Won't fire! - HELP!

The battery is fine and once it’s running there’s no problem, but I just filled up and couldn’t get it started again.

After confirming the plugs weren’t firing, the AA chap ended up wiggling the relays and it started first time. However, now I’ve got it home, pulled them all, a touch of WD40 and replaced them (hoping to make sure it didn’t happen again), it’s doing it again. Turns over fine but doesn’t start.

Any ideas?! I guess the relay thing could just be a red herring.


Oh yeah, the pump primes fine too.

One thing that made me laugh was the AA guy looking in the engine bay and saying, rather surprised - “It’s bloody K-series!” He did rather like the car and was doublely please as he was never going to be able to tow it.

I’ve got a trackday on Friday, I hope!


I have no answer but I could come round for some fault finding/second opinions or just for some head scratching…Elaine reckons its because of the track use, but I pointed out to her our Citroen broke down and that had never been near a track !!!
Simon and Elaine

Thanks for the offer, I’ll see how I get on tomorrow.

I think cheap friggin parts may have more to do with it!

If Lisa would let me bring it into the house, out of the cold, then I think that may have helped!


ps. I think my amusement on this will wear off if I can’t get it sorted in the next 48 hours!

Charge the battery - they always turn over fine and yet there is nothing left and the ECU won’t make the ignition circuit/injector relay.
If nothing else once you’ve left it on charge over night you can rule it out then.

Agree with Tone - it has been real cold recently and this cranking power / threshhold does seem to be an issue for whatever reason …

We need you there Friday Ian

I have had a look through the circuit diagrams and there is an earth called Engine management earth point, which is a stud in the engine bay it appears to have a number of earth connections this may be worth checking. ( a lot of previous Lotus problems have been earth issues)


If its definately NOT sparking then as tone/andy say above – get the battery checked out, if not that then perhaps your coil? - your car sits outside ?? yeh ? perhaps there is some corrosion in th ecoil connections… pull the leads off and have a look, if all is well give a squirt of WD40 and fit the leads tightly back on… see how it goes.

To my understanding would both coils go? If it was the coil chances are it’d still spark, at least on 2 cylinders.

Have you checked the plug going into the coil as well? (little job nest the expansion bottle with 3 wires going in).

Would and easy way of checking the battery to jump start it? Instant power boost

Next thing to do is get a multimetre on the injector leads, see if a signal is firing the injectors. If not then there’s something else a miss, probably the earth in the engine bay, runs from the gear box to the chassis, you can get to it easier by removing the air piping.

I also heard a dodgy TPS could cause this, but seems unlikely.



Would and easy way of checking the battery to jump start it? Instant power boost

I half remember being told that jump leads don’t sort it with our toys - can’t remember why.
Was told that Porsches have the same problem with marginal batteries, that have enough energy to turn the engine over but not enough to allow them to fire.
Bosche Silver Plus sorts it out…old thread.
Or as they say in the Lotus garage TADTS
Good luck

Just looked up Phil’s post from end of January –
Varta Silver Dynamite is same as Bosch Silver Plus and cheaper and has same part No 543-107-048


How goes it now??

Give me a ring if you s=get stuck…

You MUST be there on Friday

There must be a link to the cold weather

Chaps, thanks very much! You’re all stars!

Prompted by your advice, I decided I’d give it another go before calling the garage (no time to play too much myself). And following a good charge it did start.

I’m left a little nervous but my theory is now, as Tone suggests, the AA chap’s battery wasn’t kicking out enough juice (hovering just above 12V I seem to remember) to provide the required boost but after a few minutes of being connected and a twiddle of the relays we just got lucky. It definately hadn’t been firing as we put a little tool of his on the connector and nothing.

I’ll check the earth, but if a darn good charge is the simple fix, the lesson learned is that a jump start may not help you!

Do relays ever go/play up? I assume so, as they’re replaceable.



I had similar problem once after leaving the thing alone for almost 2 weeks … a good charge fixed it.

However I now plug in a “conditioner” every time I leave it - never a problem since then …

I think I’m gonna do that, but it means leaving a trailing extension lead where little people tend to play.

Fingers crossed!



This happened to me about half a dozen times in the first 2 months of having mine and had happened twice at the garage before I bought it

The battery seemed powerful enough and turned the engine over but just wouldnt fire.

That was when I stumbled across the Bosch battery and its been fine for the last 6 months… Touch wood!

Definately worth a try mate

Glad it’s sorted

Yep, looks that way. Car just started, even at -2oC!

Thanks for your help chaps. I hope you learned from my fright but without the same level of concern.


Begger me Ian -2 degree C - thats tropical

Bosch 4PT Plus battery best 35 quids worth I’ve invested in, or what I’ll admit too

best 35 quids worth I’ve invested in, or what I’ll admit too

cue Vinyl Veronique!!!