide almost the full length of the car. I'm 99.9% certain it's under the car.
 

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Have you pulled the engine access panels and seen if anything falls out?
 

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I bought my 2009 Elise Purist Edition Brand new. It only had 1 super loud dash rattle since new. When I sold it 10 years later with 7200 miles, it still only had the one LOUD rattle.
This car was BABIED and always kept out of the Sun.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Have you pulled the engine access panels and seen if anything falls out?
I should have a sig file that says something like this:

I am not a wrencher. I have never been a wrencher. I have no tools, space or ability to work on my car whatsoever. I'm lucky I can wash it without causing damage.

Seriously- Not everyone has the skills that 99.9% of the members of this forum have. I must be the only one who falls outside of this category.
 

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TERIB as you're finding out the only way to own a Lotus is to be willing to work on it or have a handful of cash and live near enough to a reputable dealer or indie shop. I haven't turned wrenches since the 70's and I jumped right back in doing all my servicing so far fluid changes, brakes, rotors, headers and CAI along with ECU swap were all fairly easy and I'm a big guy in my sixties that doesn't move so well.
 
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I should have a sig file that says something like this:

I am not a wrencher. I have never been a wrencher. I have no tools, space or ability to work on my car whatsoever. I'm lucky I can wash it without causing damage.

Seriously- Not everyone has the skills that 99.9% of the members of this forum have. I must be the only one who falls outside of this category.
You said that is been to the dealer twice, but did they tell you what they checked? Did they write it up on the repair ticket? There are lots of places on this car that can hide bits and pieces to make noises, maybe the dealer didn't open the right panels or look in the right places; dealership mechanics are not always the most motivated individuals in the world.

Perhaps you could compare what the dealer did to some of the suggestions that the forum members are suggesting and you could ask the dealer to check there if those are beyond your capabilities.

I don't want to sound like it can't be done, but if your personal mechanical skills are what you say, you might become well acquainted with the employees at the dealer, and Elise might be a bit expensive to own.
 

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I've had my Elise since 3500 miles. It always had squeaks and rattles, there are alot of plastics that rub against each other. The windows tend to rattle too. It takes some effort, but most of the noises can be eliminated with strategic placement of foam and felt and tightening things here and there.
 

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I am not a wrencher. I have never been a wrencher. I have no tools, space or ability to work on my car whatsoever
I can relate. I wasn't very hands-on myself when I bought mine three years ago, but I've discovered, investigated and resolved a number of issues during my ownership and learned more about the car each time. It can be intimidating, but I think it's worth taking on at least the little things that come up. Do you park in a garage? If so, a basic set of tools and a set of ramps might be a good investment. I pulled my under tray shortly after I bought the car, again having had zero experience or any clue what I was doing. But if you have no interest in working on the car yourself, I would take it to a dealer or shop and ask them to pull the under tray and see what's moving around. Definitely not normal to hear what you describe. It could be as simple as a bunch of little stones sitting on top of the tray.

Here's an example of how little issues can be solved with the help of the community: when I would hit a bump, even a small bump, my car made a sound like a dumpster slamming closed. I posted pics of the suspension on this forum, a few folks pointed out residue consistent with a blown shock and another member offered me a replacement set, which I swapped out (again no experience and no idea what I was doing). Solved the issue.

I did have the opportunity to drive a new Elise and it was sublime. I don't remember it making a bunch of random noise, just being blown away by the little cockpit, the handling, the pureness of the experience and the rawness of the car and knowing immediately that I had to have one. But yeah, plush and quiet are generally not words I would associate with the driving experience.
 

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I bought my 2006 Elise used in 2006 with 600 miles on it, essentially new and never serviced. It had quite a few rattles back then. The nut plate that held the back panel to the rear clam rattled until it fell off, the windows rattled and so did the hardtop. Now, my car has no appreciable rattles after fixing everything and staying on top of maintenance. It’s still a noisy car but that’s the nature of the beast. I would say that long term owners that have looked after their car and applied the fixes as we have discovered them over the years probably have a smoother running and less rattle prone car than new. That also means keeping up with regular suspension and under panel torquing. Touch wood, it’s been remarkably reliable and never let me down.
 

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Notable lines from various (mostly Porsche) people in my grp over drinks with a few brits incl a noted endurance racer:
-They all do that. Live with it.
-If rattles bother you, a ____(NUMEROUS Brit car names offered up) isnt for you.
-If you'd prefer not to get your hands dirty, children and Lotus are not for you.
-If you wanted quiet reliability, get yourself a ____(Lexus/INfiinity/Acura/etc). If you want a non-interesting sportscar, get yourself a Porsche. . If you want an interesting sportcar (saloon car?) and can accept rattles and questionable reliability, get yourself a Maserati. IF you want a REAL sportscar and can accept all the rattles and occas bugs, get yourself a Lotus.
-Good, fast and Cheap.......which 2 outta 3 are you aiming for?
-Jag's: if you're gonna buy, buy 2...one will always be in the shop....
-Noisy? THAT's Aesthetics (from the marketing department). No extra charge for that.
-Porsche: Competent, not endearing!..... ____(NUMEROUS Brit car names offered up)---they werent supposed to start EVERY time.
-____(NUMEROUS Brit car names offered up)....one of the relations own a breakdown lorry?

All said in good spirits.
m1
 
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Let's define rattles vs. noise.

I bought my Elise with 26K miles and have had it about a year and a half. The windows rattle a little when I close the door, and it rattled once when a few of the rear belly pan bolts were loose. I tightened them and it was fine - no rattles.

However, my car is noisy. I have driven race cars for years and even a brand new 911 GT3 race car makes an awful racket just cruising through a parking lot. You'd think it was broken. Without all the coatings and sound deadening you hear every pebble thrown up in the wheel well, every lean of the suspension, and every shudder of the body panels. The Lotus has little to none of the coatings, liners, shielding, and sound deadening of even a modern economy car, and you sit in the exposed tub. That same aluminum you see in the driver's seat is exposed to the road right below you.
 
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