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S4 stuttering under acceleration when pedal depressed


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Hi guys. 

Long time no see.

The Esprit is out of storage after 10 years and started up just fine after some initial checks like if it had been parked yesterday.

The issue I'm having though is 


1. If I start it up. The ECM seems to go through some type of check where rpms go up to 1200rpm check engine light comes on then drops down past 1000rpm and engine cuts out. If I start driving immediately after starting CEL doesn't come on but it will die if left at idle after acceleration and coming to s stop.


2. When accelerating all seems fine if there is hardly any pressure on the gas pedal and it goes through gears. Turbo spools etc. If I try to give it some beans or especially between 2000-3000 rpm it will start jerking and stuttering like crazy and I have to back off the pedal to have it continue accelerating. 


Understand from reading the forum this could be due to spark plugs, leads or coil packs. 

I have done the remove the leads to check for rpm drop tests and on lead 3 there is a strong visible arc to the engine when pulled. The other 3 banks I can hear the clicking of the spark but no visible arc when looking down and rpm drops by around 100rpm for each of the 4 banks. 

I also read about maybe replacing/checking fuel filter but would need some guidance on this as I have no clue what I'm doing. Thinking this could possibly be something as the tanks were completely empty after storage. Not sure if the storage place emptied them or of it's evaporated over the years. But maybe there was gunk left over that has clogged it?

I'm not very mechanically inclined but trying to slowly learn. Even struggle with the names of the parts lol but I'll get there.

I don't have any service manuals or freescan stuff and there are no one I know here in Stavanger Norway that knows anything about Esprits so I'm kinda fumbling in the dark here. On top of this I'm only in the country for another 2 weeks before heading back to Australia and trying to get as much sorted S possible so I can put her up for sale to go to a new home as bringing her to Australia won't be feasible. 

Any assistance would be much appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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  • Gold FFM

I would recommend changing the cam belt before driving or even starting the engine again if the vehicle has been stored for 10 years.

  • Like 1

It’s only metal, it cannot win!

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It's a credit to your Esprit that she starts and drives after 10 years without much attention. I would have at least changed the oil and filter, and the cambelt as mentioned above. And checked all the pipework for leaks. A coolant leak would be obvious if you run the car, but a vacuum leak can be very hard to find and cause poor idling and hesitation. The vacuum diagram should be on a sticker on the rear hatch.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.


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On 12/07/2023 at 15:55, Oroboros said:

I don't have any service manuals or freescan stuf

I think your first step is to read the codes.

Here's Freescan info, there's also a manual which I can email if required.


John W

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