F355 Bought a 355, have some concerns... - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-18-2014, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Bought a 355, have some concerns...

I'm here posting because I checked my oil 4 days after buying a 355, (97, 14,500 miles, and quite clean.) I bought the car , drove it home 500 miles after flying out inspecting and purchasing.Checked it after oil was quite hot, turned off the car, immediately unscrewed the cap, wiped the dipstick clean, screwed it back in, checked it...and it was ABOVE the max level, climbing up the dipstick about 1/3 an inch, on the circular part, not the flat part. It freaked me out. SO, I turkey-basted out a quart. It was brown, but not black, and needs a change. REchecked it again after temp was brought back up, still seems high. No smoke from exhaust whatsoever. Oil pressure is 20 at hot idle, 65 at 6000 RPM. While driving, the oil pressure usually sits at about 11 o'clock, or 60, maybe 65 by the gauge whatsoever. Power is immense, idle is smooth with a slight occasional dip to 900Rpm from the usual 1000 RPM idle. A throttle-blip cures that. Everything feels right. All three gauges (2 temperature, 1 oil pressure) seem to always remain at the 12 ish position (straight up, more or less.) No red lights but the check-engine light is ALWAYS on. The SLOW DOWN light blinks every time I start it from a cold start, but goes away after spirited driving. A new battery was installed last week by the owner, and its questionable whether or not the ECU was reset properly. Concerned about all of this, and would LOVE some feedback. I want to fix all of this ASAP. I feel like I should not even be driving the car...Thanks in advance! -Brian
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post #2 of 27 Old 01-18-2014, 03:46 AM
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This is the car that was bought from the mitishibishi dealership, correct?

I would suggest taking her to a dealer or good independent to get the fluids drained and the other issues sorted out.
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-18-2014, 05:08 AM
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-18-2014, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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This is the car that was bought from the mitishibishi dealership, correct?

I would suggest taking her to a dealer or good independent to get the fluids drained and the other issues sorted out.
Yes, they bought it an auction. I am going to drop her off at Ferrari of Central New Jersey on Monday; we are supposed to get snow this week so its a good time to do it. I did an ECU reset today, but no luck with the lights (slow down on cold-start-up, check engine.) I left the heat on by accident, fan position was at "2". DAMN! Might reset it again this afternoon....So, anyway I took her for a drive and after 10 minutes of driving, I pulled in for gas and the oil pressure light flickered and the engine stalled. It makes 70 psi, sometimes 65 when at 5000 RPM, but seems to hover just below the 20 mark at idle. At one point it seemed to go almost to zero at idle (clutch pushed in, about to downshift into 1st gear at 5 mph.) Is that bad?! All other gauges seem to be at 12o'clock. I was shocked it stalled. It started right up before I stopped rolling, and I filled the tank up. The slow down light goes away usually after some good driving. Checked the oil as soon as I got home and it seemed closer to normal; right at the max line. Any thoughts? Thanks for your replies guys.
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-18-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by David @ FluentInFerrari View Post
Make an appointment at your favorite Ferrari specialist...

i agree. good luck, hope it's nothing major or serious!

you said you inspected it before purchase, do you mean you personally or had a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic specialized in Ferrari's?

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post #6 of 27 Old 01-18-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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i agree. good luck, hope it's nothing major or serious!

you said you inspected it before purchase, do you mean you personally or had a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic specialized in Ferrari's?
Good question. I meant that I did my best to assess the car based on what I saw, heard and felt. Everything felt right, sounded right... Everything looked right. I tried to arrange for a PPI but the exotic shop was too backed up to get me in with 24 hours notice. Yes, I am taking a chance. I plan on replacing the stock manifolds no matter what. I plan to assess the valve guides. I plan to replace the cats and muffler. That should account for a lot of known problems. I have my fingers crossed on the valve guides tho. I dont want to have to replace those but will if necessary. The cosmetic issues are limited to the sticky vents. There is nothing else cosmetic. I am really only concerned about the mechanical issues, if any. If I am lucky, I replace a few sensors. If I am not I will have her in the shop for a while. I am prepared for that at the price I paid.
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-21-2014, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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The Ferrari dealership (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) said I need 3 thermocouple ECU's and 2 thermocouples to address the check-engine and slow-down lights. Any feedback? I have a feeling they want to replace them all to avoid checking them one at a time. They quoted me just under $2000 for this job. Do you guys think I would be able to do it myself by ordering the parts? I am pretty handy with a wrench but am not a mechanic. It looks somewhat a somewhat simple setup in the manual.Would love some feedback.
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post #8 of 27 Old 01-21-2014, 05:04 PM
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-21-2014, 05:06 PM
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The Ferrari dealership (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) said I need 3 thermocouple ECU's and 2 thermocouples to address the check-engine and slow-down lights. Any feedback? I have a feeling they want to replace them all to avoid checking them one at a time. They quoted me just under $2000 for this job. Do you guys think I would be able to do it myself by ordering the parts? I am pretty handy with a wrench but am not a mechanic. It looks somewhat a somewhat simple setup in the manual.Would love some feedback.
Those particular items are very simple to change, even for a novice mechanic --- assuming that's what you really need. TBH, it sounds like maybe they just wanted to throw some parts at the car.


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post #10 of 27 Old 01-21-2014, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Bring lube
Hahah yeah I hear ya. Too funny.
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-22-2014, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Ready321now View Post
The Ferrari dealership (Ferrari of Central New Jersey) said I need 3 thermocouple ECU's and 2 thermocouples to address the check-engine and slow-down lights. Any feedback? I have a feeling they want to replace them all to avoid checking them one at a time. They quoted me just under $2000 for this job. Do you guys think I would be able to do it myself by ordering the parts? I am pretty handy with a wrench but am not a mechanic. It looks somewhat a somewhat simple setup in the manual.Would love some feedback.
I suspect there's some misunderstanding/miscommunications going on here. Slowdown ECU failures are common and are reasonably easy to test. Your car uses two ECUs. The thermocouples are not a high failure rate item, although may be changed as a precautionary measure. The check engine light may be another story, altogether or related to the slow-down light. Handy with a wrench is one thing; dealing with CELs on a 355 is another. I'd leave it to the pros...

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post #12 of 27 Old 01-22-2014, 04:16 PM
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Register the car in Florida and rip the cats out and install test pipes....slow down solved + no snow here
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-25-2014, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by David @ FluentInFerrari View Post
I suspect there's some misunderstanding/miscommunications going on here. Slowdown ECU failures are common and are reasonably easy to test. Your car uses two ECUs. The thermocouples are not a high failure rate item, although may be changed as a precautionary measure. The check engine light may be another story, altogether or related to the slow-down light. Handy with a wrench is one thing; dealing with CELs on a 355 is another. I'd leave it to the pros...
Thanks for the feedback. This is what the service manager said when I asked about this last week:

"The slow down light comes on because the exhaust is to hot or at least it senses that is, which in turn makes the check engine light come on. Please see the attached codes we got. The Ferrari codes are not P codes so I am not sure what they convert too."

(I asked him for specific codes)

Sounds like a good explanation....I assume it is accurate?
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-26-2014, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Register the car in Florida and rip the cats out and install test pipes....slow down solved + no snow here
Yah, sounds like fun...always loved florida. In NJ, we have emissions tests. Would it be hard to swap the originals back in for inspection every 2 years, or is it a difficult job? I would like to eliminate the cats eventually.
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-26-2014, 05:26 PM
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Yah, sounds like fun...always loved florida. In NJ, we have emissions tests. Would it be hard to swap the originals back in for inspection every 2 years, or is it a difficult job? I would like to eliminate the cats eventually.
Buy test pipes then not difficult, a few hours but nothing complicated, remove rear tires, inner fender wells, rear bumper valance and some heat shields and then put it all back on.

Most I know down here do it and just put cats on shelf.

Just do a google search for 355 cat test pipes.
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post #16 of 27 Old 01-27-2014, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Buy test pipes then not difficult, a few hours but nothing complicated, remove rear tires, inner fender wells, rear bumper valance and some heat shields and then put it all back on.

Most I know down here do it and just put cats on shelf.

Just do a google search for 355 cat test pipes.
Might just save up for Fabspeed sport-cats. Less CEL and SDL I believe, if you install the sensor extender (or something like that). Then I would pass emissions, and have less lights on the dash. I heard the ECU needs to be reprogrammed or remapped (or something like that, haha)to avoid throwing codes altogether.
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post #17 of 27 Old 01-27-2014, 04:31 PM
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Your 355 w Motronic 5.2 uses (3) cat temp ECU's, LH, RH & bypass pipe w/integrated catalysts, US only. Without seeing fault codes, testing the components and track the cat temp readings during warm up with a scan tool, we really can't help you.

The blinking Slow Down usually means a complete sensor failure, lack of sensor or the sensor could be removed from the exhaust stream and tied off to the side. Again, we need data to verify, otherwise you're just throwing parts at it.

The CEL can be linked to the Slow Down issue, since that warning is flashing right away, I suspect the CEL is indeed directly related.

Resetting your ECU is going to accomplish nothing except erase useful memorized fault data. You have a component failure or mis-installation.

The engine also should not be stalling out for any reason. The oil pressure light will flicker if the engine stalls, the sensor is still trying to read pressure as the engine stops spinning. At a certain point the mechanically driven pump no longer creates pressure. Normally when you cut the key, power is cut before the engine stops spinning and you don't see the correlation first hand.

Did you mention the stalling issue to FCNJ as well? It seems to me like the car needs a thorough going over, visually and electronically by someone familiar with this model. It's too bad you reset the ECU, that could make it more work to read ECU parameters and determine why the engine is running at full song.

Maybe you will get lucky and the overfilling of the oil just saturated the MAF and that's what is causing it run poorly. Maybe not.

Instead of spending a ton of money on exhaust parts and the like that may not fix the car, spend it on a tow down here and someone willing to take the time to actually sort the car. You will be happier in the end, when the car is fixed and runs nicely.


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post #18 of 27 Old 01-29-2014, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Your 355 w Motronic 5.2 uses (3) cat temp ECU's, LH, RH & bypass pipe w/integrated catalysts, US only. Without seeing fault codes, testing the components and track the cat temp readings during warm up with a scan tool, we really can't help you.

The blinking Slow Down usually means a complete sensor failure, lack of sensor or the sensor could be removed from the exhaust stream and tied off to the side. Again, we need data to verify, otherwise you're just throwing parts at it.

The CEL can be linked to the Slow Down issue, since that warning is flashing right away, I suspect the CEL is indeed directly related.

Resetting your ECU is going to accomplish nothing except erase useful memorized fault data. You have a component failure or mis-installation.

The engine also should not be stalling out for any reason. The oil pressure light will flicker if the engine stalls, the sensor is still trying to read pressure as the engine stops spinning. At a certain point the mechanically driven pump no longer creates pressure. Normally when you cut the key, power is cut before the engine stops spinning and you don't see the correlation first hand.

Did you mention the stalling issue to FCNJ as well? It seems to me like the car needs a thorough going over, visually and electronically by someone familiar with this model. It's too bad you reset the ECU, that could make it more work to read ECU parameters and determine why the engine is running at full song.

Maybe you will get lucky and the overfilling of the oil just saturated the MAF and that's what is causing it run poorly. Maybe not.

Instead of spending a ton of money on exhaust parts and the like that may not fix the car, spend it on a tow down here and someone willing to take the time to actually sort the car. You will be happier in the end, when the car is fixed and runs nicely.
Hi, thanks much for the feedback. here is a pic of the codes, couldnt convert it from acrobat reader.
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-29-2014, 05:02 PM
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These codes aren't condemning anything. The circuits need to be checked as do the sensors and the readings they are putting out while in the car as well.


You may very well have an exhaust system issue or a secondary air system issue to contend with.


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post #20 of 27 Old 01-30-2014, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=ECSofVirginia;352465]These codes aren't condemning anything. The circuits need to be checked as do the sensors and the readings they are putting out while in the car as well.


You may very well have an exhaust system issue or a secondary air system issue to contend with.[/QUOTE

Hi again, and thanks again. I did some research on the secondary air system...but didn't get a clear idea of what a fault of this type might entail. From what I have heard (from techs, service managers, forums, parts guys etc) and read, (forum), it does seem that the Thermo-ECU is a VERY common problem. I told the fellows at Long Island Ferrari that I would like to tackle the prob myself, given the large bill I anticipate getting. They said they will take a closer look at these codes for me and see if they can point me in the right direction on where to start. Sure, I can tell them to just do it...but $ is an issue. Which is why I saved $1200 on tires alone ($1800 quote from Ferrari of central Jersey)....buy buying some BF Gooodrich G-Force Sport-Comp II on tire-rack for $635.74 shipped. Those should arrive tomorrow. (My left rear is whooped. Unsafe. ) I figure I can save another $1000 by swapping out the ECU units one at a time, driving to see if a code goes up on the dash, and swapping again. I might just have one bad ECU, and dont want to throw $1800 (price quote) at something I might be able to rectify for $360 or $567 perhaps. (1 ECU + 1 Thermocoupler). If I still have codes, I might then move on to buying Thermocouplers...and wind up owning a spare ECU. When I started my car to put her back up on the flatbed...the check-engine light was gone. Perhaps they reset the ECU and I will see it again in 50-60 miles, perhaps. The slowdown light still blinked at start-up though. Hmmmm. Wonder what that means? Probably IS the ECU...
Anyway... Here she is getting a Full service, all fluids, plugs, belts etc. This is a picture from this morning, sent to me by the stellar service manager who has been awesome. He my car off of the flatbed personally, and is more than helpful. (Thanks Patrick. ) Cannot wait to get my car back. I only had her for 5 days before I put her in the shop.
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