The Ferrari F430 - Owners Perspective
F430 Features Ferrari

The Ferrari F430 – Owners Perspective

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WHO IS DANIEL HURLBERT AND WHY DID HE BUY A FERRARI F430

  • Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  I’ve been a car guy ever since I could drive.  My first car was a 71 Nova I bought for $2k.
  • I’m actually a huge muscle car fan and have had a 71 Nova, 71 Cutlass, 70 Chevelle, 98 Mustang Cobra, 2004 Mustang Cobra, 2008 Mustang GT
  • Currently, I’m working for my 3rd tech startup as their CTO (Chief Technology Officer)
  • I’m basically a software nerd turned software programmer turned software manager and finally software executive.
  • I started looking for a new fun car as I was not enjoying my 2nd Subaru STi that much.  I began looking at the new GT350 and loved it, but found it hard tso palette a $65k Mustang!  So I started looking at other options and stumbled on Ferrari 360’s.
  • They still had belt maintenance and frankly were kinda slow and starting to look slightly dated.  So I moved on to a new Corvette Z06 but didn’t like the depreciation risk.  I then looked into the F430’s and fell in love with it.  I got super lucky and found my car in less than a week and it was in San Antonio so very close.  It had all the right options, right price and the dealer was easy to work with.  I called them on Thursday, negotiated, then drove down there the next morning and bought it.

EXOTIC CAR BUYING PROCESS

I researched all the common problems, maintenance expectations, costs, insurance, and the F430 specs.  Even then was still very nervous about buying such an expensive car, and buying a Ferrari!  I assumed all the horror stories about “Italian engineering” were true and it was going to just fall apart.THE

  • TEST DRIVING A  FERRARI
  • LEARNING WITH THE HELP OF THE FERRARI COMMUNITY
    • I joined the FCA, signed up on Ferrari Chat and started looking for YouTube videos and any other resources.  I was displeased with the current YouTube videos on F430’s especially with respect to maintenance.  Plus many of the other YouTubers were frankly hard to connect with.  Either they were SO rich that their lives were in another world, or they were not friendly.   So I started my own channel out of frustration.  Plus it was an excuse to go do things with the car.

I find traditional car shows to be boring.  It’s not a show car so I have 0 expectations that it would ever do well at a show.  However, Cars and Coffee or other informal car shows are very fun.

People have been very nice, very few negative reactions.  Lots of questions.  Many are personal (how much do I make, how much did it cost) and many seem to be about money.  However, lots are just about the myths of Ferrari’s.ex

WHAT I LOOKED FOR IN MY FERRARI F430

  • Exhaust Support Components
    • The stock exhaust mounts are known to cause the manifolds to fail.  Supposedly swapping to certain aftermarket designs resolves this issue.
  • Exhaust Manifolds
    • The stock manifolds are prone to failure, even the MKII versions from Ferrari.  The best solution is to replace them with aftermarket headers.  The second solution is to change the exhaust mounts.  If you don’t see aftermarket headers, it’s highly likely you will eventually need to replace the manifolds.
    • Replacing mainfolds:
  • Weak Motor Mounts
    • Normal wear items, prone to failure after some time.  Mine may need to be replaced.
  • Electronic Differential
    • Not really a common problem, but if it fails, it’s very expensive.
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes (CCM)
    • Great option, super pricey to maintain or replace.
  • Brake pads and rotors (any experience, resurfacing)
    • Just look for normal wear on rotors, make sure pads have a decent amount of life. Look for hard breaking that may point to a car that was tracked hard.

Wheel bearing (what was your experience replacing this?)

    • Wheel bearings are somewhat prone to failure, especially if the car sees lots of track time.  Mine had a bad bearing when I purchased it.  You can identify if it’s bad by seeing if the rotor moves when the wheel is off, or you can hear if it’s really gone bad.  It is a reasonably easy item to replace and not too expensive.
    • Checking bearing: 
    • Replacing bearing:
  • Other Issues
    • Tail lights
      • Very common – tail lights rattle apart and break the studs.  Check all tail lights by lightly moving them up and down.  If you can move it a lot, it may be broken.  You can also hear if they are breaking sometimes.  
        Not a big deal, but buy from 3rd parties – WAY cheaper than buying directly from Ferrari.  Installation is super easy.
      • Replacing tail light:  
  • Ball joints
    • Well known that they don’t last long.  The chrome plating wears off and then they rust.  There is a good aftermarket design that lasts MUCH longer
  • Clutch life
    • Mixed info on clutch life on the web, it’s hard to know what is real and what’s BS.
    • Ranges from 10k to 50k.  Supposedly has a lot to do with how you drive it – avoiding reverse, minimal stop and go traffic, etc…
  • Sticky parts
    • Almost all Ferrari’s get this after time.  The coating on the buttons starts to melt and become sticky.  You can remove it yourself but if you are a perfectionist, you need to get them sent out.

FERRARI F430 MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADES

  • Clutch Replacement
    • I think my clutch should be good for another 20k miles so it’s a ways off.  However, when it’s time, there is an aftermarket kevlar clutch that sounds like it’s much better and lasts a LOT longer and it’s cheaper.  So it’s highly likely I’ll give that a go.
  • Oil Change (brand, interval to change, interval to inspect)
        • Video:
        • Interval: 5k miles or yearly
        • Pennzoil Euro Platinum 5w-40 – 10 quarts
        • Filter – Ferrari filter
  • Brake Fluid (brand, interval to change, interval to inspect)
    • Castrol React SRF Racing fluid
    • Inspect occasionally if not racing/tracking, prior to every track day otherwise
    • If tracking car, every 60 days is recommended, otherwise annually
    • Part 1:
    • My admission of error:
    • Part 2:
  • Transmission/Trans fluid
    • Annual change or 10k miles
    • Mobile 1 75w-90
  • Engine air filter
    • Ferrari Filter
    • Replace 5k or annual
  • Cabin air filter
    • I just replaced it when I bought it because it looked dirty.  I would say replace as needed.
  • Tires
    • New Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
    • Discount Tire
      • $2,540.18
      • So far they have 7k miles and 2 track days.  Probably will last through the summer.
    • Tire size
      • Front 245 – 30 ZR19
      • Back 305 – 30 ZR19
    • Tire pressure
      • Front – 28-32
      • Back – 28-32
  • Fuel – Do you use premium? Is ethanol a factor?
    • 93 octane – preferably a major brand
    • I don’t really worry about the ethanol content but if it was very high, I would be concerned about it gumming up some of the fuel system.
  • Interior
    • Use Chemical Guys leather cleaner on most of the interior as it’s almost all leather
  • Pros/Cons – what do you like/don’t like?
    • CON- Ashtray cover broke.
    • CON- Fairly simple interior, not a lot to it
    • PRO- Surprisingly comfortable, very nice materials
    • PRO- Exotic car performance and sound
  • New Kenwood stereo/ Bluetooth mic
    • Stereo that was in the car broke after only a few months… Had to get a replacement. Just went to a local shop that has done work on exotics before.  I probably should have done it myself but I just wanted it working again so Meg would be happy.
    • $580 total
  • Invisible Mask – Cost, process
    • $167.90
    • 2nd Installation:
    • 1st installation

F430 ENGINE TUNE

  • Performed by Eurocharged ATX
    • The tune leaned up the fuel curve a little bit.  It was running very rich and we could safely lean it out more without any risk.  Gained 27hp and makes 447whp now.
    • Absolutely recommend it!  Was only $1500 and it removed some hesitation that would occur occasionally, got more horsepower, and it shoots flames now.  All pluses in my book.INSURANCE
    • Removes any CEL caused by cat-delete
    • Pre-tune:
    • After tune:
    • Sound comparison:
    • Shooting flames:
    • Exhaust headers (what and why were they replaced)
    • Stock manifolds are prone to failure, so I wanted to replace them.  As a side effect, aftermarket headers increase the horsepower and removes the pre-cats which also changed the sound dramatically!  It’s now MUCH louder.
  • Header wrap
    • Not sure if it makes much of a difference, but it was reasonably easy to install (WEAR GLOVES!) and it was only $80 vs $1500 for a header blanket.

TRACK DAY INSPECTION

Show a screenshot of this: http://northeasttrackdays.com/ntd/tech_form.pdf

Link to it and reference the site. “Here is a sample inspection sheet…”

  • They were looking for any safety concerns
  • My brake fluid was >60 days old and therefore needed to be changed (thus I changed the fluid)
  • I had a small oil leak from the transmission but it was not enough to be a concern.
  • Tires OK, brakes (pads, rotors) are fine.
  • Dropping off the F430 to get inspected at Ferrari of Austin:
  • COTA track day part 1:
  • COTA track day part 2:

F430 SERVICE RECORDS

  • Error codes, check engine light. If so, what was done?
    • Only 1 CEL since I owned it – it was because when I screwed on the gas-cap it pinched the little rubber strap that holds the cap to the car so it did not seal correctly.  I ran a scanner, saw the code, and re-did the gas cap.  Cleared CEL and it never came back.
    • Of note – new Ferrari owners are freaked out because all ODBII Ferrari’s have the CEL show up for about 20 seconds after starting
  • Has your F430 been to an official Ferrari dealership for service?
    • Yes, but not since I’ve owned it
    • I have receipts from last owner if those would be of interest.  Refer to my documentation spreadsheet
  • Was the Ferrari Certified Warranty an option with your car?
    • No
      • Would you like one?
        • Sure, if it was the right price.  But honestly the car is fairly reliable so I’m not sure it’s a big concern.  Maintenance is more of the cost issue.

WASH AND DETAIL

  • Products used. Sponges, special cleaning tools you like to use. Drying towels. Etc…
    • Mothers car wash for full wet washes
      • Microfiber mitt
      • 1 bucket method sometimes – use grit guard
      • 2 bucket method occasionally – 1 clean bucket, 2nd bucket with rinse water and grit guard
      • Mothers wheel brush with Chemical Guys Diablo Gel wheel cleaner for wheels
      • Chemical Guys waffle drying towel
      • Mothers silicone drying blade
    • Optimum no rinse (or no rinse with wax) for rinseless washes
      • Great for when it’s not very dirty
      • Can do it in the garage easily
      • Use lots of microfiber towels – change to clean area of towel constantly
      • Use second towels for drying
      • Can use on all of car including wheels if not too dirty
      • Featured in multiple videos of mine, for example:
  • When I first bought it I had it professionally detailed
    • Polished and color corrected
    • Single pass as paint was already thin in spots so better safe than sorry
    • Car had a ceramicoat put on
    • Detailer Identified that the rear of car has been re-sprayed, front has not
    • Front paint is very thin from probably too much polishing in the past
    • Cleaned up a lot of swirl marks
    • Ceramicoat still beads up water wonderfully over 6 months in now

EXOTIC CAR FINANCING

  • ISO Options:
  • My career:
  • Lender
    • USAA
    • Applied for loan online, called to verify loan and negotiate rates…
    • Got 2.99%
  • What did you learn? Any advice?
    • Cars over 10 years they aren’t super fans of long loans.
    • Loans of that amount may not be easy to get unless you have excellent credit and a decent history with your bank.
    • I was able to get mine set up easily.  USAA is very easy to deal with.
    • Best rates I saw elsewhere was around 5%
    • Discussed in this video https://youtu.be/OEVs6IKo7AM
  • Loan process
    • Down payment, payment options
      • Car was $94k, traded in STi at $28k (owed $9,870) and put $5381 in cash down so loan was for exactly $75k

INSURANCE

  • Provider
    • USAA
    • Cost
    • $870/6 months
  • What’s covered
    • Normal car insurance just like any other car. However, I put higher limits for non-insured / under insured motorists as likely other people’s policies won’t cover the car fully. ($100k vs was only at $50k before)
  • What’s not covered
    • HPDE is questionable / probably not covered
  • Mileage restriction?
    • 4k / year
  • Anything else buyers need to know?
    • Make sure you have enough uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage in case someone else is uninsured or only has a small cap.
    • I called to verify they would value the car fairly if it was totaled.  This ended up being a lengthy conversation but the conclusion is that they would check the values of other F430’s for sale on the market for comparables as there is no real blue book value on the car.  This is great for me as I bought at the low end of the F430 market so likely they would value my car much higher.  However, if you have a pristine car that is on the upper end of the scale, that could be a problem and you may need to have a predetermined value.  USAA didn’t offer that.
  • Featured in my early video

TOP TIPS FOR NEW F430 BUYERS

  • Don’t let higher miles scare you
  • Make sure it was actually driven!  Cars that sat around rot and have lots of problems
  • Try not to worry, it’s impossible not to but try.
  • Don’t be afraid to work on the car if you are mechanically inclined.  It’s actually an easy car to work on
  • Be ready for more expenses as you will likely have them right away.

What are the top 5 things you like most about your Ferrari F430?

  • I have a video on this coming out in a few days…
  • The performance balance
  • The look – classic flowing lines, not datjed
  • The feeling when driving it
  • Sharing the experience with car lovers
  • Meeting new friends

What are the top 5 things you dislike most about your Ferrari F430?

  • Low ride height
  • Getting in and out
  • Stupid people
  • The Ferrari Tax
  • The worry (by far the biggest thing)
  • Invisible Mask – Cost, process
    • $167.90
    • 2nd Installation:
    • 1st installation

 

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