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2003/2004 coupe or spyder

3963 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  iufan993
I was wondering if anybody has had any recurring problems with the 2003/2004 coupe or spyder.

I am a newbie to this site and any input would be appreciated.

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Interesting question, it caused me to think back over the past couple of years and I realized that the Maserati Spyder has really been reliable with no major problems and only a few things that I had to get used to.

My 03 spyder runs a little rough for the first 1 to 2 minutes. The check engine light can come on if you give it too much gas during the first minute. I'm a firm believer of babying the car until it warms up so this isn't an issue for me. Having the check engine light come on has happened twice while I've had the car. The first time the dealer checked everything out. The second time it turned itself off before I could get it back to the dealer.

The F1 transmission is what it is. The only two times that I wish I had a stick is for stopping and starting on steep hills and stop and go traffic. The transmission works in both cases but I think a driver has a little more control with a foot clutch instead of using the throttle to engage the clutch. In general the F1 transmission is a fun toy and works well. I'm in the minority I know, but I even find the automatic mode to work well.

I've had the top refuse to complete an up / down movement a couple of times. In both cases simply turning the car off and back on made everything fine again. The only time this was an issue is when I was putting the top down while waiting at a red light (yes there is enough time if you start it just after the light turns red - your mileage may vary depending on the duration of lights in your area).

Overall the Maserati Spyder has been a great car and I've enjoyed it.
Good luck.
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i have a 2002 Spyder, ...

i have not noticed any major problems, however i do find that with the cambiocorsa f1 tranny, simply backing up from a minor diagonal parking space at an angle will always get clutch burn. There is a grocery store which has parking in front of store, head in, diagonal parking @ maybe a 4% gradient?, ...when leaving, no matter what I do, I smell clutch burn.

the tops are very finicky, mine was just replaced under warranty.

the Nav system is not intuitive, I don't use mine.

the cd player is tempermental.

i have noticed that my RPM rev above idle at times especially when I have the heater/blower on

i noticed on a very cold morning last week, my car died when I stop at my first stop issues since then (however something which sticks in the back of my mind)
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I have a new-to-me 2002 Spyder Cambiocorsa. It's in the shop now having the clutch replaced @ 44,000 miles which seems to be one of the better service lives detailed here. Check through some older threads and you'll see reports of replacement @ 20k and as low as 14k.

Demoe is correct, the transmission REALLY doesn't like to go in reverse the less you need to use it the better, and the CD changer is balky and slow.

The electrical system has a mind of its own. Usually turning on the climate control, produces a Low Bat warning with attendant restriction of Info Center function. Yes, I've replaced the OEM battery and it's still happening. The owner's manual addresses this issue calling it normal operation. After the battery has a few minutes of charging the Low Bat warning goes out and everything functions normally again.

Top froze in mid close requiring a manual close and lock (outlined in owner's manual) and a trip to the dealer for repair under warranty.

Mileage is horrible and the local dealer is at best uncaring and at worst fraudulent.

All that aside, it's an exotic. The fun of driving and owning more than make up for the character quirks.
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Mileage is horrible and the local dealer is at best uncaring and at worst fraudulent

I know what you mean!! If you are going to Silicon Valley FM, try SFFM and deal with Gino, he was simply the best, called to give updates, I never had to track him down for info.....i didn;t have the same luck at SVFM or Gino's boss Kevin at SFFM.

I think I am getting around 10 mpg over here in the East Bay
It's at FMSF for the clutch job. So far gino seems to be as advertised. FMSV wasn't bad til they hired the new service manager - he's the guy that quoted me $6500 for the clutch job and when I pointed out that was roughly twice the going rate requoted @ $5,000 - at that point I bailed.

I got 20-22 MPG on the way back from Colorado, so I was reasonably impressed, mixed city/hwy driving is about half that 10-11 MPG. Even with a 23 gal tank that means filling up twice a week (also meant a $73 fillup in the wilds of Nevada when Gas prices were up - ouch!).
No major issues to date.

I bought an 04 Coupe in July with 1,000 miles. I just got back from my first oil change/ service at FM of NJ. $375.00.

After I bought it, I brought it to the dealer to get a front plate put on.. Yes, I know it sucks, but the cops in Jersey do not care and I put miles on the car. I asked the service guy to check everything out for any updates. They updated the ecu software.

I have NOT had any mechanical problems to date with 6,700 miles on her. The check engine light came on cause the gas guy did not put the cap back tight. It reset itself. The seal around the dirvers side mirror/door was coming off, they fixed that and a loose parking break under warranty while they had it for service.

The need to re adjust my door because I am hearing too much wind noise after they replaced the seal.

The service people there are great. They have always treated me very well with a loaner and appointments and questions.

I am a car nut and LOVE driving this beast. I only drive in sports mode with the paddles and its very engaging...

This is not a smooth driving car, just know that going in. I have never used the NAV because I heard all the horror stories. The CD player skips a lot while driving over city bumps in NJ. I average about 13 mpg.

My biggest complaint is the weak stereo system and the lack of heated seats.. I tried to upgrade each and ran into nothing but problems.

I was lucky enough to get a Tubi and the sound is sick....

Bottom line, dollar for dollar these cars are great bang for your buck....

Just remember to factor in service costs. Good Luck! CM
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2003 Coupe at 43.5K Miles

According to my dealer in Southern California. I am the only car they have done a 43.5K service on. I bought it in June 2003 new. Therefore, I will share my experiences so far:

1. Never been stranded due to mechanical problems.

2. Once had to get towed due to blown tire sidewall (from pothole) that fix a flat wouldn't save. After that, I bought the spare tire kit from the deealer for $1400. Haven't needed spare yet but nice to have.

3. I go through tires at a set per year using the Micheline PS2's.

4. Clutch wear (original clutch) at 43.5K miles is 73%. I will probably need a clutch in a year or so. Secret to good clutch wear is that I am rarely in stop and go traffic since I live in the 'burbs. Car is always in sport mode, I always shift at 7K rpm (throttle is a digital device for me). I drive it very hard, very fast, all the time. Car has been track day'd several times. Treat it like a Maserati and it is much happier.

5. I agressively use the brakes and drive the car very hard and am still on the original pads.

6. I follow the manufacturers recommendations on service to the letter. I plan on driving this car till at least 100K miles. No need to do extra but do not skimp.

7. At 43.5K miles, the dealer was disappointed because they couldn't find any warranty work to do. I found this funny.

8. When the car was new, there were a few teething issues. The NIT module got replaced, the window rubber got torn by maladjusted windows, the radio occasionally wouldn't turn on until car restarted. But after some initial small dealer visits, the car has been flawless.

9. Kid seats (2) fit in back no problem. No more hassle as a family car for me than my M3 was.

10. Now the downsides. Services have been about $2K once a year (except 43.5K service was only $1K). Service visits have been several days for scheduled services which usually includes some warranty work (except 43.5K which was one day since car needed nothing except fluids and checks). Mileage is not great but I have a lead foot. Cruising to Las Vegas gets me about 19 mpg even driving a bit fast. Generally I average about 12 to 13 (see lead foot comment). No dealer loaner cars which I miss after owning BMW's, etc. I love Cambiocorsa gearbox but I am not in city driving more than once every 2 weeks. In city driving, cambiocorsa is not great. Tires are a bit pricey but not more than my M3 was (also used PS2's). Car has had 2 very minor rearenders (it seems to bea Suburban magnet) which has necessitated 2 visits to the best body shop in California for these cars. Lot's of money and time for very small reapirs (at least not my money but rental cars suck). Do not take car to the car wash since they cannot drive the cambiocorsa. Do not valet car for the same reason (except in Beverly Hills where all the valets know how - funny).

I daily drive this car as evidence by the miles on it. It is a true daily driving exotic. I would heartily recommend the car. Just don't treat it like a Bimmer because it isn't.
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Great post Mike, thanks for sharing.

Your comment about always shifting @7000 rpm along with your great clutch life is interesting. I happen to be in stop and go traffic most the time, but will take your cue and upshift later (i typically upshift @4000) during normal day to day driving.
As a point of info what MPH do you get in third @ 7000 RPM? 8^)>
I bought a 2002 Coupe GT with 7200 miles. I have put 3000 on in less than a year. From a mechanical standpoint, the transmission is balky, and the linkage has been adjusted by the FM dealer once. It needs it again. Ironically it shifts best when I drive it like I stole it. No complaints about brakes, engine, suspension -- only accolades.

I have actually had only one electrical issue. The drivers seat stopped going forward when I released the seat back, and the dealer reset it. A couple of days later, the directions on how to reset it showed up in this forum.

The NAV system is slow with a bad map, but it actually "speaks" better driving directions than my wife's new Acura. I used it to drive all over Charlotte one weekend, and it worked great.

My biggest complaint is driving at night. The low beam xenon headlights are simply aimed too low, and the dealer will not raise them because they are "within the template." They literally shoot about 60 feet down the road, and the high-beams offend everyone. It has been an enormous inconvenience.

No other complaints. I don't think it would be a great daily driver where I live, but it would in say, Texas, or somewhere else where the roads are decent without a lot of stop and go.

My previous cars were a C2 996 and a modified Audi S4 with about 400 hp. I had many more electrical issues with the Porsche, and many more mechanical issues with the Audi. This car has been great.
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