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First Service

on Fri, 18/07/2008 - 17:00

It is time for the Elise’s first service. Yes, a whole 12 months have passed. There have been highs (generally driving it) and there have been lows (flat batteries when you really need to get somewhere).

When I bought the Elise it had a full C service carried out so this time round it was only due the minimum A Service. The A Service includes everything on a Lotus service list* except the renewal of the engine air cleaner element, spark plugs, cam belt and fuel filter.

You hear stories of people cleaning their houses before a cleaner arrives, well that suddenly all made sense when I found myself cleaning the Elise ready for its service. I also did a quick check on the tyre pressures, oil level, coolant level and wiper fluid to make sure nothing was unusually out of place. I figured if it looks like I care about my car then hopefully the mechanics will care about it too.

While the car was in I also had them to take a look at my squeaking hardtop and replace a missing screw cap from the rear number plate.

When I collected the car there had been no other jobs required (to my relief) and they even mentioned how good a condition it had been kept in over the past year. The total cost of the service, including all materials and man-hours came to £214 (excluding MOT). A touch high I think but it is worth paying a little more if you trust the people you are leaving your car with. They also threw in the cost of sorting the squeak on my hardtop which was worth a decent amount to me on its own.

* Fit protective covers to seats, footwells, steering wheel & rear body. Renew engine oil & filter. Inspect engine & transmission for oil leaks. Check transmission oil level. Renew air cleaner element. Renew spark plugs. Inspect auxiliary drive belt for condition. Renew cam belt. Renew fuel filter. Connect ‘Lotus Check’ scanner tool and run Pre-Test. Inspect & record tailpipe CO. Inspect cooling system for damage or leaks & clean radiator finning. Check coolant level. Renew coolant. Inspect parking brake adjustment. Inspect operation of brake tell tales. Inspect brake pad thickness & disc condition. Inspect brake hoses, pipes & hydraulic units. Check brake fluid level. Check security and condition of front & rear suspension. Inspect damper for leaks & performance. Inspect front & rear wheel bearings for play. Inspect condition of driveshaft gaiters. Inspect steering ball joints & gaiters. Inspect free play at steering wheel. Inspect tyre condition & set pressures. Check battery terminals for security & condition. Inspect operation of all lights. Inspect operation of all electrical equipment. Adjust hinges & latches. Lubricate door check plate. Inspect operation & condition of seat belts. Top up screenwash reservoir.