My car was due an annual service this week so I popped over to the workshop of Ed Blasi – a factory trained tech with over 20 years of experience with the marque (more info on my list of recommended companies within the Ferrari community).
The service was started by plugging the SD3 into the car to check for error codes and to read the parameters stored on the control units in the car. Interestingly, the clutch wear had dropped to 17% from 19% the last time I read it back in November!
Next was to take the diffuser and rear undertray off.
We then spent about an hour methodically going through the various weak points accessible from underneath the car checking for problems and cleaning up the years of grime. Cleaning up areas prone to leaking, like the F1 actuator, allows easy checking in the future. Other areas checked included:
- Visual check of the clutch through the inspection port
- Hydraulic clutch block integrity
- Condition of auxiliary drive belt
- PAS pump and hoses
- Air-con compressor
- Water hoses
- Driveshafts and CV joints
- Transmission oil level
Next was to visually check the condition of the gearbox mounting bush and test the engine mounts for wear. This is done by lifting the mount with a transmission jack and checking the rubber for damage.
Next up was to remove the road wheels in order the check the suspension.
Whilst this was happening, the apprentice took the wheels away to the valeting bay to have the insides cleaned (the outsides would be clean during the service wash later).
The track rod ends can be tested by rocking the hub between 3 and 9 o’clock. The ball joints are tested by lifting the lower wishbone slightly with a transmission jack and using a pry bar to check for movement.
Next up was to move to the front of the car. The operation of both radiator fans was checked as well as the condition of the front of the radiators themselves. Then it was time to bleed the brakes. When we took the cover off the reservoir we were in for quite a shock – the fluid was minging. This car has a full Ferrari service history and was last serviced one year and 1,500 miles ago. There’s no way that this fluid was changed last year…
Fearing the worst, we checked the fluid for water content. Thankfully, the tester was flashing between green and the first amber so the risk of water damage in the system was low.
A pressure bleeder was used to push fresh fluid through the system:
About 1 litre was taken through each of the rear brake lines and a 1/2 litre through each front.
This is what the fluid is supposed to look like!
Whilst we were at the front end of the car the carpet was removed and the vapour barrier cut to check the condition of the air-con dryer and the ABS/ASR unit. The barrier was sealed back up with tape.
The pollen filter was changed. I elected to put in a pattern part since it is only filtering the air that comes into the car. The pattern part was cheaper and also carbon activated. They can be bought from Eurocarparts for £16.50 – part number 507580420.
Next the engine oil was drained. First the front sump plug….
…and then the rear.
The magnetic plug was check for particles, new washers were fitted and then the plugs torqued back up. A little paint to provide witness marks was also added.
A new oil filter was fitted and torqued up.
Turing our attention to the top of the car, we used a boroscope to check the integrity of the manifold gaskets (a weak spot on both the 360 and F430).
Fresh oil was put in, Shell Helix 5W40.
Air filters next – we were also disappointed to learn that these hadn’t been changed recently either….
The road wheels were refitted and the tyre pressures checked.
The undertray and diffuser were put back on.
The wheel bolts were torqued up to 95Nm.
The F1 power unit was next. The fluid level was verified and the system checked for leaks.
The coolant was checked for strength – no issues here since I had changed it recently.
The final level check was the PAS fluid.
The windscreen washer fluid was topped up.
The latches for the doors, front boot and rear hatch were greased as well as the door hinges and check straps.
Before taking the car out for a road test the operation of the lights were all checked. The car was then taken out on the road and brought up to operating temperature. A short mix of slow and fast roads were driven before bringing the car back to the workshop. The oil was topped off and the car put back on the SD3 machine to check for any new errors. Finally, the car went to the valet bay for a wash and vacuum.
All of this took about eight hours – some of this was spent chatting but most of the time Ed was working on the car. I consider the relatively small price of an annual service to be exceptional value if you can get someone who has an expert knowledge of the tipo to spend this much time looking over your car.
- Ferrari 360 Annual Service
- Ferrari 360 Annual Preventative Maintenance
- Ferrari F430 Gearbox Oil Change
- Ferrari 360 & F430 Coolant Change Using Vacuum
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