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Spinney

It was all going so well............

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We’ve just had a fabulous week with friends in the Loire region of France. Went out in the Evora almost every day for some thoroughly enjoyable runs on almost empty  roads. The car hasn’t missed a beat, even in 40C temps in Chinon yesterday, until this morning that is. 

Packed the car up and said our goodbyes but then on closing the drivers door, I noticed the window which had dropped as normal when opening the car, didn’t go back up on closing. I started the car and wound the window fully down, then up and it appeared to close fully. I switched off, exited the car, closed the door and locked it but the window no longer drops nor goes fully home on closing the door. Passenger window on my wife’s side is fine  

Oh well, I thought, not the end of the world and I’ll just get it booked in when I’m home. Driving the 450 miles home, all was well at first and I just had a bit of wind noise around the window to contend with. But then, after a 2 hour stint on the autoroute and cruising with the cruise control on, I pulled in for some fuel. On restarting, I noticed the cruise control no longer works but carried on to the tunnel in Calais. 

Back in England, we left Ashford and I tried the cruise control which now seemed to work again. But then coming off the motorway and running through town, I noticed a problem with the auto gearbox. When slowing to take a sharp corner or coming up to a junction to stop, the ‘box starts to change down as normal but wouldn’t go into 2nd. It would stay in 3rd until walking pace or stopping, whereupon it went straight into 1st, missing out 2nd altogether. Then when pulling away, it hangs on to 1st and will only change up when I pull the paddle, whereupon it goes into 2nd only momentarily, before going straight up to 3rd. I tried it in both touring and Sport modes but still it did the same. Also it won’t switch on the cruise control again.

I’m now thinking there must be an odd electrical glitch going on somewhere and bizarre though it seems, all 3 problems are too coincidental not to be connected in some way. I should add that at no time have I had any warning lights on the dash. I am aware some owners have reported weird problems with a dodgy battery but my car is only 9 months old and, apart from when we’re away with the car, as in the last week, it is always plugged into the battery conditioner. It’s been used every single day, bar one, whilst away, so I can’t imagine it’s not being charged properly. I did plug in my OBD2 reader tonight, but that’s not showing any fault codes at all  

I’ve got the car booked in to B & C next week, but anybody have any ideas? I’m completely baffled by the symptoms. 

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Did the  car ever go in limp mode?

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It may have been asking you to fulfill your plans and stay in France.

Jokes aside, I am sorry  I can not provide more help but I had something similar in my first trip in the car with the family all the way to Bayern. Never got to discover the root cause of my sudden limp mode...

Good luck with identifying the issue.

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Before taking it in for an expensive diagnosis, try a hard reset...disconnect both battery terminals, negative first, leave off for 30 mins then reconnect. 

Turn it off and turn it on again is a simple glitch remover, worth a go.

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8 hours ago, PAR said:

Did the  car ever go in limp mode?

No limp mode at any time and it never lost power at all.

5 hours ago, Steve V8 said:

Before taking it in for an expensive diagnosis, try a hard reset...disconnect both battery terminals, negative first, leave off for 30 mins then reconnect. 

Turn it off and turn it on again is a simple glitch remover, worth a go.

The car still has 2 years 3 months of the warranty left, so I don't have any problems getting it in to B & C, but thanks for the suggestion.👍

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Bit of an update. Got up early to wash and clean the car before it all got too warm, as it became very grubby whilst away last week. After drying the car, I took it for a quick run to dry the brakes and the gearbox behaved perfectly normally today. The cruise control light now switches on and off every time, but the drivers door window still doesn't drop when opening the door nor go right up when closing.

So it may have resolved itself on the first two issues, but I'm not holding my breath! I hate it when I don't know what has caused an issue which has then righted itself as I don't know if or when it will come back in the future. 

Anyhow, I still need to get the car in to B & C for the window drop and have booked in for Tuesday. I'm hoping a complete system reset and maybe a software upgrade will resolve all three issues for ever more. Oh how I hate electronics in cars. It's all those wiggly electron things I don't understand. Give me something I can fix with a spanner or screwdriver every time! 😄

 

 

 

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Sorry to hear you’ve had issues, doesn’t do much for the confidence especially when you’re far from home. Could it even be something to do with the weather? Sounds pretty extreme over in France right now. Hope you get a speedy and permanent fix and glad the car didn’t leave you stranded.

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@Spinney  The windows can often get themselves in a little pickle. The first "test and fix" is to hold the button and bring the window all the way down, continue to hold the button until you feel, or hear, a definite click (can take anything from 3-10 seconds usually). Then hold the button and take the window up, all the way, and continue to hold the button after the window is raised, again, until you hear or feel the click. This then means the window accentuator/regulator/thingy has ben reset and usually this will resolve the issue.  TADTS will be the response if this fixes the window issue :)

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Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!        

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2 hours ago, Brian Braddock said:

Sorry to hear you’ve had issues, doesn’t do much for the confidence especially when you’re far from home. Could it even be something to do with the weather? Sounds pretty extreme over in France right now. Hope you get a speedy and permanent fix and glad the car didn’t leave you stranded.

Wasn't a massive issue for us as we were almost home by the time the gearbox started playing up. I did wonder about the extreme heat but, to be honest, the car should still run ok in ambient temperature of 40 Celsius and, besides, it was only 24 back in Guildford by the time the gearbox went awry. I'll see what Bell & Colvill have to say this week when I take it in.

 

1 hour ago, C8RKH said:

@Spinney  The windows can often get themselves in a little pickle. The first "test and fix" is to hold the button and bring the window all the way down, continue to hold the button until you feel, or hear, a definite click (can take anything from 3-10 seconds usually). Then hold the button and take the window up, all the way, and continue to hold the button after the window is raised, again, until you hear or feel the click. This then means the window accentuator/regulator/thingy has ben reset and usually this will resolve the issue.  TADTS will be the response if this fixes the window issue :)

I'll try that in a mo' thanks.

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Just tried the window fix and at first I thought it might do the trick. I did as suggested and held the button down until hearing a click at which the window seemed to drop a further few millimetres. Then pulled the button up which caused the glass to go right to the very top. Eureka, I thought, so kept holding the button and after a second or two, the glass dropped the usual half inch that it did on opening the door. I kept hold of the button for some time but nothing more was happening. I was inside the car with the door shut whilst doing this, so assume that was right???

Thanks for the suggestion though, I'll bear it in mind for any future wobbles it might decide to throw.

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It does sound battery related, but I would let B and C sort it under warranty. It could be a duff battery, it could be something draining the battery.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Bruss said:

It does sound battery related, but I would let B and C sort it under warranty. It could be a duff battery, it could be something draining the battery.

 

 

Yes, I will do. My concern, though, as with all intermittent faults is that unless B & C can replicate it, or it throws up a recordable error message, I might be faced with more problems in future on long journeys. Cruise control I can obviously live without should it be necessary and even the window drop isn't a massive problem, albeit you get a bit more wind noise around the window, but the gearbox could potentially be a much more serious issue.

Now I can sit back and maybe analyse the situation a little more, I'm beginning to think the battery could be the culprit. As I said above, at home it is always kept on the battery conditioner as have all my toys over the last 30 years or so and I've never had any problems before with any of them. However, I'm kind of wondering if the extreme heat conditions we experienced in Chinon the day before leaving for home might have, indirectly caused the various electrical glitches the following day. I say 'indirectly' because whilst I don't believe the heat per se caused any issues, maybe the fact that we had the aircon on max, due to the 40 C ambient, and obviously the auxiliary electric fans were on a lot, had drained the battery sufficiently to upset the many electronic systems in the car. Every time we stopped, you could hear the auxiliary aircon fans sounding like big turbines in the front of the car, so I imagine they probably draw quite a current. The fact that the electronic gremlins all started the following morning as soon as we got in the car to leave for home does, perhaps, point a finger towards the battery, especially since it wouldn't have been on charge overnight nor, indeed, at any time during the last week.

So, following on from that train of thought and given how often we read about the lightweight batteries being used by Lotus these days causing strange electronic behaviour in cars fitted with them, are the particular brand being used actually fit for purpose or is it simply a characteristic of the type? I have to confess that I have very little experience of this type of car battery prior to my previous Lotus, the V6 Exige and that was never used in the sort of temperature extremes we were seeing last week, although it was fitted with aircon. Even my Caterhams always had a conventional lead acid type of battery and I'm just wondering if the characteristics of the lightweight batteries we are using aren't completely suited to our cars or could it be something as simple as a slightly inferior brand???

Any thoughts????

 

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Too many variables to point a finger really.

Many random electrical faults point to battery or connection problems.

Heavy draw on the battery on one day shouldn't cause a problem, but does indicate that either the charging system isn't enough to overcome maximum draw ( bad design) or perhaps the alternator isn't working at max, or just a slipping belt. The battery could be duff and isn't holding a full charge or recharging quickly enough. Batteries that have been standing, connected in an unused car before purchase can become less than optimal.

Hot weather can not be allowed to be blamed by lazy techicians. These cars are sold in hot countries.

It's under warranty, Lotus have a duty to identify the cause. As you say, you want your confidence reinstated so you can drive it abroad again.

I run a 'cheap' lifepo battery in my Evora. It doesn't like sitting for longer than about 3 weeks before the low voltage cut out shuts it down, and even after just a week it only just manages enough to start the car. However running it daily on track day excursions down to Spain in August has never thrown a problem. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Spinney said:

Yes, I will do. My concern, though, as with all intermittent faults is that unless B & C can replicate it, or it throws up a recordable error message, I might be faced with more problems in future on long journeys. Cruise control I can obviously live without should it be necessary and even the window drop isn't a massive problem, albeit you get a bit more wind noise around the window, but the gearbox could potentially be a much more serious issue.

Now I can sit back and maybe analyse the situation a little more, I'm beginning to think the battery could be the culprit. As I said above, at home it is always kept on the battery conditioner as have all my toys over the last 30 years or so and I've never had any problems before with any of them. However, I'm kind of wondering if the extreme heat conditions we experienced in Chinon the day before leaving for home might have, indirectly caused the various electrical glitches the following day. I say 'indirectly' because whilst I don't believe the heat per se caused any issues, maybe the fact that we had the aircon on max, due to the 40 C ambient, and obviously the auxiliary electric fans were on a lot, had drained the battery sufficiently to upset the many electronic systems in the car. Every time we stopped, you could hear the auxiliary aircon fans sounding like big turbines in the front of the car, so I imagine they probably draw quite a current. The fact that the electronic gremlins all started the following morning as soon as we got in the car to leave for home does, perhaps, point a finger towards the battery, especially since it wouldn't have been on charge overnight nor, indeed, at any time during the last week.

So, following on from that train of thought and given how often we read about the lightweight batteries being used by Lotus these days causing strange electronic behaviour in cars fitted with them, are the particular brand being used actually fit for purpose or is it simply a characteristic of the type? I have to confess that I have very little experience of this type of car battery prior to my previous Lotus, the V6 Exige and that was never used in the sort of temperature extremes we were seeing last week, although it was fitted with aircon. Even my Caterhams always had a conventional lead acid type of battery and I'm just wondering if the characteristics of the lightweight batteries we are using aren't completely suited to our cars or could it be something as simple as a slightly inferior brand???

Any thoughts????

 

The "Super B" brand LiFePo batteries that Lotus are using are not undersized, heavy duty and extremely expensive vs. the typical Li fitment.  Ive not run into any trouble on mine, but do hook it back to the supplied charger/conditioner if there is a chance that I will not use the car within a few days.  Maybe this is why Lotus is not longer selling the GT's over here with the Li battery, I just figured it was a cost cutting move as they list at almost $2,000.

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I inadvertently killed the battery in my 400 as my daughter left the indoor light without me noticing. I didn’t have one of those super light battery in but changing it to a different brand solved some of the gremlins I had experienced.

I would never take the ultra  light option as when my lotus would kill the battery (fact of life) I would just get to annoy about the waste of money.

Battery usage is to me the biggest weakness of those cars and I really hope geely sorts it out to make them better dailies.

on those good words, I am going to charge my battery.

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I had a few battery related issues with my 410. The first was the air blowing out frantically from the vents when the switches were off. The second was the sports exhaust staying on when I switched it off. Then there was the really intermittent boot release from the key. 

A full recharge with the charger and it was fine again. It did get a bit tiresome having to charge it on the driveway with a feed from my front window...I was just worried about the damn cats and foxes having a chew! 

The quirks of owning a hand built car. 

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I know these batteries can lose their charge more quickly than the old lead acid type but I really wasn’t concerned as I knew I’d be using the car every single day, so just assumed it would retain its charge. If, as I’m beginning to suspect, it was the battery causing these electronic gremlins then it’s a pretty piss poor piece of design, if I’m being honest. 

Since I'm not looking for the ultimate in lightness, I’m now wondering if I should revert to a reliable old lead acid battery. Anybody know if it would fit in the same space?

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Probably a complete red herring, but a fairly simple check........

When my 400 was about 6 months old I was on a road trip to Italy and had an intermittent electrical issue where it felt like it was losing positive connection.  It happened 3 or 4 times and threw and airbag warning light and one other (can't remember which) but basically when driving it manifested itself as if power was being cut on and off very quickly.  All the dials were going mad as if the car was being switched on and off multiple times.

I checked the terminals and they were fine, so I did a hard re-set for 30 mins.  Luckily we were near the end of the trip and the car was OK for the final day back through France.

I got Silverstone to re-set the air bag light and investigate and they found that the main fuse cable from the battery to the car was loose.  Basically if you pulled the sheath back over the wire, there were two plates bolted together and a fuse.  The plates were loose and intermittently separating very slightly over bumpy ground and interrupting the power.

 

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Thanks, I'll take a look at that this morning.👍

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On ‎29‎/‎06‎/‎2019 at 15:07, Bruss said:

It does sound battery related, but I would let B and C sort it under warranty. It could be a duff battery, it could be something draining the battery.

 

 

The battery in my Evora 400 died after around 18 months - so I would also double check the battery.

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I had a new battery on my 400 earlier in the year - 2 and a bit years old, and kept on a trickle charger when not driven daily

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On 30/06/2019 at 10:38, Spinney said:

Yes, I will do. My concern, though, as with all intermittent faults is that unless B & C can replicate it, or it throws up a recordable error message, I might be faced with more problems in future on long journeys. Cruise control I can obviously live without should it be necessary and even the window drop isn't a massive problem, albeit you get a bit more wind noise around the window, but the gearbox could potentially be a much more serious issue

In that eventuality, that you've had and raised the problem during the warranty period is a good start, there may be some footing there so I would ensure you have a suitable audit trail.  B&C have a great reputation so they may well support you further if it occurs again outside of warranty.

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Indeed, I’m sure B & C will do right by me. I have a very good relationship with them, not least because of how many new cars I’ve bought from them over the years.😁 It’s just a question of whether they can replicate the faults experienced, apart from the window drop one, which is still there. 

In the long term, though, I do find it quite concerning, the number of folk who have had problems with these Li batteries, even though relatively young, as some of the above posts in this very thread. For me, reliability is way more important than ultimate lightness, so I may well look very seriously at changing to a lead acid battery if these glitches continue. I have a history of looking after my car batteries and have never had to replace one before on any of my cars, toys or daily hacks, so these Li batteries are a completely new experience for me. 

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Just an update after dropping my car into B & C today. Not surprisingly, since it righted itself by the very next day, they could neither replicate nor read any error codes for the auto box not wanting to go into 2nd. Similarly, they couldn't replicate the cruise control not always switching on, but they've carried out a system reset anyhow so, hopefully, I won't see either of those problems again, especially not the gearbox fault.

As for the window drop, that has been diagnosed as the fairly common window regulator which, I understand, are expensive components but at least it is currently under warranty. I've read quite a few reports in the last few days of this regulator failing on Evoras so I wonder whose manufacture it is? It clearly isn't the most reliable component of its type. The ones on my wifes Merc SLK are now 10 years old and going fine as were those on my much missed Merc CL over 70,000 miles in my ownership.

It is silly little failures such as this that can really pee you off on a modern and fairly expensive car. It just shouldn't happen and I really hope Geely address these seemingly minor issues on future cars.

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1 hour ago, Spinney said:

It is silly little failures such as this that can really pee you off on a modern and fairly expensive car. It just shouldn't happen and I really hope Geely address these seemingly minor issues on future cars

This is just so spot on. I think this is where the Geely connection will help with future cars.


Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!        

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