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I bought it from an independent dealer who was selling it on from Caterham Cars. It was originally a manager's car. The V5 has Lotus as the first owner and Caterham as the second. It has a full main dealer history and has not been modified in any way by me.

Thanks for the support, but it seems like Lotus is the main problem. The garage are effectively telling me that it is Lotus that aren't providing the support that is being asked for. For example not doing a site visit and not sending the test ECU until very late.

What is really frustrating is that the car was epic until this point. After a very minor problem with the cruise was fixed it had been faultless. The fact that such a minor problem can take it off the road for 3 months and that a main dealer (supported , or not, by Lotus) has been unable to significantly advance the problem is a huge concern. I don't understand Lotus' lack of interest in sorting this out.

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Toni, where in Germany are you?   You may have simply flooded the engine (fuel, not water!). Remove the 3 spark plugs from the boot box area (panel removed) and see if they are wet?

Does sound like a problem that started with the downpour, in other words moisture. Unfortunately none of the diagnostics are of much help in sorting these down, you still need a good  and well trained

Can you please pm me which dealer it's at, your VIN number and mileage please

Lotus will only support its authorized dealers and my dealer has never had any problems getting support from them. 

If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

Captain,  Lotus Airways. We fly lower! 

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Thomas, it is with an authorised main dealer now. It has ONLY ever been worked on by Lotus authorised main agents. it has a full Lotus Service History, except it is now out of date because the authorised dealer (where it is now) cannot service it until the problem has been resolved. Buying it outside of the dealer network should not make that much of a difference surely? Especially if it has only been worked on by authorised Lotus dealers.

Now, if the dealer is lying to me about the support that they are getting from Lotus, I may have a case against the authorised dealer that currently has my car, but it seems a bit harsh to say to them - are you lying to me and are you just staggeringly incompetent? I prefer to wait until I get the bill before escalating. I have had a bad experience in the past regarding a BMW Bike (bough in UK, but used/repaired in Gemany that refused to start, despite being only 3 months old). Both BMW UK and Germany gave the authorised dealers (in UK and Germany) a hard time, but that just made my relationship with the dealers even worse. Neither of the patent companies managed to sort the problem (it was eventually resolved after I myself found U.S. technical bulletin that identified a defective engine part that caused hot-starting failure in some bikes). The German garage that eventually fixed it (with the U.S. Technical bulletin) were clearly not happy to deal with my problem and were unhappy that I had gone to heir parent company. I have little faith therefore that Lotus UK will actually care and will have the power to do anything.

Just to confirm - The car is with a UK Lotus dealership at the moment.

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Was the problem highlighted to the dealer with the car in warranty or are you happy (!) for it to be repaired and you get the bill?

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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Now, if the dealer is lying to me about the support that they are getting from Lotus, I may have a case against the authorised dealer that currently has my car, but it seems a bit harsh to say to them - are you lying to me and are you just staggeringly incompetent? 

Considering how long the car has been at the dealer, by now I would definitivel be calling them staggeringly incompetent!

 

TBH, there is no "magic" in the Evora drive train, it is actually a very simple and straightforward design. After all, its a Toyota. I can't even think of any reasonable fault that would require Lotus factory assistance to diagnose.

 

Only exception would be a rare intermittent fault But then the dealer can't reproduce it or just tries something, everything if fine until the next occurance. In any case you're driving, though it can be a pain to have to return every few days or weeks (I'm fighting one of these faults right now myself). 

 

EDIT
Just went back through the full thread. So, after 3 months the car is still running just as rough as before. Obviously changing the ECU didn't fix the problem (would actually have surprised me). Time to take another look at the harness and connectors. Tell them to think, "Lucas Electronics" :help:
 
One main issue with all dealers today is that they are trained to read the ECU and are lost if that doesn't give them a clear fault indication. Too few of the mechanics still have the common sense to understand the basic working principles of a car and think through the fault analysis processes. Electrical faults are at the top of this list. 

If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

Captain,  Lotus Airways. We fly lower! 

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The fault developed approx 6 months after the warranty ended.

I did undo, clean and tighten the connectors in the engine bay, but the problem didn't (obviously) go away (I have owned a Sunbeam Alpine, a BL and a few Alfas and FIATs, and I am well used to suspect electronics/intermittent faults from the Lord of Darkness). So, like you TBD I was surprised at the ECU being fingered for the blame, but I am not a trained mechanic and these guys are Lotus mechanics. I know how difficult intermittent faults are to diagnose, but mine is non-starting and then running rough - is it really this difficult? 12 weeks and still no further advanced!

What annoys me is that despite the length of time it has been broken, nobody from Lotus seems to be terribly concerned. I know I am just one customer, but if this doesn't end satisfactorily I am not going to just suck it up.

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Tried Twitter yet? I assume Lotus has a Twitter account. Suggest you keep it brief, factual and to the point (e.g. "Need your help here Lotus, your dealer has had my car 12 weeks and still no progress") and see how they respond (oh, and add whatever # and @ symbols you need for Twitter to link it to Lotus). Lots of companies actively monitor Twitter and I have seen that approach work marvels before. Greggs is probably the most famous case. Don't get in to a blame game though - you need to leave Lotus with an elegant exit and the opportunity to come out on top by resolving the issue. You get the car sorted and Lotus get good PR for being seen to jump to your assistance. Fair trade IMHO.

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Half their PR dept has left in the past few weeks, they were the people who ran their twitter account. I'm not sure you'll have much luck with that now but no harm in trying :)

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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  • 3 weeks later...

Had a face to face with the main dealer service dept! It was promising, but I have lost so much faith in the car, the dealership and Lotus that they will need to pull something special out of the bag. The dealership admitted that 4 months to fix a car was unacceptable and accepted some of the blame, citing internal staff issues. The bloke speaking to me had only just taken over the lead and was pretty honest. They did also put some of the blame on Lotus who were (pre-Christmas) unresponsive and had refused to send a specialist to look at the car, despite the nature of the problem and the length of time it has been off road.

The dealer believes (now) that it is the VVT that is causing the issue. The car idles smoothly, but still runs rough when throttle is applied. They are checking this assessment with Lotus before embarking on the repair as this is a clamshell-off job and 7 hours of labour (over £100 per hour including VAT, but plus parts).

If and when it is fixed I will let you all know what the solution was, whether Lotus offered any goodwill gesture towards the solution and the final cost breakdown.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just recovered the following email:

We have had a lotus engineer in to look at the vehicle and to confirm our suspicions that the timing is out on the engine, after discussions the next logical step is to check the cam timing this will involve removing the rear clam to gain better access and to remove both the cam covers to check the timing marks to see how far the timing is out. Depending on how far the timing is out and what has moved will then determine the next step to enable the timing to be put back to normal. If the timing chain has jumped and we are not able to rectify it with the engine in place then we will have no choice but to remove the engine and remove the timing cover to investigate further.

To give you an idea of cost to do the first stage of removing the clam and inspecting the timing we are looking at 7hrs labour (£595 +vat), should it end up resulting in the engine being removed and the timing cover taken off to inspect then we be looking at a start time of 30hrs labour(£2550 +vat). Hopefully if we are not looking at a component failure there shouldn’t be much in the way of parts to add to the prices above. (End).

So, I could be looking at a minimum of a £3k bill to put a low mileage, fully main dealer serviced car (just out of warranty when given to the dealer) back on the road.

My current intent is for the dealer to remove the clamshell and look at the problem. If they believe it is an engine out job I have requested that they contact Lotus to accept the bulk of the costs as a goodwill gesture and for the dealer to also make a goodwill gesture for messing me around for over 4 months. If this is not forthcoming I intend to take the car out of the main dealer network and get it sorted by an independent specialist. I will then be seeking legal and financial redress as well as documenting my experiences throughout wider social media (Facebook, Twitter etc).

If anyone has any advice regarding a good specialist (South of England) or any general advice regarding my legal position, particularly in relation to Lotus and whether this problem indicates that my Evora was not fit for purpose etc.

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What would annoy me more than the £3k is the fact that they had your car for over 4 months now. If they can't fix a car within 4 months, they should probably have a look at their procedures...

 

I love my car but I had more repairs with my Evora S in half a year of ownership than I had with my RX-8 in 10 years. The RX8 being known for its supposed unreliability.

 

Evora S:

- 3 tire pressure sensors

- tire pressure monitoring controller

- heating console

- automatic gear selector console

- rusty front grills (still waiting for those to be fixed)

- ARB bushes on the front

- passenger door didn't open anymore

- Engine turned off once when driving it to the dealer for repairs...

 

So I wouldn't call it reliable as such and I wouldn't blame you if you had a Cayman parked on your drive soon. However all the niggles with my car (which are minor to be honest) are forgotten when enjoying the car on some proper English B roads.  :unworthy:

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This has been a spectacularly bad experience you've had and I'd be expecting both the dealer and Lotus to be picking up a large proportion of this tab. Obviously there may well be another side to this story, but from what you've reported, not a lot of effort has been expended on finding the solution to your issues!!!

Chunky Lover

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Swisstoni

This is not good. Did the independant dealer you bought it from give you a years warranty?

There has to be a cut off point for the manufacturers warranty (3 years in the UK, 2 in Europe I think) but given the nature and mileage I'm on your side, this is one of those sorts of problems that will test Lotus's commitment to quality assurance.

An expensive car, it's halo model! If they download the ECU they can check for abusive driving, if the cars been driven properly and only serviced by Lotus then i can't see why they won't be compassionate.

Maybe email the CEO direct? Be honest and ask the question.

Good luck

A ;-)

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If you are looking for an independent specialist in the South of England then Steve Williams is worth a try. He will probably be reluctant to diagnose and quote without seeing the car, but I have always found him reliable.

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Ok, so the clam came off (that's costing me close to a grand) and the timing is not at fault. So we are now over 5 months into this farce, back to square one with neither Lotus or the main dealer able to work out why my car is running rough.

I can neither sell my car nor use it. Lotus seem to be disinterested and the main dealer seem to be utterly clueless. Without a doubt this is by far the worst experience I have had with any of the 30 odd cars I have owned. This includes 70s FIATs, Alfas and 80s Ferraris, elderly and new(ish) Porsches, Citroens and other British and German stuff.

The car itself, Lotus UK and the dealer network have all let me down. I really don't know where to go next.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The garage has had a eureka moment it seems:

"we removed the rear clam to check the timing which was found to be ok, we have carried out compression checks, check resistances on engine sensors and these were found to be ok, upon starting the car (with the clam removed) we were able to notice a small puff of smoke coming from the l/h manifold gasket we then dropped the exhaust to find that the r/h catalyst has broken up and blocked half of the exhaust system. This has been giving the running fault since we first had the car.

It will need both R/H manifold/cat plus the other catalyst replacing then the vehicle put back together and tested to make sure that there is no further fault(the car does run and will rev with the cats now off the vehicle)."

I have been quoted about £1600 (discounted total cost - including 4 hours labour & VAT) for this work and I am presuming that I am going to have to pay for the clam removal to investigate the timing (£1000) also. They may well also charge for the rest of the time that their diagnosticians failed to find the fault.

I have asked them (about 4 times) to ask Lotus for a goodwill payment, but they have not yet come back with anything. If Lotus refuse to contribute significantly I am thinking about fitting a Larini manifold and exhaust. I know that this will be more expensive, but I don't have much faith in Lotus sourced parts (cat especially) and won't feel like buying their parts unless they are contributing.

Any thoughts on the garage's diagnostic efforts and the failure to find this fault in almost 6 months would also be appreciated. Should I be paying to have the clam removed (this stumped the Lotus factory engineer when I contacted him - he did not think that this was a timing fault or that the clam needed removal).

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  • Gold FFM

To be honest, if I had to replace the pre cats I'd go straight to an aftermarket system without them, cool the engine bay and more power to boot. Only thing putting me off doing this anyway is the cost and you'll have that anyway.

Pretty sure the clam doesn't need to come off to work on these areas of the engine, so I'd be discussing with the garage for some form of reasonable compromise, after all it is their inability to diagnose that as the issue and quite frankly a knackerred cat/exhaust isn't rocket science.

"A banana in the tailpipe"..

I'd ask for the price for the necessary work, had they diagnosed it straight away (which you may need to get from someone else) and try and negotiate somewhere between that and their costings.

A Lotus is for driving, pork is for breakfast.

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Garage lack of knowledge - exhaust can come off without removing the clam.

 

Nightmare expensive experience, I would think you should be able to agree 50% discount on the clam removal with garage.

 

Contact Murray motors in scotland they should have a dozen or more sets of the original manifolds and cats laying about from cars which they put 2bular systems one - some from new so the cats should be in perfect condition. Could be much cheaper way to get you going again.

 

Sorry to hear about the stress. 

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I remember a TV car show here where they had a car with the same fault. It wasn't an obvious fault to find, it does seem rather rare. But, that is no excuse for the time you have been waiting. I can definitively say that the headers are not a clam off job. They aren't the easiest to reach from below (nothing is in an Evora), but that is the standard procedure.

 

I would also go aftermarket, look at Komotec as an alternative to Larini. In both cases you're better off.  But, get the costs cleared first. I'd take the dealer to court in any case, 6 months is NOT an acceptable repair time!

If you have the choice between a Stairway to Heaven and a Highway to Hell don't forget the Nomex®!

Captain,  Lotus Airways. We fly lower! 

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  • 4 months later...

Ok, a bit of good news. Clam off, exhausts replaced, car back together and running well.

But then I hear nothing for another week and prod the garage (they rarely bother to contact me, I usually need 2 or 3 goes before I get a response). Apparently the poor running has "come back".

It has been with the garage for almost a year now (11 months) and it has had a clam removed (unnecessary), about £2000 worth of exhausts replaced and........

And I am absolutely no closer to having a car that works. I have had some hugely expensive work carried out, but effectively I am no further from a year ago. Zero progress. The car has, of course depreciated a year in value, and I have had a remarkable amount of stress to deal with (at the same time as having to deal with leaving the armed forces). I am at a complete loss as to what is happening. Are they milking me for cash and all having a huge laugh at my expense? Can an authorised main dealer really not find a fault on a Toyota engined car in 11 months? Is it sat there and having nothing done whilst someone compiles an imaginary bill?

I will give the garage until 12 months before naming and shaming them. I have copied Lotus customer services and their technical department in on my last emails (I have spoken to them before) but they have not contacted me either. But what can I do if it isn't fixed? Do I have to pay the bill and get it trailered to another dealer? Why doesn't Lotus help the dealer sort this out?

By the way, I am on my third customer services manager (the first 2 were moved aside for whatever reason by the network).

Fortunately I have copies of all of the emails and the timeline from start to finish of his whole sorry (but ongoing) episode. My restraint will not last much longer.

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You have the patience of a saint chap......You could apply for the position of the next pope.

It really must be close to complete apeshit mode........ No way I'd be paying any bill for recommended works that have not fixed the car - legal action swiftly following........

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Only here once

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I wonder if this is a loom issue......

Currently Owned: 2018 Lotus Elise Sport 220 in Metallic Blue, Alcantara Pack, Forged Wheels, 2piece brakes, AirCon, Hard/Soft Tops, Red Calipers, Stereo, Interior Colour Pack, NVH Pack, Carpets, Mats.
Previously Owned: 2016 Lotus Evora 400 'Hethel Edition' in Essex Blue, Red Leather, Red Calipers, Silver Forged Wheels
Previously Owned: 2010 Lotus Evora NA in Solar Yellow, Sports Pack, Tech Pack, "Heritage Edition" Recaro Seats
Follow my Lotus journey here: http://www.FaceBook.com/HandmadeInHethel

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