Tell me about the California

Discussion in 'California/Portofino/Roma' started by Husker, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. Husker

    Husker F1 Veteran

    Dec 31, 2003
    western hemisphere
    I have really been an admirer of the California. I haven't owned a Ferrari for a number of years - had two 348s and a 308.

    But the prices of the Californias are definitely coming down. What are the main issues/problems with the California? As Ferraris go, is it more, less, or average in terms of repairs/maintenance?

    I was pretty lucky with my previous Ferraris. I had to replace a fuel pump and a throw out bearing in one of my 348s, but both were as reliable as Hondas as far as I was concerned. The 308 was bullet proof, too.

    Any insight would be most appreciated. I will also look around the forum.
  2. Stercrazy

    Stercrazy Karting

    Sep 29, 2017
    NC and FL
    Full Name:
    Paul Winchester
    Bought my 2011 in 2017 with 20,000 miles on it. Now at 38,000 with no trouble but a gear in the driver side window motor. Covered by warranty which I renew every year. I drive my car a lot, every day that it doesn’t rain. Long trips no problem, comfortable and plenty of carg capacity. I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
  3. Tito1969

    Tito1969 Rookie

    May 19, 2019
    Full Name:
    Tito Kabir
    Super reliable. Like most things if maintained well and used regularly...
  4. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
    DFW, Texas
    Full Name:
    Tom C
    Ditto. I hate to continually brag on the reliability of my Cali, as I fear the car gods will catch up with me. But, after they replaced the battery and I bought a new battery tender, early in our ownership, it's been pretty reliable. Just eclipsed 18 K miles in her, 24+ K miles total. Drive it as much as possible, maintain it as best as you can, and enjoy the heck out of it. To my mind, at current prices, there's not a better entry point for Ferrari ownership...T
    AD211 likes this.
  5. rsbgcali

    rsbgcali Rookie

    Nov 4, 2018
    Full Name:
    James Lawson
    Had mine going on two years and 20000 miles on the clock. No issues...
    I got a 2014 and it still had the complimentary service. The earlier models had some sort of internal pressure switch in the transmission that was expensive to fix. They have the usual sticky switches on the hvac controls and some dashboard shrinkage and the led bulbs fall out (1) so far and it did not affect the performance of the light. I drive mine all the time. 2014 is the last year for the regular California. So I think most of the bugs were worked out by then.
    It and the 430 have timing chains and it has a dual clutch, so the service is less expensive and according to my dealer the reliability is good. They have not had anything major come in for repair.
    It’s very comfortable on long or short trips. There is quite a bit of road noise with the top up. Acceleration is good and brakes are outstanding. Steering is light and precise. Mine had a full body wrap which is awesome and there is no brake dust. Clean up is a dream. I would not recommend light colored carpet for dirt and stain issues. It does look great though. Mine has Alcantara inserts and I love them
  6. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

    Apr 13, 2014
    DFW, Texas
    Full Name:
    Tom C
    Pics of this wonderful, well used Cali!
  7. lkilbrith

    lkilbrith Rookie

    Jan 9, 2011
    West Palm Beach ,Florida
    Full Name:
    Lee Kilbrith

    I have owned a 2015 T for a couple years and have had two issues. One a small oil leak coming from the rear of the engine. Not a problem but occasionally leaves a drip or two on my floor. Second is an intermittent loss of radio ? I remove one cable on the battery for a second or two and all is fine. Now this has not happened for a while so I am now expecting it to happen . Hope this helps, car really is a joy to drive and pretty in a big assed way.
  8. azlin75

    azlin75 Formula Junior

    Jul 16, 2017
    Full Name:
    Shawn Hicks
    Pretty much what everyone above mentioned. And it seems reliability and comfort improved markedly with this generation and newer Ferrari. The California is a more practical car for everyday use and a bit less flashy then say a 458/488 but still noticed as a Ferrari. I’d say go have a drive in one and see for yourself, well once everything settles down that is.
    Il Co-Pilota likes this.
  9. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota Formula 3

    May 29, 2019
    Full Name:
    The Cali is fairly reliable, and it belongs in the modern segment of Ferraris. It is nothing like a 348 or 355 in terms of upkeep and reliability - it is more VW Golf in this regard than exotic GT, which is a good thing.
    Some talk about gearbox issues, but fact is that most work and run flawlessly. The major culprit on the Cali is the roof. There has been countless cases of broken and damaged roofs over the years. More and more seem to be sorted, but it is something tp look out for.

    As Ferraris go, it is to me, not the most exciting car, and by modern standards, it is by no means fast. It has 460 hp with a gearbox which has ridiculously long gears, the car is very heavy and there is a fair bit of chassis flex. It is a car that you should buy as a GT, not a sportscar like a 458 for instance. It doesn't quite have that famous light and direct Ferrari steering feel, so for some that is a minus. It is a bit like the Lusso in this regard, but even more so. While the Lusso steering is still very Ferrari feeling, the Cali steering is not as on point. Not sure if it has to do with the chassis flex, but it feels heavier and more "generic". Compared to your 348, the steering will probably feel a bit numb.

    What the car is to you, depends on you. I was never really smitten by the Cali, and to this day I still don't get much emotion from it. But get behind the wheel and see what you think. I will advise that you drive a Cali 30. Forget the added 30 hp and reduced 30 kg. Those numbers are just fluff. But they did sort out the suspension a bit better, and most importantly, they changed the gear ratios which made the most significant change.

    Good luck
    Themaven likes this.

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