irregular temperatures

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irregular temperatures

Postby wrwalker » Tue 26.07.2016, 09:07

Hi All

Help needed please just purchased an lotus elan se turbo at the weekend and the temperature gauge reads just above minimum when driving however when stood the temp goes up to 3/4 before the fan kicks in, while moving the car is fine but temp seems way to low.

Any advise would be much appreciated.


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Re: irregular temperatures

Postby dapinky » Tue 26.07.2016, 09:41

Hi William,

The temperature guage on the elan is notable for its 'non-linear' operation, due to the fact that Lotus used a missmatched sender/guage combination (parts bin bits from different manufacturers).

As such, the 'normal' running/driving temperature should be at (or just below) the first mark on the guage (1/4 scale).

As the car sits in traffic and the temperature rises, it will get to 3/4 before the fans kick in, and they will go off again at about half way on the guage.

What you are describing seems to be perfectly normal, but for someone who isn't expecting it, it can appear quite disturbing!!!!

Rest assured, that if it is behaving as I describe, there is likely to be no problem with it - but keep an eye on fluid levels to ensure there are no leaks that you are yet to discover.

The actual 'numbers' for fan operation are on the forum somewhere, but IIRC it is something like...... Fans kick in at 112C, and turn off at 103C. (I'm sure someone will be along in a minute to give the exact numbers)

Just the one now, but this one's mine! - and it will be finished eventually.....

go on - click this link - you know you want to!
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Re: irregular temperatures

Postby simonbuk » Tue 26.07.2016, 10:27

Mine sits at the 1/4 mark whilst on the move and never mives from that. After sitting for a minute or two it rises sharply and the fans kick in bringing it all down under control so sounds exactly like yours.

Now I have confidence in my fans and their operation I'm happy to leave it, it has got an overide switch too if I see a whole load of traffic ahead.
Simon - Black S2. Simonthesailor

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did. So buy an Elan" - Mark Twain.
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Re: irregular temperatures

Postby wrwalker » Tue 26.07.2016, 10:27

Many Thanks Dave for the prompt response.

A sigh of relief now, was alarming at first thinking how high is the temp going to go before the fan kicks in. I presume then as that being normally if the fan fails as she is running high anyway then surely the next thing would be for it to overheat and then the head gasket, would it be advisable to fit an independent thermostat which would kick in at just over half
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Re: irregular temperatures

Postby Specky » Tue 26.07.2016, 11:29

Don't forget to ensure both fans are working, park her up somewhere and leave her running, when the fans kick in, open the bonnet and have a look to visually ensure they both operate satisfactory.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The N/A-Team.
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Re: irregular temperatures

Postby Simon_P » Tue 26.07.2016, 14:17

dapinky wrote:The temperature guage on the elan is notable for its 'non-linear' operation,

The temperature gauge on the elan works very well 1/4 is up to temperature, 3/4 is when the fans kick in - all normal but it actually tells you something! The fuel gauge is non-linear as well but does anybody complain? As you say Dave might not be what was expected but perfectly normal!

It is far far more linear than most modern cars which are decidedly nonlinear. The reason for this is so that you aren't alarmed (you are not supposed to even think about engine temperature until it tells you to stop). My VW will sit at an indicated 90 oC all day. It sure as hell isn't actually 90 oC.
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Re: irregular temperatures

Postby Majicjohn » Mon 15.08.2016, 10:24

Hi I'm in the first few months of owning a 91 SE and was told it had fan issues when I bought it and had a lower temp fan switch fitted. I had a fair amount of M100 experience in the 90's but this appeared to not be functioning as expected. Did a bit of city driving in highish ambient 27 C and it got quite hot and on stopping deposited a small amount of water. Time to check this out. Both fans functioning correctly albeit showing signs of age. The key of re-circulation pump was not working. This was traced to a blown 3 amp fuse where a 5 amp is specified, that's now fine. When going back to basics and checking radiator it was at least 70% clogged with debris from road dirt and may well never been cleaned. Gentle pressure washing and all is now fine.
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