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Winter storage


LotusFella

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what is the general consensus re battery and winterising?  My Evora is tucked up in the garage until spring now is it best to keep it on a trickle charger all winter or disconnect the battery and just keep the battery charged.

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Won’t you end up with an illuminated airbag light, if you disconnect the battery for a lengthy period of time? Mine lives on a C-Tek battery conditioner all year. I installed a replacement Varta silver battery in 2016, but the Lotus Silverstone technician said this week that it’s now on the way out, so even a battery conditioner doesn’t keep a battery healthy indefinitely.

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I've had the battery disconnected on my S1 Evora for over a week and have not had air bag light come on.  I also connected and disconnected the battery multiple times when trying to debug the old faulty battery and connecting up a new one.  Didn't get any issues with mine.

If my experience is not a fluke then I would suggest to remove the battery and keep that on trickle charge through the storage period.

There will be zero load on the battery as it is not contented to anything so zero chance of something rouge on the car drawing too much power and depleting the battery while on trickle charge.

This assumes the car is 100% not going to be used over the winter period and assumes the car is safely and securely stored as the alarm will not be functional with the battery removed.

But doubt either option makes much difference, there are thousands of people that store their car for long periods with the battery connected to the car and on trickle charge without much problem.

Personally I say stick some winter tyres on it an enjoy over winter 😉

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The airbag light issue is usually from the battery be disconnected to soon after the car has been switched off. I can't remember exactly but the ECU's keep themselves busy for 15-30 mins after the car is off and if the battery is disconnected during this time, then the error occurs.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Definitely trickle charge. Airflow are superb, 23 years on my 340R and still good. I also use a £14 Lidl one, 8 years and still good. 

Early Evora have socket in boot for live feed to battery. Halfords sell male connector (cigarette lighter style) if you're chosen charger doesn't have one.

Ctek are very over-priced in my opinion. Clever marketing, which you pay for. 

Justin 

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a few things will shorten the battery life, even on a trickle charger, 

cold, anything getting towards freezing isn't good for the battery, if you are planning to disconnect it, storing it somewhere warmer than a cold garage will really help.  if it's disconnected then it will be ok for at least 3 months without charging, often 6 months is fine between charges when there is no drain .

also leaving the battery still isn't perfect, the acid settles out getting stronger at the bottom and dissolving the plates, although this shouldn't be a problem for just 6 months. 

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You probably also need to........

1. Increase pressure in tyres.

2. Check coolant is at the correct strength.

3. Fill tank with good petrol and, possibly, add a fuel stabiliser.

4. Regularly start engine and leave running for 10 mins or so.

5. Regularly move car around to prevent flat spots on tyres.

6. Wash and polish car. Protect with indoor cover ir outside cover if not garaged.

At least, that's what I do if I SORN or overwinter 😉

My Lotus cars all have battery conditioners attached (CTEK plus £25 cheapies) when not in use.

Edited by Rambo
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88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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  • Gold FFM
On 04/11/2022 at 13:23, Bibs said:

The airbag light issue is usually from the battery be disconnected to soon after the car has been switched off. I can't remember exactly but the ECU's keep themselves busy for 15-30 mins after the car is off and if the battery is disconnected during this time, then the error occurs.

That's it.  Leaving it 30 mins before you disconnect the battery will give the ECU time to settle and avoid the airbag warning light.

A decent battery conditioner will keep a battery in good order over the winter, more so than disconnecting the battery and leaving it sat idle.

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  • Gold FFM
On 04/11/2022 at 15:05, Rambo said:

4. Regularly start engine and leave running for 10 mins or so.

I can't agree to that one. You'll get all the wear of a cold start and little or no benefits just letting the engine idle. It needs some revs and load to properly circulate and warm up everything. Probably better to just let it sit until you can take the car for a spin.

There's just been another topic about the strains of cold starting an engine:

 

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Mine will be spending winter like this again ...

IMG_20210221_125118.thumb.jpg.b9b6a2fb42834b98d488bad139a36a10.jpg

 

So no need to worry about the tyres going out of round and I've never had an issue with the airbag light after leaving the battery off , but I do tend to leave it a few days after the last drive before pulling it to bits.

 

Note it wont be hanging from the ceiling ... No matter what I do the photo won't load the right way up !!!!

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17 hours ago, Escape said:

I can't agree to that one. You'll get all the wear of a cold start and little or no benefits just letting the engine idle. It needs some revs and load to properly circulate and warm up everything. Probably better to just let it sit until you can take the car for a spin.

There's just been another topic about the strains of cold starting an engine:

 

When laid up, I have always run engines regularly with plenty of revs when warmed up plus I then drive up and down my drive/farmers track several times.

Never ever had any engine problems in any car over 45 years of ownership.

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I have never SORN’d a car. I considered it during lockdown, but when I asked my insurer how much cheaper the premium for laid-up insurance would be, his answer was laughable: something like 10% less than normal insurance. Clearly there was no point, so I didn’t bother and have continued to drive the car 12 months per year.

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1 hour ago, EGTE said:

Why not just drive it? That's the best way to see out the Winter months!

I drive my Lotus cars as much as possible and in all weather, but sometimes, living in Scotland, when it's -15C and the snow, ice and salt is deep on the ground it is just not practical to drive soft tops.

So they get SORN'd for a few months and I'm about £60pm better off.

The Evora and my yellow M100 get driven all year round

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1 hour ago, EGTE said:

Fair play on the soft-tops.

I drove my red M100 on Xmas day once. -20C and top down.

My NMY gets used year round, always with top down, whatever the weather.

I have a spare set of forged alloys and winter tyres for the Evora so no excuses there either.

I believe Lotus cars were meant for driving, not as garage queens, but I am still selective as to where and when. There is still a limit to my madness 😉

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