My First Trip to the Shop how many more?

Discussion in 'California' started by wrs, May 19, 2017.

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  1. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    The top failed, only 1000 miles so far. The top has been operating intermittently for the last two weeks. It stops part way either up or down and about 15 minutes later the roof failure error will clear and it will finish the cycle. Yesterday I took it into the shop with a hard roof failure that wouldn't clear overnight, I tested it before I took it in. As soon as the tech sat in it and started it up, the roof failure had cleared and he could get it to go up and down. They kept it, will look for codes. In the meantime, I don't have my Ferrari and am stuck with the RR, sure wish I had been able to keep the 991tts.
     
  2. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    Sorry to learn of your roof problem. I think you only had this new car for a month. If it's any consolation I had a bad battery along with various system errors 1 week after I picked up my new Cali30 - most of the problems were caused by the battery and the rest by a bad ignition module which did not affect driving, only the stop/start (HELE) feature.

    I suspect you have a bad battery. These cars normally come over on container ships taking about a month. Do you think they keep all the cars on that boat on battery tenders? Right. So the batteries take a beating during the long trip. The dealer is then expected to prep the car for delivery when a buyer is found. I don't think the batteries are always properly checked and fully charged during that process. This is why so many new fcars have bad batteries. My car had an Italian battery that is not sold in NA so it clearly came over with the car.

    Make sure you have a solid working properly spec'd battery because battery problems can create weird problems s and be very annoying to track down . IMO, new Fcar owners often go through an "initiation " to flush out incorrect assembly, dead batteries and bad component issues after taking delivery. If you then drive the car frequently enough you will flush out all the reliability issues and you will end up with a good car. After that it's just maintenance plus wear and tear. However if you bail out after you fix these issues the next owner benefits from your loss in depreciation and wasted efforts.

    FWIW, battery problems are so important to me that I have 2 extra (heavy duty) CTEK chargers and I also have a battery tester similar to the one used by the dealers. It potentially saves me making silly visits to the dealer for potential battery issues.

    Fcars have more character but they are also more complicated to own than Pcars. Good luck!
     
  3. Avia11

    Avia11 Karting

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    @wrs sorry to hear that man. hopefully they will get the error codes checked and maybe replace your battery.
     
  4. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    I will ask about the battery, thanks. I wouldn't bail out, my idea is that most of these cars don't get properly broken in because they are driven too infrequently. Notice I already have horrors, 1000 miles in one month.
     
  5. good2go

    good2go Formula Junior
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    I agree drive the car. There are several of us that drive as much as possible I put 8.5K on mine the first summer (in MN short driving season).

    I did have a roof not open once (happened several time in a week), I think it was do to the lid in the trunk that goes up and down. If its up it does not let the roof go down. I think the manual was holding it up just a hair. Removed the manual from the trunk, no issues. I do keep my car on the battery tender every time I park it for the night.

    I always start the car before putting the roof up or down.

    good luck with your car.
     
  6. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    I don't use the battery tender but the tech said they checked the battery and it's not the issue. Apparently on new cars it's the first thing they check. I have rearranged stuff in the trunk repeatedly but I have convinced myself that isn't the problem. They reprogrammed it yesterday and were going to check the sensors if that didn't help. They didn't call me back, not sure if service is open today but I plan to call. Fortunately it's raining here this weekend so I am not missing a good driving opportunity and the RR loves the rain but I sure hate cleaning it after driving around on wet streets.
     
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  8. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    You should always use the battery tender.

    They represent a significant cost item to the factory when you consider how they pinch pennies so they only provide one because they know they have to. Your battery and the charging system have to be able to accurately deliver sparks to spin the engine at up to 8000 rpm. Regular cars at most 6000 rpm, and very rarely if ever prodded to do so. Hobbyists and racers actually spend a lot of money improving the electrical performance of their cars to maximize power delivery from their engines. You want your battery to always be fully charged.

    My bad battery also initially checked "OK" when I lodged my complaint 1 week after delivery even though it was always hooked up to the battery tender. It went totally dead 5 months later, after causing a slew of other problems during the 5 months it was left in the car. Of course, it didn't help that my car came with the wrong battery tender which didn't work properly on the AGM battery of my car.

    FWIW, my roof problem was caused by incorrect alignment from the factory assembly process. Sometimes, it is not one problem but a multitude, especially if you are doing an initial shake down a car of complicated design.
     
  9. vjd3

    vjd3 Formula Junior
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    It's almost certainly an issue with a sensor in the top harness. It may or may not have left an error -- I went through this about a year ago with my top and even after seeing "roof failure" messages on the TFT screen sometimes they would find nothing with a scan. Eventually, when it was really acting up, they did get errors:

    B1325 Main roof position (sensor PE30)
    B1000 Implausible roof position

    There was a bad sensor that is saying something that does not make sense to the computer -- it's implausible -- so the roof will stop to avoid damaging anything. There was never anything wrong with the mechanics of my roof, it was operating correctly, it was a sensor out of whack. Mostly, mine would react to a bump in the road and beep and flash "roof failure" warnings when the top was either open all the way or closed all the way. Only on a couple of instances did it fail in the middle of opening or closing the top, and each time it did, shutting off the car and restarting would allow the cycle to complete itself.

    It's a frustrating thing because there are several sensors soldered into the wiring harness and they have to figure out which one is causing the problem. It took several visits to get mine sorted out, and it took communication with the factory tech support in Italy to get it fully sorted through diagnostic checks at the factory's request. Since then, it's been flawless (last June and 4000 miles later, and I hardly ever drive the car without operating the roof).

    The sensor they placed (I believe this was actually the second one they replaced, the first one did not fix it) was PE30 "sensor kit for tonneau cover" 70001835

    My car was under warranty at the time, so it was nothing out of pocket for me. The roof is built by Webasto, which also builds the roofs for BMW and Mercedes hardtop convertibles. I think it's a pretty reliable mechanical design, but modern Ferraris can exhibit computer quirks. The biggest problem is it can be an intermittent thing, and they can put it back together and it will behave for a while, so it may require some patience.

    Try to make sure the dealership in Austin has a tech who is trained and experienced on these roofs. Perhaps one of the larger dealers -- Boardwalk in Dallas -- might be willing to consult with them.
     
  10. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    Just heard back from the service manager. The problem is indeed a sensor and they are waiting to hear back from the factory if it's OK to just do the sensor or if they have to do the full harness. Apparently for warranty work doing just a sensor is OK but not otherwise. He says they can get the sensor easily.
     
  11. Need4Spd

    Need4Spd F1 Rookie
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    Sorry to hear that. I had an '11 California and routine fluid changes were about all I had to go to the dealer for. I did once have an issue with the top. Turned out to be sensor misalignment. It was fixed under warranty and trouble-free after that.
     
  12. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    Not sure why doing the full harness would (not) be OK for warranty if the defect requires a full harness to repair. The roof wire harness is expensive though, about $1,067 from Ricambi.
     
  13. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    Back in the garage and all fixed now. They gave me a book of accessories and you can add a lot of options to your car now from Ferrari. Wheels, CF, data recorder and video to name a few.
     
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  15. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Glad your Cali is back and behaving. Is there an online version of the accessories book?
    T
     
  16. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    Good question, maybe check the Ferrari site. That description of the HS option that someone posted is not in this book. This book also says accessories for 2016 so it's not up to date. It has a lot of options for Cali 30s.
     
  17. wrs

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    #15 wrs, May 27, 2017
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    They filled up the tank when they serviced it. I got it back on Tuesday and I have driven it about 60 miles now. Four or five roof cycles and the problem is back. So I wonder how long I need to be patient. Hmm, buy a $240,000 car new and it's in the shop twice in a week for the same thing. Not liking this much.

    So the answer to the OP is at least once more. So now I understand why people just look at them in the garage and never put miles on them. That way they don't break so much.
    rooffailureagain.jpg
     
  18. pr0b

    pr0b Rookie

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    ive had the same experience. got my california back in 2015, its been 15 or 16 weeks at the workshop in total since then. roof failure, gearbox issues, ecu issues, electrical issues in general, injectors clogged up, unbearable vibration at idle.
    strange lights coming up like every second drive.
    this italien "quality" is not to my liking. gonna go back to german cars asap. been trying to sell it since 3 weeks so far. lets see.

    sometimes i think owning a ferrari is very similar to this one girlfriend every guy had. shes completely nuts, drives you crazy, maybe even endangers you. but once shes naked in front of you you simply forget about all those faults. never the less, its been enough.

    good luck with yours.
     
  19. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Brutal! You've had way too much trouble for 1k miles. You'd think Ferrari/Webasto would have sorted out the crazy roof mechanism by now. I have to admit, I cringe every time I pop the top on my Cali...T
     
  20. 4th_gear

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    #18 4th_gear, May 27, 2017
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    I'm sorry to learn of this development, that is a pain.

    If it's any consolation my roof problem actually dented my roof TWICE and took 2 years to sort out. However, on the occasions before the roof received the dents, it at least operated. There were no error codes.

    Roof dents involve body shop repairs and the ensuing issues with paint... so you can imagine how much irritation and trouble I went through. Faith, perseverance and enthusiasm were what sustained me.

    Have a look at the battery and see if it is a FIAMME or INTERSTATE or some other brand. If it's a FIAMME, it's the original Italian supplier for Ferrari. If my earlier explanation of battery failure in new FCars made sense to you, it's very possible your battery was damaged from being discharged. Like I said, my dealer also thought my battery was fine and I continued to experience problems until the battery was totally dead 5 months afterwards.

    My car has been working perfectly after all the issues (roof, HELE, battery) were sorted out after 2 years of ownership. I can only drive 6 months out of 12 due to Winter conditions so that's like 1 year of driving.
     
  21. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    #19 4th_gear, May 27, 2017
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    Most of your problems are completely consistent with at least a bad battery.
     
  22. 4th_gear

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    The mechanism is complex and demanding, so everything has to be correctly set up and operating.

    Merc has had them on their very successful SLK/SL-Klasse cars since 1997. VW, SEAT and others also use them. The Cali is quite low volume and Ferrari has only had this roof since 2008. Problems are partly due to lack of experience in assembly and maintenance.
     
  23. Drldcohen

    Drldcohen Rookie

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    May sound crazy but are you on a flat surface when attempting to operate roof The only time i have had a roof failure message was in my office parking garage and the car was parked on a slight up angle. When I got out of the garage and attempted to put roof up all was good
     
  24. pr0b

    pr0b Rookie

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    battery is completely new, i put a new one in 04/2016. i have a ferrari new power warranty on the car and they changed the main ecu and the gearbox ecu, aswell as the "ecu" for the roof mechanism with several sensors.
     
  25. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    Yes, it's completely flat in my garage and everywhere I have done this. Keep in mind, this thing has consistently been failing halfway through the cycle and then being able to complete 10 minutes to an hour later. This hard roof failure happens when the roof is either all the way up or down. Either way, nothing happens, I just get this sorry picture. I am going out to give it a try and will report back.

    ETA:
    No joy after sitting two hours.
     
  26. vjd3

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    They guessed wrong on which sensor to replace ... been there, done that. They need to get on the phone with Italy and do the diagnostics.
     
  27. vjd3

    vjd3 Formula Junior
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    Just a thought but after you twist the key be sure to wait a few seconds to allow all 5 bars to light up and complete the check cycle before you hit the start button. The one or two times I did not allow the check to complete first I got all kinds of crazy errors.
     
  28. wrs

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    #26 wrs, May 27, 2017
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    This time I am going to insist on a new harness. I will drive around with the top up as long as it takes to get a new one over here. Maranello approved the sensor fix for expediency I think. They told me if it's not warranty, they always do the new harness.

    ETA: Now 3:27, just tried it again and was able to put the top down. Wonder how long this will go on? I also wonder if they will order the harness off the picture I took, probably have to wait for it to fail hard again and take it in.
     
  29. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    It's good that you have the warranty but if your dealer cannot fix your car, it's only paying the bills but not getting the car fixed.

    About the battery, do you know which battery your car is now using? Does your car have stop/start (HELE). I understand stop/start is now a standard requirement on European cars and I believe you are in Austria. Calis with HELE require a different battery from ordinary Calis. HELE cars require AGM batteries.

    My dealer did not realize this when I had problems with my car because my HELE car was only the second one (in Canada). However, I researched the HELE feature, identified the requirement for the AGM battery and got them to recognize the requirement and my battery problem was finally fixed.

    Stop/start (HELE) function is relatively new technology (to fix) for some dealers. Since you are in Austria, your original battery was probably OK at the time of delivery because it didn't take long to arrive from the factory, unlike the 3-4 weeks ocean journey to Canada. So your dealer would not be fixing HELE battery issues in new cars for at least a couple of years as an AGM battery for a HELE car would work OK in Austria in the beginning, unlike mine which immediately failed after delivery (it wouldn't accept a full charge).

    However, there was a 2nd problem for me. The factory also delivered the wrong battery tender with my HELE car. It was incapable of keeping the AGM battery topped up when my car wasn't used. Even when my car was sitting at the dealer for weeks, if they had hooked up the battery tender it wouldn't have worked. It's sometimes tragically funny but the battery can die at the dealer because the car isn't being driven and the battery tender is the wrong one. I'm not making this up because I called the battery manufacturer and their tech support department was very insistent on my using the correct tender/charger.

    If your car is HELE and came with the wrong battery tender like my car, it could explain continuing problems from the battery if it is still using the wrong battery tender.

    If you have a HELE car, you must use an AGM battery of the correct spec. You cannot use an ordinary lead-acid battery. Ordinary lead acid batteries will be damaged by the HELE function in short order and this will then cause all kinds of intermittent problems, like ALL of the ones you noted. The battery tender must feature the snowflake (Winter/AGM) charging mode.

    You mentioned the following problems resulting in 15-16 weeks in the shop:
    1. roof failure,
    2. gearbox issues,
    3. ecu issues,
    4. electrical issues in general,
    5. injectors clogged up,
    6. unbearable vibration at idle.
    7. strange lights coming up like every second drive.

    Did they all happen at the same time or on separate occasions? And if on separate occasions, in what order and time span?

    The reason why I ask is that for so many different problems to occur simultaneously or in short order, they probably all share, at least, some aspect of the same cause. One problem may also result or cause the next problem. In that case, one or more of the problems may appear first.

    So in order to identify the main cause, it may help to determine which if any of the problems stemmed from one of the other ones you encountered. This will help to eliminate consequential problems, as opposed to the primary root problem(s) and narrow down the culprit(s).
     
  30. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    #28 4th_gear, May 27, 2017
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
    Your roof works perfectly fine sometimes but sometimes the roof is stranded mid-operation. And sometimes the roof works again after a failure and can finish the operation if you wait a bit. You know, your roof problem is starting to sound more and more like a weak capacitor (failure) to me.

    I'm no expert on hardtop roof mechanisms but I suspect the act of moving that heavy mechanism requires a lot of IMMEDIATE TORQUE from the motor driving the hydraulics. This torque would require a fair amount of readily available current. If that source of current doesn't deliver, it could strand the roof mid-way as the current delivery fails to turn the motor.

    My limited understanding of cars tell me the car battery works like a capacitor for the charging system. When the engine is turning over sufficiently, the charging system delivers a current to all the electrical systems in the car, VIA THE BATTERY. The battery serves as a filter to prevent spikes and dips. It also acts like a capacitor and will also get charged up by the charging system if power draw demands from the car are less than the current supplied by the charging system. That is, there is a surplus current from the charging system - that's why we suggest people drive their cars at a good clip for 30-40 minutes to charge up the car battery.

    So a healthy battery is like a full toilet water tank. When you flush, the toilet can only do its business properly if there is enough water in the tank. If not, the business only gets partly done. However, if you wait long enough, the water tank will eventually refill and if you flush again, the business is finished properly. Batteries are like that sometimes, they can indicate proper voltage but then perform with insufficient capacity to deliver the required current.

    This reminds me of what you are experiencing with your roof, pardon my toilet analogy. ;)
     
  31. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    Well you scenario sounds nice but that means the roof should have worked after tennis. It's a 20 minute drive up to the UT Tennis Club from my home and the top was down. I put it up when I got there. When I came out there was a "hard" roof failure with the car started. I drove home 20 minutes and there was still a "hard" roof failure, I took the picture at home after the 20 minute drive home. My car gets driven regularly since I bought it. The battery isn't the issue here. Your scenario doesn't fit the situation where I go out to the garage at 3:27 after the car sits for 3 hours and then the roof works.

    A battery uses way more current to drive the starter motor and turn over the engine. That is where it really needs a good charge. My battery isn't low and my car is a November 16 build so it's not like it went bad already. I don't think this roof motor is failing to get enough current. I think it's either a bad motor or there is a problem with one or more of the sensors so the software doesn't allow it to operate.
     
  32. vjd3

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    My experience suggested all along that it was a harness problem -- possibly just a loose connection or bad solder joint -- because the failure warnings seemed to be triggered by motion -- either the top itself in motion, or hitting a bump in the road -- enough to jostle the harness and disturb the sensor. Didn't matter if the top was up or down at the time. This is why it was hard to trace because when they would try to adjust the top or check the harness they might position things so they would work for a while and then eventually the fault would reoccur. Only when it was constantly causing a problem were they finally able to run it down, with Italy's help.

    The good news is I have put 5000 miles on the car since they replaced the offending sensor, operated the top countless times and it has worked perfectly.
     
  33. Need4Spd

    Need4Spd F1 Rookie
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    This is why it's so important to drive the car rather than treat it as a garage queen. You need to drive it whilst still under warranty to get things sorted like this. Imagine what this would have cost if you had to foot the bill! Good thing is that most California owners do drive their cars more than their rear engine counterparts.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  34. 4th_gear

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    #32 4th_gear, May 28, 2017
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
    That's fine but you are only just telling us about your experience after tennis. In any case, the starter motor isn't cranked 14-15 seconds straight while the hydraulic pump does need to run for at least that long each cycle. Sustained current draws require more battery capacity.

    I think it's possible the battery is not recharging properly. It may retain sufficient surface charge that starts your car but not reliably run the roof pump for 15 seconds straight. Also not sure what you mean exactly by your car "gets driven regularly" as for example 10 short trips a day is definitely very regular but it can also kill the battery quickly if kept up. I hope your trips are fairly long done at a brisk pace.

    You probably haven't read what I posted about batteries having to make the same 3-4 week boat trip with the car from Italy. It doesn't matter if you car is new if the equally new battery got damaged on the boat trip. My car was less than 3-4 days old when the Italian AGM battery initially failed. My dealer recharged it and thought it was fine but I then experienced weird problems for the next 5 months before the battery went completely dead even though I tendered my battery everyday. My car was shipped with the wrong charger.

    At any rate, I'm just trying to provide as much helpful information to you about possible electrical supply issues so unless I come across another possible cause I think I've said enough to shine a light on the battery/current angle.

    BTW, the hydraulic pump for the roof costs $7,500 USD + labour. It's probably not so easy to swap under warranty without clear indications of a pump failure.
     
  35. 4th_gear

    4th_gear F1 Rookie
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    Very nice detective work Vic! Since these cars spend way more time with their drivers/owners, it really is much better if we can diagnose the problems ourselves, especially right at the moment when they rear their ugly heads.

    I hope you never have to deal with another roof issue again! ;)
     
  36. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
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    Back in the shop again.
     
  37. David Lind

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    To infinity and beyond!
     
  38. wrs

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    Oh gee, I sure hope not. I love the car but this is really taking the shine off the new owner experience. The Porsches didn't do this and it even took the crummiest of the BMWs over 15k miles before a trip the shop for broken stuff and I dumped that one (m5) at 18k miles.
     
  39. David Lind

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    wrs, I was just trying to be funny. Sorry. I have a Ferrari also, and I've owned Lotuses, so I've walked a mile in your prancing horseshoes. Good luck with it.
     
  40. wrs

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    #38 wrs, Jun 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
    So is it normal in the collective Fchat experience with dealers not to have the service department keep them appraised of the status of their car? The dealer isn't returning my calls about the situation with the top and I am suspecting that they have more important, richer big fish clients they are dealing with because yesterday the secretary told me the service manager was meeting with another client and couldn't talk to me. I never got a call back and now the car has been there two days and I have no idea if they are working on it or what.

    In addition, is it common for Ferrari not to get the problem fixed the first time? See that wasn't the case with Porsche (appliance) but it was with BMW (crap appliance). So now I am thinking of just saying well it was nice owning the Ferrari but I am going to flip it over for the latest 991tts and throw away the LTOCALI plate and put my 991TTS plate on a new 2017 991.2 TTS for an even trade.

    Maybe owning artwork is just about looking at it and that is why these cars are garage queens? Is that it? How many owners really drive their cars? I am very skeptical at this point and highly annoyed at the ineptitude of both the factory to put out a car that doesn't work and the dealer to not be able to rectify the problem straight away on the first try.

    ETA: I am now supposed to be awaiting the dreaded call from FNA which can't be good.
     
  41. mike_747

    mike_747 Formula Junior

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    You have realized what I and probably many other Ferrari owners realized - and that is the cars are crap, plain and simple. But people put up with them because when they are working as designed they are still pretty cool and exclusive. But you don't deserve to be treated badly by the dealership that will be elbow deep in your wallet.
     
  42. Avia11

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    69
    Dallas, Texas
    @ wrs: hey man I'm really sorry to hear that. what dealership are you dealing with? before i bought my cali i had to deal with a shady dealer. i got so sick of it that i called american express platinum services and they contacted ferrari of north america. it was a really f* irritating experience. that being said the dealer i bought my cali t from is amazing and it was the best car buying experience i have had to date (even when compared to my purchasing experience with a RR Ghost and a continental GT). IMO ferrari customers and chat members need to be aware of these atrocious dealers. Why should the customer have to tolerate this crap. Thanks. Hope they got back to you.
     
  43. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jul 11, 2015
    564
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    William
    Well they gave me the car back. It really only failed once for them and also they had to hook it up to the main computer at FNA in NJ to get the diagnostics completely done. Now those are being analyzed so they know exactly what to replace. That might get done today and so they said just take the car for the weekend and if the top fails, take a picture of it. It's really intermittent so apparently it's a new problem they haven't seen on a Cali T.

    Anyway, while there, I spec's a 488 spider in Argento Nurburgring of course. 3 months to delivery from production and 6-8 months from deposit if I want it. It will be a 2018. Price is right and I think I will probably do it.
     
  44. Lotaz

    Lotaz Formula Junior

    Nov 18, 2016
    412
    Las Vegas
    Full Name:
    Scott
    So you have had so many problems you are fed up with Ferrari and you going to buy another? Hope future threads are about the joy of driving a Ferrari not the trials and tribulations.
     
  45. wrs

    wrs Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jul 11, 2015
    564
    Austin, Texas
    Full Name:
    William
    Read my other threads. I have enjoyed the car but this has taken some of the enjoyment out of it. I wanted the 488 Spider to begin with and was going to just buy a used Cali T to get in line but I lucked out and found exactly what I wanted new on the floor. So I jumped on it.

    For now I am still in the Ferrari camp but I can see why people have made snide remarks about them. I had just hoped I wouldn't experience the reason but obviously I have. I bought 4 BMWs before I gave up on them. I have had two Porsches but it was time to try something else so here I am. We will see. Spec'ing a car is not buying another one, it's a prelude to it but we shall see how this works out.

    BTW, the company that makes the convertible top is German so I am told.
     
  46. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
    10,280
    DFW, Texas
    Full Name:
    Tom C
    Yep, Webasto makes the top for the Cali, same as Benz.
    T
     

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