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I got the Esprit virus


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Hi All,

Esprit has been my childhoold dream car and I sort of forgot about it over the years. After visiting the exotic car show room at Las Vegas. The virus came back to me.

I'm now in a process of getting an Esprit as well as looking for someone to take over the lease on my MB E500. I did some reseach onlin and was narrowed down to several choices on the Esprit. But I would need to ask some questions, because I'm not an expert in this field.....

1. I found a 99 Esprit V8, it was bought in 2001, great price, one owner, 8700 miles...everything seems nice, but when I requested for the service history...I found out the batter was replaced 2-3 times, there were problems with the CAM, the clutch, the brake, and it happened so frequently (like every 500 miles)...Is this normal? or it's because the owner didn't drive the car as much?

2. The owner does take care of the car though by performing oil change every 1000 miles, stuff like that. Can I get some opinion on whether I should get this car or not?

3. I did find another 99 Esprit that has 22K miles, for about USD $3500 cheaper. Do you guys have any opinion which one I should go for?

Regards,

Alan

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Welcome to the forum, Alan.

I'm not an expert on V8's by a long way but they shouldn't need all the work you talk about as a regular thing. Take a look at Lotus Esprot World's buying guide and at the Esprit Fact File for more information on what to look out for. Also take a browse through the V8 Technical section on here to get a better feel of what gives trouble and what is involved in looking after one of these cars. Then wander through the garage section to see what fun you could be having.

For the best ownership experience it's important, as with any specialist car, that you buy carefully. If you don't know much about the Esprit, it's a good idea to get a specialist to check out any you aree thinking of buying.

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

 

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Welcome, Alan.

I'll echo what Trevor just said, especially about doing the research. Those are two great resources. Although these cars are not terribly or inherently unreliable compared to other supercars, I would caution you against making it your sole source of transportation, as you seem to have intimated ("take over the E500 Lease") in your post. As reliable as my S4s has been (relatively speaking), I would not want to be driving it every day, or more precisely, be forced to drive it every day.

That said, maybe there are others in the Forum who have more V8 experience than I do (actually, zero experience), who can help you along.

brucet

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Welcome to the Forum, Alan!

I know what you mean about childhood dreams. I've had my Esprit for nearly 6 months now - and I still have a stupid grin on my face.

The service history does sound a bit suspicious, but 8700 miles is a ludicrously low mileage for a car of 5+ years - and you'll find that Esprits hate being sat idle for too long. If it wasn't charged regularly, a battery failing every 2 years wouldn't be abnormal.

Were all of the other items replaced over a short time, or spaced out across the 8700 miles?

Best of luck in your search!

Ben

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Alan,

I have an Esprit from roughly the same time period as the one you're looking at, and it has just over 30k miles.

I bought it early in 2005 from the previous owner who had a very comprehensive service history and modification file on the car but had only put about 3k miles on it during the time he'd been in possession. (I've put almost 6k miles on it in two years.) Knock on wood, the only problem I've had (other than cooling issues related to the increased horsepower on a stock radiator) is the rear suspension bushings. I've had to replace them twice in two years. Fortunately, it's not an expensive fix.

I've changed the oil twice (once per year or every 3,000 miles - some might say it's stretching it from a time point of view, but I've not had any problems with this philosophy yet.) When I queried the techs who have serviced my car about the condition of they oil, they intimated it probably could have waited even longer.

JM

Edited by dynwolf
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Brucet...

Thank you for your opinion...However, I have 3 cars currently (E500, Honda Accord, Acura TL)...the Esprit wouldn't be my everyday driver for sure. And to update with you guys...I just found someone who can take over the lease on my E500...so now I can serious search for the Esprit.

Besides the batter problems...I read the service history again and found out that there was engine back fire problems on this car...which I think I should pass on this car.

My question is though...the other one w/22K miles, the dealership cannot provide me a lot of info...and I found other cars and couldn't really retrieve a lot of service history as well...but the dealerships assured me that they inspected the vehicle carefully and changed whatever that needed to be replaced (So far I only search Lotus Dealerships in the US, haven't try auto brokers or anything). For those cars I ran Carfax reports and it didn't tell me much other than no known accidents, no know mechanic issues...stuff like that...

Lastly, I've heard of the local inspection service (those dealerships are not local to me) for $99.00 and they will inspect the vehicle for me. Have any of you used that kind of service befoer? Do you think it'll be a reliable service? Please let me know.

Thank you guys for your input and I look forward to join you guys as an Esprit owner in the near future.

Best Regards,

Alan

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Brucet...

Thank you for your opinion...However, I have 3 cars currently (E500, Honda Accord, Acura TL)...the Esprit wouldn't be my everyday driver for sure. And to update with you guys...I just found someone who can take over the lease on my E500...so now I can serious search for the Esprit.

Besides the batter problems...I read the service history again and found out that there was engine back fire problems on this car...which I think I should pass on this car.

My question is though...the other one w/22K miles, the dealership cannot provide me a lot of info...and I found other cars and couldn't really retrieve a lot of service history as well...but the dealerships assured me that they inspected the vehicle carefully and changed whatever that needed to be replaced (So far I only search Lotus Dealerships in the US, haven't try auto brokers or anything). For those cars I ran Carfax reports and it didn't tell me much other than no known accidents, no know mechanic issues...stuff like that...

Lastly, I've heard of the local inspection service (those dealerships are not local to me) for $99.00 and they will inspect the vehicle for me. Have any of you used that kind of service befoer? Do you think it'll be a reliable service? Please let me know.

Thank you guys for your input and I look forward to join you guys as an Esprit owner in the near future.

Best Regards,

Alan

BTW...is there any Esprit owners in the LA area who is willing to help me and give me opinions on how I can find the right Esprit for me? I'm at 60 and 605, and please email me at [email protected] if you have any input for me. I look forward to hear from you guys and ultimately...become an Esprit owner like you guys. OMG...I'm so looking forward to that.

Best Regards,

Alan

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If you like the car in Georgia why not call Lotus direct and ask them to look up the service hisitry in the car I am certain you can get the VIN number maybe on the ad.

I just purchased a 2002 and it had no recorded history in the service manual. It only had 3700 miles so I was not too concerned but had an inspection done by someone other than myself to just check it out. I placed a call to Lotus and they were able to tell me the car receieved a service at the correct interval after the initial purchase and was not due for 6000m, althouth they due want it service every 12 months if the miles are not driven.

Worth a call if you like the car..........

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If you like the car in Georgia why not call Lotus direct and ask them to look up the service hisitry in the car I am certain you can get the VIN number maybe on the ad.

I just purchased a 2002 and it had no recorded history in the service manual. It only had 3700 miles so I was not too concerned but had an inspection done by someone other than myself to just check it out. I placed a call to Lotus and they were able to tell me the car receieved a service at the correct interval after the initial purchase and was not due for 6000m, althouth they due want it service every 12 months if the miles are not driven.

Worth a call if you like the car..........

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your input...but did you mean calling Lotus USA? or the local Lotus dealership?

Best Regards,

Alan

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:unsure:

Dear Paul,

Thanks for your input...but did you mean calling Lotus USA? or the local Lotus dealership?

Best Regards,

Alan

Hi Alan! Welcome to the forums! Well, I own a 2000 v8, that I practically used for an everyday vehicle. I have 35k on mine now. Paul was saying ot call Lotus USA. Although, they have become pretty much lacking in the help department. They will probably tell you about recall and cambelt adjustments. That is probably it. They have become pretty Hush-hush on certain bits of information.

My v8 has had none of the problem you mentioned aboutthe 99 v8 you've come across. The battery being replaced so often is indicative of an alternator problem (which is pretty easy to fix; check out my parts cross reference list it will tell you that the alternator is from a cadillac catera).

The question at hand is are you a tinkerer? If so, this is a great car If you are not mechanically inclined, I would stay away from that car and go for the higher mileage one. The higher mileage v8 is, probably in better shape than the lower mileage one. The main question I would ask Lotus USA if you decide to go for that 99 is did it have piston liner sealent replacement. However, all of that information is in the v8 buyers guide and posts in this forum and Lotus Esprit World, and Esprit Fact file.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm on the East Coast, but I will be in Salt Lake City, in March thru April for business. I could look at a car for you, if you show me some hang out spots in LA. :(

actwon

------

'14 Nike Shox

'12 Range Rover Sport

'01 Esprit V8

'95 Ducati 916

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:(

Hi Alan! Welcome to the forums! Well, I own a 2000 v8, that I practically used for an everyday vehicle. I have 35k on mine now. Paul was saying ot call Lotus USA. Although, they have become pretty much lacking in the help department. They will probably tell you about recall and cambelt adjustments. That is probably it. They have become pretty Hush-hush on certain bits of information.

My v8 has had none of the problem you mentioned aboutthe 99 v8 you've come across. The battery being replaced so often is indicative of an alternator problem (which is pretty easy to fix; check out my parts cross reference list it will tell you that the alternator is from a cadillac catera).

The question at hand is are you a tinkerer? If so, this is a great car If you are not mechanically inclined, I would stay away from that car and go for the higher mileage one. The higher mileage v8 is, probably in better shape than the lower mileage one. The main question I would ask Lotus USA if you decide to go for that 99 is did it have piston liner sealent replacement. However, all of that information is in the v8 buyers guide and posts in this forum and Lotus Esprit World, and Esprit Fact file.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'm on the East Coast, but I will be in Salt Lake City, in March thru April for business. I could look at a car for you, if you show me some hang out spots in LA. :unsure:

Hi actwon,

Thanks for your input. I have already eliminated the 8K mile silver Esprit because I found out from the service history that the car had 2-3 engine back fire problem within a 2 year time frame. However, I'm continuing on the journey of searching for the right Esprit...Right now I have 3 other choices, and I would like to hear what your opinion is, however, since I spent so much time with those owners/dealers on the phone and gathered a lot of info. But since I have little knowledge about the mechanic of this car. I would really need the expertise advise from you. I can definitely show you some hang out spots in LA. However, all of those cars are not in California...which I probably have to fly out to get the car. Anyhow, can you please email me your contact info to [email protected], and I would love to discuss more detail about these 3 choices that I have, if you're comfortable with it. I look forward to hear from you soon.

Best Regards,

Alan Tseng

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