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The Life of A Ferrari Owner

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    The Life of A Ferrari Owner

    the discussion on my e-mail list today is about cars...and this is what i lovers may get a kick out of this one. it's very long so if you don't like ferraris don't bother.


    Interesting and fun reading from a F355 owner:

    Wayne and I are still driving the F355's around town like a bunch of maniacs. They are our daily drivers. When they work. Here's the story of what is new since the last update on the F355's........

    Wayne and I crack up about each other's misfortunes with the F355. It is
    like having a wife who is a bi-polar, psychotic, nymphomaniac Victoria
    Secret lingerie model, in a drug rehab program, with multiple personalities,
    that you happen to fall in love with. Meaning that it can be a tremendous
    pain in the butt at times, but you know you can't live without it. So you
    just deal with the various wacked out incidents that happen. When we talk
    about the F355 problems, it is like going to an AA meeting for friends and
    family of alcoholics. We sympathize with each other, we are our own support group.

    In early April, it seems that Wayne's car started to overheat a bit, and one
    of the warning lights was lighting up on the dash. Since he has another month or so left on his two year warranty, he takes it immediately into the dealer to get fixed. The dealer checks it out and determines that it is one of the cooling fans that is not coming on, which seems to be the cause of
    the warning light. The dealer also notices that a small amount of oil is leaking from the motor onto some of the belts. The dealer want to make sure everything is okay in the engine, and this oil leak is from a suspicious place. Which means they have to pull the motor out of the car. His car has
    only 14,000 miles on it. He has never taken it to the racetrack. The dealer checks everything out, and also does Wayne a favor by doing the 30,000 mile service at the same time for a greatly reduced cost, since the motor is out. A 30,000 mile checkup normally means they change the timing belt. So I guess
    this means that a 30,000 mile service is $5000 or so. But instead of crying
    tears over the car, we crackup laughing about it. Remember, we both
    "married" the same type of lingerie model described above. We are used to
    it, we expected it, we live with it. We have conditioned ourselves to not
    get upset about the maintenance on these cars. We support each other in our
    co-dependencies with these cars. It is the price you pay for a good time.

    My car went in for the 15,000 mile checkup. Cost for this check up is $1500.

    Ouch! Wayne was driving my car around before the checkup, and he noticed a slight "clunking" sound that you can hear when you turn the wheel from left to right, and the car is stationary. He is worried about this, since we drive these cars within an inch of their lives, and if the steering rack should somehow fail, we would be in deep ****. The Ferrari dealer checked it
    out, and concurred that something didn't seem quite right. So they graciously replaced the rack under warranty. Whew, I would hate to see how much that would have cost. Wayne cracks up about this. I laugh about it to. We are expect weird stuff to happen.

    I drive my car around for a bit. Then, I notice that it is way too quiet. I
    mean WAY too quiet. It sounds like....a stock Japanese supercar, if you know
    what I mean. The awesome F1 sound isn't happening anymore. I take it back to
    Ferrari, and tell them that something is wrong, my car is way too quiet. It is so quiet, that I don't want to even drive it around town, as when you accelerate, it no longer makes your adrenaline flow. Instead, your heart rate goes up, you get stressed out, and you keep thinking, "What the hell
    happened to the sound." I take it back to the dealer. The Ferrari guys think
    I am wacked out, but after poking around, they discover that the hose that
    opens up the exhaust at 5500 RPMs isn't connected. Since the exhaust doesn't
    get opened up fully, performance is down, and it no longer makes that awesome sound. They tighten it up, and off I go, ripping through the underpasses of the freeway, thinking I am at Monaco racing through the
    tunnel. Later that day, no sound again. The hose came off again. I look at the hose, and it is held by the tiniest, cheapest, hose clamp that I have ever seen. I put it back on, and drive around, and I experience "the sound" again. Next day, driving to the shop, I get no sound. At the shop, Brent cuts the hose end to see if we can get better grip, and retightens the itty bitty hose clamp. Hopefully, this will secure it so it will stay. I get the sound back, and life is good again. Without the sound, this car goes from
    being $140,000 car to being only worth about $70,000. Whoever is the "sound" engineer at Ferrari that tunes the exhaust/headers should get a huge contract like Michael Schumacher, as that sound engineer makes magic happen with these cars.

    Wayne gets his car back. It is running strong, and he is happy. My only problem with my F355 is the irritating hand brake light that comes on whenever I do my normal two G late braking maneuver before every streetlight and stop sign. But hey, I can live with that.
    For the first time in what seems like months, we both have our F355's up and running great. For about a day. I pull into the shop to pick some stuff up, and then I hop back into the car. Since I have the F1 tranny, you have to go through an elaborate sequence of events to start the car. This makes it so that it is also impossible to steal and impossible for a valet to park the
    car. One of the sequences of events is to pull back on both the paddle shifters to get the car into neutral before you can start. Except my car seems to be stuck in 1st gear, according to the LED light on the dash. It
    won't go into any other gear, including reverse. It is almost 5 p.m., and the Ferrari dealer will close very soon, so there is no time to tow the car there. Besides, since the car is stuck in first gear, the wheels won't move, and it will require that the tow truck driver to "drag" the car up onto the flatbed. The car is parked in an industrial area, so I don't want to leave it out overnight as it will be unsafe, and I don't want to have to hire a
    security guard to watch it overnight. We decided that it might be electrical, so we decide to disconnect the battery. Which means you have to pull off the right front tire, as the battery is in the front fender. We go through all these steps, but the car still won't move from 1st gear. I call the Ferrari dealer, and their service guy says that I need to come pickup a special tool that has a quick disconnect cylinder fitting that I can splice into the F1 tranny hydraulic line. Then, using a wrench, I turn the nut on the cylinder, which in turns simulates the hydraulic pump of the F1 shifter to pump fluid through the hose to push the clutch in. Once the clutch is in,
    then we can push the car inside the shop until the morning, when we can have a tow truck tow the car. If this car was built by the Japanese, they would have included this handy little tool in the tool kit of the car......

    Note: Remember that the F355 F1 tranny is not a TipTronic, or slush-o-matic
    shifter that is on all other cars that have a paddle shifter/button/stick. The F355 still has a clutch like the regular manual Ferrari transmission, and has six gears, just like a regular manual Ferrari emission. The difference is that when you pull the paddle shifter, it fires an electrical
    signal to the computer to determine if you can engage the gear you want without blowing up the engine, then signals the hydraulic pump to push the clutch in and engages the gear you requested and then releases the clutch faster than you can say "It's broke again".

    So the next day I get the car towed to the shop. I take one last look at the car, and then I also notice that the blowoff hose for the exhaust is cracking. I think it is the probably about the 7th or 8th time at the shop in 15 months. But hey, it's a Ferrari. You learn to overlook problems like this. Because for the moments when everything is working great, the F355 driving experience cannot be surpassed, and you can forgive it for all the problems it gave you last week, and the week before that, and
    the month before that. Wayne and I are hooked, we will always try figure out a way to support the Ferrari habit. We ain't ever gonna buy a German supercar or Japanese supercar, unless they can match the looks and the thrill of driving a Ferrari through a tunnel.

    I have been holding off on mods to my car. One of the problems about doing modifications to your car, is that once you start, you can't stop putting new go-fast stuff on your car. However, Wayne has been chomping at the bit to do some modifications to his car in order to make it go faster and sound better. He has been trying to convince me to buy a Tubi exhaust, so he can
    order two of them and possibly get a deal on the exhaust. I have heard the Tubi, and I am not completely convinced that the sound is worth the money ($3500 or so). I like the shrill sound of the stock F355 exhaust. Most
    people are split between the Tubi and the stock exhaust, with more people favoring the Tubi.
    We had an NSX Dyno day a couple of months ago. Wayne's F355 was in the shop,but Alex (lives locally) and Mr. O. (from Gruppe M in Japan) came down with a new hi tech, carbon fiber, dual K&N, super flow intake kit made
    exclusively for the F355. Now this thing is a piece of art. Since Wayne's car was broken at the time, we put the intake on my car. We dynoed before and after, and it showed a 10 hp increase at the rear wheel. Not too bad.
    Except that the retail price is $3000. But it looks good, you can seem to feel the response, and it does dyno well. Wayne snaps one up.
    So now he is searching for some type of exhaust. Ferrari of Beverly Hills
    had a Mille Miglia exhaust in stock, that they said sounded real good. Cost is around $3000. So Wayne gets it installed, and he is ecstatic with it. I am not totally convinced, but I am starting to lean his way. His car is much louder than mine now, it is still a bit on the shrill side, which is good.
    Just about everyone that hears his exhaust vs. my stock exhaust agree that his sounds much better. But we are talking $6000 bucks here for that sound.
    Wayne says his exhaust now "burbles" on his manual downshifts, much the the F1 tranny burbles when you downshift at low speeds, which sounds really cool. He never got that before with the stock exhaust.

    One of the guys from Ogner Motorsports (another authorized Ferrari Dealer)
    takes a look at the exhaust and intake. Wayne revs the car up, and the guy agrees with Wayne in that it seems to be the best sounding setup for an F355. He takes down the info about the setup, as he feels he has many customers that will be interested.

    May 12, 2000
    8 days after I drop off the car, I get the car back. It is Friday afternoon, 80 degrees, and I am ripping down Pacific Coast Highway following Wayne in his F355. Life is good again.......well at least for a couple of days. Wayne's light comes back he has another appointment at the dealer on Tuesday. But he looks at the positive side, "Wow, I got to drive it for two weeks before it had to back to the dealer. It was an awesome two weeks!" He is not disappointed.....we have reset our expectations successfully, so now we don't get stressed out anymore.

    Yeah, so our Ferraris are a pain the ass to live with. But we gotta have them. Life isn't worth living without hearing that sound everyday. If a semi-truck were to hit our parked Ferraris and total them, as soon as we got the insurance money, we would run out and buy another F355 in a heartbeat....that is how awesome these cars are!

    Side note: Wayne's warranty runs out next month. Mine runs out in 9 months. We will keep you posted on our "out of pocket" expenses......

    remember: you can't change the direction of the wind, but you can always adjust your sails

    reminds me of when I had my jaguar. The XJS was a pain in the neck to maintain, parts were ard to find and everything was expensive.

    But, it was a great car to have and drive.

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


      i'll stick to my toyota thank you very much...


        Originally posted by ~Amber~:
        i'll stick to my toyota thank you very much...
        if you dont spill chocolates and soda on your wont stick to your toyota
        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


          ... and in Pir ji's case, Halwa is another commodity to consider


            Hehehehe..good one there Roman..


              true enough


                Originally posted by ~Amber~:
                true enough

                True enough what? Spilling of soda in Toyota or sticking of Pir ji to the seat?


                  that if you don't spill chocolate you wont stick to yer seats.... roman i didn't get what you said about the halwa commodity thing....translation?


                    Roman, only sooji ka halwa. Next time please be more specific.

                    Greedily awaiting the next shipment og halwa..

                    Pir Fraudia
                    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


                      >> roman i didn't get what you said about the halwa commodity thing....translation?

                      Don't worry, Pir sahib didn't get it either

                      (aaj meri khair nahi).

                      PS1. That meant since Pir ji likes halwa too, eating it in car can cause same sticking problems as in the case of chocolate etc specifically in Pir ji's case. So it's an additional commodity for Pir ji to be careful about, along with soda and chocolate etc.

                      PS2. PS1 pretty much killed my joke; I sound so much like ghalib today

                      [This message has been edited by Roman (edited June 15, 2000).]


                        Originally posted by Fraudz:
                        Roman, only sooji ka halwa. Next time please be more specific.

                        Greedily awaiting the next shipment og halwa..

                        Pir Fraudia
                        Oh, I thought it was 'habshi' one


                          Originally posted by Roman:
                          Oh, I thought it was 'habshi' one
                          Roman, your disappointment is noted but maybe ghalib likes 'habshi' one.

                          you may still have a chance.

                          [This message has been edited by Fraudz (edited June 15, 2000).]
                          The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


                            Originally posted by Fraudz:
                            naheen janab, habshion walay shauq sirf aap kay hain.

                            [ ok, that one was too bad ]

                            [This message has been edited by Roman (edited June 15, 2000).]


                              grrr...anyone seen Gone in Sixty Seconds?