What keeps you awake at night? Health, relationships, ...and finances. Money can’t buy you good health or healthy relationships, but it can pave the way to a new way to ride down the road of life, in a shiny Ferrari 458 Italia, one of the best cars Ferrari has ever made. Does that kind of dream seem too far out of reach? It might not be. The prices of many used sports cars are coming down to a range more accessible to those with the ambition to make this kind of investment. Here are some tips to help you grab the car of your dreams.
1. Look for cars that have been driven.That looks like a ridiculous statement, I know, but it is true. Many wealthy people buy sports cars, drive them once on a cloudless day in mid-70-degree weather for 90 minutes and then turn around and park the car for five years. The only times it comes out of the garage and from under its covers is for routine maintenance. Those cars stay shiny, and their asking prices stay sky high. On the other hand, cars that have actually spent some time on the road will pick up a few nicks and scratches. They will have some repair work done on them, and they will be half the price. The two biggest price tag indicators in the world of sports cars are mileage and condition. The higher the mileage, the deeper the price will plummet. And the less competition you will have from those who will throw their money away on cars they will never get out of the garage and drive.
2. Check the year of the car.Ferrari 458 Italias were truly game-changing creations among supercars. The kinds of innovations they brought in speed and maneuverability have raised the bar for any who would attempt to compete. However, even these beauties have had some hiccups along the way.
The first and probably most pressing issue has been transmission failures. These have been reported for the 2010 and 2011 model Ferrari 458 Italias. You can expect much lower prices on these cars because of this, but don’t be tempted to throw money at them until you have had them looked over by a Ferrari specialist. The 2012 model had new transmission software installed, correcting the problems of the two earlier models.
The second major problem has been a faulty crankshaft that can cause engine seizure all at once. This issue has plagued the 2011-2012 models. Unlike the transmission trouble, Ferrari discovered the source of the problem, which was improperly machined crankshafts. The company has given Ferrari owners the option to have a new crankshaft and necessary bearings installed, or a new engine instead. If you are looking at a 2011-2012 model, be sure to inquire on the status of its crankshaft.
3. External ConcernsThere are two external concerns that you should look for when purchasing your Ferrari 458 Italia. The first is a smaller concern, but it could cause you problems when traveling. The trunk latch for 2010-2014 models sometimes will not release while the car is stationary - rendering it difficult to open, especially since it is not safe or advisable to open the trunk while driving. What you need to do is reset the latch. Your dealer can do this for you, but often this can simply be done by starting your car and then turning it off again. If restarting your car does not help, get assistance from a professional Ferrari technician. Check the service records to see if the car has had a history of problems with the trunk latch.
The second concern is a safety concern, especially for those in warmer climates. Ferrari 458 Italias from 2010 were made with a special adhesive to hold the back bumper on. This adhesive has been known to catch fire in high temperatures which could quickly destroy the entire vehicle. Ferrari recalled these models and has replaced the adhesive with rivets that keep the bumper connected. If you are looking at a 2010 model, be sure that it has those rivets and does not have the flammable adhesive.
4. Find out your maintenance schedule.Ferrari has an incredible 7-year no cost routine maintenance program. This program allows Ferrari owners to receive free routine maintenance (oil changes, etc.) so long as you get your car serviced within 30 days of its scheduled due date. The purpose of this service is to encourage Ferrari owners to be good stewards of their vehicles. What makes this free maintenance program even better is that there is no mileage limit to it and the program is transferable to new owners. If the Ferrari you are considering purchasing is enrolled in this program, it is vital for you to find out when it is scheduled for maintenance. Failure to keep these appointments could end up costing you up to $2500 in paying out of pocket.
What will regular maintenance cost you? Right around $800 per year and an additional $1200 every four years, which is not bad by sports car standards.
5. Get connected with other Ferrari owners.The first Ferrari connection you need is with a professionally trained, certified Ferrari auto technician. You will be unable to stay with your regular maintenance program without them, and you will need their help in spotting the unique challenges that Ferrari’s have. In fact, you should find that person before you purchase your first Ferrari and have them look the car over before you buy it.
You also need to hear from the experience of other owners as well. You will want to know some very practical things like: What kind of weather should I avoid driving in? Where do you find good places to park? Your new Ferrari may not be something you just want to park out on the street. What kind of security measures will I need at home to keep it safe? Where do you get your car serviced? Your network of Ferrari enthusiasts may be your lifeline not only to keeping your investment safe but in finding ways to get the most enjoyment out of your dream car.
Images credit: Ferrari.com
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