Here on Car Buying, I get
harassed questioned all the time about how maintenance-intensive and costly Italian supercars are, even after I tell them I'm not that DeMuro guy. Fortunately, I've managed to gather some info to put some commonly-held myths to rest.
(Photo by Axion23 on Flickr)
Yes, a Ferrari can be an expensive proposition. It's a mostly hand-made car built in a country that uses "Hey guys, watch this!" as proper driving etiquette. However, as I've written about in the past, just because a car is expensive to buy, it doesn't have to be any more wallet-hungry, percentage-wise, than your average family car. To shed some light on exactly how reasonable maintenance on an Italian supercar can be, Mike from FerrariDIY.com has put together a list of common maintenance items applicable to nearly all late model Ferraris, priced out by a reputable dealership:
|Model||Oil Change||Annual Fluids||Major Service*||Clutch||Brake Pads|
*Major Service = belts, tensioners, bearings, seals, & gaskets (every 3-5 years)
The point of this article is not about those big ticket items, it is for the everyday maintenance that goes along with your current or potential Ferrari. Oil and belt changes, brake pad replacement, annual services, things like that. A properly maintained Ferrari can give you years of problem free ownership. Is that to say that there can't be a lemon in a group? Of course not, but even Toyota and GM are haunted by service bulletins and recalls. A Ferrari is not magic derived from a powerful wizard and unicorns, it's a car. It has an internal combustion engine and a transmission. Take care of it like any other car and it will last longer with less problems. Drive the hell out of it and it will require more service.
The chart above has information taken directly from a Ferrari dealer (Ferrari of Ft. Lauderdale to be specific). These are not made up numbers, in fact, feel free to give them a call and verify the information (954) 607-7942 or visit the link under the chart to check out their website. In fact, they have even been known to have $99 oil change events (they book up fast!) This goes to show that yes, service costs are a little more, but not much more. You could even find a solid independent Ferrari mechanic and get some of these done for a little less. With that said, do your homework and get references before entrusting your pony to an independent tech.
Even better, is that if you are mechanically inclined, many of these services are something you can do yourself, costing even less! Also, service intervals can be argued about. One in particular is the amount of time between oil changes. Many stick to the 3,000 mile interval, but others argue with modern synthetic oils and the sheer amount of oil (12 quarts for example, in the 348 & 360) that you can go 5,000-7,500 miles with no problems what so ever. This is up to you of course. Do your own research and decide for yourself ( www.FerrariChat.com is a great forum for more info and research). We feel better now that the myths have been cleared up and folks can get back to enjoying a Ferrari, while worrying just a little less.
(Photo by Alexandre Prévot on Flickr)
Maintenance is so reasonable, in fact, that Mike has created FerrariDIY.com as a resource for those brave enough to turn a wrench on their expensive automotive investment, promoting a few key things: to take a chance, learn something new, and drive your dream. Life's too short to drive boring cars.
Tavarish is the founder of APiDA Online and writes about buying and selling cool cars on the internet. He owns the world's cheapest Mercedes S-Class, a graffiti-bombed Lexus, and he's the only Jalopnik author that has never driven a Miata. He also has a real name that he didn't feel was journalist-y enough so he used a pen name and this was the best he could do.