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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone

Noisy Varriators……..I know this topic has a lot of threads and discussions on it and I know its a common problem And I know people are sick of reading up about them.

I have a 2009 QP Sports GTS with 61,000km (approx 40,000 miles), love it to bits and maintain it very well. Oil changed at 57,000 km with Shell Helix ultra 5w-40. Also at 60,000km changed engine/transmitting mounts, spark plugs, front shocks, and full gearbox service.

My car is occasionally making rattling noise for about 2 seconds during a cold start after being left undriven in the garage for a week during lockdown here in New Zealand.

I have done alot of reading on this topic, many other owners have had the varriator caps machined and spent thousands of dollars on this major repair, only to learn that it can happen again within months or few years.

I have also read the advice of driving the car on sport mode and driving it hard to avoid this issue, which I try to do most of the time.

The repair bill for this here in NZ is about 12-17K and I don’t want to spend that crazy money on repairing something that will eventually need repairing again.

I have read that some owners have used an oil additive called Tutella which Ferrari recommends for quitening the varriators on a lot of Ferrari’s/Maserati’s which puts a thin film of lubrication on the upper engine components, preventing cold start friction. I have read in forums that many Ferrari and Maserati owners have used it and it seems to do the job from their feedback. I looked everywhere for this product and the feedback I received is that it is no longer being made.

I came across a product called Rislone Hyperlube, which apparently has been around for about 40 years and many people have used it on hot rods and race cars. It’s a thick syrup like substance that sticks to all the metal parts and reduced friction especially on cold starts.


My questions are:


1) Are there any major consequences if I ignored this issue? Will this lead to major damage eventually especially if I warmed up the car and serviced it regularly? I use the car about twice a week and it never gets below 0 degrees Celsius here in Auckland so never extreme cold.

2) Since Tutella product is not available or very hard to get ahold of, will the Rislone Hyperlube be a good option for me to use? Has anybody here used it before?



Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
 

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My fix for this problem was to fit a pre oiling system. Seems to work once you get in the habit of waiting a few seconds before engaging the starter. They are available here in NZ but considerably cheaper direct from the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My fix for this problem was to fit a pre oiling system. Seems to work once you get in the habit of waiting a few seconds before engaging the starter. They are available here in NZ but considerably cheaper direct from the US.
Thank you for that, I'm not sure if this will fit anywhere in the trunk its a pretty tight fit in the QP, did you actually fit this kit in a Maserati?
 

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I had the same questions. I don't have any variator noise and my 07 has 69xxx miles. No idea if the mod was done as I am not the first owner and the last 2 don't know either.
If the variator issue is specifically due to dry start up (oil seeps out) that's one issue.
If it is made worse by low rpm when driving in auto mode only , that's another issue.
One member writes that his study of the problem shows variators wear when the car is driven only in auto mode (low rpm=low oil pressure to the top of the cams) and another member states that this is not the problem and driving in sport mode only wastes gas.
I have no idea.
But, I wrote that any kind of supplement that left a film on the parts would (should) help guard against dry starts and I think that is what you are proposing.
Most comments referred to 'snake oil" and I don't doubt that most stuff is marginally useful but I did get good life of my Rotary cars years ago when using certain additives (Moly slip for one).
 
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There was no study at all just an internet theory that some one came up with and it gets repeated so it becomes fact in the internet world... The variators make noise because the oil is draining back out of them and/or the unit is not locking on the home position. It isn't a lubrication issue that an oil additive will help fix...Jason
 
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I use "study" as that member seemed to state that they did question many QP owners as to their driving habits and if I misquoted, not intentional.
But, se we pleebs understand, "The variators make noise because the oil is draining back out of them and/or the unit is not locking on the home position. ..." so this is a lubrication issue while the car is running at low RPM or also a lubrication issue as the oil is draining back and/or unit is not locking on the home position during rest? the question may seem repetitive but I'm just not getting the scope of the cause.
 
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His car was a dry sump car as I actually did the work to replace his a few years back.. You guys are talking wet sump cars and the system is not the same..There is no shortage of oil while the engine is running...It is just a design flaw with the original variator design and the lack of non-return valves...Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
His car was a dry sump car as I actually did the work to replace his a few years back.. You guys are talking wet sump cars and the system is not the same..There is no shortage of oil while the engine is running...It is just a design flaw with the original variator design and the lack of non-return valves...Jason
Thank you for your input Jason, we need an opinion from an expert like you.

So we know that the main issue is a design flaw that deprives oil from the upper part of the engine due to a lack of non-return valves on the varriators caps. The million dollar question is if I use an oil additive such as Hyperlube which sticks to alll the metal parts in the car and will stay on even if the car was not started for weeks, will this help reduce the starting rattle and avoid any major damage in the future?

Hyperlube has been around for more than 50 years, many drag car and hot rod owners use it and many are claiming that it helps. I would love your opinion on it.





 

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O.K. So I can stop driving in sport mode to keep the revs up as even in auto, there is enough lubrication flowing to the variators.
 
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No, the magic lubes are not gonna help here...The variator has a locking pin that is supposed to lock when the engine is shut off..It is not locking and on top of that the oil is running back out of the variator...That is what causes the rattle in the unit...I have been all through this on the F136 engine and have had the old style variators apart..The hyperlube stuff looks like some viscosity modifier...No magic there...STP oil treatment, Motor Honey etc...All the same crap...I guess the thicker oil might not drain out as fast, but the thicker oil also doesn't reach the other parts of the engine as quick...Jason
 
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O.K. So I can stop driving in sport mode to keep the revs up as even in auto, there is enough lubrication flowing to the variators.
Yeah, the faster your turn a engine the quicker it wears out...Period..That is why that post wasn't really good advice...Bunch of dudes driving around at 4k RPM...J
 

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No, the magic lubes are not gonna help here...The variator has a locking pin that is supposed to lock when the engine is shut off..It is not locking and on top of that the oil is running back out of the variator...That is what causes the rattle in the unit...I have been all through this on the F136 engine and have had the old style variators apart..The hyperlube stuff looks like some viscosity modifier...No magic there...STP oil treatment, Motor Honey etc...All the same crap...I guess the thicker oil might not drain out as fast, but the thicker oil also doesn't reach the other parts of the engine as quick...Jason
Thank you for your reply, so the Hyperlube additive is out of the picture.

Would you recommend me to use a different oil grade? Shall I use something eLes like 10w-40 or 15w-40 To avoid the start up rattle?

At the moment the rattle is occasional during cold start only, if I ignore it will that lead to further damage? Or is it one of those things you will have to live with owning an Italian car? I hear the valves may be damaged later on?
 
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It would have to get super bad to damage the valves...I would just use the recommended 5W-40...I would just live with it at this point...Jason
 

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Thank you for that, I'm not sure if this will fit anywhere in the trunk its a pretty tight fit in the QP, did you actually fit this kit in a Maserati?
I mounted it crosswise under and just in front of the engine. It requires less that a foot of hose and works fine except if you turn the key instantly through on to start, You just need to wait till the oil light goes out. The rattle does not appear to be a friction issue so doubtful that oil additives or grades will change much.
 

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I mounted it crosswise under and just in front of the engine. It requires less that a foot of hose and works fine except if you turn the key instantly through on to start, You just need to wait till the oil light goes out. The rattle does not appear to be a friction issue so doubtful that oil additives or grades will change much.
Yes 2007 QP5
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No, the magic lubes are not gonna help here...The variator has a locking pin that is supposed to lock when the engine is shut off..It is not locking and on top of that the oil is running back out of the variator...That is what causes the rattle in the unit...I have been all through this on the F136 engine and have had the old style variators apart..The hyperlube stuff looks like some viscosity modifier...No magic there...STP oil treatment, Motor Honey etc...All the same crap...I guess the thicker oil might not drain out as fast, but the thicker oil also doesn't reach the other parts of the engine as quick...Jason

Thank you for all your input, and sorry for being pain asking you all these questions. Were are currently under strict COVID19 lockdown in NZ and I have no access to any mechanic for advice.

So the variator locking pin is not locking and its causing this occasional rattle during cold start up after a few days of not using the car (I have heard it 3 times in the past 4 month). Is there something that needs to be done at this stage? With your experience does this eventually get worse and cause further damage? Or is it one of those things that may appear randomly and never progress for the life of the car?

I am an OCD car maintainer, the factory recommendation is to change oil every 12,000 miles and I change it every 6000 miles, only use the factory spec Shell Helix ultra 5w-40, I always warm the car up and never thrash it when cold and keep it garaged, all servicing is up to date and its done 61,000km (38,000 miles).
 
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It probably won't get better, but it doesn't sound very bad at this point..If I had cam cover gaskets that needed to be replaced I would probably get the check valves installed to see if that helps..Jason
 

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just a thought - the QP5 (Duo) cranks for a couple of seconds before firing, I assume this is to get a head start on getting oil pressure. I have an occasional rattle when not driven for a couple of days, so for these first starts, I crank it once for a second (but don't let it fire), and then start it as usual. Since I started doing this, I have not had a rattle.

If we could extend the cranking time by 1 second or so by manipulating the cold start sequence, this could be a simple resolution? I'm a software/electronics guy, so taking an input from the temp sensor (so only happens when cold) and introduce a delay in powering the EFI or ignition module for 1 second would have achieve a cold start longer crank cycle, getting more oil pressure before firing.
 
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Already been done, people were shutting of the fuel pump relay...Jason
 
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