Lotus Sport ECU Upgrade Problems

Just had the Lotus Sport ECU Upgraded on my Series 2 Exige which drops the cam change point by about 500rpm.

But I have now got the Engine management light coming on. Took it back to the dealers (Who are very good) and they spoke to Lotus about the issue, They said that they just need to clear the ECU fault code and it should be ok.

They did this, and no sooner had I got home parker the car up. Restarted it and the Engine management light has come on again.

It also seems to be getting through fuel rather quickly.

Anyone else had this problem? I can’t keep returning to the dealers to get the fault cleared because I will never get home.

(The car is a 04 plate S2 Exige with a Stage 2 Lotus sports Exhaust and an ITG kit which I informed Russel at Lotus Sport of when they recommended this upgrade. ).

Any Advice would be most helpful

I am seriously considering this mod at the mo’, & will be keen to know how you get on.

I’ve had a spate of MIL lights in the past, some just corrected themselves (no induction kit or exhaust upgrade either).

I’d be very surprised if Lotus endorse any aftermarket kit which is not supplied direct from the factory (eg your induction kit). On the LCI website all attempts at gaining approval of non-Lotus stuff fail miserably (official approval that is).

Do you think its a good investment otherwise?

Hi, I’m also running ITG induction, but have the Quicksilver Tracksport exhaust. Previously had the Stage 2.

I’ve had the MIL light come on twice. Once before the ECU swap after a doze of Morrisons petrol (emergency). This cleared itself after the car was back on Optimax.

Also had the light a few weeks after fitting the new ECU. Again I put this down to some dodgy fuel and it cleared once it was back on Shell. Sorry haven’t had the codes read so can’t tell you any more.

Hasn’t recurred.

I don’t use cheap fuel in the car - I have been told that BP is good fuel and that is what I use. The car has not been refueled since the upgrade and the light was not there before the upgrade.

Any other advice welcome

As posted on SELOC this is the first instance I’ve heard of an ECU upgrade not being greeted with whoops of joy.

I have ITG/Stage 2/Sports Cat and have never had the MIL light on either before or after the reflash.

Suggest you contact a someone who knows more than a basic dealer ie Simon at Brooke Kensington if you can’t get hold of Russell in Lotus Motorsport direct.

I strongly suspect you have issues other than the ECU upgrade.

The upgrade itself is excellent

I strongly suspect you have issues other than the ECU upgrade.

The car was perfectly fine before the ecu was changed

My Dealers are going to refit the troubled ECU and remove the ITG and see if that improves things. As per that advice of Lotus Motor Sport.

I am not convinced that it will. Even if the enigine warning light issues are solved, I await to be proved wrong that the ecu upgrade will improve the car from what I have seen of it so far and give me added improvement that has been suggested. I would lay money on the cars accleration curve just being a progressive one without the second came extra kick in. If it is the case I would concider it to be a down grade.

I have the feeling that I will be paying the dealership to put the car back to where it was before I started the ecu upgrade at the end of the day. Not that I have a problem with that because the dealership have been very helpful through out so far. Even sent a mechanic out to my house to reset the ecu. I have no issues with any of the work the dealership has and will be doing. I just don’t think this ECU upgrade is all it is cracked up to be.

I am just disapointed with Lotus Motor Sport not letting me know that there has been issues with this ecu upgrade at the begining when they knew I had an ITG & Lotus Stage 2 exhaust system.

I know some people are very happy with this upgrade and some people are not judging from some of the messages that I have received.

I will keep you informed as to what happens. But I don’t think it will be a happy ending from my point of view.

I wonder if the Emerald ECU will help? (when it comes out) At least that will be mapable to your set up.

For what its worth I’m still delighted with the new ECU. Sorry to hear you’re still having problems Snapper.

Thanks to everyone on Exiges.com & SELOC who have been so helpful in trying to sort this problems out. Things are still not sorted out yet.

But Just to keep people updated most of my posts have been on SELOC:

But here is what has been said:



A BIG THANKS to AlunR for taking me for a Spin in his S2 Exige with the ECU Upgrade. It feels alot better than what I have got with the Upgraded ECU . There is a definite change point in the second cam point at 5700-5800. Which should be even more noticeable with a Lotus Stage 2 sports Exhaust

It is an upgrade which I think is worth the money if you get a working ECU that does not throw up errors all the time.

I look forward to seeing Mr Demon/David for a quick spin in his Upgraded ECU Exige and making sure that the car is the same with the ITG kit and Sports Exhaust in the setup so I can go back to Lotus with the findings and push them into sorting it out.

Thanks for everyones replys and messages so far and if anyone has any ideas please let me know.


Glad to hear you’re getting somewhere, at least you know how it should perform now and can go ahead knowing its what you want. Sounds like yours wasnt going on to second cam at all then?


Hopefully get to go for a spin in Mr Demons car and make sure that performs the same and then there is a good chance that it is not my car and it is the Lotus Motorsport ECU, Because if Mr Demons car works fine and is the same as Alan’s with an ITG and Sport Exhaust there is no reason why mine shouldn’t work as far as I can see. Seeing that My car was fine previously this convinces me more that it is not my car at fault.

If Lotus won’t send out a replacement ECU to try, I will demand my old one back and put my car back to how it was before going down this route. Mind you it’s not far off the market picking up to start selling sports car. So If it is not worth going down the upgrade route with my car I might sell it on once I know every thing is back to how it was and look for some thing else instead.

Because if this is what happens at stage 1 of a 3 part upgrade project of off the shelf items from Lotus Motorsport I can’t see that it’s worth continuing.

Once I have been in Mr Demon’s car I will be in a position to go back to Lotus Motor Sport with a good case of this ITG being the issue, which is what they maintain is rubbish because I have seen for myself that it works.


I am very happy with my upgraded ECU, in fact the more I drive it, the more I like the far more linear power delivery, and the fact you don’t have to rev the nuts off it to avoid dropping off cam when changing up a gear. Sounds like you have been very unlucky, so hope you get it sorted ok.


A BIG THANKS to Mr Demon/David for taking the time off today to take me for a ride in his Exige with the ECU Upgrade mixed with an ITG and a Sports Exhaust. Yes I did look under the boot cover to make sure that and ITG was fitted.

The good news is that as suspected the characteristics of the ECU Upgrade is the same on an Exige with ITG and a Sports Exhaust as it is on a Standard Setup Exige.

My findings are as follows:

There is a definite change in performance and sound at 5700-5800rpm on both cars. Maybe not as much as when it was at 6200rpm on a standard ECU, but not that far off. I would also say that the cars with the ECU upgrade seems to have a fraction more torque from 5600rpm which makes a very big difference when trying to keep the car on cam.

My view is that this ECU upgrade is worth the money and is a big improvement to the N/A Exige S2. But I am not convinced that the ECU that I have been sent is working correctly.

All this driving around the Midlands to look at different peoples cars ridicules the comments by Russell at Lotus Motor Sport, that the problem is the ITG. I have also had messages sent from others with the ECU upgrade and have ITG’s fitted as well. They don’t have problems ether.

If Russell�s comments are correct, which I suspect there are not.

It does beg the questions of if this is a true Lotus Motor Sport Upgrade and they know that induction kits are standard upgrades why is there no leeway for induction kits in the mapping if that is truly the issue, which I suspect it isn’t. Or, Why they don’t have a map for them if Lotus did the mapping.

I suspect that Lotus did not do the mapping and that is why Russell is just blaming the ITG because they don’t sell it and they don’t have any control over the mapping themselves. It is easy to just blame the induction kit than deal with the problems of an ECU that is not working correctly.

It may also explain why they don�t send out another ECU to test on the car seeing that I don�t get any real sensation or sound of second cam.

Now both cars, Alun�s & Dave�s are Black Exiges and mine is Magnetic Blues.

So when I go back to Russell (Or get my dealers to contact him) I will be waiting for the comment, �I would like you to try one more thing, can you just respray your car black and you should find that everything will be alright�, �If it isn�t we might deal with the issue�.

Thanks to everyone who has been so helpful in helping me get to the bottom of this problem. If only Lotus Motor Sport was as helpful and didn�t expect me to pay a dealership to do their leg work to try different options that should not and have been proved not to make any difference.

Is the Lotus sport ECU fully type approved or is it just an aftermarket tweek? I would have thought that as long as it still passes an MOT then the plod would be happy so I dont understand why the modded ECU needs to retain the full OBD anyway?

Has anyone actually been told what the fault code is? They dont just appear by magic, there is a bunch of code in the ECU which defines the error which is then flagged up.

I’ve got all this blurb at home so if someone can give me the code (usually starts with a P) then I can tell you what its complaining about…

Well Lotus have sent back a standard ECU, a mechanic came around to the house to refit it and every thing seems to be working fine with out the engine warning light coming on from the test we have done so far.

I will take the car out again tomorrow to make sure everything is still working ok.

The dealers are have a bit of a problem in that they can not put the ecu on a standard car without any upgrades to check it out because they only have cars with a much newer ecu that has different connectors.

Surprise that Lotus Motorsport won’t send out a different upgraded ECU to try out, seeing I know there are other S2 Exiges with the upgraded ECU & ITG Kits. When I know that they will work with the ITG system.

So I looks like I am going to have to wait for a while longer to get this sorted out. Just glad that the dealer has the patience to stick with it to try and sort things out.

I’m tempted to offer to come over and be a genuiea pig??

Bob, From the rides in other peoples cars I would say this ECU upgrade is a must have item.

You are more than welcome to give Ian Garrett a call at Nick Whale to test it out, If it works on your car due to it being a standard set up. It would possibly be the only time they will have one on the shelf. Plus it would rule in or out my cars set up.

Which would help me out if it is the ECU at fault.

But it is a long way to go without knowing if it is going to work for you to try it out. Mind you it may have stored a certain amount self learning from my cars set up.

Well with the STANDARD ECU REFITTED I took the Exige for a proper test drive today, every thing worked perfectly and there was no Errors at all coming from the standard ECU.

So I know that my car is fine And I know it’s not knacked 02 sensors.

It might be a good while before the Dealers have a car to test the Upgraded ECU out on to prove that it is the ECU at fault. I don’t see why Lotus Motor sport didn’t just send out another upgraded ECU to test out which I think will solve every thing. But there you go.

Well had some good news today. The dealers took in an Elise S2 111r that had the same ECU connecters as my car and they had a chance to put the Lotus Motorsport ECU on the car to check it out with a standard set up. (IE no ITG or sports Exhaust)

The feedback has been that there is no second cam at all and the car has no performance gain at the earlier cam change point of 5700 rpm or the original 6200 rpm.

So it has been a duff ECU all along.

I am only glad that the deal has didn�t have to remove my ITG or sports Exhaust and fit the standard kit back on only to change it back again.

Lotus Motorsport are now sending out a replacement ECU, which they should have done in the start.

A Big Thanks to my dealers, Nick Whale for sticking with it and getting to the bottom of the problem while being so helpful.

Hate to say it, I knew I was right… and Russell was wrong

Good news - Ian is a really top bloke …

That’s very good news, Snapper

Just shows the difference between a good dealer and a poor dealer, is the people working there.

Glad to hear you/they have finally got to the bottom of it Jamie.

Well done too NW to for persevering with this on your behalf.