Ferrari ownership experience

After screwing around with Porsches for many years it was feeling of “Exclusivity”, and influence of the 80’s iconic Magnum PI that got me into a Ferrari.   I started my search with a F355 because it was in a more affordable range ($60-$80k), but after two failed PPIs I  found out that there are too many known issues that can easily cost $10k – $20k in repair bills (Crack manifolds, valve guides), so I decided on upgrading my purchase option to an earlier model F360 ($99-$105k range) for the sake of “Better” built quality.  At the end of my 6 month search I ended up with a mid model year, not so cheap F360 spider ($137k + tax = $150k) fully load with every option. 

18 month later, Ferraris ownership does not excite me anymore.  All I can say is that owning a Ferrari is the most stressful and annoying car owning experience in my life.   Owning a Ferrari puts you on the verge of a nervous breakdown everytime you get in for a drive, makes you wonder what else could go wrong with the darn thing.   You can’t keep your eyes off the gauges and the rearview mirror just wondering any minute now if you are going to see a cloud of smoke behind the car. 

Prior to any trip I always have to make a mental plan on where I am to go first, do I go with the top up or down?  Fearing that the top may get stuck while I am out, are there enough parking spaces?  Are the parking spaces visible from where I will end up eating, shopping?  etc.etc.etc.etc….. 

I never could imagine people still design and built cars like a Ferrari, obviously these are small production run cars never intended as mainstream automobiles.  They are horribly designed and fabricated.  Nothing make sense, illogical placement of many components and completely lack of any caring thoguhts for the mechanics who will work on it in the future.

Here is a brief run down of my experiences in the short 18 month/ 4k miles of ownership. 

Day one: picked up my dream car (nightmare) from an authorized Ferrari dealer.  Convertible top stuck, wouldn’t open all the way, strong gasoline smell from the car, center console storage box stuck (had to bang it to get it to open).  Within 5 minutes of signing over the paper work my Ferrari was already in need of work.  Drove the darn thing with the clam shell open to the service center (Which is not located at the dealership), waited 3 hours for the convertible top to be repaired, but the strong gas fumes will require another 14 hours R&R to replace a leaky rollover shut off valve on top of the gas tank.  The entire convertible top assembly has to come out for this.  I said screw it will deal with this later.  Who the hell wants to leave their newly acquired car at the dealer for repair rigth after they just bought it?

 On the way home from the dealership, well… not a problem, but more of a design problem.  apparently in a Ferrari you can’t get heat out of the HVAC system unless you turn on the A/C compressor.  Who would have thought of that?  So I was frantically playing over the controls trying to figure out why my car have no heat.  Of course the owner’s manual was completely wrong about that, lost in translation from Italian to English???

Discovered another problem 5 miles from home, the clutch disc gets stuck on the flywheel when the engine is turning at high RPM (7000+).  I mean the clutch disc is really stuck, you lose the clutch pedal the clutch does not want to release until the engine RPM drops down to a reasonable range.  I grinded the gears trying to shift while discovering this.  Damn!!!! 

After several tank of gas I discovered that I might have a cracked exhaust manifold, which is a common problem on the 355/360/430.  So you would figured the Italians would have fixed their header issues only after a full decade.  Of course not!!!   Dealers will not warranty it and the headers cost over $12k to replace.  I bought a used set of headers to take apart, and it is not hard for me to imagine that it cracks so easily, the craftsmanship and the quality of the headers were sub-par from anything of a production standards.  people make fun of products made in China, this Ferrari headers can’t even qualify as being made in China.

Stripped oil drain plug, the Italians apparently don’t know how to write a damn manual.  Both the owner’s manual, factory shop manual, and they make fun of the Japanese writing manuals?  Please!!!!!  The drain plug torque spec. was like double of what it should be, I still don’t know where they got the specs from.  Which makes me not trust in any torque specs. stated in the shop manual, only 70ft lb for the wheel lug nuts?  They must be nuts!!!

A year, 4 k miles later I discovered that I had a bad oil temperature sensor, how in the world do you have a bad oil temperature sensor at just 16k miles?  Well, I did and so did many other F360 owners.  Once the sensor reaches 230 degrees it will go haywire, I mean it will send the temp gauge needle bouncing up and down all over the place and cause all sorts of warning lights.  See what I mean by Ferrari using sub-par parts?

Overall the only “fun” part of the ownership is the sound, and the car looks nice.  A chick mgnet?  Don’t know, never had a girl even as much as giving me a wink. 

thumb2

21 Responses to “Ferrari ownership experience”

  1. Michele Says:

    Chick not giving you a wink? You need to work on the “total package” which includes new wardrobe, hairstyle, sunglasses… etc. Or perhaps you simply drove too fast to notice the attention you are getting :-)

  2. Michele Says:

    I am saying you don’t look old enough to own a Ferrari!

  3. david Says:

    Thanks for the review, I will just get an R35 GTR then :)

  4. Sergio Says:

    This about right for Ferrari. Stick to Porsche for an everyday
    car. From entry level to supercar they know how to do it.

  5. Kenda Chieves Says:

    Hi there can I quote some of the content here in this blog if I link back to you?

  6. Yahoo Sex Health Says:

    Great {article|post}…

    This the best article I have never seen before….

  7. Luxury Addict Says:

    On the subject of lovely luxurious automobiles, the Europeans preserve the crown, thanks to such mythical brands as Rolls-Royce, Range Rover, Koenigsegg, and Wiesmann. Cherish high quality, enjoy life.

  8. what is ppi Says:

    what is ppi…

    [...]Ferrari ownership experience « Robin's Blog[...]…

  9. roller rockers Says:

    Nice Post withsome valuable points about the Farrari ownership experience thanks Robin

  10. alan h Says:

    after read your post, i gave up thinking to own one. thanks

    • Wincer Says:

      I own one as a weekend car. Rarely used but always bring a smile to my face every time I drive it around town. I get a kick seeing people’s reaction when they see it. It never ceases to amaze me that even kids drop their jaws at seeing it. I consider it like driving a piece of art but I have to admit I know nothing about cars. It is around 20k mileage and spent one costly repair so far (7k) but mechanic said it is in very good condition. Once I got to know the car’s quirks I learned to enjoy it more.

      • mrpcar Says:

        Thanks for sharing, despite all the bad quality parts I still own my Ferrari, and is still continuing replacing failed parts. Recently both fuel pump, which is another known failure item from Ferrari. Housing cracks and leaks fuel very dangerous. Surprised they decided not to do a recall in this country but did in UK.

  11. Wincer Says:

    Where do you get the parts if I may ask?

  12. mrpcar Says:

    You can order parts from http://www.ricambiamerica.com

  13. Tim Says:

    Very well written and truthful. I have owned 7 Ferraris and worked professionally on nearly 60 plus models. The quality of fabrication is terrible. Too many problems for many…many customers. My Corvette C6 Z06 is 10 times the machine for quality, construction, performance, and is used for road trips, track events, and merely driving around in the city. No more Ferrari models for me.

  14. Tim Says:

    Robin….could you please send me a private email?

  15. Tim Says:

    Hi Robin, if you get a couple of minutes, please drop me a quick email. I have an idea would like to share with you. I could always call you. Thanks, Tim.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: