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This sticky is for people to post issues and their remedies commonly found on the modern Quattroporte series cars.

Please feel free to post common problems, repairs, and links to other threads that address common issues.

Please use the post title box when posting to identify what your post is about.

Please do not post questions or uncommon problems. That way we can keep this thread clean and user friendly as a place to quickly reference answers to frequently asked questions.
 

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Rear Blinker Bulb Size

I wanted to change my rear blinkers to LED. The bulb size was very hard to find.. finally I found out its 1056. I couldn't find it ANYWHERE, not even the dealer (very surprised). I found the cross reference size to be "PY21W".. For some reason also very hard to find.. No good for LED (for euro cars).. so I went with the regular bulbs since the original were fading away in color.. Only place I can find these bulbs was on Ebay coming from Latvia.

Rear Blinkers Bulb Size (PY21W)

PY21W Bulbs 2pcs BAU15S 12V 21 w Bosch Pure Light 1987301018 | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Variators

Must read.

Just to clarify, I don't believe the wet sumps are poorly designed. The flaws with that engine are only confined to the VVT system on the earlier units and when coupled with low RPM operation, which is characteristic of an automatic transmission, they are prone to problems. I have written a few posts on this forum over the last 6 months on this topic, but I will try to summarize what I know to help explain:

We are all familiar with the variator issues of the QP. To understand why these issues exist however, you need an understanding of exactly how these devices work and why. Their operation is fairly simple. Aside from the oil seals and internal oil channels, there are two main parts: One internal part that is directly connected to the forward end of the cam shaft and one external part surrounding it, which is connected to the timing chain (it is actually a series of connected parts that make up these two main components). All the variator does is allow movement of the camshaft from left to right within a specified degree of variation to intentionally cause a slight timing adjustment which is meant to broaden the power curve. That's all it does. The F136 engine used in the QP is very similar to the F430 derivative, aside from the intake and crankshaft (yes the timing order is different in the Ferrari but that's a direct result of the flat plane crank). So why are only some of the QPs so prone to variator failure and most all F430s and Maserati coupes nearly immune? It's a matter of hydraulics.

The position of the variator is held by hydraulic pressure, caused ultimately by the oil pressure that exists in the top end (the advancement of the position at varying RPMs is triggered by the solenoid but the camshaft position is maintained by the pressure in the variator itself). Ultimately the design uses oil not only as a lubricant but also as a hydraulic fluid in this case. The early dry sumps (2005, 2006 and the optional 2007 units) used a Ferrari unit designed for the application of this engine in the F430, which was ultimately a high-revving engine with a manually-operated transmission. Characteristically, the F cars are driven at anywhere from 3K to 7K RPM under normal operation thus there is always adequate pressure within the variator while it is in its advanced position to keep it functioning as it should. Now, the variator in this configuration uses a series of 3 o-ring seals and a one-way valve to maintain this pressure at all temperatures. The o-ring seals maintain pressure during warm operation and the one-way valve does a good job in retaining the required amount of oil on startup. Without the one-way valves, the oil will drain out of the engine and into the sump, which will in turn cause stress on the variators during startup since there is no oil pressure existing in this area at that time. In the F430 set up, it’s near perfect. I say “near perfect”, because there is a slight delay between the time you turn the key (or press the button) and moment adequate pressure is reached to operate the variators, so you may get the occasional rattle on startup on any one of the cars sharing this technology. The rattle you hear IS NOT the valves striking the cylinder heads, as in the case of a mis-timed engine! The rattle results from the internal parts of the variator advancing and de-advancing freely within the fore and aft limits of rotation. Since there is no pressure to keep the variator in a constant position, this is the noise that results. This is also why there is a standard (templated) service bulletin that exists on these cars that includes Maserati 4.2, Ferrari F430 and even the Lamborghini Aventador! The bulletins read in exactly the same language, word for word, and advise that this rattle may exist “occasionally or sporadically.”

The real problem with this technology surfaced when Maserati decided to use this in a heavy car and equip it with a transmission TCU that defaulted to auto mode on startup. Basically the QP was marketed as competition to Mercedes and BMW which attracted an older buyer who expected to drive the car in AUTO mode for most of its useful life. Sounds great for everybody unless you’re a variator surviving on oil pressure. Now you’ve got a heavy sedan (I equate it to a F430 pulling a boat and trailer) spending most of its operating life under 3K RPM, lugging itself at 1,800 most of the time, while taking the grandkids to daycare. If you take any QP and drive it on any given day in AUTO mode, just look at the tach… this is not how these engines were designed to be driven. Period. See the problem?

Things got even worse in 2007 when Maserati tried to further conventionalize the F136 engine by making a wet-sump design, redesigning the variators and eliminating the one-way valves. The idea was that in a conventional setup, the oil pan is close enough to the top-end to allow the pump to fill the variators in time during startup and maintain adequate pressure during normal operation. Well they were wrong. This newer design further encouraged more conventional driving and the valves were not there to help save the day, so in order to repair, not only do the variators need replaced, but also the check valves need to be modified back to the original “dry-sump-style” configuration. This repair doesn’t eliminate the problem, however, it only helps.

So, why do some cars have the problem and some don’t? Here’s how I found my answer. I studied exploded diagrams of all Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini variators until I understood each and every part and understood their jobs. I looked at other designs of variators in addition to Maserati, and compared designs to their reported failures (including Alfa) and saw patterns. This gave me a clear understanding of what most FM mechanics believe is a very complex part of the engine (it really isn’t that complex when you understand how they work – most mechanics will say “when it makes noise or throws codes, just replace it and that’s all they know). At this point, the reported issues actually started to “make sense” to me. The confirmation came when I traced down as many QP owners as I could find who had problems and questioned them on their driving habits and did the same with those who reported no problems at all (two of those I “surveyed” have over 100K on the clock with NO failure in variators!). The response was undeniable. Those who drove their cars in MANUAL mode in SPORT for the car’s ENTIRE life had NO problems. Both of the 100K mile cars were driven in this way. ALL the cars that failed prematurely were driven mostly in AUTO mode and some never in SPORT. This included one 2008 model which was on its THIRD set of variators at 80K, and after the on-way valves were installed! The reason why the AUTO vs MANUAL setting makes such a difference is the RPM held at speed and resultant load on the engine (and variators that rely on oil pressure to function properly). The SPORT setting likely has no effect on the variators but it does on the clutch, which is a whole new subject. It appears that the higher the average RPM attained during the engine’s life, the fewer problems. That is not entirely accurate I am sure, but reasonably if the “danger zone” of engine load vs. RPM is avoided in the QP, the variators should give you no more trouble than a F430. The “danger zone” of the QP is widened due to the extra weight and falling into it is encouraged by letting the car shift for you. So when driving, just be sure to keep the RPMs up at 2,800 or higher while moving and I assure you there will be fewer problems going forward. Idling causes no harm because there is no load, of course.

This explains why the problem is confined almost entirely to the QP. The same engine, for example, is in the coupe and GS, however those are cars that are (1) lighter weight, (2) are “sports cars” that by design are driven more aggressively, and (3) default to MANUAL mode when started. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, however these are statistics that cannot be ignored when supported by an understanding of the overall design.
 

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Variators

I was enlightened by Erik's message above. It amazed when last month, with 45K miles on my 2008 QP, I had to replace a solenoid related to this issue above, for $1500. My local indie mechanic Jason tells me that this is an ongoing issue and that to some degree I am sitting on a ticking time bomb where at some point this issue will result in a full $6K variator/cam rebuild. While I understand that this car will cost me extra money in repairs (now averaging $2500/year over 4.5 years) and maintenance, this is the sort of tragic flaw that I was hoping to avoid with this beautiful automobile. And to read that someone has had to do this 3X with their car under 80K miles! This sounds like what is about to happen to me and it makes me want to get rid of it rather than the lovingly take care of it for the next 6 years... It sounds like I will start by keeping it in Sport mode permanently...
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Variators

I took Erik's post to mean that this could be an avoidable situation. There are many 4200's with way over 80,000 miles that have never had the problem. If Erik is right, proper driving could mean never having the issue (or doing it again) on the QP. Yes, it's a cautionary tale, but it could be good news.
 

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Ive got a 2006 QP sport GT, installed the FD DBWEM and even auto mode (no sport) it holds the RPMs to no less than 3K when shifting. There is the odd time it shifts under 3K, but in general it is pretty adamant on 3K or higher.

Ive got 55,000 miles on the car, only on the second clutch (15k miles ago) and its amazing!!

Take off kind of hard, shift high (no less than 3K), and let her warm up a little before driving in the morning!
 

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My 2007 QP Sport GT just got it's 2nd cutch @ 88730 miles. Also w/ FD DBWEN.
Runs faster and better than new. Got for another 50K.
Almost as fast as My Cali T
 
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Variators

On variator issue...The M138 (4.2 coupes)cars had a high pressure VVT system that used an auxiliary pump as well as an accumulator for the VVT system.Later cars use a entirely different setup even though they are both 4.2s. The M139(QP 4.2 cars automatic etc.) use a more modern low pressure system...The problem is the VVT is not returning to the base position so a locking pin can engage when the car is shut off...Maserati would later release a new VVT unit with a large clock spring to return the VVT to the home position.. Running the car at at higher RPM than normal does nothing but waste gas and increase engine wear actually...As far as the 430 goes ,that is like comparing apples to oranges as it has twin VVT units and is dry sump...The automatic cars seem to have way more problems with this, but its not because they are automatic as its the change in the way the VVT system works..Hope that clears that up..regards..Jason
 

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On variator issue...The M138 (4.2 coupes)cars had a high pressure VVT system that used an auxiliary pump as well as an accumulator for the VVT system.Later cars use a entirely different setup even though they are both 4.2s. The M139(QP 4.2 cars automatic etc.) use a more modern low pressure system...The problem is the VVT is not returning to the base position so a locking pin can engage when the car is shut off...Maserati would later release a new VVT unit with a large clock spring to return the VVT to the home position.. Running the car at at higher RPM than normal does nothing but waste gas and increase engine wear actually...As far as the 430 goes ,that is like comparing apples to oranges as it has twin VVT units and is dry sump...The automatic cars seem to have way more problems with this, but its not because they are automatic as its the change in the way the VVT system works..Hope that clears that up..regards..Jason
To recap, staying above 3k rpm won't help the variator in regards to my 09 4.7 Quattroporte s since it have a clock spring and uses low pressure VVT? Would ErikDiSomma or any one else offer their opinion?
 

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Hello, my problem is about a modern Maserati, to be exact, the Maserati quattroporte s q4 2015, the thing is, my friend who works on a dealer receive this car, with two LCD screens on the back seat, the problem is, they don't know how to me make them work at all, he (and his companions) spent 2 to 4 hours trying to find out how the screens work, from using the main screen, the button on the dashboard, the controls that came with the car did something but just turn on the screen, soo, does anybody knows how to make this screens work? how to configure them? just let me know, please and thank.

PD : sorry for the bad grammar, I don't write that much in English, I'm from Dominican Republic.
 

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Emergency Brake Bay

Lifting the veil on the nests in the back: Some posts have been surprised to learn of "another" compartment below the spare, with items such as newly discovered owner manuals stored there. So I thought I would take a look on my '09 QP5.

1) Pic1 shows the luggage compartment floor with the hinged pull-up panel, revealing...

2) Pic2, showing the spare tire bay, mine obviously without that option. Unscrewing the knob and lifting it out along with the carpeted panel discloses...

3) Pic3, an equipment bay. To be exact, the electric motor, with flexible shaft driving the right & left straight shafts that bring the emergency brake shoes closer to or farther away from the interiors of the rear brake rotors. This motor is where you use that skinny tool in the tool kit to manually release the emergency brake if the electric or mechanical capability fails for some reason. The technique is described in the owner manual.

So, while I *might* be persuaded to store some small, soft, seldom-used item(s) there, I would never use it to store anything hard, sharp or possessing the potential to jam up the works. This configuration might be different for earlier cars with the F1 transmission connected to the differential.
 

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Yes with the first look, it seems that there is some extra storage room around the mechanism.

Personally, I would NOT store anything in there. There is a potential danger to block the mechanism and I don't want to play with Murphy's law......
 

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Don't worry. Known issue. There is a thread for this topic on this forum. If you do some of your own work, the thread may help. Otherwise your dealer or indy shop will know how to fix. It's pieces and parts in the mechanism. In future, saying which specific vehicle you have [at least year & model (Base, S, GTS)] will help others on this forum with common equipment be able to respond better.
Cheers,
KTBD
 

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[QUOTE = "lcdave, publicación: 550241, miembro: 9546"]
Variadores

Debe leer.
[/CITAR]
Tengo este problema en mi maserati quattroporte sport gt 2007, me gustaría saber qué tan serio es y qué daño puede causar o si solo será ese ruido al arrancar el automóvil
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If it really is variators, it needs to be fixed.
 

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[QUOTE = "lcdave, publicación: 974480, miembro: 9546"]
Si realmente se trata de variadores, debe repararse.
[/CITAR]
No estoy seguro de qué es, encender el automóvil hace un ruido durante unos segundos
 
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