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F-355 complete loss of oil pressure

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by tjarratt, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. tjarratt

    tjarratt Rookie

    Jul 22, 2008
    3
    Well, I might be in a little bind and need some information, I'm hoping someone here can help me out. Last weekend in Vegas I rented a '97 Ferrari F-355 Spyder. While my friend and I were coming back from the Hoover dam I lost all oil pressure and immediately pulled over to avoid damaging the engine. There was a severe leak from under the vehicle and all of the oil drained out.

    When I contacted the rental company they told me that their service shop said an object struck some type of oil valve and ripped it completely off of the oil pan. I feel I am knowledgeable about most vehicles but do not have any experience with exotics, thats why I am here. It seems like there would be some type of skid plate/aero pan under the engine to protect it from these sort of things happening as well as improve aerodynamics. I did not hear or feel any contact and definitely did not abuse the vehicle.

    I just need to know if anyone has any experience with this sort of problem. I feel like they may be trying to get me to pay for something that was not my fault. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks for your time.
     
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  3. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
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    My (limited) understanding is that the 355 has a flat sump protected by the undertray

    Will they send you pictures ?
     
  4. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant Owner

    Dec 29, 2006
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    There are a few places that oil could escape (oil filter, cooler, hoses, drainplugs) but none of those extend below the car. If you struck something, you'd know it.

    If you honestly didn't "bottom out", then I can't see how you are responsible.

    I can't wait to see the pictures.
     
  5. mseals

    mseals Global Moderator
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    Sep 9, 2007
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    Sounds like you either blew a hose or dropped a drainplug... I can feel every bump in my 348, and can't imagine that you wouldn't feel something if you hit something that hard...pics would be great.

    Mike in Kuwait
     
  6. tjarratt

    tjarratt Rookie

    Jul 22, 2008
    3
    #5 tjarratt, Jul 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thanks for your help guys. I spoke with the rental company (a little reluctant to provide me with information) and they told me that the incident would be documented with pictures and I will be contacted when everything is put together, so we shall see. Thanks again for your help, I will keep everyone posted.

    I also attached a picture from the side of the road!
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  8. Ricambi America

    Ricambi America F1 World Champ
    Sponsor Owner

    Personally, I wouldn't loose one moment of sleep over this. Unless you bottomed-out the car, its a maintenance issue and not your fault.
     
  9. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2002
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    #7 Miltonian, Jul 22, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
    The car obviously didn't run from Vegas to Hoover Dam while it had an oil leak that bad, so something happened AFTER you picked up the car. If you're not at the repair shop to inspect the damage for yourself, you're going to have to rely on pictures and the word of the mechanic. If there is any way that you are going to have to pay out-of-pocket for this, then INSIST / DEMAND that any parts that are replaced be returned to you for inspection. I assume that you had some kind of insurance. It's so hard to tell from this. The previous renter could have run over something that didn't fail until you were driving it. The shop could have left the drain plug loose when they did an oil change. You could have hit something that was thrown up by the car in front of you and never saw it.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted.

    By the way, I don't think there is such a thing as an "oil valve....on the oil pan".
     
  10. Joe G.

    Joe G. Formula 3
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    Dec 9, 2003
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    could be as simple as someone left the oil drain plug(s) loose after the last oil change

    they might be oiling up to shaft you
     
  11. PAP 348

    PAP 348 Moderator
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    Dec 10, 2005
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    Yeah, not looking good for you mate. :(:(

    I have a gut feeling that they want an engine rebuild for this rental and they dont want to pay for it. :eek::eek:

    Im with 2NA........I CANT wait to see pics and hear what they have to say about it. Will be interesting to see if they are genuine about it all and it was a simple case of someone leaving the engine drain plug loose from last oil change. :):)
     
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  13. desire308

    desire308 Formula 3

    Oct 19, 2007
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    Looks like more than a drain plug...take a look at the trail before he stopped. The rental company should be thanking him for being so prudent ;)

    Could it be a blown oil cooler hose?
     
  14. DMC308

    DMC308 F1 Rookie

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    Rental.. I wonder if they did a recent oil change and doubled the gaskets up on the filter lol.
     
  15. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    Anything's possible here. The good news is that most are someone else's problem.
     
  16. ferrarilou

    ferrarilou Formula Junior

    Apr 13, 2004
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    If you think they may try to recover some costs from you, I suggest you go visit the shop and ask them to show you the damage. Take pictures of all damaged areas yourself and demand that they freeze all work until inspected by an independent mechanic of your choosing. Of course, if they aren't asking you or your insurance for any money, and you don't think they will, then this would be overkill :) A lot depends on what you signed and what they claim you did.


    Lou
     
  17. Dale_K

    Dale_K Karting

    May 6, 2005
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    Arkansas
    Check with your insurance company before you shell out any bucks. It might be covered under the comprehensive portion of your coverage.
     
  18. 288gt-uh-oh

    288gt-uh-oh Karting

    Dec 30, 2006
    91
    The best defense is a good offense. Better hire a lawyer asap because the car was obviously dangerous to drive with an oil slick lubing the rear tires and the mechanics were negligent in ensuring that the "oil valve knocked off by an object" was well protected from harm. "Ferrari burns renter to a crisp from oil leak fire"
     
  19. Llenroc

    Llenroc F1 Rookie
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    #16 Llenroc, Jul 22, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2008
    First off there is no oil valve to be ripped off under a 355 and even when the 355 suspension is completely compressed the oil pan will not touch the ground, it is also protected by a cross member in front of it. You would have to run over something very hard and if you did it would have scaped/been drug along the bottom of the car from front to rear and then strike the oil pan leaving a lot of damage under the car from the front to the point of impact on the oil pan in the rear AND striking that cross member first. Also the under panels on a 355 are fairly fragile they would be beat to **** if you ran over something big and hard enough to break the oil pan. My point here is a lot of damage would need to occur first before you would hit the pan. So unless you had the car off the pavement ie; rutted gravel road for example than they are getting you to pay for something someone else did to the car.
     
  20. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
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    Anyone think that this car should be seen and photographed immediately? Do you have the VIN number from the car you rented? I bet if two or three 355's pulled in and a group wanted to inspect the car, the situation would instantly change course.
     
  21. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
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    Who would stop to think to look under a car they rented? But its all right there before us isnt it? I go with the loose drain plug theory, or something equivalent. They are just trying to get someone to pay for thier blunder.
     
  22. Llenroc

    Llenroc F1 Rookie
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    I'm not saying you would look at it after you rented it but I would investigate if they tried to say he did the damage. If there were no scratches, scrapes/broken panels leading to the oil pan then you could rule out their argument, thinking they would not go to the trouble or expense to fix everything
    But I do agree I'm leaning on the oil plug or oil filter theory too.

    PS If it were me this happened to I would have been under the car that minute lookin' to see what the hell was goin' on there!! hahahah
     
  23. tjarratt

    tjarratt Rookie

    Jul 22, 2008
    3
    Again, thanks for everyones input. After reading your posts I feel confident that I am definitely not at fault for this incident. My first thought was a blown hose from an oil filter re-locater or oil cooler (if this car is such equipped). Now, the drain plug seems like a very viable explanation considering the oil was fairly clear and smelled fresh, as if it had been recently changed.

    This rental company seems pretty shady, they use a 3rd party to handle all insurance claims and vehicle incident reports. They will not even give me the name of the shop where the vehicle is being serviced unless they are contacted by an attorney or insurance company (whom they will hear from tomorrow). Hopefully, I will be able to obtain photos of the damage and a complete parts list from the repair, which should clear things up. Unless the rental company solely uses this shop, which I am sure they do, and the repair shop covers for them.

    If anybody has photos or schematics detailing the undercarriage if this particular vehicle I would be very interested in seeing them.

    Thanks again for everyones help!

    Ty
     
  24. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    #21 Miltonian, Jul 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    This will give you at least an idea of what the underside of a 355 looks like. Only a small area of the bottom of the engine is visible. The large metallic object between the rear wheels is the transmission, not the engine (the engine is just in front of it). It would be just about impossible to damage anything related to the lubrication system without doing significant damage to the undertray. It's going to be very easy to see where the oil was coming from once the car is up in the air. I don't think I have ever heard of one of these rupturing the oil cooler or its hoses, and it would be VERY unusual for an oil filter to rupture (unless someone installed some kind of a generic filter instead of a factory-approved filter). There HAVE been incidents where the threads for the drain plug on the bottom of the oil tank get stripped. If the plug falls off, all of the oil will be lost within seconds. It isn't an area to accept anything less than 100% security.
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  25. 288gt-uh-oh

    288gt-uh-oh Karting

    Dec 30, 2006
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    #22 288gt-uh-oh, Jul 23, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
    Also, is this a Ferrari tech that's inspecting the vehicle or just your average mom and pop garage? When you get the answer, that will determine the competence of the oil change tech. (as if no Ferrari tech has ever stripped a drain bolt!)
     
  26. Knockoff

    Knockoff Rookie

    Jun 3, 2007
    18
    Dale K has the most prudent advice here. Unless you are OK with writing an open ended check, ask you insurance company if THEY extend coverage. If they do offer coverage they will definately require a "Hired Gun" to physically inspect the damage BEFORE the repair is completed to validate how the damage actually occured, they will reserve the "Right" to view it, or will absolve themselves from liability. Suggest you do the same. Don't lay down.

    Rick
     
  27. Miltonian

    Miltonian F1 Veteran

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    Nothing to report for almost a week?
     
  28. EMI-SC

    EMI-SC Karting

    Aug 2, 2008
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    Chris Felber
    Most likely blew an oil line or we have ran accross the oil tank breaking on the weld.

    Chris

    European Motorsports & Imports
     

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