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Hello everyone,

Can anyone tell me how much is a "fair price" for an oil/filter change on a Ferrari Spider F355 with less than one thousand miles put on the engine since the last oil change, done by previous owner 2 years ago?

Well, I took my F355 to a Ferrari dealer here in Miami for an "estimate" and ended up with a "2 year service fluids/filter change" estimate.

LOW AND BEHOLD:$1, 973.44 !!!

Of course, they also tried to push for the replacement of the "belts" (which are 4 years old) , for the mere cost of 8,000.00!!!

The car is from 1997 and therefore out of warranty. Do I really need to have this service done at a dealer for the sake of "keeping the records reliable" and therefore get a better price when I sell my car in the future?

In case I take it to an especialized private mechanic, what would be the normal range of prices for the same service???

Thank you ahead of time for your suggestion/responses.

Wendler:
 

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Oil Change

To do an oil and filter change, you have to pull the belly pans off the car. You have to do this to access the drain plug on the dry sump reservoir. I've done it, and I've also seen an invoice from a Ferrari dealer. They charged $210 including the oil and filter. If I owned a 355, I'd drill a hole in the belly pan in the correct place, and put a rubber plug in it. Future oil changes would then be a piece of cake. -Steve
 

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Hmmm...Who has the lubrication industry experience here.

I'm not aware of a shelf life for motor oils. That the last oil change must have been done with some name brand sythetic. It would seem that the oil put in your car at the last change should still be good unless you've traveled something greater than 10,000 miles. Seems like there should be plenty of life left in that oil.

Why have you elected to change it? Moisture issue? Dusty environment issue? Coloration issue?

What am I missing?
 

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That's outrageous. Personally, I don't care who did the work as long as it was done correctly. I do most of the work on my car myself. If a potential buyer wants to see a complete "Ferrari" service history he will be sorely disappointed with my car. I'm not maintaining my car for a future owner, I'm maintaining it for me so that I have a reliable car for my use. There is no Ferrari dealer where I live and I'll be damned if I am going to drive 2 1/2 hours and pay a thousand bucks for some "factory trained technician" to drain the oil and screw on a new filter. I'll do it myself in the driveway for $50. If it makes my car worth less not having it done by "Ferrari" then so be it.

I wouldn't worry about it Wendler, are you maintaining the car for yourself or for a future owner? You will never lose money on the car no matter who maintains it so I'd find yourself a good independent shop that has experience with Ferraris and you are comfortable with and use them.
 

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Pete, I agree.

And consider also that what you might lose with depretiation will probably be compensated by what you save not paying for those outrageous bills the official dealers charge.
 

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Hmmm...Who has the lubrication industry experience here.

I'm not aware of a shelf life for motor oils. That the last oil change must have been done with some name brand sythetic. It would seem that the oil put in your car at the last change should still be good unless you've traveled something greater than 10,000 miles. Seems like there should be plenty of life left in that oil.

Why have you elected to change it? Moisture issue? Dusty environment issue? Coloration issue?

What am I missing?
You are absolutely right! I've put less than 1,000 miles since tyhe last oil change. The reason I had elected to change was because the DEALER(as usual) had recommended that I change the oil AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY MILES I PUT IN THE CAR. I am starting to believe that these people only care about how much profit they can make out of you, instead of really giving good advice about the car.
Thank you for all the responses so far. I really appreciated and am on my way to find a PRIVATE mechanic that hopefully is at least a little more honest... .
 

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Where are you located...maybe we can help.

Don't swear off all Ferrari shops. Some are actually quite good. For example, I would recommend F of NE.

Just for fun... since that mechanic recommeded an oil change due to time rather than miles...ask him how old the oil is on his shelf. If its over a year, he should throw it out since its obviously to old to lubricate anymore.
 

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The reason it is recommended to change the oil annually if the car is not regularly driven has nothing to do with lubrication. It is recommended so as to eliminate moisture that can accumulate in the oil due to condensation caused by just sitting, or MUCH worse, short drives that do not allow the engine to come up to and maintain normal operating temp. Regular driving eliminates the moisture. Condensation (water) can, over time, combine with the sulfur in the oil and form sulphuric acid which will then damage the main and rod bearings. That's why it's a good idea to change it annually. All engine makers recommend this whether they are small motorcycle engines or large diesels.

Oil in a sealed can will not degrade because no moisture can get into the oil.
 

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Lack of use is clearly a problem on a multitude of levels. Someone that drives that infrequently should do far more than change the oil.

I'm certainly no expert, but for devils advocate purposes:

1) there's no sulpher in synthetic oil
2) The volume of moisture needed to degrade 10 liters would be plainly visible in the oil coloration. a white foam would be apparent.

(BTW - love the Belvedere, what color?)
 

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I was just explaining why it is recommended; certainly anyone can choose to do whatever they wish to do.

However, the idea that it takes enough moisture to turn the oil milky to cause damage is incorrect. If the oil is milky due to moisture, there is a major amount of water in the oil and it's not condensation. The most likely cause for that is a blown head gasket or other seal failure allowing coolant into the oil system.

The amount of water necessary to cause bearings to be damaged will not show in the oil as anything at all.

Again, if the car is driven regularly and brought up to normal operating temp, there is no danger at all of condensation causing a problem.
 

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Hmmm...learn something new every day. Here's some seemingly logical decent reading on the subject

http://www.nordicgroup.us/oil.htm#Oil Change Intervals

Redcarguy is correct. Sulphurs get in to our oils due to blowby the rings. This is probably the most important reason to warm your car before driving. Thermal expansion helps seal the rings better. Moisture gets in by condensation caused by inadequate drive time. Starting he car once a week is probably a bad idea.

I'm still not convinced I need an oil change annually, but its clearly not a bad idea. Seems even more important when the car is semi laid up in the winter.


Lane
 

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Whoa guys, clearly everyone needs a crash course in oils.

I am in a hurry, so I'm only going to list the main reasons you should change your oil, you should all really look into learning about oil. Your cars deserve better.

Ok, first of all, it seems everyone only recognizes 1 of the 4 things oil does. Yes it lubricates, but it also cools the engine(Mainly cools certain parts like valves), and it cleans the engine, which keeps the oiling system free of debris, keeps bearing surfaces free from glazing, and makes sure oxidation is held to a minumum. It also helps seal the engine in certain capacities. The other two are very important.

The oil filter is something that does generally last longer than the normal 3K, but it would be ignorant not to change it while you are changing the oil.

Sure, the oil will lubricate parts when it is very old, even up to 10K+ miles, but thats only if it can maintain oil pressure. Oil is made of many ingredients: surfactants (which keep carbon from sticking to eachother and blocking oil holes), which work with detergents (which keep the oil CLEAN to avoid sludge), friction additives (performance), anti-foaming agents (to keep oil pressure consistant) and many other things that make the oil in your car actually work. All of these agents are the first elelments of the oil to be burned off, lowering the oil's ability to remain at its normal viscosity, which is the number 1 factor in maintaining oil pressure. They also lose their ability to absorb heat, as the molecular shape has changed from a box (which transfers heat better) into trangular structures as the additives are burned off. This makes the car run hotter and wear out the valve guides much faster. Another reason is that the detergents become contaminated, leaving behind carbon which burns into the metal engine parts, and along with other loose carbon deposits, creates oxidation. This oxidation creates acids which eat at seals and aluminum parts throughout the engine, especially when the car is left to sit with old oil in it. AN OIL CHANGE IS ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED BEFORE A CAR IS STORED FOR ANY EXTENDED PERIOD, REGARDLESS OF HOW OLD THE OIL IS BEFORE STORING, AND THEN YOU NEED TO CHANGE THE OIL AGAIN WHEN IT COMES OUT OF STORAGE. sorry!

All of these additives start to break down from the first time you start the car after an oil change. Yes, the base oil does not start breaking down after many thousands of miles, but by that time, the stuff that actually makes the oil work will long be gone.

As far as moisture in the oil, well, you cant avoid it, the car goes through a condensation cycle everytime it cools down, thankfully modern surfactants don't allow the oil to mix with the water (AS LONG AS YOU HAVE FRESH OIL) and the water is evaporated the next time you run the car for a little while. Dont worry about it, like i said you cant avoid it.

I am a professional mechanic, and I don't recommend changing the oil at the recommended intervals so I can make money, thats absurd. I do it because I think it essential to keeping the machine in the best possible condition you can. It seems foolish to me that someone who owns a car like a Ferrari would even question the service life of oil. Really? You can't afford to change the oil 2-3 times a year. Really? I would'nt let my car go more than 3 months on the same oil, then again, I know whats going on inside there, and I want my car to run as smooth and smoke free at 25K miles as it does right now at 7K miles. Overkill? Maybe, but then again what's a couple hundred dollars a year in context to the price of the car.
 

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I hope everyone realizes that I wasn't advocating not changing the oil regularly. I change mine once a year regardless of the low miles I put on the car. Usually in the fall just before I put the car up for the winter.

I was merely agreeing that there is no need to pay the outrageously high prices to have someone with a Ferrari patch on his shirt drain the oil and screw on a new filter. I don't know what else is included in this 2 year service but I'm sure any competent independent could do it if you don't feel like doing it yourself. I remember once my wife took her car to the Mercedes dealer for a $180 oil change and they asked her if she wanted the "group B" service also for $380. She asked what that consisted of and they said they check the tire pressure, check the transmission fluid, check the coolant, check the air filter, etc. I couldn't believe it. Don't they do that anyway? They used to. I remember back when I was turning wrenches for a living when someone came in for an oil change we would give the entire car a look over for potential problems. We didn't charge extra for that.

Can you imagine bringing the car back to the dealer with an exhaust leak a week after getting your oil changed and the service manager says that he figured you'd be back because it looked pretty shaky last week. You ask him why he didn't say anything then and he replies that you payed for an oil change, you didn't pay for an exhaust system inspection. That's included in the "group B" service.
 

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I hope everyone realizes that I wasn't advocating not changing the oil regularly. I change mine once a year regardless of the low miles I put on the car. Usually in the fall just before I put the car up for the winter.

I was merely agreeing that there is no need to pay the outrageously high prices to have someone with a Ferrari patch on his shirt drain the oil and screw on a new filter. I don't know what else is included in this 2 year service but I'm sure any competent independent could do it if you don't feel like doing it yourself. I remember once my wife took her car to the Mercedes dealer for a $180 oil change and they asked her if she wanted the "group B" service also for $380. She asked what that consisted of and they said they check the tire pressure, check the transmission fluid, check the coolant, check the air filter, etc. I couldn't believe it. Don't they do that anyway? They used to. I remember back when I was turning wrenches for a living when someone came in for an oil change we would give the entire car a look over for potential problems. We didn't charge extra for that.

Can you imagine bringing the car back to the dealer with an exhaust leak a week after getting your oil changed and the service manager says that he figured you'd be back because it looked pretty shaky last week. You ask him why he didn't say anything then and he replies that you payed for an oil change, you didn't pay for an exhaust system inspection. That's included in the "group B" service.
Yeah, I didn't get the feeling anyone was advocating not changing their oil regularly, but clearly this thread is riffled with ignorance concerning oil and why you change it. ..and someone even compared oil thats sat on a shelf for one year to oil that has been oxidizing inside of an engine for one year. Its the combustion process that ruins the oil, not time, not dirt, not water. Running on a new oil change for only a few minutes is enough to start the oxidation process--end of story. Once it starts it never stops, its like a cancer. Oil that sits on a shelf is never introduced to the catalyst (mainly, carbon monoxide), so it can last on a shelf for years, depending on the quality of additives.

I also agree that changing your own oil is the way to go for sure. Documenting all of the minor work you do with pictures, dates, and reciepts will also help, not only keep track of intervals, but when it comes time to sell the car. Is it as good as having a factory service record? No, but it can go along way and is certainly better than doing nothing.

Also Pete, I hope you still have faith in some dealerships and technicians. ...some of those damn tehcs make us all look bad. Some of us still care about our customers and take pride in the work we do on the machines. Checking tire pressures, tread wear, and other safety related components that are easily visable are not even a thaught for a good tech, you just do it out of habit while the oil is draining or whatever. I know in bigger dealerships there can be alot of pressure on the techs, but it is no excuse, especially since most get payed per workorder, not by the hour. Fortunately I have spent my whole career in small, specialty shops, where I have enough time to polish turds if I wanted to:rofl:
 
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