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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being new to the whole Elise ownership thing I took my car to Town Fair Tire this past weekend to see about the front wheels being out of balance. The steering wheel vibrates quite a bit at highway speeds. I wanted to check the alignment and balance of the front wheels to make sure everything was okay.

After the shop assured me that only the service manager was going to be working on the car I sat in the waiting area for about 20 minutes. At that point the a service tech called me to the desk and stated "we can't work on this car. Did you know that there is a solid aluminum plate covering the bottom of the car?"
It was at this point that I told them to take my car off the lift and I left the shop. This was only slightly entertaining as I can only imagine what might have been done to the car.
My question in is it really necessary to take the car to a Lotus dealership for something as simple as a tire balance? I live on the New Hampshire Seacoast and would really just like to hear any recommendations on where to take the car to get simplest service done.

Cheers
 

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I had Chang at Funhondas in Maynard, MA flip my front tires. I had a slow leak in one when I bought it 2 years ago and put in some slime. It gelled a bit, making balancing impossible. He removed both tires, cleaned that one out and re-installed reversed on the wheels to even out wear.

I always bring wheels alone to tire shops. You then know for sure that your car will not be damaged and there is often a discount because they don't have to deal with the car.

I would not ever bring the Lotus to a shop who doesn't really, REALLY know Lotus cars.

 

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I took my Elise to the Lotus dealer for a wheel alignment. They then took the car down the street to Master Mechanic, with an employee of the Lotus dealer supervising. I'm comfortable with that arrangement.

For wheel balancing, my Lotus dealer sends the wheels to another garage.

If you are just after balancing, I'd suggest you remove the wheels yourself if you can and then take them to a tire place for balancing. I've done that with good results.
 

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Being new to the whole Elise ownership thing I took my car to Town Fair Tire this past weekend to see about the front wheels being out of balance. The steering wheel vibrates quite a bit at highway speeds. I wanted to check the alignment and balance of the front wheels to make sure everything was okay.

After the shop assured me that only the service manager was going to be working on the car I sat in the waiting area for about 20 minutes. At that point the a service tech called me to the desk and stated "we can't work on this car. Did you know that there is a solid aluminum plate covering the bottom of the car?"
It was at this point that I told them to take my car off the lift and I left the shop. This was only slightly entertaining as I can only imagine what might have been done to the car.
My question in is it really necessary to take the car to a Lotus dealership for something as simple as a tire balance? I live on the New Hampshire Seacoast and would really just like to hear any recommendations on where to take the car to get simplest service done.

Cheers
It is impossible to lift the car without damaging it...how did they lift it? They normally crush the sills (rocker panels made of fiberglass) just forward of the rear wheels and bend the shear panel the sills attaches to...

If they had it lifted and not on a roll-on lift, your car is damaged!
 

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When I took it elsewhere I removed the diffuser and they had no trouble doing the alignment.

That said - I do it myself now so that I don't have the feeling that the service manager will call with the news that my car is standing on its tail like that yellow car above.

dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't believe that it was ever up on a lift. They looked under the car to check where to place the arms of the lift and saw the aforementioned aluminum plate.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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got 'em - any garage can lift with the rear point lift kit. Also makes sense in case of a mechanical emergency that might arise - in case you need to lift the car "away from home" so to speak.
 

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If you can't take the wheels off yourself, you can ask if they have a flat jack. Familiarize yourself with the jacking point and do one side at a time. Make sure they don't over inflate the tires and they use the correct torque when putting the wheels back on the car.

All this information should be in your owners manual.

I would check underneath the car to make sure they did no try to lift it only to stop after hearing cracking noises. Exactly what @[email protected] said further up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After being freaked out from reading the above post I did crawl as far under the car as I could get and there is no evidence what so ever of any dents or scratches that could have come from a lift which further confirms that the car was not lifted at all. Thank God I didn't learn that lesson the hard, and I'm sure expensive way.
 
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