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Should exotics reach maintenance standards of Honda's, Toyota's, etc?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by PeterS, May 25, 2004.

  1. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    If you buy a Honda or Toyota, they are pretty much maintenance-free. At 4-6X the price, should Ferrari's, Lambo's, etc. fall in the same catagory in regard to low maintenance? Can these cars manufacturers achieve these levels of low maintenance? The price of parts is one thing, being higher due to smaller production runs, but should these manufacturers strive to offer 50 or 100K mile guarantees?
     
  2. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

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    If there is a 4 year waiting list for their cars, I don't see any incentive for them from a business standpoint to offer 50k to 100k guarantees.
     
  3. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

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    two thoughts.

    (1) there's no feasible way that exotics could ever reach the levels of toyota or honda because of the law of averages. by the time they're done with a few months of production, the big guys have shipped SO many cars that the law of averages favors all the problems getting fettled out. honda produces not quite 3M vehicles per year. that means that by the end of january 1st they have produced basically 2X the number of vehicles that ferrari will produce in the entire year.

    (2) that said, exotic manufacturers should stand behind their products a bit better. for example, i think ferrari's two year warranty on the 12s is offensive. i don't think a 5 year warranty is reasonable to shoot for. but three across the board would be a nice start and we can work from there. what do lambo and aston do for warranty duration?

    doody.
     
  4. TigerAce

    TigerAce Formula 3

    May 29, 2003
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    I asked that question to the dealer once when I was looking for my first Ferrari, and the reply was that F-cars are sensitive cars because they are designed for racing, and not really meant for daily drive abuse although some models can be very well a daily driver.

    For example, timing belt for F-cars are made of rubber, while others are mainly made of chains. That alone makes difference in life span of belts. The reason F-cars are using rubber belts is for quicker & sensitive response.

    I am not mechanically inclined, so these explanation made sense to me. (on the account of being naive, maybe)

    If there are more F-cars in the proximity of Honda & Toyota, the parts cost would be lower along w/ maintenance cost. Like you said in different words, it is relative to supply & demand.

    I don't think F or L strives to make a car which guarantee for 50K or 100K miles. That would only choke their dealers in a way. Most F or L buyers know what to expect for maintenance, thus makers take this fact for granted. Unless their sales drastically dropped due to guarantee issue, I don't think they will change their view. I was surprised to hear F's Power Train warranty program. That's like Certified Pre-owned program by other auto makers, so F is at least not being ignorant.
     
  5. DodgeViper01

    DodgeViper01 F1 Veteran

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    You would think so right? ALL car companies can make a car that would be like a BMW, Mercedes or Honda where the maintenance is VERY minimal but where is the fun in that? I would love to see a Ferrari or Lamborghini have the same maintenance schedules as a Honda but it will never happen. Ferrari dealers make money from service and Ferrari makes money from all the parts they need to keep supplying you. This money that Ferrari makes goes to supply their racing team. They NEED that money. What maximizes the dollar? Evidentially keeping things the way they are and not having to shell out MILLIONS to figure out how to make the car run like a Honda works for them. If they made it run like a Honda, Ferrari would loose money. I wish, just like you do, that these cars would be like Hondas with regard to maintenance but sadly that day will never come.
     
  6. 911Fan

    911Fan Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2004
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    "what do lambo and aston do for warranty duration?"

    I don't know about Aston but it's 2 years for Lambo.

    I think Ferrari could easily offer a 4 year warranty like Porsche but they'd have to impose some MINIMUM mileage requirements (like 3K miles/year)!
     
  7. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

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    TigerAce, FYI, Ferrari's warranty is for unlimited miles which is much better than the 50k and 100k you mentioned.
     
  8. Timbo

    Timbo Karting

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    FWIW, my NSX has gone 6 years and 38K miles without needing a single thing other than regular maintenance. Most NSXs I know of are the same.

    The 60K service (w/ timing belt) is about $1500, and the 30K is basically nothing. Compare that w/ the cost of Ferrari ownership, and this is why I am a Ferrari admirer, but not an owner.

    No flames please, just pointing out that it SHOULD be possible.
     
  9. cochise

    cochise Karting

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    I think the next v8 will be a big step forward by going back to timing chains vs rubber belts. Forward being in longer maintenance intervals and (hopefully) lower replacement costs. Ferrari's have been roughly 4 to 5 times the price of Corvette's going back to the early '70's when a 427 convertible was ~5K and a Daytona convertible was ~25k. I think that ratio is close today with a Z06 and Maranello. Corvette fit and finish befits it price while its relatively low maintenance pushrod v8 begets its reliability from being much less stressed than the Ferrari v12, with rubber belts. Now, I doubt that Ferrari will de-tune any of their engines, even with chains, to deliver sewing machine reliability and sameness associated with Honda,Toyota etc.
     
  10. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

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    Honda gets 120hp per liter out of its S2000 with cam belts and a 9k+ redline yet still has a recommended cam belt change at 105k miles! Why can't Ferrari do the same?
     
  11. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Porsche......."there is no substitute".............

    They come the closest to doing what the OP implies should happen.....don't you think ?
     
  12. Tyler

    Tyler F1 Rookie

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    Agreed. Though the newer models certainly have a few gremlins.


    You know it's not the astronimical prices for service that bother me about Ferrari(althought they do upset my stomach). If it were as simple as getting your 15 and 30 services done that would be one thing. What really gets me is the little issues these cars have with parts that should be reliable. For the prices paid for these cars the parts should be sourced from the best manufacturer of that part.

    Oh well.....while irritating it doesn't keep us from buying the cars does it? ;)

    KDS, I'm in a Porsche phase right now, but I'm sure I'll be back in F-Land in a year or two.
     
  13. tfazio

    tfazio Formula 3
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    Aston Martin's warranty is 24 months/ Unlimited mileage
    Lamborghini is 24 months/ 24K Miles

    I think exotic car manufacturers quality will continue to improve due to many of them being owned by larger automobile companies. I also agree with the person who mentioned the Law of Averages though. When production numbers are so low, relaibility will always be an issue. However, with Lambo using more Audi parts you would think that their reliability should improve. It will be interesting to see if the Gallardo's reliability outshines the Murceilago.
     
  14. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Quite frankly, I don't think being "race inspired" should mean shoddy. Companies should be looking to develop their product to be more useable and reliable. Doesn't mean it has to be a daily, but that it could run daily. IMO this should be where racing technology is actually used to further street car performance, by increasing durability (like the F1 "1 engine per weekend" rule they're using now). I read somewhere that very little racing technology is actually used in street cars, compared to passenger car R&D.

    Lamborghini and Ferrari have both made goods strides though. I had a Ferrari tech explaining that new 360's come with (as I recall) 3yr/36k warranty. I think things will only improve when they change to the chain V8 in the 420/30.

    Something that I think would be very tantalizing is if FNA/MNA offered full maintenance packages up front with the car's purchase price. For example, when I bought my Subaru, I was offered a full warranty, ALL maintenance (brakes, fluids), oil changes, repairs, etc., up to 100k miles for I think around $2,600. I took my chances and didn't buy it... but could you imagine the peace of mind when you buy a new 360, and for say $10-15,000 more you have EVERYTHING covered for say 60-80,000 miles??? Then you'd have more "practicality" built in, and the company would assure that, as they don't want to lose money on the deal.
     
  15. Doody

    Doody F1 Veteran

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    the problem ryalex is that we drive our ferraris WAY harder than we drive our subarus, audis, jeeps, etc. my benz has that sort of service for three or four years - i don't pay for jack. but i also don't drive it to within an inch of its (and my) life.

    that sort of stuff is real wear and real warranty risk.

    is the 612 chain instead of belt?

    EXCELLENT point on the S2000 frank - well said.

    doody.
     
  16. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Good point... although there are a lot of people who do smack the crap out of WRX's, S4's and E55's though. But I think you're probably right... although wouldn't it be a wonderful world if they could make it so durable that it would take such abuse?

    I was just thinking autocross and track days would be a major liability for this type of policy. Then again, tricky Subaru gives a full warranty until I think 60k mi, and WRX's come with a free SCCA membership. But if you track your car with SCCA, the dealer can choose to void your warranty. Apparently many young male WRX owners are denied warranty service on their cars for "spirited driving," whether true or not.
     
  17. tifosi

    tifosi F1 Veteran
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    I think many of you have said it, it comes down to demand and market subsitutes, why offer a longer warranty if you can sell your cars with shorter ones. In the end the customer pays for the warranty as it is just a component of the cost of the car, years ago warranty costs on european sedans were about $1,000 per car sold (it is probably more now), so as they sold the car the company recorded a reserve of about 1k for future warranty costs it would incur.
     
  18. Vibrant_5oh

    Vibrant_5oh Karting

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    Why not? I remember reading an interview regarding the Ford GT once, and the ford guys in that interview mentioned how maintanance isn't any more frequent or expensive than a c5 vette. Gotta love that simplicity. They also mentioned how the motor was also heavily tested, and put through a 300hour test simulating 150,000 miles of wear and tear. The engine was pretty much built to the same guidlines and standards of everyday mass-produced cars.

    Should exotics reach this level? Why not, if it benifits the consumer? Do they have to? Not really since the driving habits of an exotic are much different than a daily driven Honda accord.
     
  19. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    However, you have to ask if the habits are because of the value of the car or the fragility... I think we're seeing more and more 360's, 550's and Murcielagos as daily drivers than ever before, because of the newer reliability (the "daily driver sports car" title being held by the 911, which has been for years).

    So I wonder if the reliability going up significantly affects the numbers being used as a daily, more than other exotic qualities such as ride, ground clearance, gas milage, etc. If they were as reliable as Hondas, I'm bet there'd be tons more daily driver Ferraris.
     
  20. 911Fan

    911Fan Formula 3

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    "If they were as reliable as Hondas, I'm bet there'd be tons more daily driver Ferraris."

    I don't think so. The typical Ferrari garage queen suffers its fate because the owner is afraid of losing his shirt on resale. It could be as reliable as a Honda but the typical owner would still ration his driving pleasure!

    It's just crazy.
     
  21. LouB

    LouB Formula 3

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    Most of the above makes sense but I look at it differently. Would you complain if your beautiful, costly, hot, hot, hot Italian mistress didn't do windows or mow the lawn as well as your neighbors sturdy, rugged non complaining wife?
     
  22. rpmtifosi

    rpmtifosi Formula 3

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    The S2000 actually has a chain!! Don't know if it should be replaced some time???
    It isn't a very high volume car (at least here in Europe you don't see them alot, i see more F-cars lately then S2000's!), it has a very high tuned engine (120 bhp/l) but still it is bullet proof! I drive mine very, very hard! In the city, at the motorway at high speeds, in the rain, snow, even do track days with it! And still i never had problems with it after almost 60.000 kms, only the regular oilchanges and stuff! And these services really are cheap, never paid more then 150 Euro!!
    I know, it's only a 2.0 l four cilinder engine, but i still would think it should be possible to make a ferrari more to the maintenance and reliability standards as Honda!
    At least i hope because i definately get an F-car in a few years! :)

    CIAO...

    Guy
     
  23. Ingenere

    Ingenere F1 Veteran
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    I have had a number of Ferrari's...ranging from a Euro 308QV to a TR, 348SS, mondial t cab to an F40. I have had the dealer do my service and I've done my own majors (taking those engines out without a lift is always fun....NOT!). Here's what I think about that...

    I drive my cars...I drive them hard and fast. I track them and I go grab groceries in them...but most of all I have fun. The Ferrari's have been bullit proof and have run flawlessly. The engineering is such that you are forced to overservice the cars as compared to other makes. The actual recommendation for T-belt replacement is 52,500 miles(according to the Fcar manuals)...but the dealers recommend 15K miles.....Hmmmm. They hit you for 19-20 hours to to R/R the motors...when it took me and one helper 2.5 hours out and 3 hours in for the 348, TR and t cab. The dealer network are theives....in the US at least. $5,000 to $8000 to service a healthy car is insane...but as long as the fools line up...why not!

    The warranty issue is typical Italian. I think that if you are a good customer....and your last name ends in a vowel :))...you get better warranty work from the factory. I blew up my 348 gearbox....the car was several years out of warranty....and Ferrari, Spa gave me about $9000 worth of parts to fix it. That was very impressive. The incompetents in Scottsdale couldn't figure out how to put it together...so they let it sit for almost a year. I eventually pulled the car and the parts and it was assembled in 24 hours and has been perfect ever since.

    As far as needing expensive service in order to be ultra high performance....that argument doesn't hold water. I have an '03 SL55 AMG...it will run circles around my Fcars. It has demolished Porsches, Vettes and just about anything else at the track. I have even recently run away from the almighty 360CS on a mountain road. Warranty and service costs on the SL55:

    5 year...50,000 miles
    ALL services included for that period
    When it does need a non-covered 'major'......$500

    Nobody could be more of a Ferrari die hard than me....but being taken advantage of, and treated like 'they are doing ME a favor is not my idea of fun....but as long as the fools line up....they have no reason to make their cars more service free or give a better warranty. Having said all that I still love 'em...but I'll do my own work!

    Ciao...Dino
     
  24. Testacojones

    Testacojones F1 Veteran

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    Another example is I bought the AC compressor for my Testarossa for $220 brand new the same brand and model that Ferrari sells in their beautifull yellow with prancing cavallino on it, I asked the lady from the warehouse that sold it to me how come so cheap and she said "thats an universal model, many people with working trucks with no a/c at all end up buying this ones, its a very common part and cheap", the dealers price was $1,600.
     
  25. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

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    Testacojones, how long has the replacement a/c compressor been in your TR? And, how well does it work ? The reason I ask is on my 328 it too had an a/c compressor that shared a commonn York part#. But, as it turned out Ferrari had modified it to be efficient with the higher reving engine of the 328 as compared to the Chevy that compressor was normally used in. While it would work in the 328, it didn't work as well and would fail very fast.
     

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