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Lotus Esprit 2001 Maintenance


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Hi Everyone,

I'm a proud new owner of a Black 2001 Lotus Esprit. I have only had it for 2 months, 13,000 miles.. and it had a clear record, clean car fax report, regular maintenance, etc. However, it just broke down on me. The temperature started rising (but didn't overheat), apparently, there were a bunch of small fluid leaks... so that's been fixed, but the brakes locked up! The car is not drivable and they have to special order the brake system which malfunctioned and are quoting me over $3000. Plus labor. It is going to take a month to get the parts and I am currently going to a place called Creek European Automotive in California. The mechanic is honest, which is rare and someone I know.

I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on how much can be expected for maintaining this car. From my research before buying the car, it was around $600-$800/year, and around 15,000 miles, $1500-$3000 for timing belts and major maintenance.

Also, if anyone can recommend the best and affordable place to get parts from... that would be great.

Thanks so much!

Hassan

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You can also try Jeff at www.jaeparts.com

He generally knows what parts are cheapest from which distributor/manufacturer and stocks most of them.

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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  • 2 months later...

PLEASE HELP!

After $7000 and 3 months later... I finally got my Lotus Esprit 2001 back. They replaced the ABS unit, master cylinder, new hoses, brakes, clutch, fluids, etc.

Guess what? It broke down on the 405 again! Today! The next day! Same problem as before...

power just ceases, reduces in speed... temperature rises past 100 pretty fast... pushing the gas, but it's not going, feels like the car is just shutting down. Once it's stopped, brakes are locked, they won't move... hard as a rock... you can roll the car only.

The mechanic believes that it is the master cylinder booster that is defective... it's not getting power. Any advice? Harry agreed the first time around that it was probably the ABS unit, but he didn't see it...

Please help!

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TBH-I would take it to someone different. Find a Lotus Specialist in your area and go there then have that mechanic send your current mechanic the bill and as BIBS said " get your $7K back!!"

It sounds like that will save you thousands in the long run!

You can also try: rdent.com for parts...

They are in PA and sell parts as well!

Jason

Edited by jfitz981
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I'd ask for your $7k back first of all!

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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Guest bharper

Was your current shop ' up the creek automotive '? could the main computer/ecu cause this?

would talking to a specialist at the factory help, seems there are some fairly distinct problems that must tie to one known failure.

Edited by bharper
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It was European Creek Automotive, 10881 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

310-558-0134

I don't think so, I think they ruled that out but I will have them look into it.

I feel that I replaced the UBS unit the first time around and there was no need for it ($2000 + $900 labor) If it was the master cylinder booster the first time, and now again, I got ripped off.

I am going to try to tow it to Harry because from what I hear he's the best. The mechanic at Creek is very good and honest, but the chances that the booster is defective is low.

The new master cylinder booster, if it was defective, only lasted 2 days. Harry just confirmed that it could be the booster because the brakes are jammed.

The first time around I believe that it was the master cylinder also, not the ABS unit.

So it's been narrowed down to the power booster so far... they think the new one was defective so are replacing that for free.

Harry is out of town till Nov 10th, so I'm gonna have the same mechanic fix it... then drive it to Harry when he gets back.

I actually have been doing some research and it seems that if one of your cataytic converters is bad... it sends bad vapor and fumes to the vacuum of the master cylinder... causing it to go bad again and again. The mechanic did say that one of the catalytic converters is unusual, but he thought that maybe the previous owner did that on purpose to create an exhaust sound... (I didn't understand exactly, one was full, one was almost empty, whatever that means... something was taken off, etc).

Anyway, I also hear popping when I turn the car off after driving... like a cracking high pitch sound coming from the exhaust pipes or somewhere near there... it's not pleasant sounding. I have read that this could be ignition timing or cam belt not fitted right.

Does any of this make sense? Any ideas?

The mechanic is going to do a catalytic converter test... what he says is that they are fine, but one of them has the vapor compartment removed to create an exhaust sound... but he's gonna do the test to be on the safe side. My car did pass a smog check a few months ago without any problems.

I haven't had the timing/cam belts checked and need to because I heard it's good to replace those every 2 years, regardless of the mileage.

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Dude, don't take this the wrong way, but I don't know how we can help you! Practically everyone has told you to take the car to an Esprit specialist, but you're again taking the car back to the same place that's had it for 3 months, relieved you of $7K, hasn't fixed the issue and now wants to check your cats for a vapor compartment (and FWIW I've never heard of one of these before)? If this was my car I'd be demanding my $7K back and going somewhere else ....

For the last time - tow the car to an Esprit specialist and pick it up once its fixed.

Good luck!

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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Thanks, the reason I didn't take it to Harry the first time was because Harry was on the phone with this mechanic (and Jeff from Jae) and they all agreed and practically swore on the problem. This time Harry is out of town till the 10th of Nov, so what I'm gonna do is have them replace the booster under warranty (labor will also be free) and as soon as I have it, drive it straight to Harry. Harry thinks this is best too because I save on labor costs which he can't give me. This way I save at least on that part. Towing it over an hour away is very expensive, and Harry isn't around till the 10th anyway. They won't give me any kind of refund, I tried already. They are saying everything was done correctly and telling me that the ABS unit was also "good" to replace which I will ask Harry about on the 10th. I got the parts from JAE directly, so they can't refund me. If the ABS unit was not necessary to be replaced, then I can ask for $900 back for the labor cost only or just challenge it through my bank. The rest of the work - clutch, brakes, fluids, was legit.

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Well Hassan, sounds like you're making progress and least won't have to pay the labor for the booster (and personally I never take my car to Claudius, only Viking). Sounds like you're getting close, so hang in there!

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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Haha, just don't take it to a cowboy mechanic!

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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Went in person to meet Detlef at Lotus Prepared by Claudius in Cerritos, nice guy. He feels that it's possible that the power booster was defective, but also feels it could be an engine problem. Some of the guys over at Viking think it could also be a secondary fuel problem. They don't really feel that the ABS system needed to get fixed and that I got taken for a ride for $3000k, which only $900 could be refundable (labor, got the part from Jaeparts). Anyway, they are all gonna take a look at it once the new master cylinder is replaced under warranty. I will take it to Lotus Prepared by Claudius and to Harry at Viking in a few weeks. I spoke to the mechanic and he says that the ABS system, well, the whole system was contaminated and insists that it is the power booster that's the problem. He gets upset the more I question it or call others, but what does he expect after 7k and 3 months, and it breaking down the NEXT day after getting it back?

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Do yourself a favor and stick to Viking with the V8's - Claudius is good for stuff like new rear lights and custom gauges, but Viking is the place for all mechanical work on the V8's

Edited by fmxa
Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
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I would listen to Paul (FMXA). His V8 is not the first Lotus he has had so I think he has had enough experience of the various service centers in SoCal to know what he is writing about.

You don't want any more grief at the hands of a mechanic.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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O.K paul,go easy on Claudius.I wouldnt mind have a mechanic like Jason (Detlef Claudius son) that works specifically on Esprits work on my car.Im sure Akmal will make a wise choice after meeting both mechanics.He wont go wrong either way!

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  • 4 months later...

No problems since. It was just the power booster that was the problem... all the extra garbage like the ABS brake system was them just ripping me off. It should have only costed $1500 to fix including parts. Well, I learned the hard way... and now I go to Harry and only Harry!

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