Break-in period for a Ferrari | FerrariChat

Break-in period for a Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Garretto, Nov 17, 2003.

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  1. Garretto

    Garretto F1 Rookie

    Sep 3, 2003
    Bilbao, Spain
    Full Name:
    Rodolfo Di Pietro
    Hello, I was wondering if there is such thing as a break-in period for a Ferrari, or if it has been in past models.

    From the latest experiences I have in buying cars, it is always recommended by the manufacturer and the dealers some 1,000 miles of break-in period. That means no high revving, moderate speeds, smooth driving, etc. Which by the way is far from what most people are expected to do when they drive their brand new Ferrari.

    I guess most Ferraris are driven to the limit from the first day. Is it because they don't need to be broken in? Do owners just forget about that?

    Ferraris, especially the older ones, have had a bad reputation for mechanical problems. Could that have anything to do with the fact that many of them might have payed little attention to break-in periods?
  2. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2003
    Manhattan & LA
    Full Name:
    i am a 360 modena 2000 owner. i was told by people that 3000 miles is when the car is really broken into and the engine performance is where it should be. i could be wrong though.....
  3. spyderman

    spyderman Formula 3

    Nov 4, 2003
    Toronto - Canada
    Full Name:
    Wow, If most 360 drivers waited to 3000 miles to break-in their car it could take some two years to get to that point!

    I think I would go crazy if I had to wait anywhere close to 3000 miles
  4. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Breaking in is a bit of an old school thing. BUT you should follow the manufacturers recommendations.

    In the old days things had to bed in a fair bit because they used hand scrapped white metal bearings and the machining tolerances were pretty average ... thus running in did the last bit of machining.

    Nowadays with piston ring and machining technology having moved way forward, you can just about nail them straight away.

    My last (club only) race engine was stuck on a dyno and run carefully until the amount of oil apparent in the exhaust gasses dropped ... then it was full throttle and full load straight away. Thus it got about 1 hours run in, and when I pulled it down it was perfect in side after over a years very hard racing.

    I also would be pissed if I bought a performance car that had not had the final tune done on a dyno ... and thus had a full load work out. This I assume happens to every Ferrari and thus it has been worked hard only a matter of minutes after it was started ... does this happen??

    I know that Ducati run their bikes on some sort of dyno, but they also advise owners to take it easy for a while.

    There is one other thing you have to think about, that is how long do you intend to keep the car?

    If you spend half your ownership running in the car/bike for the next guy ever so carefully then you have missed out on all the fun :). Now I am not saying abuse it from day one, but it is a car and should be used nice and hard like intended not babied for the next owner (who will never thank you :))

    When I rebuild my Alfa GTV engine I am not going to spend more than 1000 km's before I start exploring the rev range, and I bet she will last for many, many years ... infact I will probably never have to open her up again except to adjust valve clearances.

  5. TestShoot

    TestShoot F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 1, 2003
    Beverly Hills
    Ferraris, unlike most other mass produced cars, are street ready around 500 miles. So I am told, or have been told in the past.

    a rough quote from a dealer in NY "Our cars com from a longstanding racing tradition. The engineers have performance in mind when the cars leave the factory. They are 'track-ready' off the showroom floor"

    he said something to that effect. I did put 11k miles on my 550 in 10 months, which is a bit uncommon to put that type of numbers on the odo. I was off running full out within the first 200 miles to show off to my dad's Corvette buddies at a meet in El Toro.
  6. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Check out this thread on this topic from the old forum:

    and in particular this that Rob points to in that thread:

    Actually, its really just the opposite. The most problematic Ferraris are the ones that are NOT driven... they just sit in the garage for weeks at a time... its not good for the car to sit. But Ferraris, because of the perception that miles are so bad for resale, are often driven very little. That contributes to the mechanical problems, reinforcing the "drive it less" misconception, and hence a vicious cycle.

    The second more likely reason for mechanical problems is inadequate warm-up. Ferraris are very... tight... its important to get it loosened up before pushing it to its much higher limits. Not unlike a top gymnast... they shouldn't be doing those advanced skills without first warming up and stretching... or they will end up hurting themselves with their very own strength and agility.

    Net-net... drive your Ferrari regularly and drive it hard... but let it warm up first.

  7. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

    Nov 20, 2002
    Tauranga, NZ
    Full Name:
    Like Brian said, it is poor maintenance and LACK of use that causes the Ferraris are unreliable reputation.

    Why people buy a Ferrari and not drive them, I cannot understand :(

  8. bumboola

    bumboola Formula Junior

    Mar 7, 2003
    A 355 or 360 Ferrari will not put out peak power until around 7500 miles in my experience.

    I believe the motors are run for two hours on a dyno and then are taken for a hard drive for at least 50 miles by a factory driver, so there is no sense or need to baby the motor when you receive the car. Just make sure that the oil temperature (not the coolant temp!) is up to normal range, which may take about 15 minutes of gentle driving, and a Ferrari motor can take all the full throttle you can give it. I know 3 guys who "blew" the motors in their Porsches and I've driven my Ferraris far harder than they ever did, at much higher revs, with absolutely zero problems.

    I agree with Brian about changing the factory oil before you really thrash it though, and I always let the car idle for a minute or two before I drive off.
  9. bobafett

    bobafett F1 Veteran

    Sep 28, 2002
    You break it and it goes in to the shop....

  10. rexrcr

    rexrcr Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2002
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Full Name:
    Rob Schermerhorn
    In my experience (a decade in the dealer network and a mechanical engineering education), a 355 or 360 will put out peak power right off the transporter, after proper warm up. And a rebuilt race engine will do it (like Peter stated) after an hour or so on the dyno. I agree, Ferrari does break in engines at the factory quite well.
    This is no longer recommended on new Ferraris. In fact, the first service coupon is gone from new cars now (has been for a few years.) Of course, letting the car come up to temperature is of great importance, I agree, and it is better by actually driving as soon as the oil pressure is up rather than idling (but your not hurting it by idling).

    Bottom line, read your service manual for your new car.

    Best regards,

    Rob Schermerhorn
  11. WCH

    WCH F1 Veteran

    Mar 16, 2003
    For the 575, the Owner's Manual recommends a running in period of 600 miles, during which one is not to exceed 5000 rpm at all, nor 4000 rpm until the engine is warm.
  12. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ

    Nov 29, 2001
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Are these new cars that fragile?

    I broke in a brand new 1998 BMW M3 on the autobahn at 140 MPH driving it from Munich to Paris. Did not even let up on the gas.

    85,000 care free miles later, it is still running like a top. No oil consumption, no oil leaks, no problems.
  13. bumboola

    bumboola Formula Junior

    Mar 7, 2003

    My 355 was noticeably quicker at 7500 miles than it was at 3000 miles, and quicker at 3000 miles than it was new. It pretty much leveled off after 7500 miles. The 360 has followed that same pattern. They were both driven a lot harder than most Ferraris are.

    How do you account for that?

    As for changing the factory oil, Ferrari paid for that up until the 98 model year, I believe. I think it was as much a financial decision as a practical one.

    I guess old beliefs die hard... :)

  14. Gary(SF)

    Gary(SF) F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2003
    Los Altos Hills, CA
    Full Name:
    Gary B.
    Well, I don't know about fragile. I do know that BMW recommends a break-in period that you chose not to follow (I owned a '95 M3 and a '99 M3 - both definitely had break-in restrictions). I don't personally know of any manufacturer that does not recommend a break-in. My '02 M3 was 5000km (about 3100mi) before full throttle was recommended. Do you have to do that? Of course not, but it probably is not a mistake to follow the factory procedure.

  15. mac59

    mac59 Rookie

    Nov 15, 2003
    Does the break in period also include a ferrari which has just had it's major cam belt service done?
  16. TCM

    TCM Formula Junior

    Nov 10, 2003
    Tyngsborough, MA
    Today's high performance cars are usually dynoed and run at the factory. The break in is more for the transmission and differential to get set in correctly. This may not even be an issue on a Ferrari where they take a lot for test rides before leaving Marrenello though. I would follow their recommendations and then change oil and other fluids after about 1000 miles. After that, you are all set to do whatever you please IMHO.

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