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458 DIY Spark Plug change, possible?

Discussion in '458 Italia/488/F8' started by Gibbo205, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Gibbo205

    Gibbo205 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2017
    11
    Hi there

    Had my 458 a week now and maybe I am just getting used to its quirks or it could do with fresh plugs.

    Car feels a little jerky in the 1000-3000rpm range, at very light or partial throttle, now I understand this is somewhat down to the jerky throttle these cars have.

    But tonight, yes its cold (2c) and wet here but I got in the car, started it and drove it immediately, did not allow it to idle and the car hesitated a little and in 2nd gear the car for 1-2s literally had zero response from throttle, just like it was doing nothing, then it accelerated fine, then it idled a little rough for 1-2s and it was then absolutely fine, no issues.

    Now normally I let the car idle for a few seconds before driving off from cold, so maybe it was just that and its a quirk or maybe the car could benefit from a set of fresh plugs, its a 2014 car on 15,000 miles and I know it has done some track driving so it would have being up at high RPM a lot due to track work which may have accelerated plug life.

    Or what I am witnessing is just a quirk of the car and I should always give it a few seconds to idle before driving off as this is first time I've started it and literally started driving from cold, all other times I've give it 10-20s to idle from cold before driving, though the somewhat jerky throttle nature has always being there but I think thats just car as once warmed up and not in traffic its silky smooth and pulls crazy hard.

    Still I feel it is good maintenance to change the plugs, yes I know the manual states 60,000 miles, but car is 5yr old and I feel it certainly cannot do any harm.

    So when it comes to plugs there seems to be two compatible parts:
    https://www.scuderiacarparts.com/part/263738/ferrari/297423/ignition-spark-plug.html
    or
    https://www.scuderiacarparts.com/part/23905/ferrari/254771/spark-plug.html


    Both seem to be NGK plus, 254771 seems to be the original and 297423 supercedes that part, has anyone used the latter in 458?

    Onto the plug change, is it possible as a DIY? What kind of tools are required and is it all easy access from above? I've done plug changes before on other cars but of course this is a bit more special and maybe not as easily accessible.
     
  2. RayJohns

    RayJohns F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 21, 2006
    5,758
    West Coast
    Full Name:
    Ray Johns
    Last time I changed the spark plugs on my Ferrari (which I think was my 355, some years back), I had to get them via some friend of a friend that worked at NGK or something, because the correct plugs were a "Ferrari only" part # and the general public couldn't order them. Maybe that's changed, but it's hard to say.

    I'm sure you can change them. However, I think the better question is should you change them - especially if the car has low miles. 15K miles on modern plugs is nothing. Most plugs these days can go 40K or 50K miles without thinking twice. Now, if you had a 1966 mustang and the plugs had 15,000 miles on them, then I'd say, "yes, changing your plugs is probably a good idea and probably will help"

    With your 458, I think changing the plugs at this stage in the game is not only probably a waste of time (and potential risk if you aren't sure of what you are doing), but also will most likely not solve any problems, nor make the car run any better. Again, today's spark plugs can go 50,000 miles and not even look used practically.

    My advice would be to start by resetting the ECU in the car by disconnecting the battery; then go through the re-connection procedure in the owner's manual, and see if that helps the car run better.

    The 458 Italia is basically bullet proof. However, keep in mind it's more of a race car than a Toyota or Honda. Ever notice how they warm up race cars before going out on the track? Or how they warm up two stroke motorcycles? Ferraris do great in 50-60 degree F (or higher) temperature, but in ice cold weather, I would say you should allow the car to warm up for a few minutes before driving. I mean, even here, where I live, when it's 50 degrees F, I still warm the car up for a minute or so and then drive very gently for the first 5 or so miles, keeping the RPM's below 3500 as much as possible.

    So yeah.. plugs, no. Warm up the motor, yes.

    And I'd reset the ECU just to put the computers back to base line.

    Ray
     
    flash32 likes this.
  3. Solid State

    Solid State F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Feb 4, 2014
    5,262
    Full Name:
    Comor Bidity
    Just a note about resetting ECUs - on the F12, you must remember that when the car reboots after reapplication of power there are several sequences you must follow and in a particular order. One requirement is the engine idle calibration tables were lost when you removed power and the ignition/injection ECU that correctly establishes the self-adaptive idle parameters needs the intake air temperature to be above 41 degrees F (5 C) when rebuilding the table. If you live where it’s cold like it is now during winter, then you need a heated garage.

    Please check to see if this is common to the 458. :)
     
    RayJohns likes this.
  4. Gibbo205

    Gibbo205 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2017
    11

    Thanks guys, sounds like good advise before I shell out on plugs then that I probably don't need.
    This morning the car drove fine, I gave it 60s to warm up and zero issues.

    I am assuming it is normal that for the first couple of minutes the gearbox is slow on these cars, for instance pull the paddle and it takes half a second to change up whilst cold, once its warmed it changes instantly, almost like the gearbox builds pressure from cold, again no doubt just to safe guard itself, I am one of the few people using a 458 as a DD all year round, so it gets to come out in cold weather.

    The other thing I've noticed and it was present on other cars I test drove is like a power delay in first gear, give the car big throttle in first gear either from stand still or once rolling and the car makes that gorgeous sound but the torque/power seems delayed as if the car is torque limiting or maybe an onboard ECU is detecting the low ambient temperature and it knows the tyres will end up spinning like crazy so the initial hit is somewhat subdued. Is this normal?

    You can see what I mean at 20s and 58s in the below video:
     
  5. Gibbo205

    Gibbo205 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2017
    11
    Oh I shall try the ECU reset procedure as outlined in the manual once its warmer here. :)
    I suspect it could probably do with that and when it is in for a service I shall ask ferrari for a clutch reset and relearn also.
     
  6. RayJohns

    RayJohns F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 21, 2006
    5,758
    West Coast
    Full Name:
    Ray Johns
    The gear box is hydraulically actuated - give the poor thing a chance to warm up :)

    I think if you put any Ferrari (or exotic) in super low temps, you are going to see similar issues.

    I forgot that the manual mentions the reset must occur above a certain temperature. Make sure you follow the info in the owner's manual when reconnecting the battery.

    Ray
     
  7. Golattus

    Golattus Karting
    BANNED

    Dec 15, 2017
    227
    Full Name:
    JN
  8. Golattus

    Golattus Karting
    BANNED

    Dec 15, 2017
    227
    Full Name:
    JN
  9. Gibbo205

    Gibbo205 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2017
    11
    Yep same plugs as Italia, I feel what I am experiencing is probably normal.
    But as I intend on keeping the car for several years I am going to get the plugs changed as its just good care, I am sure they don't need doing, but at the same time it also won't harm doing them.
     
  10. thebigo

    thebigo Karting

    Feb 10, 2019
    79
    What you experience with decreased torque in the first gear might simply be the traction control kicking in due to reduced grip. Likely normal in low temperatures. Be very careful with a supercar in low temps anyway.
     

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