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Breakdown! - serpentine drive belt snapped. - Page 2 - Engine & Ancilliaries/Gearbox - The Lotus Forums - Official Lotus Community Partner Jump to content


Breakdown! - serpentine drive belt snapped.

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Thanks for all the advice and offers of help everyone.

I've had another look at my car, trying to remove the clutch plate, and come to the conclusion that my aircon compressor clutch is seized in an engaged position and so could not release. In addition to that, either the compressor itself or the pulley bearings are seized too, preventing rotation of the pulley and snapping the drive belt.

I'm waiting to hear back from Lotus to see if they can help out with the cost of the just out of warranty failure. I really hope that they can, as the list price from Lotus of a new compressor and clutch is £2680+VAT. Fingers crossed.

I'm not sure if compressors for the newer R1234yf refrigerant are easily obtainable from other sources yet: I couldn't find any. New old stock Lotus R134a compressors with clutches can be had for less than a tenth of that price. I wondered if one of these can these be used instead by flushing out and replacing the incomparable oil? Or are there other differences? 

Cheapest option to get back on the road would be an aircon delete, but I don't really want to do that.

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Chances are, the OEM compressor is a Denso unit, even if it uses R1234yf. I would try to locate the Denso part number, which is usually found on a sticker on the compressor itself, and look online for pricing. They're likely much cheaper than the ones that have a Lotus label attached. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
  • Gold FFM

You know Lotus sometimes, unfairly in my opinion, gets a bad rep. But this outcome is fantastic.  Wonder how Porsche would have dealt with it?

I came into this world screaming and covered in someone elses blood. I'll probably leave it in the same way. 

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Not sure about Porsche, but I'm sure that they have just as many breakdowns in warranty as Lotus do. Cars are complex things and the odd one goes wrong now and again.

McLaren on the other hand...

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23 hours ago, Bruss said:

By not having it fail in the first place?

Unlikely. They fail all the time due to placing the condensers in the perfect place to either be destroyed by gravel, or rot out.

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Unfortunately I think we are cutting Lotus too mich slack over this particular issue. It's not new to them - since 2012 at least, to my direct knowledge. The majority of failures seem to follow a path. The ac fluid/ gas mix leaks, the pump fails due to lack of lube, the clutch jams, the belt snaps. 

This should no longer be happening.



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Going back to the original start of the thread with the broken belt, my 400 (60,k,) the micro V’s were cracking and I had it changed at the 4 year service. 
An observation is my Toyota Hilux has 130ks same belt non cracked or freed, I can only surmise the environment plays a big part of belt life. The Hilux is on a yearly inspection as part of the service. 

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