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Idle Hunting - but with a twist


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Back from hols and had her out yesterday, first time in 4 weeks, up to a wedding in St Andrews. Before I went away I had the idle hunting problem, which was cured by the whole 'disconnect battery, remove fuse, leave overnight, re educate the ECU' routine. It did it again yesterday, albeit intermitently, but when it does this the speedo needle goes berserk, swinging round to 30/40/50 and back again.

Despite rain of epic proportions driving back in the early hours this morning, including a flood that caused a bow wave up the bonnet and onto the windscreen (they do drive underwater afterall) the car is otherwise perfect.

So, I reckon I have an elecrical problem. Thoughts anyone?

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I had the same thing with the speedo, the alternator died shortly afterwards, within a few miles.

I don't recall the engine hunting or having problems at tickover though.


Driving Automotive Aristocracy Since 2004

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For what its worth, when I first picked up my car I was seeing the same thing, the speedo was all over the place, car idle was erratic, etc.. I had plans to take it down to get it looked over and then a day later... poof, it was dead, nothing.. no power. To make a long story short, after checking all the fuses, the alarm etc... it finally dawned on me to take a peek at the battery, the neg cable was loose and had come completely away from the terminal. I repositioned the cable and tightened it down... and everything was fine.

So Id take a look at your battery first, make sure its charged and well connected.

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Been there, done that but thanks anyway. The car had a new battery a week or two before I bought it back in June and I had it on a trickle charge/conditioner whilst I was away for 3 weeks. Started immediately and is running fine otherwise, battery remains fully charged, cables tight.

I took a long trip on Monday and it happened a couple of times going, but was fine coming back. Pulling up at traffic lights it settles to a nice idle at around 850/900rpm, as it should. But if its a long stop, after a while it seems to drift and the speedo does its thing. If its a short stop, say less than a minute, its fine.

Its one of those intermittent faults that can be so annoying - if I took it to my mechanic no doubt it would behave faultlessly!

Edited by hedgerley
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Proof that Lotus themselves dip into LEF - I had a PM about this problem from Mr Esprit himself, Brian Angus, who kindly had a chat with one of his colleagues about the electrics for me. My gast was truely flabbered.

The fault now seems to have cleared itself. Hopefully it will stay that way.

Thanks again Brian and I hope it wasn't to wet in Ireland. Hopefully I'll get to say Hi in person at the 60th Birthday bash.

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