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V8 Slow to start


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Hi Guys,

new to the lotus forum, with a recent addition to the family, a '99 V8 SE.

She runs fine, but always takes over 5 seconds on the starter before she fires up.

its persitantly the same, hot or cold. As soon as she catches it runs perfectly.

its very annoying and a little embarassing when people are watching with the starter motor clattering away for ages.

I wondered if anyone had any ideas as to what could be the problem and how best to fix it.



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Hi Jim,

Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on the car.

I have had my car for two years and it starts the same way: always has, although I would put the count at closer to 3-4 seconds. I just figure that is the way it is with the V8. Considering that I have had the car in to a Lotus dealer from time to time and they have never commmented on it, I assume it is normal.

On occasion it will start after a 1-2 second turn of the key, but usually it requires noticeable cranking.

"At home, I have a King Sized bed. Now, I don't know any Kings, but I would imagine if one were to come over, he would be comfortable." -Mitch Hedberg

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Hi Jim

Yep, mines pretty much the same when warm. When cold starts in around one sec. Do you turn on the ignition & allow the fuel to prime (you can hear the pump) before cranking the starter? If I don't do this & just start the car then it would take between 4-5 secs to fire up.


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Yes, on reflection its more like 3-4 seconds, and absolutely lifeless as if the ECU is not triggered and holds the starting of the car by design for so long.

I generally wait until the Fuel pumps have primed and then start it and yes, sometimes (although not often) it fires quicker and once it fired immediately, which is what makes me think if it can do it once, why not everytime.

I didnt know it maybe it was a symptom of leaky injectrors or worn plugs and leads.

Thanks for the replies, I guess I'll just have to live with it.

at least I know I',m not alone gathering.gif

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Finally got a resolution to this problem,

I recently replaced, all spark plugs, HT leads (for magnecor), coil packs, injectors and lambda sensors

Overkill maybe but it now fires, cleanly and promptly everytime and tickover and general running is measurably improved.

Its difficult to determine what the issue was but I would suspect leaky and un-balanced injectors.

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  • 2 months later...

My car has always taken a 2-3 seconds of cranking to start when cold and sometime a little longer when hot. The thing I notice is when the car has been sitting for extended periods of time it will often cough and sputter once or twice before firing up like normal. Seems like injectors are loosing pressure over time??

Also, when car is cold, it does not go into a high idle before revving down. Instantly starts and idles at low RPM and always stalls as soon as I put my foot on the gas if I don't let it warm up first. This has all started since I had the timing belts done last summer and ECU reset. Any ideas?

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as long as there is no serious interferences with 'camangle'-sensor & 'crank'-sensor (due to your timing belt change) there should not be a problem with misinterpretion of idling signals in the ECM. So as it stalls -is the idle valve free to move to a 'basic position ?' deposits there who would cause an blockage on the valve?? as an resetting means it should try to move for a relearning position -after you reconnected the Battery/ECM.

For cleaning use 'brake-cleaner' , or petrol and an old toothbrush. the rotary (slotted) piston does have an backload (some sort of spring) on one direction. But it should move freely with an finger from close to open. Watch out for markings or signs of dust, old deposits of oil-dump and blockages on the edges of the piston

Edited by Günter


to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..


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