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    Paul Sparham
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    Elise S1
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  1. My 1997 Elise S1 fails the MOT emissions every year and it has just failed again today (16 June 2022). Every year I buy a new cat for around £145 and have done since 2016 when after nineteen years the original and reliable cat which never failed sadly expired. I clocked up 1,608 miles since the last MOT in June 2021. Can anyone recommend a decent cat – and where to buy it - that lasts more than a year? Many thanks, Paul
  2. This is the one I bought from Elise Parts - S1 / S2 Coolant Pressure Cap A111K6001F and fitted on Saturday last: Last year I bought the same cap with a new expansion tank as the old one was ruptured. (Even I was able to swiftly identify and rectify that problem). The blub on the above link recommends that a new cap is fitted with each service interval. I gave the car a good run this evening and still no drip but I just can't fathom how, if the old cap was leaking, coolant found its way to the opposite side of the engine on level ground. Perhaps I should pour cold water over the expansion tank and see where it comes out.
  3. UPDATE - Collected the car this morning. A pressure test found no leaks. The garage said they also made a visual inspection but found no fault with pipes or clips. I'll have to take their word for that as a visual inspection is not included on the invoice. After collection I ran the car, bringing up the temperature and sure enough everywhere is bone dry. The only thing I've done since the original post is to replace last year's pressure cap with a brand new one. But the vexing question is IF the pressure cap was faulty then why was the drip appearing on the rear offside and not the nearside under the reservoir? I got through to Phil Marking at B&C - always knowledgeable and helpful but difficult to contact - and I'm getting a second opinion this Friday. As an afterthought: Diagnostics are not foolproof. For months my battery was being drained but extensive (and expensive) diagnostics found no fault and a new battery and starter-motor made no difference. The solution was using the spare car key, replacing the badly worn one I'd used for 25 years. I'd read that due to a worn key points inside the ignition lock housing can still be closing the circuit, which in turn will leave current flowing, draining the battery. Since changing the key the car fires up perfectly - which leads to the next question: I'd like another key cut as a spare but nowhere I've tried will do it. Where can one obtain a new key? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  4. I've always used Bell and Colvill but have become increasingly frustrated at never being able to speak to front man Phil Marking who has ignored my calls and email this week. Such a shame as the work they do is generally good, but I'm forced to look elsewhere. The generic garage I'm taking the car to on Monday fitted a new cat and starter motor last year so I hope that they can solve the coolant leak problem. Failing that I'll try Max500 which is new to me.
  5. Thank you everyone for your responses. When the header tank self-regulates and discharges excess coolant does it do so from the pressure cap? Previous coolant loss has been due to: HGF, ruptured heater feed pipe in the sill and a cracked expansion tank (twice). Unfortunately the Lotus garage I have used extensively in the past rarely acknowledge telephone calls or emails these days so I’m taking my ageing car to a local garage on the 13th June who are not Lotus specialists - just a standard outfit. I’m really hoping it is a question of jubilee clips or, in the case of a split hose, they are able to identify the required part and order from Elise Parts. Whatever, I'll report back. After 25 years and 115,000 miles I can’t help feeling – and have done for some years - that she is a financial liability but can never find it in my heart to let the dear old girl go. Leak6.tif
  6. Coolant is leaking from my Elise S1, especially under pressure. I can see the dripping under the offside rear wheel arch (image attached). Oil seems fine (no discolouration), there are no misfires, smoke from the exhaust or lack of acceleration. I can fill the header tank to the maximum, drive the car and 30 minutes later it is below the minimum level. If I continue to drive then the coolant disappears altogether so I’m loath to use the car. The coolant header tank and cap are new as of July 2021. The radiator and re-conditioned engine were new in 2016. For what it’s worth, I’ve wrapped kitchen towel round pipes and joints for tell-tale signs of coloured coolant but no joy although this is not conclusive. Does anyone have any suggestions? I read that HGF failure does not necessarily result in oil like mayonnaise.
  7. I hope I'm not posting in an incorrect section. My Elise S1 fails to start. The battery is fairly new and regularly charged. The AA could not fault the battery and suggested the starter motor is dying. My usual garage is not currently open but I read that hitting the starter motor can sometimes work, at least temporarily. The trouble is I don't know where the starter motor is in the rear bay. Could anyone tell me where to look (or even better, send me a picture) so that I can find it and have a look. Any responses would be much appreciated. Thank you, Paul
  8. Car failed on the following: Rod end ball joint dust cover insecure – Nearside Rear Rod end ball joint dust cover insecure – Offside Rear (inner) Rod end ball joint dust cover insecure – Offside Rear A garage I spoke to says I need a new set of dampers to address the Rod end ball joint issues. Is this correct? Many thanks
  9. I topped up the engine oil of my Elise Mk1 today with the above oil. I don't have a clue what was already in there except that the oil was changed two years ago by a reputable garage. I'm worried now about mixing oils of varied viscocity. The label on the bottle says 0W-30 but I've subsequently read that 10w-40 is recommended for the K-Series 1.8. Will I damage the engine by topping up with the only oil available at the shop? So far I haven't started the engine in case I've made a bad error.
  10. When I change to full beam the headlights go out altogether and it is alarming to be plunged into sudden darkness - even for an instant. I suspect that the problem is something to do with a fuse. I had a recent breakdown. The AA man tried to get the car started but couldn’t. It turned out to be the fuel pump which was replaced at a garage. The problem with the headlights started after the car was returned. I don’t believe in coincidences and suspect that something was damaged or pulled off either by the AA man or the garage mechanic. All the lights work including the indicators but, as stated, the main headlights go out when switching to full beam. If I flash full beam the lights stay on but nothing else happens. Any assistance would be much appreciated. Paul
  11. Hi - can anyone recommend a battery for a 1997 Elise S1? Many thanks, Paul
  12. 1997 Elise - Failed Emissions Test Fast Idle CO = 0.44 (0.30) Lambda = 1.753 (0.950-1.090) Second Fast Idle CO = 0.53 Lambda = 1.222 The MOT tester was not able to say what the likely causes of failure are/were. The car had an engine rebuild including a new CAT in February 2016. Does anyone have any suggestions, please? Many thanks, Paul.
  13. OK, I've just whipped outside and taken some shots. As I mentioned, the car has been hit three times in the past ten years, the last time being in September 2015 when a 4x4 reversed into me. When I lived in Effingham I became acquainted with a drinking companion at The Plough, Martin Sheward, who is a fibreglass and carbon-fibre specialist doing work, amongst others, for F1 teams. Just how he manages each time to restore the bodywork so that it is absolutely perfect remains a mystery - at least to me. The side you see in the picture was smashed up in 2006, but you wouldn't believe it. Constant defensive driving against other, larger vehicles and pothole avoidance has taken some of the pleasure out of owning a small sports car, but I still love it, and the comfort is second to none.
  14. I’ve been posting here awhile but haven’t yet introduced myself. I’m Paul from Surrey with a 1997 Lotus Elise, which was a 50th birthday present from me to me in 1999. Since then I’ve had some happy days at Goodwood and have clocked up over 90,000 miles of driving fun - notwithstanding a few frustrating mechanical problems and heavy expense along the way. Alas, the greatest impediments to driving pleasure these last 10 years are the increasingly potholed roads of Surrey and the proliferation of huge off-road 4x4s, which are now everywhere. But despite being hit three times by Chelsea Tractors on their school run my car has always been lovingly restored and after seventeen years still looks as bright and fresh as when I first bought it. I have just applied the soft top’s annual renovation and polished the body work, leaving it gleaming like a mirror. It also has a new engine supplied by Ivor Searle. All that is required now is some sunshine for balmy summer days and trips to coast and country. I have a congenital back problem and the seat of the Elise is the only one that provides complete comfort so it seems I’m stuck with it until such time as I am unable to climb in ☺ and hope to continue enjoying it for the foreseeable future. Looking forward to receiving words of mechanical wisdom from the gurus here. Paul
  15. Thank you for your replies. Unfortunately I don’t have anything with which to jack-up the rear wheels, but there is no noise that I can hear when driving. I took it for a short run and then checked the heat from each wheel. The rear nearside was very hot. Moreover the copper grease, so evident on the offside, has dried up. I don’t believe in coincidence either. The brakes were fine until I had the rear pads replaced. Now the nearside brake pad is sticking to the rotor (I assume) and the car hardly moves at times. The level of sluggishness, however, is intermittent. When the pads were replaced there was no report that the shims are corroded or the brake hose was worn but something is causing the calliper to seize. I spent a lot of time today researching the likely cause of sticking after new brake pads have been fitted. Many cases refer to mechanics accidentally damaging or twisting the rubber boot around the piston or those around the brake caliper bolts. Perhaps this is the problem, but further investigation from a mechanic is necessary. The garage is about ten miles away. Is it safe enough, if I drive slowly, to make the journey? Or am I likely to cause damage?
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