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cjtpb13

Took possession of my Esprit from Lotus dealership after six months

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I have, after over 6 months, taken possession of my S4 from the Lotus dealership in Washington DC. As many recall, I had last November a deer come out towards me on the I540 in North Carolina. Wednesday was the second time I had flown back into the US to pick the Esprit up after repairs were said to be completed. The last attempt at the end of April was a wasted effort. Having been told that the car was ready, I flew in only to discover that they only thing completed was the new manifold was installed. The radiator and body work had yet been completed. Nor had the steering geometry and suspension alignment been completed. That was after 5 months of Criswell Lotus having the car. I had also picked up the last part needed for repairs at Dave & Megan Freeman's house at the end of February. Having received an email last week that he car would be ready this week I planned another trip back home. Received an email finally on Tuesday from the dealership that the car was ready for delivery I returned home once again.

Now it gets humourous... upon arrival, and I am going to be looking closely at all repairs I notice major parts still missing on the underside of the car. Upon questioning the body repair person about this he said, " I never ordered those parts because when the car came in here they were not on the car. " Whereas I replied, ( and I can not quote due to language ) " that is generally what happens to pieces when they shatter off the car after having a deer hit you and go under you at 65 mph, was I suppose to have picked up all the pieces laying in the middle of the I540 so he as a Lotus body repair person could order all the correct parts ? " I am still okay with everything at this point. The Esprit is drivable and they can be placed on later. At least I can now get to work on all the other stuff I had planned over the winter. At this point I have learned with my Lamborghini and Ferrari's to check everything before heading out on the road. All fluid levels, quick inspection of all equipment. So I begin. It ends real quick. I open up the header tanks for the coolant and chargecooler, empty. As luck would have it, the head and only Lotus mechanic ( as far as I can tell ) walks by as I am discussing this with the body shop estimator in charge of my Lotus. He questions the head mechanic and asks if he can have the system properly filled and bled. Marcus ( the head mechanic ) replies in such that he does not have time. At that point I lean past and say, " Marcus this is my second time flying back into the US to pick up my Esprit that you have had for over 6 months and you are saying you do not have time to do something you said was completed ? " He walked away. I looked at Saul ( the estimator ) and told him was going to lunch and I would be back in an hour and a half. Make it happen.

Great lunch with a close friend's son that had driven up with me .

Return to the dealership and see my car is now out located near the side of the building at the service lane. Saul informs me all is sorted and I have a few concerns about how they filled the coolant and chargecooler systems ( visions of a destroyed impeller ) . So I am introduced to a Bob Wiseman ( head of the mechanical shop and owner of a JPS S2 as I found out ). I am asking him about how they went about the procedure because I had concern about the charrgecooler system being run with no fluid. He proceeded to argue, yes argue with me, explaining that the chargecooler system cannot be damaged running dry and that it runs through the turbo just to help the bearings stay cool and that the work his shop performed was done properly. Wishing me a nice day he walked off.

By this point it was just time for me to just get possession of my car. My confidence in this Lotus dealership is naught. Needless to say upon driving the car, no power, turbo boost naught, FAN FAIL light on and within the hour of going around the I495 of Washington DC I am in the red zone on the temperature gauge. I had additional fluid in my Land Rover driven by my friend's son. I placed in over a quart in the main coolant header tank and a bit over half a quart in the chargecooler header tank. Still not enough. At this point I called my motor service Triple A to send a recovery truck and had the Esprit taken to my personal garage so as I could put it up on my lift and see what is going on.

At this point after speaking with the Insurance company I am awaiting a call from the General Manager from the Lotus dealership. I will also begin to research whom I need to speak with at Lotus. Never would my Lamborghini or Ferrari dealership ever had let this type of service, whether mechanical, body, or customer, ever take place with a client.

Except for the painting I am sure I could have done all the work myself in less than half the time. Just disappointing, I figured it was best left in a Lotus dealership's care believing they would possess the knowledge and experience. My mistake.

Edited by cjtpb13

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Youve not had much luck have you!

The chargecooler pump now cools the turbo bearings, thats novel and a new one on me!

Clearly they have no idea what they are doing, but these things are so simple though how could any main dealer, or even a backstreet garage not do them? Surely they would have heat cycled the engine a few times to ensure its all working?

Part of me hopes they didn't, and subsiquestly overheat it without telling you or else you could be waiting on a very expensine and premature engine rebuild..

Assholes!

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I would go right to the top. Arnie Johnson. If you know his history you know he is the man to set it right.

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Arnie is in charge of new car sales at LCU. I'll put you in touch with the worldwide aftersales manager on Monday Christopher, he runs all the USA service centres.

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I'd be hauled away by the police and charged with assault or worse by this point.

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the guy is a dick. all they had to do was log on here and someone would have told them how to do it

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Christopher,

Sorry to hear that all is not well with the car. Hope you get it sorted correctly.

When I worked at Ford, they hated the dealer network with a passion due to the woeful customer service. I would not be suprised if Lotus will view this dealer in the same light.

If you need any parts sourcing in the uk, You know where we are.

Chris

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Thanks gentlemen...always appreciated.

discovered why the turbo has no power.

post-4361-127506979257.jpg

Any thoughts, they did replace the manifold.

Edited by cjtpb13

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Oh, Chris, thats supposed to be there..

Its known as the anti turbo working device.

It comes fitted as standard after a significant service at a competent dealer and is designed to limit the boost until the new oil has matured to its correct state for high performance running.

I'm affraid you have now voided the warranty on the work that has been done as the discovery of such device and subsequent removal will not allow the new oil to reach said maturity thus prematurely damaging the engine.

If I were you I'd put it back togeather and not admit to ever finding it.....

Edited by Simon350S

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LOL...

Simon you do not know how badly I needed that laugh...you had tears coming out of my eyes...good thing I was not having milk with my lunch.

Not sure what it is but down the exhaust there are chunks of that throughout. Casting material? Several chunks jammed throughout the vanes and the turbo does not spin.

I get the feeling that this is going to get ugly.

Andy, believe it or not I have been quite calm through and through. Yesterday having their head mechanic argue with me on a motorcar I obviously knew more about really pushed me over the edge. That was only reason I had to get the Esprit out of their possession.

Bibs, Once again thank you. Well worth the amount I pay in yearly dues to TLF ( shameless plug I know but so true )

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Bloody hell Chris, I would have gone "Postal" on them. An extremely restrained man I must say. Best of luck with the car and hope that the foreign material in the turbo turns out to be the least of your problems.

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many years ago I had a car repaired at the local dealership for that make, they had several dealerships all owned by same company, within a mile or so.

They had the car back several times with the same issue, water getting into the car and car not the right shape (wider one side). They had it a few times with no issue, they had it a couple of times and complained, and finally we gave up and had the rest of the repair done elsewhere. A year or so later while in the rear seat of the car I found the rear screen (saloon car) had not be sealed correctly resulting in a small tract for water to get along. I had a stand up row with the manager of the body shop in front of the insurance assessor, which is what resulted in the move to not leaving the car with them (the assessor suggested another repairer might be better as he thought they had no hope of getting it right)

They only charged the insurer approx £1500 for the repair, they had more than twice the original estimate of hours put in by themselves, they paid (the insurer made them) pay the second repair shop around £1000, and I had the use of several of their hire cars which I treated with the respect I felt they were due. Letchworth, dealers in Honda Peugeot and a few others.

I had another car repaired where they fitted the wrong rear bumper and argued with me it was the right one, taking me to an identical one (by luck as it was not their brand of car I had) to demonstrate it was the right bumper. He still argued it was the right one, even after I pointed out that car had a big hole in it for the exhaust where they had fitted one with no such hole. That only cost them £200 (my excess), and an embarrassed MD when I walked into his office uninvited and said I was not leaving until it was agreed to be resolved. (Hartwell Norwich).

I've had other issues over the years, as a result I now know how many repair shops to trust.

The same number I can physically pick up in one hand.

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Glad it made you laugh! :respect:

The only thing it can realistically be is fragments of your old manifold although I have no idea how it could have got there?

I'm supprised you have any impellor blades left, although withough stripping the turbo you wont know the damage caused to the main outer edges of the blades which are out of sight....

I can't see there being any significant casting slag to that extent internal to the new manifold so the debris must have been introduced whilst the parts were laying about....

If your lucky you'll be able to shake the rest of the junk out of the exhaust which should be resting on the catalyst, although there is a good chance it would have damaged the honeycombe on its journey down...

If your luckier then the turbo will have been jammed from the moment it was installed and a complete strip and clean of the turbo will sort the problem out, although theres a good chance the impellor is fubared and the ousing could be badly scored with the addition of a bent impellor shaft....

The manifold needs to come off for sure to ensure there is nothing else left inside that can cause further issues upon subsiquent startup....

I only hope they didnt run the car as with the lack of water and non working fans theres a good chance the engines been cooked....

I'd love to say all the above good outcomes will be most likely, but I can't.... I can't see there being a happy ending for some time. I hope the head of aftersales gets this sorted for you with compensation from the dealership and all new free parts.... I also hope the engine is good after all the newly required work....

Maybe sparky could fly out to help on his cheap BA flight deals?

I assume you disconnected the wastegage actuator arm?

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Christopher, sounds like you kept your cool quite well in a trying set of curcumstances.

In all honesty (I know you cant do this with insurance jobs but...) this just proves a LOT of Lotus dealers and specialists havent a clue on their products.

You're totally right - a Lambo or Ferrari garrage would have paid you 15x times more attention.

The issue is the Esprit is actually a doddle to work on IF you know the small niggles that add up to the correct way of doing things - it baffles the hell out of me when I'm going ove the GT2 and see all the stuff previous mechanics have done - they're just that I'm affriad technicians / mechanics where the car really needs the attention of an Engineer.

LOL @ the chargecooler explanation - the clue is in the name....it's not called a turbo cooler is it ? (dicks)

I wonder what they would have said if you'd ahve ignored the lights and warped the head off the block during a catastophic overheat ?

Crazy...

So this is why any job I want done propperly on my car I do myself (inc all the servicing now) - not becuase I can, not becuase I enjoy it (becuase I dont) but becasue I have a huge beef about paying someone to cock my car up !

Hopefully Bibs can try and cast some better fortune your way, all the best !

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That turbo pic is amazing, it looks like they dumped a handful of rocks in there for you...

Hope you can get with the right person to make it right. :respect:

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Jim,

Funny you said that because it was my first reaction. Metallic in nature as it sticks to my magnetic tool holder. Each is composed of hundreds of 1mm sphere of metal in various shapes.

Jonathan,

For last several months I have offered advice and my knowledge of the car to this dealership because I felt that they were a little hesitant.

Unfortunately it is a Friday afternoon on a Bank Holiday weekend so no one is returning any phone calls or emails.

I will post a photograph of some of the material I removed later tonight.

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Christoffer,

To me it looks like catalyst internals! Maybe they put you car upside down when changing the manifold!

Sorry! it was not ment to be funny on your behalf.

Had the same expirience with an Audi A4 a few years ago. Had it in the shop at an authorized dealer here north of Copenhagen for more than 3 month. It was in for an new engine.

They kept talking about it beeing almost ready for a month or more and when i visited them to se the car, nothing was done. The only had removed the top so they could see the bended valves. I have supplied them with a short engine from Ebay and had an quatation for the installation and that was 13 hours.

I vent home to write an angry letter to Audi Denmark and next day i presented it for the management of the company giving them 2 hours to respond. Within an hour he called me and said that the repair will be free and it would be ready in a week.

I know for sure that they have spend more than DKK 35.000 on it almot $6000. They also had to replace brakes and discs since it was in the winter and the salt has done it work.

The point is, if you keep calm and only show force in writing you will gain the most.

Hope it turns out right for you!!

/Kim

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Kim,

The people on TLF whom I have had the pleasure to meet in person will tell you that despite my anger and frustration I will take the humour with a great openess.

My youngest brother said the exact same thing when he saw the material in person. But realised it came from the wrong direction. I told him what you said and he just started to laugh.

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Holly sh*t Christopher I would of gone into orbit over this...Houston we have problem, no F**king kidding.

As a suggestion, why not get the car shipped over to Harry at Viking in LA. I know its the other side of the country and all that but Harry has an A1 reputation for just about everything Esprit wise. And don't forget the awesome drive home.

It just seems that everywhere I go these days, no matter what type of business, you come against a brick wall of attitude that's been reinforced with the 'I just don't care mentality'. Apart from how many dollar bills can I get out of your wallet.

I really hope you can find a successful conclusion for what appears to-date to be a very messy situation. Fingers crossed.

Edited by GavinS1

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I must admit that the debris does look like catalyst matrix material to me unless it's the remains of the polystyrene chips the new manifold was packed in when it was shipped.

Have you considered moving the car over to Union Jack Exotics in Cecil County, Maryland? There's a link to their web site on the R.D. Enterprises web site so, I guess, that's a bit of a recommendation for them. Here's a link to their site. They seem familiar with Esprits.

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OMG what is that stuff ?

Polystyrene just melt surely

Looks like part of a sand casting or something, I take it thats how they cast these manifolds.

Crazy, work on a car like this and not even road testing it - I just can (in a persemistic way) and cant believe the crap you've had to deal with on this.

Unbelievable

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Here is a photograph of the recovered material after disconnecting the wastegate actuator rod and lifting the wastegate flap. The material sticks to a magnet quite well. It is rather heavy and dense and does not break or crumble apart. So that rules out any type of silica or polystyrene material. Several bits are jammed in the vanes and are impossible to remove or even spin the turbo. I took my video bore scope and ran it down the exhaust pipe towards the CAT and I could see remains of the same material caught in the matrix of the converter. I will run another video scope down and record the results and make a few still photographs over the weekend.

post-4361-127509320086.jpg

According to the head mechanic of the Lotus dealer, Bob Wiseman, the car had been put through a road test. He is the gentleman that owns the Esprit S2 JPS. The one that insisted I had no idea what I was talking about in reference to the cooling and chargecooling systems. I guess my issue is that I am use to dealing with Lamborghini and Ferrari dealers and I had the same expectations from a Lotus dealer.

Edited by cjtpb13

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hello christopher. that looks like cast to me,if the manifold broke inwards this may be it, i'd be get the pliers, blowtorch and piano wire packed. as your doing get all the pics. dont fix anything, get the insurance manager to see the car and show them, as for the fixing speak to your insurance company maybe worthwhile getting the garage that does the ferrari or lambo to get it done as you cannot have any confidence in the arsholes that have had it. all the best,

if the weathers warm i may be up for a cheap flight (only joking)

also get the new manifold inspected

Edited by mr.oogieboogie

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Good point - Our local Ferrari garage were more than happy to do basic jobs on my Esprit when I called them for advice on the wheels :respect:

Looks like compounded shot blasting material !

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