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550 and 456 Airbag ECUs Defective?

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by ExcelsiorZ, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. ExcelsiorZ

    ExcelsiorZ Formula 3
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    Nov 7, 2003
    1,175
    Beverly Hills
    My mechanic, a well respected Ferrari specialist in Los Angeles with celbertiy clients, tells me the Airbag ECU used in the F355, 550 and 456 is essentially defective. He says he's replaced half a dozen of them and that the usual cause is simply trying to start the car with a low battery. Yesterday while at his shop we were cycling the top to eliminate air from the system. He asked me to start the car. It went click-click and he then said "Don't!" but it then started before I could release the key. With the car now running he said starting the 355-456-550 can fry the Airbag ECU. Sure enough, the Airbag light came on. He hooked the computer to the car and tried to reset the light but the error code persisted indicating ECU failure. Has anyone else experienced this? I think it is BS. I spoke to Odessy the battery manufacturer and they told me Ferrari was shipping new Ferraris with bigger batteries because Ferrari knew their onboard systems would drain the battery. I was told that nearly every Ferrari arriving at the dock needs to be jump started because of a low or dead battery! Moreover, as Ferraris are not daily drivers they tend to sit making them even more vulnerable to a low battery condition. If this appears to be a defect, and given my mechanic's information and given the fact Ferrari issued a revised ECU later on, I'm suspecting it is, I believe Ferrari owners should be advised of this very expensive situations and remedies made available. Please let me know if you too have experienced an airbag ECU failure.
     
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  3. ck253

    ck253 Rookie

    Jan 15, 2010
    3
    WA
    While I haven't heard about the airbag ECU unit, I am familiar with the dead battery problems you mention. I've been told by my dealer and numerous experts to always keep a battery conditioner on my Ferraris (a 430 and a 550), especially since I drive them so infrequently.

    I don't think the problem is limited to Ferraris, though. I had a BMW 650i that had to be jump-started twice in my garage after sitting for 10 days without activity. And the last time I had my Porsche serviced, the technician told me that I was driving my car so infrequently (<200 miles/month) that I should keep it on a conditoner too.
     
  4. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,158
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    What a load.

    Refer to the thread on the same subject on Tech Q&A.
     
  5. tajaro

    tajaro Formula Junior
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    Mar 22, 2009
    675
    East Hampton NY
    Full Name:
    Erik V
    I'm not sure I'm following- your guy says a low charged battery start can fry the ECU? I don't get the dynamics. You would think with the constant cycling these cars get (not to mention the battery isloation/shutoff switch) we'd see this more. I could get a spike related failure but low voltage?

    I'll now read the thread Brian points us to...
     
  6. ExcelsiorZ

    ExcelsiorZ Formula 3
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    Nov 7, 2003
    1,175
    Beverly Hills
    Yes, but when you jump started your 650i did it blow at a $x,xxxx airbag computer?
     
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  8. ExcelsiorZ

    ExcelsiorZ Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 7, 2003
    1,175
    Beverly Hills
    How do you mean? I guess you are referring to my mechanic who has done Pebble Beach concours restorations and whose work has been featured in Forza? The one who has serviced Pagani's, multiple F50s, F40s and Enzos? I guess he doesn't know what he's talking about. He only makes a living working on these cars.
     
  9. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,158
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I wasn't referring to him. I was referring to you.
     

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