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I am considering a 355 as my first Ferrari, and I just had a couple questions regarding oil changes and other simple maintenance. What kind of oil does a 355 take, and how much? Do they have a dry sump system? How difficult is the change? Does the 355 have cam belts or chains?

Lastly, are there any other "hidden" costs that I should be aware of that may differ (or be much more expensive) from a "regular" car? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to make sure I know everything before I go into any purchase! Thanks for the help!
 

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Supernova said:
I am considering a 355 as my first Ferrari, and I just had a couple questions regarding oil changes and other simple maintenance. What kind of oil does a 355 take, and how much? Do they have a dry sump system? How difficult is the change? Does the 355 have cam belts or chains?

Lastly, are there any other "hidden" costs that I should be aware of that may differ (or be much more expensive) from a "regular" car? Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to make sure I know everything before I go into any purchase! Thanks for the help!
The 355 has a pressurized dry sump system and it uses a toothed belt. I don't know if it is dificult to change...

...I think the 355 is one off the best cars to start the Ferrari love affair, but take your time to find a good one! Check this topic, Andrew has made a nice buying guide
 

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All recent Ferrari use syntetic oils. And Shell Helix is the recommended oil. Apart from changing the oil, there is nothing that you can do to DIY repair. Because all V8 Ferraris from the F355 onwards need a factory computer to diagnose and re-set the car's ECU. If the ECU is not re-setted the alarm light will be on all the time and in certain cases will automatically run the car on 4 cylinders, as a built-in precaution. So you can't service it or reapair it without going to the dealers workshop. You can do DIY on the 328 and the 348 though.

The cam belt need to be changed every 3 years or 30,000km (work that out in miles). The engine has to be "dropped" from the car before the cam belt can be changed because the cambelt is located at the insde of the engine bay and there is no way to reach it except by dropping the engine. Ferrari made an improvement on this when they designed an opening in the firewall of the 360 so that the back of the engine can be accessed from the driver's side by removing the seat.

The F355 is one of the easiest car to drive and to maintain but you need to go to a dealer's shop when you have problems.
 

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Stradale said:
Ferrari made an improvement on this when they designed an opening in the firewall of the 360 so that the back of the engine can be accessed from the driver's side by removing the seat.
Now I understand why I always see a lot of 360's at Kroymans with the interrior out...
 

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marcos said:
Stradale said:
Ferrari made an improvement on this when they designed an opening in the firewall of the 360 so that the back of the engine can be accessed from the driver's side by removing the seat.
Now I understand why I always see a lot of 360's at Kroymans with the interrior out...
Cost much cheaper to change belt too.
 

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Cambelt changes as per the factory schedule are both critical and expensive. There are a few Independant Ferrari specialists in the UK who are now doing the F355 cambelts without removing the engine. Not sure how it is done but believe that the gas tanks are removed to create access. MAke sure any car you purchase has a complete service history. If properly maintained, the F355 should give you very few problems.

As a car to drive, it is terrific. A great first Ferrari.
 

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How come it took Ferrari so long to do the removable wall on the two seaters? Pantera had done it way back in the 70s and Ferrari had even done it with the hard top Mondials. I would have thought it would have been a no brainer to do so on the 348s and 355s.
 

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The 355 is a great car except for the lack of torque and steering which is more assisted than necessary, though communicative.
Great handling, fantastic & refined noise with the top down.

Timing belt changes (incl tensioners/bearings) the biggest regular maintenance expense. Otherwise regular maintenance is very reasonable for a high end sports car.

The model is not exempt of significant design shortcomings either:
- original exhaust manifold cracking/leaking/melting (almost 50% end up failing)
- C pilar cracks at the joint with the rear wings
- valve guides on early models
These can become painfully expensive so beware ...
 

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- C pilar cracks at the joint with the rear wings
I have to correct this misconception. The C-pillar doesn't crack. It never has. The problem is Ferrari left a gap between the c-pillar and the rear fender, and filled it with "soft" filler compound. So after a few years the filler shrinks and it leaves a depression there. I know this because I have seen many F355 that were involved in accidents and need to replace the rear fender unit. So when the body-shop cuts that part then it became ver obvious what's that "filler/gap" really is. The weld is made lower down.

The other "failing" of the F355 is the "rubberised" coating of the dashboard, the centre console and the door opening lever deteriorate after a few yaers. They get soft and sticky and have to be stripped and paited over using ordinary paint.
 

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[quote="Stradale]
I have to correct this misconception. The C-pillar doesn't crack. It never has. [/quote]

You may be right (although I'd wonder what that filler really is), but the end result is still the same, the paint bubbles at the joint and it gets very messy. Seen several car with such defects.
You're right about the soft-coated swtiches and center console, but to me this falls in the category of the long list of more minor quality gripes compared to the list of possible mechanical/structural problems.
 

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You may be right (although I'd wonder what that filler really is),
It's soft like Bitumen. But I don't know what it is, really. I've seen many, many 355 where and when the rear fender are stripped/removed for replacement. That's why I know the "gap" is not a crack.
 
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