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Elise S1 BatteryThe Elise is delivered with a light weight and low capacity battery (to save weight) which will drain after about 2-3 weeks with the alarm on. If you are leaving the car for this sort of period, you need to connect a trickle charger. An alternative is to replace the battery with a high capacity one. Lead acid batteries are not designed to be completely flattened and doing so, will damage it and it will lose some of it's capacity. Another reason for a flat battery may be the that the alternator wire insulation may have melted on the exhaust and shorted. The factory fitted battery is a Varta Blue Dynamic B18-543 023 039 43 A/H, 390A rating, dimensions are 210(l) x 180(h) x 170(w) in mm. Some later cars used a Bosch battery. A good replacement battery to use if yours fails is the Varta Silver B11 (212mm x 175mm) which provides 30% higher ampage for better cold cranking turnover
The Airflow battery conditioner has been used by lots of owners to solve this problem. Calamander sell this item over the web. Lotus now also sell one in their Elise S2 accessories brochure, part no. LOTAC05139 (UK version) and LOTAC05140 (European version). From the pictures it looks exactly like a Lotus badged Airflow product. A less sophisticated and cheaper product is sold by Race Technology.
Personally, I would recommend the Optimate III battery conditioner. I've used this on my NOT DEFINED and it is very good for keeping the battery alive when the car is not used over winter. It is also very good at reviving/charging flat batteries.
Unfortunately, you can't plug this into the cigarette lighter socket because it is switched into circuit via the ignition switch. Unless you modify the wiring to the socket, to bypass the ignition switch, it won't work.
In the Elise S1 the battery is located at the front of the car and is difficult to reach. The plus is that this location improves weight distribution.
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Copyright © Rob Collingridge 2009 - Last updated 11 Nov 2006