'Shocking' Reliability: 20 Years of Invoices for my 97 F355 Spider | FerrariChat

'Shocking' Reliability: 20 Years of Invoices for my 97 F355 Spider

Discussion in '348/355' started by joe1973, Aug 14, 2017.

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  1. joe1973

    joe1973 Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2016
    285
    NJ
    Bored over the weekend, I decided to look over my inch+ thick of invoices since 1998 to categorize the documented issues of my specific car. I excluded normal wear/tear such as shock (1 time), new alternator (1 time), clutch (1 time), tires, battery, carpet, etc. And of course engine out work (3) per schedule which really is maintenance rather than repair.

    The car has high 24k miles at this time.

    This is what I found:
    - 5 x CELs (most during a 2 yr period the car moved 200mi between 2007 and 2008)
    - 4 x service to convertible top (only 2 visits required new parts)
    - Header replacement @23k - '13
    - Coolant leak repairs ... after recall done in May '99 by dealer
    - 2 x seat repairs (ECU and pot. replacement) - '03 and '07

    Looking at the above, one can almost replace any other German car for this type of repairs except for maybe the headers and of course the engine outs. But major tune-ups for an era- comparable Porsche 993 would cost in the multiple thousands for belts, sparks, coolant/water pump main, etc.

    The CELs could have been lessened to a single report if the headers were addressed right away. The coolant leak interestingly started only after a recall work was performed in '99, leading to almost routine leaks reported every other year until 5 years ago (when someone figured it out). And seat/convertible repairs are typical for this era when electrics were at their infancy including Porsches and BMWs.

    So maybe this has been a charmed life for a F355, but I think it's not an exception based on my almost a full year ownership. This is a car that must be driven which functioning electrics for comfort (seats, windows) taken in stride. Even my indestructible Mercedes 300D succumbs to bad window switches and today had wiper failure which I found to be caused by loosened wires behind the stalk.

    I am sharing to give my voice of one on this whole F355 - doomed to fail or not debate. It's a car that you can absolutely punish on the road from what I've done and read. I have yet to find reports of someone blowing an engine, transmission or being stranded due to serious engine malfunction on normal street driving conditions. Slow down lights happen but don't leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Failed batteries and alternators are to be expected for lightly driven cars, so I keep mine plugged all the time.

    Chime in if you wish or simple pass along this positive bit of news for prospective buyers. Sure there are bad ones due to lack of care or hidden accident work, but good ones are keepers that continually reward in driving experience and offer a high chance of recouping purchase cost ++ if one eventually decides to sell at the right time.
     
    fedgery77 likes this.
  2. joe1973

    joe1973 Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2016
    285
    NJ
    #2 joe1973, Aug 14, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  3. drbob101

    drbob101 F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Nov 26, 2012
    3,814
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    Full Name:
    Bob Ferraris
    Where in nj are you Joe. I think I know that Kings.
     
  4. SoCal1

    SoCal1 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 14, 2011
    8,588
    SoCal LA/OC/New Mexico
    Full Name:
    Tim Dee
    My new subaru is 4 months old and has more work then yours in 20 years

    :)
     
  5. Nader

    Nader Formula Junior

    Feb 12, 2011
    990
    East of Seattle
    Sorry, I'm a little confused. Are you saying that your car (which is beautiful, by the way), at 24,000 miles, has been reliable? Or not? Seems like you've had multiple costly issues notorious to the 355, and spider in particular. And that Mercedes with it's relatively minor peripheral electrical issues is at least 20 years older, right?
     
  6. Robb

    Robb Moderator
    Moderator Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Feb 28, 2004
    13,911
    Full Name:
    Robb
    These cars like to be driven. Once set up well - many years of trouble free ownership can be expected. It also requires an owner who will be knowledgeable (and involved) enough to not be taken advantage of by unscrupulous mechanics / some dealers.

    Party on.

    Robb
     
  7. taz355

    taz355 F1 Veteran
    Owner Silver Subscribed

    Feb 18, 2008
    5,985
    Indio Ca/ Alberta
    Full Name:
    Grant

    +355
     
  8. emac

    emac Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 14, 2014
    851
    upstate SC
    Full Name:
    ernest
    IMO, the best F355 is one with enough miles that someone replaced all the trouble stuff. Headers, cats, cat ecu's, etc. Then they get pissed because they spent too much at the dealer, so they sell it to one of us on Fchat!! I couldn't believe some of the bills that were included with my car.
     
  9. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
    BANNED

    Nov 23, 2012
    16,047
    Orchard Park, NY
    Full Name:
    Dave Lelonek
    I'll add this for all the F1 haters....

    My F1 runs flawlessly. It's a friggin swiss watch. Had it out last night. Fast, seemless shifts, great power for the street. I really need a go pro to video my driving experience. :)
     
  10. ExcelsiorZ

    ExcelsiorZ Formula 3
    BANNED

    Nov 7, 2003
    1,267
    Beverly Hills
    Exactly. These cars like to be driven. The more miles they are driven the lower per mile the operating costs will be.
     
  11. johnk...

    johnk... F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    10,698
    CT
    Full Name:
    John Kreskovsky
    Shock, clutch, alternator "normal wear and tear" items for 24k miles?
     
  12. joe1973

    joe1973 Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2016
    285
    NJ

    Warren NJ. This Kings is in Gillette.
     
  13. joe1973

    joe1973 Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2016
    285
    NJ
    John K -- a 1997 with a clutch job, alternator and shock replacement should be routine. Clutch failure - think of the engine and what people do with such HP (at the time) and maybe a less experienced driver. Alternator is typically a random fail in my experience and shock replacement likely a time situation - 20 yrs and found slightly leaking. Not an actuator issue.
     
  14. Drock28

    Drock28 Formula 3

    Jan 13, 2013
    1,430
    Montreal
    Full Name:
    Tony
    yes..! a thorough 355 F1 video would be great..

    as for reliability.. we rub each others back..

    I treat my car well by driving it regularly.. and it treats me back with reliability..!
     
  15. Mmckee

    Mmckee Formula 3
    BANNED Silver Subscribed

    Sep 30, 2016
    2,339
    Alta Loma, Ca
    Full Name:
    Mike
    I've only owned my 1995 two years. My only expense in my 2,000 miles is the annual fluid change. The prior owner fixed everything & converted my top to a Manuel one. He loved the car & so do I.
     
  16. johnk...

    johnk... F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jun 11, 2004
    10,698
    CT
    Full Name:
    John Kreskovsky

    We will just have to disagree.
     
  17. joe1973

    joe1973 Formula Junior

    Nov 12, 2016
    285
    NJ
    Done. Agree to disagree.
     
  18. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    6,522
    Lake Villa IL
    I'll agree to agree
     
    taz355 likes this.
  19. Dave rocks

    Dave rocks F1 World Champ
    BANNED

    Nov 23, 2012
    16,047
    Orchard Park, NY
    Full Name:
    Dave Lelonek
    Me too. A clutch that is toast in 24K miles is likely the result (not suggesting you, Joe) of a driver that does not know how to drive :)
     
  20. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    26,659
    socal
    Rarely do I agree with johnK. It is actually quite sad that so much needed to be done for 24k miles. I got 2 bmws and a diesel truck on my driveway with a combined under 200k miles and nothing has been done more than gas and oil and scheduled maintenance. I love Ferraris but nobody makes a worse car. I mean generational sticky interiors? Please! They may as well skip the bluetooth and put in a dial cell phone.
     
  21. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

    Sep 27, 2002
    1,941
    PA
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    So let's take shocks. How many years will an 'average' car's shocks last if 20 is too few? 30? 40?
     
  22. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    26,659
    socal
    I'm the wrong person to ask. I'm a racer and rebuild my shocks on my racecar annually and run moton double adjustable shocks on my maranello. So...I'm kinda extreme thinking on shocks.
     
  23. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    6,522
    Lake Villa IL
    #23 INTMD8, Aug 15, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  24. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    6,522
    Lake Villa IL
    You never now how it was treated by the previous owner :D

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J2Xzh6j1Hw[/ame]
     
  25. Enzojr

    Enzojr F1 World Champ

    Dec 12, 2013
    14,001
    West of PDX
    Full Name:
    Tomy

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