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Now that the summer is here in all its glory, im sure this is a topic that all ferrari owners can relate to or thats atleast what i was told when i took mine in two days ago. Coolant was adequite,,,temperature was at about 45 C and traffic was jammed... so as you can gues, the temp guage kept rising until boom, a small cloud of smoke from the radiator and coolant all over the hood.. i opened to see the extent of the damage and found the cooolant tank cap had popped off and left a gapping hole on the hood inner cover...anyway the car is back at the shop and im told a new cap has been ordered.. any ideas on ways to improve cooling?
 

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Now that the summer is here in all its glory, im sure this is a topic that all ferrari owners can relate to or thats atleast what i was told when i took mine in two days ago. Coolant was adequite,,,temperature was at about 45 C and traffic was jammed... so as you can gues, the temp guage kept rising until boom, a small cloud of smoke from the radiator and coolant all over the hood.. i opened to see the extent of the damage and found the cooolant tank cap had popped off and left a gapping hole on the hood inner cover...anyway the car is back at the shop and im told a new cap has been ordered.. any ideas on ways to improve cooling?
A few things you might be able todo:

- flush and then refill the cooling system
- check to make sure the fans are working properly
- install auxiliary electric fans to both push more air into the radiator and then pull more hot air off (I am not sure how much room you have to fit it in, if my memory is right, space is quite tight, you might be able to fit a row of small ones right behind the front grill
- see if you can have a larger radiator fitted
- add air vents in the hood (clearly a solution of last resort)
 

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I'm not specifically familiar with this cars internals however my experiences tell me that most overheating issues involve heat exchange issues caused by either fouled radiators (water or air side) or coolant flow issues caused by thermostat failure. Flushing the system is a very good first step. When you do it, be sure to note the color/condition of the effluent. Brown is associated with corrosion which would be the primary culprit for most cooling system failures. Make sure you reload the rads with Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze) The thermal transfer rates are superior to straight water, it contains corrosion preventative, and is flat out required in environments were freezing could be an issue. The stuff is sweet tasting and deadly to small animals like dogs. May I suggest a pet safe type.

Be aware that other Ferrari models have issues with design piping where it becomes manditory to properly vent the piping to allow for proper flow. I have no idea if that is true on a 550. Someone else chim in please.

If flushing does not do the trick, inspect the rads for airflow restrictions, rad fans for proper operation, and thermostat (part number 8 below) for full cycle range and thermal operation. It should be easy enough to cycle with an ice cube and a lighter. (easy on the heat, don't burn it)

A thermostat is nothing more than a thermally operated valve the purpose of which is to limit coolant flow allowing the engine to reach operating temps faster. As the preset temp is attained (its Bi-Metallic and not adjustable), it is supposed to open thereby allowing coolant flow and maintaining the desired temp. Time and Corrosion is the enemy. Any restrictions in thermostat operating ranges cause coolant flow restrictions in flow that in turn cause overheating. They must operate freely.
 

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Gentlemen,
I'm a far cry from a Ferrari expert (yet), but has you considered timing? I once had the only truck in Montana that was overheating in -20 Temps (Fahrenheit)Also coolant can be tested for proper PH factor.
 

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As I mentioned in another thread sometime ago, I once pulled the car out for a drive and the temperature didn't stop rising until I shut down the engine (it was over 130 or so celcius) and the coolant began spilling under the car. I checked immediately and found out that the fans didn't go off as they usually would have under such temperatures. I then took it to Ferrari for checking, and the car behaved perfectly normally. I still don't know what happened there and neither do the guys at the dealership. FYI the water pipe number 45 in the drawing that Saint Bastage posted usually cracks on the earlier cars. I had mine changed when I bought it.
 
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