Automotive Technology Blog

Automotive Technology

The Automotive Technology Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about electrical/electronic components, materials, design & assembly, and powertrain systems. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

Previous in Blog: Couldn't do that again if you tried....   Next in Blog: A True Craftsman: Fully Functional 1:3 Scale Ferrari 312PB
Close
Close
Close
11 comments

Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

Posted November 10, 2006 2:00 PM by stilljester
Pathfinder Tags: accident Goodyear Lotus Tire

I've wanted an Elise for sometime and have always been impressed by the cars unique frame design and balance. Clearly the flat paneled underbody creates some issues for your local Goodyear tire center.....Moral of the story - Always read an manual to ensure a properly supported car.

Story goes: "Dropped my Elise off to the local Goodyear shop to have new F1G3s installed. My Father-in-law is the service manager and has been for 10 years. He is out on medical leave, but he met me at the shop this morning, because he understands the uniqueness of the car.

I handed them the tire tools and opened the Owner's Manual to the jacking instructions so they would be clear. We went over all the instructions and they assured me I was in good hands.

We (my father-in-law and I both left)

1 hour later I get a call about the "accident" and that I needed to come down..."

Elisetake Post More Photos

"It get's better. They said they read the manual, but not to the point where it spoke about the 4-point lift. After the crash, they continued reading. Yipee for me.

The damage is inclusive of the rear clam, front clam, underneath the driver's door, and a nice puncture through the bottom diffuser around the passenger seat area....

When I was there, they had a wrecker attached with a winch to the front end so it wouldn't come crashing down. After it cleared the lift, the front end swung around and crashed into some tool chests..."

Car has been deemed totalled.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru
United Kingdom - Member - Not a New Member Hobbies - Musician - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Reading, Berkshire, UK. Going under cover.
Posts: 9684
Good Answers: 467
#1

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

11/10/2006 2:35 PM

1st mistake is right at the beginning: 'Story goes: "Dropped my Elise off ...'

'Nuff sed ?

__________________
"Love justice, you who rule the world" - Dante Alighieri
Reply
Power-User
United States - Member - Germany - Member - Spain - Member - Trabajo en Pamplona

Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 339
#2
In reply to #1

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

11/10/2006 3:06 PM

Yup - That's pretty much what I thought. Local place + Exotic Car = Nothing good!!

Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Springfield, Tennessee U.S.A.
Posts: 231
Good Answers: 16
#3

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

11/11/2006 12:21 AM

I am very sorry to hear about your misfortune. The last Porsche that I owned (928-S) was very picky about being raised into the air. Just as your car, it employed four (4) specific points for lifting. To try and lift it otherwise placed a tremendous strain on the unibody construction since it was unbelievable heavy for a sports car.

I worked near a machine-shop at the time and made some aluminum pads complete with the protruding boss just like the ones shown in the repair manual. They worked very well.

The problem that I encountered was that several shops had a new type of lift for raising unibody cars, and it was essentially a rubber-covered flat plate that exerted upward force on whatever it contacted. I am sure that for some cars it was okay, but the Porsche was very picky, perhaps spoiled. It insisted on being lifted the way the maker intended.

I always accompanied the car on its first visit to a tyre shop in order to verify that it was being lifted correctly. Should I have to do this, even after copying and including the pertinent page from the owner's manual? No, and neither should you or anyone else. But we do because we think a lot of our cars. You did at least as much as you should have done, so you certainly have no fault. I wish that your car was not totalled and could be easily repaired.

But, to the barely bright side-no one was seriously injured, and you know that neither you nor your father-in-law would deal well with this if this sort of thing happened.

And, as I was told after a bad incident with a deer that wrecked an earlier Porsche of mine; how many of us can complain that someone damaged our Porsche (or Lotus, etc..)?! Not many of us, for sure.

The best of luck,

Ing. Robert Forbus

__________________
"Yeah, but will it fit?"
Reply
Guru
Australia - Member - New Member Fans of Old Computers - H316 - New Member Hobbies - Model Rocketry - New Member

Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Port Noarlunga, South Australia, AUSTRALIA (South of Adelaide)
Posts: 3048
Good Answers: 75
#4

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

11/11/2006 1:35 AM

H'mmm seem like yet another case of not RTFM.

__________________
An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.
Reply
Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

11/11/2006 7:33 AM

My sincere condolances and projected regret for the idiotic destruction of an intelligent, sweet machine. How many times must the priceless be trashed by the stupid before we rate car shops by their test results for intelligence and competence.

I offer my heart felt compassion in the wrongful death of such a fine personage of engineering.

Reply
Power-User
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member

Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Fredericksburg, Virginia USA
Posts: 232
Good Answers: 1
#6

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

11/13/2006 10:08 PM

Not that you'd necessarily want to, but it looks as if you could own a tire shop. I don't know much about a Lotus Elise, but it sounds as if it's quite the expensive automobile. I am curious. Why is it so difficult for your average tire technician to figure out how and where to lift this particular car? I can understand that there would be particular structural points to utilize, and that they should be clearly described in the manual, but it doesn't sound like it should be a very complicated process. Does the car have balance issues even when using the designated lift points, or is there some other hidden aspect to this process. I would think that all but complete imbeciles would be able to follow a manual with properly written instructions, especially if it was also explained in detail by the cars owner. Shame on the technician and his supervisor for their negligence. Please keep in mind however that it is, after all, just a car on it's way to the junkyard. Maybe a very expensive car, but still a car.

__________________
See Bio for signature line........political correctness and insecure people are such a pain-in-the-ass.
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 244
Good Answers: 18
#7

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

11/14/2006 1:08 PM

OH, oh, ohhhh. That hurts, right in the chest, just looking at the pic.

I came within a few hours of getting a great deal on a 1999 one similar to yours, and would have just had a stroke if I'd driven up to find this violation-of-all-that-makes-sense in a tire shop.

(My wife convinced me another equity loan on the house just wasn't her idea of a sensible investment, and I thought about it for half-a-day too long...she was gone when I came back to work out a deal)

Meanwhile, why on EARTH did the moron in charge decide a car needed to be THAT high off the ground to change a tire? Sheez.

__________________
Call it 'half empty' or 'half full' if you must, I've got the other half in a redundant glass...
Reply
Active Contributor

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vanastra, ON CANADA
Posts: 16
#8
In reply to #7

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

01/14/2007 2:20 PM

First of all, a crying shame and my condolences to the owner of this precious gem. A series of disasters that day, for sure. The attempt to rescue the fallen vehicle was obviously not thought through by any rocket scientist wannabe either.

Having worked in a tire shop, and having changed many a car tire, I would like to point out that the removal and installation of wheels from vehicles is most conveniently accomplished at an elevation of about 3 or 4 feet. This really is a production environment, and a lot of vehicles have tire service in a day.

Looking at the first photo, I would guess the car was at about that height. I would also surmise, from the photo, it sat there just fine until the front wheels had been removed and the centre of gravity was transfered rearward.

This is not to excuse the mistake. The owner had reviewed the procedure with the staff before leaving the car.

Stilljester writes "We went over all the instructions and they assured me I was in good hands. ... ...We (my father-in-law and I both left)" They were obviously confident they were able to leave the vehicle unattended, the Father-in-law having been service manager of the facility and familiar with the uniqueness of the Elise, would know if he felt they needed to remain and supervise.

So, I find fault in their logic about having read the instructions, but not far enough to ensure they were complying with all of the manufacturer's stated procedure. When were they intending to do that?.... they had the front wheels off!

When a car like this one comes into a shop, it captures the interest of everyone there. I don't suspect that just any tire technician would be working on it. I might be wrong, but wouldn't be at all surprised if it were someone of higher rank in the shop that wanted to give the job their personal attention.

__________________
A wise man once said "The more I know, the less I'm sure about"
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 441
Good Answers: 20
#9

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

01/30/2007 10:49 AM

If possible, buy the wreck from the insurance company. You'll have an excellent source for parts for the new Elise. I did that when a trash truck backed into and nearly over my 911.

__________________
intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them ~ Einstein
Reply
Power-User
United States - Member - Germany - Member - Spain - Member - Trabajo en Pamplona

Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 339
#10
In reply to #9

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

01/30/2007 1:16 PM

The car was bought back and sold on eBay. Sorry to hear about your 911 sadly it doesn't take much it seems to deem these cars as totalled. I can only imagine the damage inflicted by a garbage truck.

Reply
Anonymous Poster
#11

Re: Tire Change on a Lotus Elise Gone Wrong

01/07/2008 1:48 PM

Yikes! Still, if you have a porsche as a backup - I have only a little pity. And it looks like it'll all get covered by insurance so in the end you got a good story to tell and some interesting photos. You're still ahead of the game D.

Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 11 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Anonymous Poster (2); Cadillac (1); Ing. Robert Forbus (1); JohnDG (1); masu (1); Sandman (1); stilljester (2); taejonkwando (1); water buffalo (1)

Previous in Blog: Couldn't do that again if you tried....   Next in Blog: A True Craftsman: Fully Functional 1:3 Scale Ferrari 312PB

Advertisement