Esprits are usually in A garage. It’s better if they are in the owners garage, because that means that they are in rude health, but it isn’t taken for granted, is it?

As the story goes, mine is in my garage again, and the garage has that “Esprit smell” to it. You know, a little oil, a little coolant, and car polish… …it’s nice.

We went to get it Saturday. I confess to a growing sense of excitement. It’s a cool car and I very much want to put some miles on it.

As the story goes, we turned up at SCC Auto (Stan the Lotus whisperers garage) at about noon. A fellow was picking up his Chevrolet Chevelle and he asked me if I wished I had his engine in my car. I told him I liked my chances against his car with the engine I had. In the next bay over I found the Lotus purring away, (I had asked Stan to fire it up so I had some engine temp when I left), and the second I stepped out of the Volkswagen to greet the car, the idle went haywire, the check engine light went on, and it died. Stan gave me this suspicious look, and muttered “it’s you… …this car was running perfectly until you got here…” (Thank god Chevy guy was gone) It was priceless.


Moments later my cell phone rang. It was my wife who was in the VW, six feet away. She was aware of the crisis, and due to a prior relationship with my 98, has a level of trust with Esprits, that rivals the relationship between the North and South Koreas. Sadly, it’s earned. I told her to hold on, she replied that she was giving odds it was staying right where it was for the time being.

Stan plugged the scan tool in and we pulled the codes. Mat sensors and evap. Both minor. Both emissions related. We cleared them and it was fine. Off we went. Good temp, good idle, no leaks. All systems go.

We got the car in the garage and on a battery tender and I hoped to drive it later that day when my chores were done.

When I finally got around to driving it again the next morning, I fired it up and let it idle for a few minutes before I took off. As I sat down I noticed the “check engine” light on again. Unfortunately, Nancy was next to me and gave me that “look” again. She said, “you ain’t going nowhere, are you”, and I feared she was right.

It was exhibiting a p0442 code which is a minor emissions leak. I phoned Stan who told me to check the connection on the solenoid on the firewall. I pushed on it and it clicked. I cleared the codes and fired the car. It SEEMED fine, so off I went as my wife rolled her eyes.

At this point it’s pretty obvious to me that I need new tires. As in, I think the set of Dunlop’s it is on at the moment are original equipment. I hope there are some viable choices left.

The good news is that it feels mechanically strong. The better news is that ignitiongate is over.

There is never a dull moment.