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550 fluid leak and smoke

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by Ferrari550Maranello, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. Ferrari550Maranello

    Dec 23, 2018
    4
    Full Name:
    Mike Bleaker
    Forums are a new thing to me. I was never aware of them until I had this issue with my 550 and was searching online as to what the issue could be. I came across a forum and ended up here. I'm amazed at all of the great information here. I hope I can get the hang of how to use this site. Thank you to all of you.

    On to my question. I took my 550 for a drive yesterday, maybe 15 miles of in city driving, nothing crazy. Less than a mile from home something happened and the steering started to get a little tight and gradually got tighter. Pulled into my garage and there was green fluid leaking and smoke/steam coming from the right side of the engine. Looking under the car I also noticed what looks to be hoses and wires hanging down...?

    So I had green fluid leaking, white smoke/steam, tight steering, and now it looks like tubes and wiring hanging from the bottom. Does anyone know what's going on? Any thoughts and advice would be VERY appreciated.

    Here is a video as well as a couple images:



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  2. Ferrari550Maranello

    Dec 23, 2018
    4
    Full Name:
    Mike Bleaker
    By the way, it’s always up to date on its service and just had a major done in August. It’s been a great car with no prior issues.


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  3. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Rookie
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    Oct 15, 2012
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    John
    I am sure someone here will give you a better answer, but the puddle of fluid plus steam looks to me like a coolant leak. That wouldn't explain the steering issue, which would appear to be something separate (power steering fluid is usually red / pink, sometimes clear, but I have never heard of it being green). Was it overheating?
     
  4. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    15,828
    socal
    Perhaps you blew one of the under plenum hoses or just aft of the right head hoses or lost one of the hoses to the overflow tank. The 1st two are very common because of poor maintenance. IThe leak can be from other places too as the coolant leaks down on the undertray and then onto the hot exhaust and cat converter. The wires hanging look like the thermocouple wires and may be coincidental with the coolant leak. Do not drive the car anymore until you get the leak sorted. Continuing to run the motor will get expensive. An overheat could cost you a motor.
     
  5. Ferrari550Maranello

    Dec 23, 2018
    4
    Full Name:
    Mike Bleaker
    Thank you for the reply. Yes, as I was pulling in the garage the High Water Temperature light came on. I turned the car off as soon as that came on.


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  6. Ferrari550Maranello

    Dec 23, 2018
    4
    Full Name:
    Mike Bleaker
    Thank you for the reply. Interesting that you mention it is common with poor maintenance as the car has always had its yearly maintenance and just had a major in Aug. shouldn’t those hoses have been replaced during the major? What could have caused the wires to do that?? Is it possible that the hose could have blown with such force to have caused the wires to do that?
     
  7. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob F1 World Champ
    Owner Consultant

    Aug 10, 2002
    15,828
    socal
    There is no definition of major service by ferrari. Unless your receipts show thise hoses on the parts list they probably were not changed.
     
  8. tazandjan

    tazandjan Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    29,193
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    Terry H Phillips
    Most 550 owners swap out the large hoses under the plenum with 575M hoses that are silicone based or use SRI hoses. Unfortunately, only 3 of the 5 plenum hoses were updated on the 575M, but SRI has complete sets. Scuderia Rampante Innovations.
     
  9. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 11, 2003
    1,827
    Berkeley, CA
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    Brian Brown
    It all depends on how the "major" service was done. Some majors include just replacement of fluids, filters, belts tensioners and spark plugs with no removal of intake manifold or cam covers. Others include removal of intake and cam covers with replacement of all cover gaskets, cam seals and cam timing check. It is when the intake manifold is removed that the coolant hoses under the manifold and at the rear of the right cylinder head should be checked/replaced.

    The thermocouple wires at the exhaust are pretty low. From the looks of them, I would say that they caught on something and were pulled out and damaged. I don't know what the hoses that are hanging down are for. You need to have that damage inspected.

    The only thing that I can think of for the "tight steering", is that the car has a servo-tronic system on the steering gearbox. There is a control unit inside the car that modulates an electrical solenoid valve on the power steering gear which is speed sensitive. At low speeds, you have easy steering effort for parking, and the faster you go the higher the effort gets for better feel. If the system malfunctions (like the wiring getting ripped off of the solenoid) then it reverts to high effort for safety.
    My guess is that some of the damage to the underside wiring of the thermocouple wiring extends to the wiring at the steering solenoid valve as well.
     
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  10. F456M

    F456M Formula 3
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    Jan 8, 2010
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    Erik
    Hi Mike. Welcome to the Maranello (and 456) club! I hate to read your problems. Like people above here replies, these must be something on the road that hooked the thermocouple wiring, which are actually metal surrounded leads that go all the way up to the inside of the front fendere. You cm open the hood and have a look at one small black box hanging at the rear end of each of your front fenders. Those probably also damaged the wiring for the sensor on your steering rack... probably, the thermocouple wires have been hanging too low. Did you check the temperature gauge when you got the high engine coolant temp warning light? How high was it? You must have the car checked by a good tech before attempting to drive it. Kudos for the good looking car and being part of this forum.
     
  11. wbklink

    wbklink F1 Rookie
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    Sep 2, 2009
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    Sorry for your troubles, Bottom line have towed to your service center and have your technician check it out.

    Good Luck !

    Happy Holidays to all !
     
  12. Bluebottle

    Bluebottle F1 Rookie
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    +1
     
  13. JimEakin

    JimEakin Formula Junior
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    Jun 13, 2015
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    Jim
    I had a similar experience with steam coming out the right side. It turned out that one of the hoses to the expansion tank had been tightened so much the hose was damaged. I just cut off 1/4" of the hose and reinstalled.

    But those hoses and wires handing down look like a major issue. Also, there is (supposed to be) a cover under there that should have prevented anything from damaging those.
     
  14. moorfan

    moorfan Formula Junior

    May 11, 2009
    763
    Central Virginia
    Full Name:
    Pete
    Gosh this would make me cry if my car did this and I didn't know these cars better :)
    Good advice here thus far. No driving this car until issue is sorted.
    Possibilities:
    1. Clearly there is a coolant leak. The location of that coolant puddle is EXACTLY below the location of the secondary cooling pump in the right front wheel well. It could be one of THOSE hoses.
    2. However, when one of the under-plenum hoses bursts the coolant tends to run down the valley towards the back of the engine and run off the right rear side of the engine over the pumpkin. That will be really simple to see just by popping the hood.
    3. In addition, the expansion tank is on that side of the engine bay at the rear, one of those hoses could have burst as well explaining all that coolant.

    The picture is not clear, but those do look like converter thermocouple wires hanging down there. When I got my 550 they were hanging down like that also, they need to be wire tied up so that they don't catch on your lift when you drive on it (ask me how I know).

    Water pump and steering pump are driven by the same auxiliary belt, I wonder if that belt broke and that explains why your steering is nonfunctional. Need to verify that as well.
     
  15. wbklink

    wbklink F1 Rookie
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    Did we ever find out from the OP how things ended up ?
     
  16. moorfan

    moorfan Formula Junior

    May 11, 2009
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    Pete
    I feel it is the solemn duty of the OP to update us, especially if he came here asking for help.
    #Ineedtoknow
     
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  17. wbklink

    wbklink F1 Rookie
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    Sep 2, 2009
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    I completely agree that’s why I asked :)
     

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