Are Ferraris Reliable? 8 Old & New Models Compared

Are you in the market looking to purchase the Ferrari of your dreams? One thing you should be concerned about is reliability. After all, no one wants to spend premium on a Ferrari supercar and cough out more to keep it running. How is the reliability of Ferrari cars? Let’s find out in this article.

Are Ferraris Reliable?

Modern Ferrari cars are as reliable as any other high-performance car on the market. If they are driven regularly and properly maintained, they can stay in good condition for long. Maintenance, although expensive, does not extend beyond routine things like oil changes, brake replacements, etc.

Major problems requiring extensive repairs are often far in between and can be prevented if your Ferrari is serviced regularly. 

Are Ferraris Expensive To Maintain Compared To Similar Cars?

Compared to normal cars like Toyotas and Hondas, Ferraris cost a lot more to maintain.

However, a Ferrari is anything but a normal car.

Here is a link to our article that talks on “Which Ferraris are convertible”?

Specialist Maintenance

Ferraris are high-performance automobiles and often have complex mechanisms that cannot be fixed by just anyone. Any servicing, minor or major, has to be done by specialist mechanics at a reputable repairs shop.

With this, the cost of servicing increases as specialist repair shops often charge higher than regular automobile service providers.

Another factor that increases the money you are likely to spend on Ferrari maintenance is the cost of labor. Internal mechanisms on most Ferraris are complex and can be difficult to repair.

Consequently, your mechanic will likely spend more time fixing your Ferrari, increasing your final bill in the process.

Look into our article which reads about Ferraris & Depreciation: 7 Models Compared

Expensive Spares

Besides labor costs, the other thing sure to compound your Ferrari maintenance cost is the cost of spare parts. Ferrari parts are different from normal car parts and are specially produced to handle high performance. Parts can cost five times the price of normal vehicles.

Take, for example, something as routine as an oil change. Ferraris require special oil for its high-performance engines, and an oil change costs around $500. With that amount, you can pay for five separate oil changes on a Toyota.

Other spare parts such as clutches, brake pads, timing belts, etc. do not come cheap either. A clutch replacement on a Ferrari cost between $1000 and $2000. Those big shiny brakes on your Ferrari cost between $800 and $1000 to replace. Now, you know why they say maintaining a Ferrari is often harder than buying one.

However, if we are honest, Ferrari maintenance costs are reasonable, at least for a high-performance automobile.

As we said earlier, high-performance cars are not your average automobiles. Their components work more and wear out faster. Therefore, they need more frequent servicing and prompt maintenance.

Servicing is typically more expensive than on average cars. But then, you can’t tear down roads at 180 mph with a grin on your face on an average car.

The table below shows the list of maintenance costs on some Ferrari Models:

Model Oil Change Cost Annual Fluids Change Clutch Replacement Brake Pad Replacement
360 $195 $995 $3785 $811
348 $195 $995 $2995-$3687 $1000-$3000
308/328 $195 $795 $1795 $500-$600
512/Testarossa $195 $995 VIN-specific $999-$1395
355 $195 $995 $1695 $900

Which Ferrari Models Are The Most Reliable?

Before recent improvements in Ferrari engineering, Ferraris were some of the most unreliable cars on the market.

Ferrari models often had a multitude of problems that cost owners exorbitant amounts to fix. Worse, they often broke down without warning, and owners were careful to travel with a repair kit to avoid being stranded.

The present situation is, however, much better. With changes in production processes, the durability of cars coming out of Maranello has increased. Now, Ferraris are more reliable than ever, and with regular servicing, any Ferrari can stay problem-free for years.

Here are some facts on our article about What Are Ferraris Made Of?

In the list below, we review some of the most reliable Ferraris available on the market:

Ferrari 360 Modena

First introduced in 1999, the F360 Modena was arguably the first Ferrari comfortable enough for daily use. It was also the first of many reliable cars to come out of the Maranello factory in recent history.

The first 360 models were extremely durable, and for the first time, Ferrari cars were not breaking down on every occasion. Also, servicing costs on 360s were lower compared to past Ferrari models, and owners spent less on maintenance.

Many reviews continue to praise the 360’s practicality and reliability, describing its success as heralding a new era in Ferrari history.

There are many pre-owned 360 Modenas listed on used car sites like TrueCar and CarMax, which you can purchase at affordable prices. However, ensure your mechanic conducts a Pre-Purchase Inspection before you buy any used model. Every car has its own flaws, and you’d do well to notice any problems on the car, so you don’t end up with a problematic car.

Some common problems with Ferrari 360 models include ball joint wear, frame brackets cracking, cam cover oil leak, and faulty variators.

Ferrari 328

In an 80s era dominated by some of the most problematic Ferraris ever produced, the Ferrari 328 stood out for its reliability. Produced between 1986 and 1989, the 328 was a massive improvement on the earlier 308 and 348 models.

The then-new Ferrari 328 had an improved transmission, upgraded suspension, better cooling, and a more powerful motor. It was also reliable to an extent and did not break down like the classic Ferraris of that era.

Many 328 models have been on the road for years and are still going strong. Even with years of use, any 328 you buy will give you little or no problems. Only if you carry out proper maintenance, that is.

Before buying any 328 models, check the car’s service history thoroughly before you make any payments. To be sure of the car’s true condition, have the car inspected by an experienced mechanic.

Ferrari F430

The original F430, a spin-off of the classic Ferrari 360 Modena, was a phenomenal hit among many Ferraristas upon its release. It performed as a Ferrari should and had a 4.3L V8 engine that produced 490 horsepower for a top speed of 196 mph.

Better still, it was practical enough for use as a daily driver. The only flaw was that it was a two-seater. But then, aren’t most sports cars two-seaters?

Because the F430 was built to handle daily driving, it is better engineered and does not have any recurrent problems. Maintenance is still expensive than your average Toyota but is fairly reasonable for a Ferrari. Additionally, the F430s used timing chains instead of cam belts, so you do not have to pay for expensive cam-belt service.

Ferrari California

The Ferrari California, released in 2008, is a testament to the evolution of Ferrari engineering through the years. It features many innovations and is perhaps the most groundbreaking Ferrari in recent history.

The California was the first V8-powered Ferrari to have a mid-engine design and the first to use a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Direct petrol injection, stop-start technology, and a retractable metal roof were other new features on the California.

Reliability is hardly a concern on the California as it is easily one of the most reliable Ferraris you can buy. Besides a minor recall that affected a minority of owners, there have been no widespread problems found on the model.

Servicing costs are not out of this world, and an annual service should cost between $1000 and $1500. By Ferrari standards, that is a very affordable amount.

Ferrari created the California as its entry-level sports car, so it is more affordable. With about $100,000 and $150,000, you can buy a Ferrari that is quick, practical, and reliable.

Ferrari 458

Another entry-level Ferrari speedster, the 458 is one of the best cars the Maranello factory has produced in recent times. The 458 has a sleek design and a comfortable cabin that provides considerable headroom for occupants.

The 458 is also impressively quick, even for a Ferrari. Its naturally aspirated 4.5L V8 engine produces an incredible 570 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Excellent aerodynamics means the 458 is capable of a 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 210 mph.

However, the Ferrari 458 is not one of those fast, supercars that are always breaking down without warning. Per reports by owners, the 458 is a solid car with few reliability issues.

Besides the routine oil change, 458 models don’t need extensive servicing. You also don’t need to replace the clutch every time. The DCT transmission wears out less quickly and may not require clutch replacement during your years of ownership. Other parts like brake pads and timing chains often last long and need no frequent replacements.

NB: Despite its reliability, the 458 has some problems that led to recalls by Ferrari. Some of these issues include transmission failures, crankshaft problems, and gearbox problems.

Which Ferrari Models Should I Stay Away From?

In the market for a Ferrari and don’t know which models to avoid? The list below contains Ferraris you should avoid:

Ferrari 348

The Ferrari 348 is one of the many disappointing models that Ferrari produced during its troubled 80s era. Reviews for this Ferrari were negative, with critics panning its poor design and underwhelming performance. In fact, the F348 was so bad that Ferrari’s new CEO at the time, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, declared it the worst Ferrari car ever.

Common problems on the Ferrari 348 models include chain tensioner wear and gearbox issues [slipping gears, faulty gear selector, etc.].

The ride quality was also poor, and owners have found it jarring to drive. Also, the 348 models were reportedly unstable at high speeds. In our opinion, that’s too many problems for a car.

Ferrari, sensing public dislike for the 348, made a series of improvements aimed at making it better. We will advise you to stay away from this Ferrari if you love your pocket.

Yes, you can get an okay model if you try hard enough, but why go through all that stress for a low-quality Ferrari?

Ferrari 400i

The result of Ferrari’s attempt to create a family car, the 400i, is one of the worst Ferraris on record. Its first and most obvious problem was speed. This car was perhaps the slowest Ferrari until that point and had a top speed of 149 mph.

Then, there was the body design, which the Ferrari faithful and critics found plain and boring. In addition, the handling of 400i was poor, and the car was hard to control at high speeds.

The biggest issue, however, with the 400i, was its dismal reliability. These cars broke down almost all the time and left owners by the roadside more times than they would have liked.

Common problems include oil leaks, engine failure, exhaust system, and faulty electrics.

Lest we forget to mention, spare parts for the 400i are rare, and available ones often have outrageous prices. Because this Ferrari is unpopular, there is less incentive for firms to produce aftermarket parts for it.

Ferrari Mondial

Another model Ferrari would rather the world forgot about, the Mondial is the Ferrari we wouldn’t take for free. This Ferrari is regarded as the worst Ferrari to come out of Maranello, and nothing can convince us to purchase it.

To start with, the performance of the Mondial was dismal for a Ferrari car. Its V8 engine produced a meager 214 horsepower, and it had a top speed of 148 mph. Its 0-60 mph time of 9.5 seconds is a stain on the Ferrari’s reputation for performance prowess.

We’d have taken the Ferrari Mondial if its problems stopped at performance. However, most Mondials were characterized by poor reliability. In the world of Ferraris, “poor reliability” is a big issue because repairs can be so expensive. And you’ll be doing a lot of repairs if you buy a Mondial.

First, the electrical system of most Mondials is prone to developing many random faults. The gearbox can also be a pain, and components such as the gear selector are known to fail. Other likely issues include head gasket problems, oil burning, and timing belt wear.

The 6 Most Typical Problems With Ferraris

Ferraris are expensive and cost a fortune to acquire, and sometimes, repairing them can cost a fortune too. In fact, the cost of some major repairs, such as engine failure and bad transmission is enough to buy a new car.

Thankfully, Ferrari models have gotten reliable, and you don’t have to spend so much on big-money repairs. Are there still issues with Ferrari models? Absolutely, yes. What car or [or supercar in this case] doesn’t have them?

Here are some of the most-reported problems on Ferrari models, both modern and classic:

  1. Malfunctioning A/C or Heater
  2. Transmission Failure
  3. Gearbox Issues
  4. Engine Failure
  5. Exhaust Manifold Failure
  6. Crankshaft Problems

Are Ferraris Built For Everyday Use?

Should Ferrari cars be driven every day or locked up in the garage and used occasionally? Often that question divides the Ferrari community. Some believe driving Ferraris every day, robs them of their magic and value.

Others believe that Ferraris are built to be used every day and are not garage queens to be driven rarely.

What do we think?

Well, we say it all depends on you, the owner of the vehicle.

Consider Fuel Economy

Before anything, consider that Ferraris are supercars and almost all supercars have bad fuel economy.

Do you think you could drive a 15mpg in stop-go traffic every day?

This is a huge hurt to your finances and can cause a lot of owners to get sick of paying for gas once or even twice per week.

Seating Capacity

What about seating capacity? Well, that varies across models. The Ferrari 488 and the Ferrari 812 Superfast are two-seaters, which means you cannot have your kids in them.

Others like the Portofino have rear seats that are comfortable for kids but not for teenagers and young adults.

However, seating capacity should not be a big concern. If you want a car that can seat all members of your family, buy an SUV or a station wagon, not a sports car.

Low Ride Height

Then, there’s the low ride height of Ferrari cars. Because Ferraris are sports cars designed to move at blinding speeds, they often feature lowered suspensions.

A lowered suspension prevents your Ferrari from flipping over while cornering and affects the car’s speed.

The problem with a lowered suspension is that it is difficult to go over the speed bumps scattered across public roads.

You will also expose the underbody of your car to damage, including a lot of scrapes and bangs.


Vandalism is also a big issue with daily driving your Ferrari. For Ferrari owners, vandalism is often dreaded because every scrape and dent affects the resale value of the car.

With Ferraris known to depreciate rapidly, having the resale value further lowered by little scrapes and dents is a scary prospect.


Depreciation is probably the biggest concern with using your Ferrari every day. Unlike other cars, the value of Ferraris is mileage-sensitive. That, in simple terms, means that the more you drive your Ferrari, the further its value drops.

By estimates, each mile may cost between $2 and $5 in depreciation. $2 per mile seems small until you start daily driving your Ferrari and end up putting 5000 miles on it. At $2 per mile, 5,000 miles will cost you $10,000 in depreciation, which means you’ll probably make a loss on resale.

Besides the above-listed issues, Ferraris can be used every day. If you don’t have kids to drop off at school and are not concerned about resale value, then drive your Ferrari every day. These cars are built with high-quality materials. Therefore, they can handle the rigors of everyday use.

Provided you adhere to your Ferrari’s maintenance schedule, you should not have any problems arising from constant use.

Final Words

Ferraris have come a long way in terms of reliability and dependability. Now, you need not worry about multiple visits to the repair shop when you buy a Ferrari. Ferraris are better engineered and definitely more durable than they were in the past.

However, you still need proper maintenance to prevent expensive problems. Ensure all servicing on your Ferrari is done at a licensed dealership.

Don’t skimp on spare parts too. It is easy to use inferior parts, but those parts will wear out faster and can damage your vehicle.

With the right practices, your Ferrari can last as long as you want to keep it.

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