Ferrari is known to build some of the greatest sports cars in modern history. They usually take inspiration and technology from their successful racing campaigns. This translates well for the customer’s that want a raw racecar-like experience, however Ferrari also recognizes that not all of it’s clients wish for that experience.
The Ferrari California (Type F149) was born for those customers that desire a more relaxed, comfortable open-top ride that has the Italian flair and sporting nature the Ferrari’s cars are renowned worldwide for. The name harkens back to the late 1950s-early 1960s Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder.
The Ferrari California was produced from 2008-2014, until it was updated by the Ferrari California T featuring new sheetmetal and revised body features; a new interior, a revised chassis and a new turbocharged powertrain.
The Ferrari California was replaced by the Ferrari Portofino for the 2018 model year. Throughout it’s decade long run, there were two generations of the California. The first generation was produced from 2008 to 2014, with the second generation being designated California T, indicating the switch to a turbocharged engine. Both generations use a metal-folding retractable hardtop as only option for the convertible mechanism.
The Ferrari California Service Guide will act as a great reference for owners looking to properly maintain their vehicle, and also for future owners to understand what and how often are recommended service intervals. This guide will focus on the first generation non-turbocharged cars, as the California T is still under Ferrari’s 7 year complimentary maintenance plan.
Engine, Oil, Transmission, Clutch
The first generation Ferrari California was equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.3L V8, making 453 hp and 358 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission offered was a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, complimenting the refined nature of the California quite well. While the engine is tuned to give a more relaxed feel and less knife-edged than Ferrari’s other sports cars, it is still a mighty engine, producing over 100hp/L and revs up to 8000 rpm.
The Ferrari California Service Guide recommends these service intervals:
Perform Oil Change and Filter Replacement every year or 12,500 miles.
Replace Spark Plugs every 3 years or 37,500 miles.
Check Brake Pads, Rotors and replace Brake Fluid every 2 years or 25,000 miles.
Replace Dust/Pollen Cabin Filter every year or 12,500 miles.
Replace Transmission, Gearbox & Diff Fluids every 5 years or 62,500 miles.
In addition to these service intervals, every service (annually or every 12,500 miles) requires the inspection, and replacement if deemed necessary, on the following items:
- Check fastening of the engine mounting struts and gearbox
- Check wear condition of brake pads and discs
- Check tire pressure and wheel torque
- Check air conditioning and hearting system
- Check proper operation of the lighting system
- Check all fluids, including brake fluid, coolant, gearbox oil, windshield washer fluid, clutch oil, power steering fluid, etc.
- Check condition of auxiliary drive belt
- Check condition of exhaust system
- Check brake lines for any sign of corrosion
- Check all suspension components
Brakes, Rotors, Pads, Fluid
Although the Ferrari California is designed to be more grand touring car than sports car, it is still a Ferrari, which means it has to be capable of Ferrari performance. Thankfully, Ferrari has engineered the brakes to be a capable as the rest of the drivetrain. All California’s come standard with carbon ceramic brakes. The fronts are very big at 390 mm in diameter, while the rears are 360 mm in diameter.
Brake wear varies from vehicle to vehicle, driver to driver. There are many factors that contribute to brake wear, and therefore they must be inspected at least at every service interval to ensure the safety of the occupants. Brake fluid must be changed every 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Tires, Suspension & Alignment
Tires are also wearable items that need to be checked at every service interval. Unfortunately, many owners tend to ignore their tires. As they are the only part of your vehicle that are in contact with the ground, they affect handling, acceleration, braking, and crucially, safety. Wear will vary depending on driving conditions, driving style, and whether or not the vehicle is all-wheel drive or not.
The Ferrari California comes with this tire size:
- FRONT TIRES: P245/40ZR/19
- REAR TIRES: P285/40ZR/19
GI Automotive carries a wide selection of Ferrari California tires on stock and available to order. A consultation is available to determine which tire is best for your individual driving needs.
Alignment can seriously affect both tire wear as well as the handling characteristics of a car. Therefore, it is imperative that the alignment is checked on a regular basis. The Ferrari California Service Guide recommends checking camber, castor, and toe for tolerances within factory specification, or a custom specification if deemed necessary.
The suspension’s job is to not only keep a comfortable ride; it is also to provide optimal handling characteristics. Properly functioning suspension will keep alignment within specification in a straight line as well as in the corners. Moreover, this keeps the tires from wearing unevenly. At each service interval, it is recommended to check the suspension components for any squeaks, rattles, leakage, or play.