Does fear of breakdown ruin your enjoyment of driving your F-car?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by rascalif, May 30, 2004.

  1. rascalif

    rascalif Karting

    Dec 20, 2003
    Southern California
    Was wondering if anyone else has this hangup. My first Ferrari was an '80 308 GTSi that spent quite a bit of time at the mechanic the first year and a half I owned it. It broke down at least half a dozen times (to make matters worse, there were always some people who particularly enjoyed seeing a Ferrari stuck on the side of the road; honked horns, yelled interesting messages, etc.), to the point that I almost expected something to go wrong each time I took her out. Even after I finally got her in good shape (no more problems for 2 years), I would still always wonder when and where it would break down next, so much so that it started interfering with my enjoyment of the car. Today, even with my Mondial having no problems I still find myself with lingering fears from my previous Ferrari, which can be rather distracting.

    Hopefully in time extinction (ie, behavioral change due to termination of negative stimulus) will kick in and I will no longer have this issue.
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  3. henryk

    henryk Formula Junior

    Dec 9, 2003
    Door County, WI
    If I had to worry about the cost of repairs on either of my Ferraris, then I would sell them both!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I buy them to enjoy, and if anything happens to them.......even an engine rebuld, so be it........I can afford it. If not, then I shouldn't own one.

    This is the reason why I don't buy the newer ones!!!!!!!!!! Thus I have no fear of any problem.
  4. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    Alabama (was Mich.)
    Full Name:
    I can understand this feeling...always "walking on egg shells" hoping that nothing happens. My TR has been a good car, even with it's "checkered" past. I have made lots of little repairs, with still more sorting to do. I do worry about something major breaking like internal motor parts or the gear box. If that happens my Ferrari experience will end with a bang....pun intended. But I keep a close eye on things and this does help give me some peace of mind. Your analogy about "extinction" of this feeling is a good one. The more I drive my TR...and lately I drive the heck out of it....the more confident I get about it's reliability. It also seems to run better after a nice 20 mile high speed jaunt.....idles smoother. I find that if I simply cruise town a bit the car seems to "load up" or become emotionally upset. But a few good blasts seems to clean things up.

    This is really a good thread and I wonder how many potential Ferrari owners are scared off by this thought. I would imagine just about any Ferrari newbie with a limited budget like me feels like the ax is about to drop at any moment. Like Hank says....if you can't afford shouldn't own one. But my dream of ownership outweighs my finances....hopefully the worst case scenario doesn't happen to me. But I'm not gonna live totally in fact the sun is shining right now, so I'm about to put the TR to the test yet again. So for all you owners out there with this feeling....face the fear. Get out there and drive your time you'll feel better.
  5. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2003
    old cars are old cars. a " pre flight" inspection is mandatory, as well as doing the hard deed and replacing things on a time schedlue rather than a " when they break" schedule. 20+ year old cars MUST be properly maintained to be reliable. i have had 30 year old muscle cars that were more reliable than some of the computer crap daily drivers i have had. enjoy your ferrari. learn to work on it yourself, or find someone you trust. leaving you on the side of the road is a sign of lack of proper checks and preventative maintanence, not on your part per se, but a repetitive history of owners " putting things off ". how many of these cars have burned up? now its more common knowlege among owners to check and replace fuel lines and have a fire extinguisher. ect ect. lets do our best to keep things things alive for the posterity to enjoy. DRIVE!!!!!!
  6. PeterS

    PeterS Four Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jan 24, 2003
    Full Name:
    The only thing that worries me is if I will be traveling to a heavy traffic area on a very hot day with my 308. My car does not care for slow, stop and go traffic when it's 100 degrees out.
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  8. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    The first year I had my Lotus I always had the fear of breaking down, mainly because I would use it for important trips and not just a fun cruise. I did get stranded twice; once a shorted distributor and the other a stuck float valve. (I now know how to unstick it btw!). That fear really hampered my enjoyment.

    Neither time was life or death and I delt with it. That got me to thinking that except for a crash, I shouldn't really worry about driving the Lotus. If it breaks, I'll deal with it. Plus, every time I'd take my Honda I'd wish I took the that helped get my head on straight too.

    Keeping up on maintainence is a MUST, and that also gives one confidence. After a major system repair, I'd always go around the block, then a little farther, and that also would point out what needed tweaking. When it seemed trouble free, then I'd go on longer trips. If you're a nervous mess every time out, either buy a garage queen or get a Honda.

  9. rascalif

    rascalif Karting

    Dec 20, 2003
    Southern California
    This brings to mind one time I was driving my 308 on the freeway on one of the hottest days in summer. I had just had my cooling system rebuilt so I wasn't feeling too worried about the heat. Wouldn't you know it, up ahead comes a huge traffic jam (Sig-Alert to you California natives) and I'm stuck in the middle lane with no exits in sight. I then started to notice the temperature gauge start inching little by little to the right, till it was in the red zone. It was the longest half hour of my life. Luckily, I finally got to an exit where I parked the car to let it (and myself) cool off.

    I should have learned my lesson and traded in that car for my third 911. Instead I go out and get the Mondial. Some people never learn I suppose. :)
  10. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Helen Bach
    Nope. If it's a small breakdown, I'll deal with it.

    If it's a huge breakdown, I'll simply polish the car for several months until it's fixed.

    That said, I've put 16,000 miles on my 328 since Oct 2002, and have never been left stranded. There's been a time or two it wouldn't leave the garage, but that's a different issue...
  11. triXXXter

    triXXXter Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    Ft. Worth TX
    Full Name:
    Steven G. Ogden
    I agree with that. Make sure you drive it. (See Brian's sig)

    So a young guy like myself has to wonder, (I'm 23) which way should I look to go. Obviously, like it was stated, don't get what you can't afford. So with Ferrari's warranty now of unlimited mileage, should I just save up $200K for lets say a Stadale and then just sale it and get a new one every time the warranty comes around to end. (At least in Brian's case it takes almost 3 years to get your new car anyway. J/K Brian.)
    Or get a little older one, say a 355 or 360, and just pay for what ever repairs come my way. But then there's always other factors.

    Just a way I view the situation since I don't own one yet.


    I hate my Geo Metro.
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  13. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran

    May 14, 2003
    Manhattan & LA
    Full Name:
    having ur car break down on the side of a highways suck a$$. but u cant keep worrying about when the next time will happen. all i do is make sure i am at least prepared....i have a flashlight...water....cell phone....etc.

    other than that...just drive your baby and it will put u on cloud 9 :)
  14. hoffmeister

    hoffmeister Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    Full Name:
    Yes and no. I've driven my 1981 308 about 20-30 times so far since I've owned it. It's left me stranded once and wouldn't start twice (luckily in the garage). Turned out it was the fuel lines and the fuel pump. Got it fixed and seems to be doing fine now. Before all the problems started I had promised my cousin back at Christmas, that when she graduated high school I would drive the car to Ohio and give her a ride in it since she can't drive a stick-shift. Well I drove the car 200+ miles yesterday to Ohio and back from Indiana and had no problems what so ever. Drove like a beauty. Was I worried it might leave me stranded...yes...was it worth seeing the smile on her face as we sped thru the Ohio country side...absolutely!! Like I always say...I'm going to drive it every chance I get "until the wheels fall off".

  15. normhuff

    normhuff Formula Junior

    Dec 14, 2003
    Peoria, IL
    Full Name:
    J. Norman Huff, Esq.
    Unfortunately my biggest concern is the nearest authorized dealer being 150 miles away. Never had a problem though, knock on wood...
  16. AEHaas

    AEHaas Formula 3

    May 9, 2003
    Osprey, Florida
    Full Name:
    Ali E. Haas
    Fortunately todays cars are carefree. There is no reason for any problems with the Murcielago nor the Maranello. My wife and I do not tolerate mishaps with cars. It is helpful that we use the cars daily.

    There is a basic physical principal. Things at rest tend to stay at rest. Things in motion tend to stay in motion.

  17. Fastviper

    Fastviper F1 Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    Full Name:
    when I used to have my 348 ferrari, about 1 1/2 years into it I would worry to death that it would break, it never did. I then said to myself I got a good run out of it, drove for another 1 1/2, no problems except the altanator going out. great cars

  18. Z0RR0

    Z0RR0 F1 Rookie

    Apr 11, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    Full Name:
    While I'm not talking f-car here, the answer is definitely! I had an ATV (a Yam Banshee, for those familiar with these), and the damn thing broke down every single ride, everytime something new breaking down or going wrong. I expect my machines to run perfectly, and it was never the case. After 2 years, the solution was found, sell the pos. I eventually jumped back in the motocross world, with no regrets.
    My truck hasn't been very nice to me either. Once a wheel bearing let loose (yes, the front wheel went flying (luckily, not hurting anyone) as I three-wheeled to a stop from 60 km/h) and the other time the transmission blew up. Since then, I jack the truck every 3 days to see if anything's loose, and I never tow anymore, and swore I'd never get a work truck with an auto! And I don't do any more off-roading anymore (until the next truck, that is).
  19. spike308

    spike308 F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    Austin TX!
    Full Name:
    Mike Z
    I plan on something going wrong with my 308. I have a separate money market account, which I have deposit a certain amount of money in each year. Pay for stuff out of the account. If I dont use the years allotment, it rolls over. Something big will happen sooner or later, and I hope to be prepared (financially) for it.

    As for Ken and his Lotus... Having an S1 for almost 3 years has taught me to NEVER trust a Lotus! Never drive it without a cell phone, AAA card, and varous Lotus guys phone numbers!
    Case in point... took my 308 to a Lotus track event 2 weeks ago about 100 miles from my house. There and back, all over the track ... no problem. Last year... had to push the S1 onto a friends trailor off of the interstate, to spend most of the day replacing a fuel pump. One of MANY breakdowns. The 308 looks like a champ next to the stinkin' lotus.
  20. davel

    davel Guest

    Depends on the Lotus. Series 1 Esprit? BAD. I had an 83, 86 and a 94 S4. All reliable, no tow trucks. Fixed one oil leak (86 car).Had to replace 3 relays amongst the 3 etc. No clutches or water pumps. The 86 was the daily driver for a year. Doing proper maint helps along with buying sorted and documented cars is a plus. Seems the Ferraris are the same, buyem good and they usually are :)
  21. DM90F

    DM90F Rookie

    Apr 16, 2004
    I am a new 348 owner and the only thing that is stopping me from driving more is the weather.
    I am a mechanic by trade and I agree that if you want a reliable car you must drive it and maintain it.
  22. richard_wallace

    richard_wallace Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Feb 6, 2004
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Richard Wallace
    I had a few of the 60's F-cars recently... My fear of it breaking was a little different. Because I would show them - and I wanted to keep everything original - but drive them... I hated the thought of them breaking down and spending 6 months trying to find a original part with cars that only a few hundred were around... A time or two I would have a part that I needed then put in/repaired - it would take months - and all that time my car would be setting... Waiting... With me looking at it in the garage...

    I sold the older ones and got a 355 spider - which there are plenty - so no parts worry... So I drive her like she is stolen :)
  23. rascalif

    rascalif Karting

    Dec 20, 2003
    Southern California
    I do the exact same thing. Automatic purchase of money market shares the first of every month. If nothing ever happens then eventually it can become a down payment for my next Ferrari upgrade (512TR).

    Prudent financial advice for all Ferrari owners.
  24. ham308

    ham308 Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    NE Switzerland
    Full Name:
    Richard Ham
    For me it’s all part of owning an old (77) Ferrari. Adds a bit spice and gives you a sense of achievement when it goes right.

    I recently did a 700 mile round trip, from northen Switzerland down over the Alps to Maranello to visit a friend who works for Ferrari. I was lying awake in bed the night before wondering about how good 30 year old fuel pumps are exactly; what’s Italian for “Hello officer, where is the nearest F garage?”

    Needless to say it ran like a true champ and literally never missed a beat. Perfect weekend.

    Now if it had broken down, with a large queue of cars behind it, I’d probably be posting something different. :)
  25. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
    Full Name:

    Short and swet answer. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! The car is meant to be driven and driver her i do. Over 300 miles over the past 2 days and will take her out again today. Please remember i work at home, so these are "smile miles". And frankly, i could care less about gas prices too.

    Of course i KNOW the condition of the car and she is in wonderful healthy. Heck, i never take the spare tire with me!

    Drive... drive... drive...
  26. Ron328

    Ron328 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 10, 2003
    Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Full Name:
    I do worry a bit but not to the point of ruining the experience. Am into 18 months of ownership (328) and
    the car hasn't let me down yet. (I drive it twice a
    month, averaging about 160 miles).
  27. rivee

    rivee F1 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2002
    Nowhere important, USA
    Full Name:
    Since I purchased my 308 in 2000, it has gone from a worrysome weekend break downer to a very reliable daily driver. Of course it's cost me lots of $$ and time to get it to this point. I have torn down and replaced just about
    everything you can replace.

    I think if you do the things that you should do to maintain a reliable car, you won't have the unexpected breakdowns. I have replaced every piece of rubber hose on the car, including the AC hoses (I had one blow out on the freeway and the noise scared the hell out of me).

    The one thing you can't predict or prevent is the unexpected, like a brand new thermostat sticking 1/2 way closed (ask me how I know) right after a complete rebuild of the engine.
  28. Michael B

    Michael B F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Apr 28, 2004
    US of A
    Full Name:
    1000 miles driven in the last 3 weeks.

    I dont think I ever thought of "not making it home" or had any fear of that.

    I assume I could pretty much fix whatever went wrong on the side of the road anyhow.

    I am going to the track with the car in a few weeks (not taking a trailer either!), and I am gearing up for a 3000 mile road trip in this Mondial t in August. I did not buy this car to fear driving it - that's for sure.

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