New 328 Owner - with a few questions... | FerrariChat

New 328 Owner - with a few questions...

Discussion in '308/328' started by Battman2, Jan 12, 2004.

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  1. Battman2

    Battman2 Rookie

    Dec 23, 2003
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Full Name:
    Jeff Batt
    Hello Everyone,

    This past Friday a dream of mine came true and I'm now the proud owner of a Black '86 328. On Sat, I drove my new baby over 1000 miles home (and was nervous the whole way)!

    Overall, it was (thankfully) a very un-eventful trip. While I do have a few hundred questions I'll need to research or post on this forum, a few things came up that I wanted to ask about right away.

    Burning oil: My 328 has 21000k miles on it (after this weekend), and the last major service was done about 6 months ago. During my trip of about 1100 miles, I probably burned between 1/2 and 3/4 of a quart of oil. Can a few people let me know if their 328's (or similar f-cars) burn oil...and how much?

    Gas smell: occasionally I was smelling gas while inside the car...which is really strange in that the top was on and the windows up. Additionally (and it's hard to be sure about this) - but the smell seemed to occur when making hard right turns - like on a sharp highway off ramp. Any thoughts?

    Interior lights: My interior lights are really, really dim. Is this a "welcome to owning an f-car" thing or is this something that many have experienced and have a fix for. What's strange is that it's just the gauge lights (including the 3 gauges above the radio). The climate control lights are actually too bright - probably because i cranked the interior light level knob to see the gauges.

    Hot starting: My 328 was a little hesitent to start when hot...strangely, it started right up when cold. I found that 1 pump on the gas pedal and then turning the key seemed to work pretty well. Is this normal?

    Many thanks to the forum members for any responses - as well as for all the advice I've received up until now while looking for my first f-car car. Thanks again, Jeff

    RED HEAD Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 30, 2003
    Full Name:
    Hi Jeff,

    Many congratulations on your new purchase - very exciting.

    As a fellow 328 owner I may be able to help with some of your questions - but can't answer all of them.

    My car is hesitant to start too - hot or cold. If you press the throttle pedal fully down and turn the ignition she should always start (tip from the dealer) never fails on mine. I think they all have their quirks though!

    I had a smell of gas and this was traced back to the air con. I had the air con - recharged and new gas put in - now no smell and the car is like a fridge in Summer.

    The interior lights always seem to be dim in the dials console i.e rev counter, speedo etc. As I think you already have make sure the instrument lighting knob is turned to full light.

    Hope this may be of some help.


  3. Mule

    Mule F1 Rookie
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 25, 2003
    Full Name:
    With those symptoms, are you sure you are not driving MY car?

    - Hesitant to start when hot, pretty consistant. Sometimes I have to hold the pedal down a bit to get it going.

    - Mine doesn't burn oil in daily driving (47K miles), but you may have burned a little extra pushing it and having fun. Doesn't seem abnormal.

    - Dim interior lights. Yes. There were some articles on the old site about brightening them up, but requires some electrical skills.

    - Gas smell. I have it every now and then, but I checked for leaks and found none. Yes, it seems to occur under harder than normal driving or turning.

    Congrats on your car. You got a great color, too. As you get more questions, please post them in the Technical Section and you will be amazed with the help you recieve.
  4. atheyg

    atheyg Guest

    My 328 had a similar hard start problem when hot after I bought it, I ran a bottle of Techron thru the system and it fixed it.

    Your oil issue may be a leak, I would inpect closely, 3/4 quart in 1000 miles is not that unusual

    The fuel smell would be more of a concern, check all of the fuel lines by the firewall and inspect under the car for any leaks, these cars have a nasty habit of burning easily from a bad fuel line.
  5. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    May 29, 2001
    Welcome to Ferrari ownership. The 328 is a great car, you'll love it.

    As far as your questions...oil comsumption is car is similar.

    Gas smell? I would have a mechanic check things, possibly the fuel filler neck to tank hose is cracked? Or?

    Dim dash lights...all 308/328 suffer this. Easy fix: The dimmer switch is low left of the steering wheel. on a 328 Pop is out, and make a jumper wire between the leads, so you are bypassing the potentiometer. Your lights will now not be able to dim (big deal) but better yet, they will be about 40% to 50% brighter.

    Hot start. Mine is doing the same thing, and is currently diagnosed with leaky injectors, so they are being replaced. It is not normal, something is not right. It is a standard Bosch CIS system, so it CAN be diagnosed. The most common failures for a hot start problem is the fuel accumulator or the fuel pump check valve. Either of these will cause a loss of system pressure for the hot start. Leaky injectors in my case, cause the engine to flood. There are other things to check to, so take it to a good technician.

    Holding the throttle down part way when cranking will help get you started, but you really should have it diagnosed and fixed.
  6. F328 BobD

    F328 BobD Formula 3

    Mar 17, 2001
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Battman, congrats on the car... pretty exciting, huh!!! :)

    I've never had a gas smell in or around mine, you may want to have that checked out. And yes, the dash lights are very dim in stock form.

    Have fun and enjoy!!! Sounds like you got a great car!!!
  7. MARQ

    MARQ Formula 3

    Feb 9, 2002
    East Coast US
    Full Name:
    Congrats on achieving your dream!! Enjoy it!
  8. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    Congratulations! I fully understand excitement, as it happened to me one month ago...

    Based on my limited experience, these are the points:
    Oil consumption
    Varies depending on use. If you drive hard, expect to burn some, otherwise my one has no consumption at all.
    Gas smell
    Never experienced, it could be better to check.
    Interior lights
    Mine ones are a bit dim as well, but I do have no problems with it.
    Hot starting
    When hot is a bit more pproblematic but seems "normal" to me, so again no problems.

    Enjoy your new toy


  9. Crawford

    Crawford Formula 3

    Mar 5, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Full Name:
    Crawford White
    I can address your gas smell issue. My car had the same exact problem on hard left hand turns.

    I had to have several spillover/vent hoses replaced on my gas tank(s). They had rubbed against each other and were seeping gas. It's a pretty common problem, and any mechanic familiar with 328's can fix it - involves a fair amount of labor, though. Try to bring your car into the shop as close to empty as possible.

    Enjoy your car and keep driving. Only 21000 miles is embarrassing on a 18 year old car! :)

    Crawford ('86 328 w/ 57,000 miles)
  10. Dutchman

    Dutchman F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Dec 4, 2002
    Full Name:
    Congratulations Battman!

    The 328 will definitely make your dream come true.

    If you read the manual of the car it says that it is normal to burn that amount of oil. It also says that you have to use the throttle a little bit when the engine is hot.

    I have never smelled fuel in the cabin. I would definitely have somebody check that.

    The lights? Yes, what shall we say...... welcome to the world of Italian cars.

    Enjoy your car. Show us some pics.

  11. flyingboa

    flyingboa Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    My one (1986 as well) is only 13500... I hope to catch up!


  12. MMechling

    MMechling Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Atlanta GA
    Hey Jeff,

    Congratulations on the purchase. In the course of advertising mine, I decided to keep it and sell the Porsche. Porsches are a dime a dozen and the 328 was always my dream car. I just took it up to SC to have a little leak fixed. I think you'll find that thes elow mileage cars will spring some leaks on you since they haven't been used as much. That's pretty much with any car. The seals/gaskets don't hold up as well when they are allowed to dry out. Other than that, I haven't realy had those same symptoms. Mine starts really easily, but I run the Techron Fuel Sytem Cleaner evrey couple tanks and some times add some octane boost. Buy the Fuel System Cleaner and not Fuel injector cleaner. I have been told that it's the only one on the market that really works. I haven't smelled petrol, but the lights are dim. Well anyway, congrats and the way, I am also taking it to the bodyshop for the cosmetic work. Might as well enjoy it, right.
  13. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    May 29, 2001
    Ton Visser,
    In the 328 manual (USA) page 30-31 on starting procedures, it is quite explicit NOT to touch the accelerator pedal "until the engine is running smoothly".

    They only specify to depress the clutch pedal when starting.

    If the car requires the accelerator pedal to be depressed during starting, then something is not right with the car in the FI or ignition system.

    Obviously, one can often times, get the car started by depressing the pedal, and the car will run otherwise, normally. But it is not the way the car is supposed to operate. There is a component out of spec somewhere.

  14. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Glad to hear you are keeping it! :)
  15. speeder37

    speeder37 Karting

    Nov 18, 2003
    Full Name:
    Congratulations on your purchase.
    In seven years of ownership, never expierienced oil consumption. Check the fuel smell soon. Don't forget to check the cam belts. You hear of more and more cars going poof because of neglected belts. The cars really are nearly trouble free. A ton of fun as well.

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