OBII for V8's
Diagnostics for the Lotus V8 engine
After the success of FreeScan for the 4 cylinder fuel-injected Esprits. Lotus Esprit World has been looking into diagnostic software for V8 owners. The Esprit V8 has a different type of ECU than the 4cyl. Esprits, so needs different software and hardware. Luckily Lotus used a commonly used system and software and hardware is available at very reasonable prices.
Diagnostic products like FreeScan and the OBDII systems shown below are worth their weight in gold to an Esprit owner. There's three types for the V8; the first is like FreeScan, you'll get a cable and software and will need to connect it to a compatible laptop. This software gives you the most information and also gives more features. The second is more convenient (if you don't have a laptop), but offers less information. It's basically a hand-held device that will give you a code reading. You'll then need to look up the code for the problem in the manual. If you want a little more (and want to spend a little more) you can get a higher spec hand-held, which allows live streaming and the ability to store information and use it on your PC.
Many problems can be diagnosed before a visit to a garage and with the help of the Esprit communities can be fixed either by the owner or valuable information can be taken to the garage, saving time and money. Diagnostics normally pay for themselves pretty quickly, come a problem, you'll kick yourself if you haven't bought one. Both small and large problems can be found and make owning an Esprit less daunting.
Lotus Esprit World runs a 4 cylinder Esprit and uses FreeScan, but has purchased an EZ-Scan 4000 for evaluation. Gendan also offers the PocketScan code reader. Both readers are very useful and very easy to use. LEW can recommend both products for V8 owners. See LEW's guide to using the 3100 and 4000.
The products below will work on most 'other' cars from 2001. Whilst OBDII was implemented on most US cars back in 1996, the same law (EOBD) didn't come in here until 2001 (for petrol models). Most European manufacturers therefore only implemented the systems on petrols in 2001.
Some manufacturers, e.g. Ford, Jaguar, Lotus (on the V8), Volvo, did implement the systems on UK-spec cars from approx 1997, but most (e.g. Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen etc.) held off until 2001.
Please check that your Esprit is compatible with the following products, as early V8's use a different system.
Gendan Automotive Products provides a range of diagnostic packages and tools that support the ISO protocol (used by the Lotus V8 for engine diagnostics).
These PC packages are priced at £67.95 (serial) or £69.95 (USB) (including VAT and UK next-working day delivery), and now include Gendan's new EngineCheck software (normally £25).
They also offer a range of handheld diagnostic tools that are compatible with the Lotus V8 from 1997 starting at £94.95 (inc. VAT and UK delivery).
Please see below for additional product information:
They also offer a range of handheld diagnostic tools that are compatible with all 2001, and newer, European-sold petrol vehicles and the Lotus V8 from 1997 starting at £94.95 (inc. VAT and UK delivery).
Please see below for additional product information:
More information on the software can be found here:
Gendan have confirmed that many Lotus fault codes are now available in their online database at:
OBDII PC interface with 96 V8's
I though you might like to know that the scan tool pc interface from Genden direct works with my 1996 V8. I know they run different diagnostics and there was uncertainty as to wether these tools would work with the earlier V8's
Ps keep up the good work
PC-based Diagnostics package for the Lotus V8 engines
What am I buying?
A user-friendly package to connect your PC to your Lotus V8 - complete with leads and software.
What can I do with it?
The package will turn your PC into an engine diagnostic system for your V8 - including fault code reading and live engine data (e.g. oxygen sensor readings, fuel trims, RPM etc.). You can also clear the fault codes and switch off the Check Engine light.
Will it work with my car?
The ISO interface is compatible with most petrol Asian and European vehicles sold in Europe from 2001, but as Lotus were ahead of the game, will also cover the Lotus V8 engines from 1997. If you need to cover other cars, Gendan also has the multi-protocol interface to cover all petrol 2001+ cars and diesel 2004+ cars (£104.95).
- Package comprises: PC connection cables (USB or serial), 16-pin diagnostics interface
- Brand new EngineCheck software (with free software updates)
- Package features ELM chipset (ELM323 v2.0)
- Compatible with ISO 9141-2 and ISO 14230-4 (KWP2000) protocols
- Operating voltage: 12V, internal protection from short circuits/overvoltages
- Read and clear stored and pending engine fault codes
- Switch off Check Engine light
- Full database built-in of generic fault code definitions
- View live engine information in meter or graph format
- View on-board test completion status (inspection/maintenance tests)
- View fuel-system status
More details can be found at www.enginecheck.co.uk
Had my first chance to play with this stuff over the weekend. Install s/ware easy peasy. Plug the cable into the car. Not reading the ecu (although green light is on, so interface does recognise the ecu).
Re-boot pc - all connects and works fine. Did a couple of test runs with the logging switched on. Looks like a very useful tool. No fault codes stored so can't verify this bit. Did some "real time graphing" of speed/rpm whilst on the move - very groovy :)
There are some neat features on there too regarding 1/4 mile times which i'll play with at some point :D Will bring with me to stanton - any other v8 owners welcome to borrow/plug in.
Rob Ellis V8-GT
EOBD/OBD2 Code Reader with CAN
PocketScan EOBD/OBD-II Code Reader with CAN support
only £94.95 (inc VAT)
The PocketScan Code Reader is a user-friendly tool for those new to diagnostics and light-to-moderate DIY customers.
It gives the user the ability to quickly determine the cause of the "Check Engine" light coming on. Once repairs are made, the PocketScan allows the user to clear the trouble codes and turn off the light.
It enables the user to read fault trouble codes (DTCs) from the on-board computers of Lotus V8 engines (from 1997), as well as all other 2001 and newer petrol cars and 2004+ diesels. The Pocketscan is also able to read cars using the newer CAN protocol (i.e. some 2003+ models, including the new Ford range and several new Mazda and Vauxhall vehicles).
This code reader will read/clear codes from EOBD diagnostics systems (this covers engine, powertrain and emissions faults). It will not read/clear codes from other systems, e.g. SRS, ABS or Suspension systems.
• Reads and erases Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) and turns off check engine light
• Enables user to quickly and easily link to their vehicle
• Compact tool, fits in your palm
• Includes user manual with fault code definitions (in English and Spanish)
• Includes CD software with additional 3000 fault code definitions
• Supports all EOBD protocols including ISO, PWM, VPW and CAN
• 1 year warranty
Full-function EOBD scan tool from Autoxray.
Allows you to read/clear engine fault codes
and to view live engine data on your Lotus V8
only £295 (inc VAT)
Price includes next
Supports all EOBD protocols, including CAN!
• Retrieves both Generic and Manufacturer specific diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs)
• Connects to your V8 Lotus Esprit from 1997
• Will connect to all other petrol cars sold within Europe from 2001 onwards (no additional pods required)
• Supports OBD II/EOBD protocols SAE J1850 (VPW, PWM), ISO 9141-2 (ISO), ISO 14230 (KWP 2000)
and newly released CAN (Controller Area Network)
• View live data stream and freeze frame data – click here to see a list of parameters that can be viewed in real time
• Record and playback data
• Erase stored codes and monitor status, and turn off "Check Engine" light
• 8 Line Backlit Display 128 X 64 Pixel Screen
• PC Interface cable for upgrading via the Internet (EZ-Update included in package)
• Detailed user manual (click here to view pdf file)
• Complete with hard plastic tool carry-case
• Battery Powered 4 AA (included)
• Tool dimensions: 210x80x35mm
• Compatible with EZ-PC 500 software - EZ-PC 500 software allows you to graph recorded data on a PC,
archive vehicle scan data and print scan reports. Click here for more information.
Have any questions?
Please click here to email them any questions you have – they will get back to you as soon as possible.
Contact Gendan Limited
You can contact Gendan by any of the following means:
Great Southgate Farm
phone: 01792 233491 fax: 01792 232383
(Mon to Fri 9:30am to 5:30pm)
OBDII Code Reader
LEW gets busy on Elise this time!
A family member was having trouble with a 2001 Elise and wanted LEW to help. Unfortunately we had to spend our time on something else other than an Esprit. The Elise had the dreaded 'Engine Management' light on. The manual says go straight to your authorised dealer and not much else. Before making the trek to a dealer, we got hold of an OBDII reader from Gendan. This reader plugs into the engine management and can read the fault codes. 4 codes were given. 2 the reader identified and others were Lotus codes, so we needed to refer to the service manual. This device also allows you to reset the error codes, so you can see if they return.
This is a great device for anyone who likes to make an attempt at fixing their vechicle. These type of readers work on 1997-2004 Esprit V8's and any other vehicles from 96 on (see descriptions). More information can be found in the maintenance section of LEW and some of the readers can be found at the clubshop. ClubLEW members can also get a discount from Gendan on Code readers.
If you haven't got one, it's worth thinking about.
For what its worth..
I have a 4 pot but it was diagnosed with a fried ECU - easily done apparantly. I was speaking to Christopher Neils chaps at Donny last year and they put me in touch with Bluestreak who can triage and repair ECUs.
They're in Hucknall, Notts, and on 01623 753300.
Triage fee was £25 and they send you a document with your diagnosis. I found them quick and fairly cheap. Moreover they weren't given any indication of my symptoms beforehand to give them an unbiased start point and they hit on the culprits quick and problem solved. Mention Club LEW and Christopher Neil to them as well - seemed to work well!