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Service Nightmares

Discussion in '348/355' started by 576mr2t, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. 576mr2t

    576mr2t Rookie

    May 14, 2010
    26
    Sunny South Florida
    Full Name:
    David Lancaster
    Gentleman of the board, I present to you my unfortunate discoveries as an owner. Names and names of places will be withheld, as I don't care to slander the unfortunate parties associated for posterity on the world wide web. Let this serve as a warning to those who take their cars in for service.

    Now I am mechanically inclined, and work on my own car whenever I can. The stack of records I have in my hand are all from an authorized Ferrari Dealer up north.

    I will now list everything I found that the dealer did incorrectly:

    1. Replaced my plastic radiator drain plug with a metal one. (Don't do this, because your plastic radiator will crack. Ask me how I know.)

    2. Plugged the license plate lights into a cat ECU instead of the plug with 12V power.

    3. Tightened hose clamps in a way that allowed them to rub and dig into hoses - fuel and cooling hoses.

    4. Failed to draw down vacuum and replace the a/c drier after the last engine out. So, the a/c didn't blow cold.

    Thank you, Ferrari Dealer up north!


    When I first got my car I knew nothing about working on it or ferrarichat, so I took it to an independent shop to look into a check engine light and a frozen roof that was stuck halfway.

    This is what they did incorrectly:

    1. Misdiagnosed the check engine light. Told me P1448 was an alarm error code. It is of course, not.

    2. Not knowing anything at the time, I agreed to wire my bypass valve open since it was "not working". Instead of wiring it open they wired it closed!

    3. Returned my car with a broken windshield. They fixed the top, but the idiot tech who proudly demonstrated the now working top let the top slam down on the cowl instead of catching the roof every time! If you do this, your windshield will probably crack too!

    So far, the guys who have experience working on Ferraris who worked on my car are indeed, mostly idiots. Thank you! Independent Exotic Shop!


    So I take my car to get the windshield replaced... to a guy who does dealer work for lambo, bentley, ferrari.... he replaces my windshield, but uses regular masking tape to mask. When he peels the tape off my car, it takes some of the clearcoat with it! He insists this is not normal. I insist this is why we use blue masking tape with reduced adhesive. He insists the car has been repainted with poor materials. I know it hasn't on the windshield frame. It is all factory. Thank you, Mr. Windshield man, for fixing up my car some more!


    I then take my car to a Ferrari dealer in Florida for some paintwork, and pay out of pocket for "top of the line work". This is what I get instead:

    1. Parking lights and turn signal bulbs in the wrong position. Nobody bothered to test it after it was done!

    2. Driver side door striker was moved outward 1/2 an inch creating an ugly gap between the body and the door. I did not give the car to them like that and sure as hell wonder how nobody noticed this. I did. I made them fix it. Of course, the paint was chipped around it when they were done.

    3. Composite pieces under the hood were cracked. (The covers that line the front trunk.) They are quite fragile and brittle if you've ever worked with them, but shouldn't the ferrari dealer of all places know how to take them apart carefully without cracking them? Of course not.

    4. Kid detailing my car when I picked it up was washing the car like somebody who doesn't know how to wash a car. I took delivery with swirl marks and water spots all over my car. I sure didn't give it to them like this.

    Thank you, ferrari dealer in Florida!

    There's more... but these are just the highlights. I have now gone over the car completely, looking for poor work and fixing it. What shoddy work remains undiscovered on your cars? What mechanical failures occur because someone didn't fix it right or was careless? Who do you trust?
     
  2. RotarySwingGolf

    RotarySwingGolf Formula Junior

    Dec 24, 2011
    491
    Florida and Idaho
    Who do you trust?

    ME - and that's about it. I feel your pain and that's why I do all the work myself on this car. My other two cars are under warranty so if anything goes wrong, it's BMW's problem, not mine. But on a car outside of warranty, I'm afraid that your experience is not unusual. There are some great mechanics out there, but I don't know any of them. I live in Orlando and have spoken with the Ferrari dealer here (they were helpful, but I haven't used them) and one other indy shop who was helpful but never returned my calls and claimed he never got the message. He has a good reputation in this area but little things like that when I don't need something right away make me afraid when I call and I do need something and he's in possession of my car. So, I just do the work myself and then I know it's done right.
     
  3. White Knight

    White Knight Formula 3

    Aug 22, 2011
    1,488
    Ogden, UT
    Full Name:
    Todd S.
    It's stories like this that lead me to more firmly than ever believe that a good relationship with a mechanic you trust is absolutely critical...if you don't do the work yourself.
     
  4. dailyferraridriver

    dailyferraridriver Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 12, 2010
    1,382
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Erik
    Yup -

    Erik
     
  5. chas-3

    chas-3 Formula 3

    Jan 28, 2009
    1,185
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Chuck
    Well . . . I trust Dave Helms and his crew at Scuderia Rampante in Boulder Colorado. Their work is top notch.
     
  6. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Dec 9, 2003
    9,816
    wisconsin/chicago
    Full Name:
    bo
    Clear coat shouldn't have come off with regular tape...

    It probably was repainted...
     
  7. vrsurgeon

    vrsurgeon F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 13, 2009
    12,347
    Charleston, SC
    Full Name:
    Curt
    Agree with this.

    When I got mine spent the first 6 months just fixing what all the past monkeys had done to the car... and yes twisting two wires together with some electrical tape might count as a repair on a used mustang or civic.. but not on a ferrari. I like the piece of wood to hold the wrong battery in place in the car. Or the missing engine surround, or the wrong bolts holding the window regulator in place, etc. etc. Monkeys.

    That's why I do as much work as I can on the car myself. I once had a porsche mechanic I hold in high esteem tell me "there's the right way, the wrong way.. and then there's MY way (perfection in a repair that is)"
     
  8. BLAMPEE

    BLAMPEE Man Card Status: Never Issued

    Jun 28, 2008
    11,961
    8hrs from me...but this is where I will be taking my 355 for service work now that I live in NE. :)
     
  9. fxdwgs

    fxdwgs Formula 3

    Aug 22, 2006
    1,014
    Sjobo, Sweden
    Full Name:
    Bengt
    ....and that is why I do all the service on my car myself.

    With the King Cab I do not bother........but I will do the service on the AM as well....

    //B//
     
  10. 576mr2t

    576mr2t Rookie

    May 14, 2010
    26
    Sunny South Florida
    Full Name:
    David Lancaster
    I just hope that everyone checks the work that is done by techs. The managers at all of these dealers were very accomodating and pleasant to deal with, but they are not the ones personally working on the car.

    I am unfortunately too far from Senior Helms and Bradan, but I think I am seriously considering shipping her if I ever need anything big.
     
  11. WATSON

    WATSON F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Sep 9, 2010
    8,636
    WI
    Even if you do your own work (like many here including me), there will be a time you need some help....having a mechanic you trust is a key part of any exotic car ownership plan.

    I am continually amazed at the correlation between owning a Ferrari and owning an airplane.

    Mechanics that become friends you trust with your life. 100 hour (regular maintenance), Annual's (yearly storage and maintenance), overhauls (engine out)...etc.

    Be careful though. There are some really bad eggs out there in the aviation & car maintenance world ;) Sadly, I have met a few..........
     
  12. S-T48

    S-T48 Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 30, 2008
    484
    Stevenson Ranch, CA
    It's unfortunate that dumb mechanics make Ferrari ownership unpleasant.
    There are TWO people I trust on earth: Me and Eugenio "Eugenio's Ferrari Service". Having a good mechanic is half the game and part of the fun...
     
  13. dailyferraridriver

    dailyferraridriver Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 12, 2010
    1,382
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Erik
    That's why I picked Bradan...having them document step-by-step what they were doing with my cars in pictures helped ease the worry that it was being done wrong or not at all.

    Erik
     
  14. brent Lachelt

    brent Lachelt Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 6, 2003
    1,776
    Glendora,California
    Full Name:
    Brent R.Lachelt
    Ditto....I'm actually starting to think it's 3/4 of the game :)
     
  15. Ben348

    Ben348 Formula Junior

    Jan 1, 2008
    304
    NH the Netherlands
    Full Name:
    Ben
    Pfffff
    I remember the days garages had a " quality control check "manager.
    Even then things happend, but usually nothing big.

    On my 348 belt-change, the "specialist" forgot to tighten the battery connectors (fryed computer) and the bolt on the cranckshaft pulley( broken sensors)
    O and all the hoseclamps were fitted in a way, the bolts were poking in the hose (dripp dripp), or rubbing something fragile(scratch)...
    It took me days to get the car in the shape I gave it them...
    ( guess who's shop went belly-up?)


    Don't pay till you are sure youre happy..

    Regards. Ben.
     
  16. docmirror

    docmirror Formula Junior

    May 6, 2004
    755
    Ft Worth TX
    Aviation has been mentioned, so let me tell you what I found a few months ago on an aircraft engine rebuild:

    1 Used the wrong exhaust flange gaskets.
    2 Mis-wired the ignition leads(two mags, six leads each).
    3 Left six of eight cylinder stud nuts finger tight(or loose is more accurate) on cyl #2.
    4 Missing safety wire on two oil gallery plugs(pre drilled plugs with no safety wire).

    Any one of these if not fixed could bring down a plane. I took the engine back to the shop, and watched when they took all the jugs off and retorqued every nut and bolt on the whole engine with the rebuild book open. I photographed the whole thing and warned them that if I went down in the next 2-200 engine hours, they or their insurer were facing a large, large bill.
     
  17. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Owner Consultant

    Dec 29, 2006
    17,551
    Twin Cities
    Full Name:
    Tim Keseluk
    Now you understand why I got into this business and why I don't have any employees.
     
  18. tech4ferrari

    tech4ferrari Karting
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Jan 22, 2010
    234
    Mt Airy N,C
    Full Name:
    casey johnson
    No one touches my cars but me. I am not perfect and have made many mistakes in my life but at least I take pride in what I do....it blows my mind how many people just don't give a s&*% about their quality of work.
     
  19. junglistluder

    junglistluder F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 23, 2007
    3,344
    Washington, DC
    Full Name:
    Brendan
    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Surely you didn't take it to Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale.
     
  20. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 14, 2011
    7,760
    SoCal LA/OC
    Full Name:
    Tim Dee
    This is across the board in the automotive industry.

    Plain and simple, today mechanics are so under paid that it does not attract quality people.

    What do you expect for $10-15 pr hr?

    :)
     
  21. Eli355

    Eli355 Formula Junior

    Oct 12, 2010
    673
    Long Island, NY
    Full Name:
    Eli
    Or Ferrari of Long Island. They do my work including a major and the car has been perfect for 4000 miles to date. I trust only my dealer and it's my only option because I can't do it my self. It's nice to have someone you trust to have your back
     
  22. tech4ferrari

    tech4ferrari Karting
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Jan 22, 2010
    234
    Mt Airy N,C
    Full Name:
    casey johnson
    You hit the nail on the head with that one...not to mention a tech trying to make a living on warranty times is near impossible ...example... 355 engine out and back in pays 12 hrs warranty :-( ...599 clutch in and out pays 6 and some change. Dealers now days rarely will offer any of their techs a guarantee let alone a salary :-(
     
  23. 576mr2t

    576mr2t Rookie

    May 14, 2010
    26
    Sunny South Florida
    Full Name:
    David Lancaster
    Maybe I've just had bad luck. Either way, I respect any tech who takes the time to do it right. These days, it's hard to find accountability or pride in what you do in the workplace. It's always "someone else's problem" or the proverbial deniability clause - "that was already like that" - this is not good practice when parts and labor cost as much as they do on any exotic. We should reward those good shops and guys we find with repeat business. I will when I find one.

    I'll say it again. The managers and owners of these dealerships care about customer service and making me happy. But they are not the ones working on my car. Would you want to send your ferrari back in the hands of the same techs or kids that messed it up in the first place?

    I'm still open to suggestions in my area. No dealers please. In my experience, too many moving parts and employees in the business model to do it right. The more people touch my car, the more chances of my car meeting someone who doesn't give a sh*t. No more "guarantee on making it right". I want a rapport with the guy that's actually touching my car.
     
  24. junglistluder

    junglistluder F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Mar 23, 2007
    3,344
    Washington, DC
    Full Name:
    Brendan
    #24 junglistluder, Feb 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    I strongly suggest Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale. The picture below are the techs who worked on my car (i'm in the middle). The older gentleman to my right (Olivier) has been working on Ferraris longer than i've been alive. I dealt with 3 people: Garrett (Dealership Owner), Gabe (Service Advisor), and Olivier (Technician). They are all awesome people and will allow you to see your car in progress and visit with the actual tech working on it. They provided me with a flash drive with hundreds of pictures of my service "in progress" - AMAZING!!! Their techs have restored cars to win Pebble Beach! Although I have several service options in the DC area, I still send my car down to Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale just because these guys are so awesome. Seriously, call FoFL and ask for Gabe in the Service Department. Tell him Brendan sent you. You and your car will be treated like royalty, I promise.
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