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'Intermittent' ignition start issue

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I need to understand a bit more the circumstances that lead to this but it started yesterday and was preceded, perhaps coincidentally, by an issue with the drivers window.

Lotus Evora (2009) - press launch car. Engine is the original but was 'tweaked' by Stratton Motorsport before I bought it. Car is driven regularly (1-3 times a week). Issue occurred after a short journey of about five miles.

Yesterday took the car out for a short drive down to the shops with my son. I popped out to the shop and when I returned my son mentioned that I hadn't closed the door properly. In my absence my son reported the auto window open/close kicked in repeatedly which meant he had to get out of the car to close the door properly.

Returned home, parked in the drive and popped into the house. About an hour later I went to put the car into the garage. Ignition key turns, usual lights flash and pre-ignition noises. However on the final twist nothing. Tried various combinations of start up , in gear, out of gear, clutch depressed, not depressed in the vain hope that may have an impact but nothing.

Couple of hours later tried again and started up without issue so parked in the garage, turned off and tried the ignition again immediately to find the same fault.

I have yet to try today and I'm sure I'll find that it's only happening in certain circumstances but in the interim any guidance as to possible root cause so I can start to narrow things down?

I will report additional detail as I find it, thanks in advance.

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Check the battery.  Weird electrical behaviour is usually a warning sign that it's about to die, particularly the windows which seem to be the most sensitive to this.  Often it's the battery capacity that's degraded rather than the voltage appearing to be low.

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@Scotsdave looks like you got it. After trying a few things which didn’t work I gave the starter motor a light tap with a hammer and it started up.

Subsequently seized up again but at least I know and can get it out to repair it.

Thanks @TomE and @Bruss for the suggestions.


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Failure of the yokes on the starter motor is often the issue.  There’s a thread on LotusTalk if your skills are up to DIY

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  • Gold FFM

My starter motor gave up last year and I must say that I didn’t get the signs mentioned by Daren ? 

Mine just had a complete failure to start nothing wrong with battery leading up to the total failure 

I was lucky it was still covered by sales warranty from Snows but PJ sports did the work 

it took them a week I guess waiting for part but don’t exact time the actual replacement work undertook 

good luck hope you get it sorted ASAP 

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My starter motor failed suddenly like that with no warning.  The car was in the garage and had been put away with wet brakes which had welded to the pads, so the RAC had to jack it onto dolly wheels and drag it out!

If you've got an auto electrical specialist nearby see if they do alternator and starter motor refurbishment.  It may not need replacement of the whole part.

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So after a bit of further investigation....

I was just preparing to remove the starter motor and carry out a DIY refurb when I noticed that one of the solenoid connectors seemed loose. Removed it and put it back on, made sure it had a solid connection and it now starts without fail.

I'm going to have to monitor over the next few days but if the resolution was as simple as this I'm a happy man.

Updates to follow and thanks again for the suggestions.

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