Maintaining Your Ferrari and Protecting Your Investment
All cars need a maintenance plan, but when your car is a Ferrari, you need a comprehensive plan that goes beyond keeping it on the road. Like with any other car, the level of maintenance you should perform on a Ferrari will largely depend on mileage and the type of driving that is subject to. As for the cost, quite a few new Ferrari owners are surprised to learn that keeping their Italian supercars in good shape is actually pretty reasonable when considering the value of their investments.
The first step of Ferrari maintenance is to determine if your car is still under a factory or dealer service plan. In 2018, for example, Ferrari rolled out a seven-year Genuine Maintenance Program for owners of new FF, 458, California, or Italia models. In the case of used Ferrari models, a few dealers will offer a service plan for a fee or as a sales tools to sweeten the deal and steer you towards the closing table; either way, you should take advantage of service plans whenever possible.
Ferrari Maintenance Schedule
To learn how often you should perform certain maintenance tasks on your Ferrari, refer to your owner’s manual; if you do not have it, you can request one from Ferrari with your model and VIN code. You can also purchase a Chilton or Haynes manual for your model; this is highly recommended if you wish to learn about your car and perhaps tackle some maintenance tasks on a DIY basis.
Changing the Oil in Your Ferrari
You can expect to pay about $200 for an oil change, but Ferrari models do not need this as often as Honda Civics. The recommended oil and filter change interval of a 2010 Ferrari California, for example, is every 10,000 miles or at least once a year, but this does not exempt you from checking the oil level and appearance, something that should be done every 500 miles or every three months if you do not drive too often. A DIY Ferrari oil change is not as intimidating as it sounds, just be sure to check the tech manual for the filter part number, oil grade and recommendations.
In recent years, Ferrari has been mostly rolling out models equipped with advanced automatic transmissions; if this is your case, you will want a certified mechanic to look at it once a year to determine what should be done in terms of maintenance. Depending on your model, Ferrari technicians will charge about $1,000 to replace all fluids and check the automatic transmission on an annual basis; again, this is a reasonable price since it includes engine, transmission, clutch, brake, steering, radiator, and windshield washer. If you own a stick-shift Ferrari, the gearbox oil needs to be changed every 15,000 miles or once every two years if your car is frequently parked. This is another task you can approach on a DIY basis, but only on manual transmissions.
Ferrari Brake and Clutch Fluid
If spirited driving is something you do frequently, you should check the brake and clutch fluid reservoirs every 10,000 miles; otherwise, you can take a look once a year or every 15,000 miles. While you are doing this, you may want to check the condition of the belts, particularly if you are a speed demon. DIY belt replacement is not recommended, especially if your Ferrari model features a tensioner device.
Engine Mounts and Suspension System
If you purchased your Ferrari from an owner who was into spirited driving, you should have a technician look at the engine mounts, the struts, shocks, and overall suspension system. If everything looks fine, you should have them checked out again after 12,000 miles. When it comes to a smooth Ferrari ride with adequate performance, good suspension is a must. If you feel the car vibrate on idle or while accelerating, you will want to mention it to your mechanic. This would also be a good time to check the tires and wheel alignment; unfortunately, these two maintenance aspects can be a little pricey, but you will not have to worry about them for the next 15,000 miles or two years.