Lotus Elan

Maintenance on a Plus 2.

PostPost by: NSLotus » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:44 pm

Hello, everyone I am thinking about buying a Lotus Elan plus 2 and I am wondering how much it costs to maintain one of these cars if they are already in very good condition.

Thank you.
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PostPost by: Kerryt333 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:08 am

Hi & welcome to the forum,
I think it all depends on how much you are willing to have a go at yourself.People like Paul Matty Sportscars charge around ?50 / hour which compared to Volvo, Lexus or Ferrari is cheap, but if you can do some of the work yourself it will cut the cost. If the car is in good condition then preventative maintenance on a regular basis can keep them running well. I rebuilt the twin cam engine on my +2, with an engine builder doing just the rebore, bearings, valve guides & seats ,for ? 950, but the engines in rebuilt form appear on Ebay at up to ?4000.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:17 am

Welcome to the forum!

If the car is truely in good shape it should be not that bad. Engine oil changes every ~3000 miles, but a service generally includes some minor repair and tweeking (lubricating things, etc. Minor service may include ignition and carb fettling as well. If you are paying for this at ~$100 to $120 per hour it can add up, but won't kill you.

Transmission & diff oil checks, etc. say every 10,00 miles, along with brake bleeding, checking pads, etc. Sort of normal stuff for any old car.

The place where you may get 'suprised' is electrical issues and dealing with an 'old car' misc repairs of old stuff. This is sort of a 'how long is a ball of string' deal. If the car is sorted, I think you can keep it going well for say $1,000 to $1,500 per year barring catastrophy or things wearing out all at once, but this is just a guess. Interesting to see what others say.
Stu
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PostPost by: Jason1 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:52 pm

Hi + welcome

Here is an interesting comparison = I bought a new Ford around the same time as my +2; when my Ford was under warranty it had to be dealer serviced every 12 months that cost me around the ?250 mark for 3 years (not bad). But then it depreciated around ?2,000 per year (average over 8 years resulting in a zero value at the end of the 8 years). I paid ?16,000 for the Ford and ?4,500 for the +2. Today the Ford is worth ?2,000 and the +2 is worth ?8,000.

Now I do not regret buying the Ford as I have done 150,000 miles in it so far and its still going strong. In comparison I have done very few miles in the +2 but it has gained in value. If I had paid ?16,000 for the +2 could I have done 150,000 miles in it and it still be reliable? Or could I have bought a cheap +2 and spent ?2,000 per year on it and made it reliable?

Of course what I am trying to say is you get what you pay for and you need to buy something that fits your needs. If you pay a lot of money for the car in the first place then you would expect to not have to keep spending out; but if you buy cheap then you will have to do work. But ultimately in comparison to a new car the +2 will always have a value and there is always a cost to car ownership (any car) even if its hidden (depreciation).

When my +2 was on the road I serviced it and spent around ?200 a year in parts. It's when you take it off the road and start mayor refurbs it starts to mount up. Service items are cheap on the Lotus.

Oil
Oil filter
Air filter
Spark plugs
Points
Grease/oil

LESS THAN ?60


Jason
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:43 pm

I do all the work on mine and over the last 14 years running costs have been around ?200 - ?300 per year, the mechanicals are pretty simple, parts not too expensive (except cylinder head!) and don't cost too much to maintain if looked after last well, the only real re-occuring problem I had is with the rotoflex couplings which don't seem to last long nowdays (I now have a CV conversion) where it can really get expensive though is if you need body repairs.

Buy a good one look after it, use it regurlarly and it should be fine and not too expensive to run, at least it won't go rusty like many older cars.

Also use this forum, there are plenty of people here who can advise on the best way to solve a problem, which can save you a fortune.

Kevin
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:35 pm

I agree with Jason?s comparisons, but it is also worth noting that the mileage you do seems to have an inverse effect on reliability. The more you drive it (within reason), the more reliable it gets. Regular use prevents a lot of bearing and moveable parts wear. The down side is you run greater risks of nicks & scrapes in regular use (I call it ?patination?), so your pristine pride and joy gets a lived in look after a while. As has been said, regular maintenance is key, and that is not expensive compared to moderns, even if you do nothing yourself. I do what I can, but every now and then there is an unexpected cash expenditure... My diff failed - 600GBP parts and labour, but for the rest of last year, it cost me less than 100GBP, and that was over 8kmiles. This was mainly oil, filters, fluids, windscreen wipers (they keep falling off!) car wash & polish. Tires do not seem to wear out, they go hard after a few years and its worth changing well before they run out of tread. In the last year, my Mondeo has had new drive shafts, rear wheel bearings, A/C recharge and an alternator so even with the diff failure, the Mondeo has cost more than the +2. Prior to this, the Mondy had gone for around 5years & 170k miles with pretty much only petrol, oil & brake pads.

The key with Loti, all Loti, is doing the job properly. Many problems come from not fully understanding the job at hand, or what fails and what may have caused it. This is what this Forum is best at.

Jeremy
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