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Should I buy a GS?

  • If I had to do it again...I wouldn't of.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys

First time poster.

I have been enamored by these cars since I was a teenager, and now am in a spot where I am looking to pick one up, Specifically an '06 GS. But given their infamous maintenance reputation, combined with the number of posts here with problems, I am anxious to dip my toes in the water. So my question is...How bad is it? I am in for a total reaming in terms of maintenance woes and eye watering costs? Or do I stand a chance of having finding a car with some reliability?

Can't wait to hear some sound advice.
 

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Like you, I was enamored by these vehicles for years. In my case, it was a situation of raising 2 children and a revolving door of wives...yes, I got married 3 times, always holding me back. The kids didn't care but the wives consistently spewed forth an endless litany of "too expensive...too much maintenance (like they would have any idea) and expensive insurance..(maybe if they hadn't kept wrecking their BMW's the insurance may not have been an issue but whatever)....Anyway, now the kids are away at college and I'm single. I am fully embracing my mid-life crisis and took the plunge on an 03 CC Coupe last year and wouldn't change a thing. I would say just be prepared to get to know the car and don't be discouraged by the things you'll have to deal with because they are temperamental. At least mine is....but I love the damn thing and will happily spend whatever it takes to keep it moving ...why???? Because it's more fun than any of the ex-wives ever were! Go for it!
 

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2005 CC Coupe
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When I bought my 05, nice clean 38,000 mile car with a list of 2 do's, I figured I would spend 10K right off the bat($1500 in future parts, brakes,rotors,heater core). Pretty much did! So I've got a little over 30K in a car that I couldn't replace that will do what this car does for less than 50K and still need to be fed I figure. I'm anal retentive about my cars so I also figure it will eat another 10K over the next few years. As long as you go in eyes wide open I think you will be happy barring an unforeseen catastrophe.

The only thing that bugs me is if I come up needing one of those parts that's impossible to find. A great example is @DonRW2019 who can't find a windshield. Best not be doing any tailgating!
 

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The only thing that bugs me is if I come up needing one of those parts that's impossible to find. A great example is @DonRW2019 who can't find a windshield. Best not be doing any tailgating!
A US episode of Wheeler Dealers found a firm that will cut a new screen to fit. Think it was a classic SAAB but can't remember what they used. Perhaps a long shot and maybe not ideal. Might be worth finding out if they can help rather than part the car out.
 

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2005 Coupe GT 6MT, Black/Black
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I picked mine up last October and went in eyes pretty open.
Biggest question is, do you want a car to get your hands dirty in/underneath? Or do you want a car that will just work with an annual oil change? Remember these are ~15 year old Italian cars, things are breaking, parts are expensive, but labor is even more.

I wanted something with a good rumble that I could drive, but also plan some maintenance DIY projects and learn from. For that it's been great so far, but I'm fine to have it lifted in my garage for two weeks while I mess with it in the evenings - I'm not relying on it.

Whatever you do, also get a prepurchase inspection by a reputable shop who know these cars. They can give you a list of what you're looking at sinking into it immediately or soon.

Good luck and enjoy!

Edit: Also, What should I worry about before buying a Coupe?

Edit 2: Also I bought a manual transmission instead of the CC/GS
 

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I've had my 02 6MT Spyder for 8 years and here are a few observations.
  1. They are reliable by component but complex in total. Example...the engine has 5 oil pumps.
  2. You need to be a rich man who understands value and not a poor man looking for a cheap good time. Not doing maintenance will bite you.
  3. The CC system is a point of high maintenance and possible problems. That's why I have an MT.
  4. The provenance must mean something to you. If all you know about Maserati is it's in a Joe Walsh song then it's not for you.
  5. Maserati dealers have moved on so don't expect any help there. There are good independent techs around.
That said, it's the automotive buy of a lifetime. 80% of a Ferrari for 20% of the cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the good points! Keep it coming.

Agreed, not looking for a “cheap” exotic, and I am mechanical in nature, so basic maintenance I can do.

Just afraid of acquiring a landmine and having it blow up on me.
 

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I've had my 02 6MT Spyder for 8 years and here are a few observations.
  1. They are reliable by component but complex in total. Example...the engine has 5 oil pumps.
  2. You need to be a rich man who understands value and not a poor man looking for a cheap good time. Not doing maintenance will bite you.
  3. The CC system is a point of high maintenance and possible problems. That's why I have an MT.
  4. The provenance must mean something to you. If all you know about Maserati is it's in a Joe Walsh song then it's not for you.
  5. Maserati dealers have moved on so don't expect any help there. There are good independent techs around.
That said, it's the automotive buy of a lifetime. 80% of a Ferrari for 20% of the cost.
That was very well-put in all regards, in my opinion. I would add:

- parts are starting to become hard to get;

- sticky rubber surfaces abound... perhaps less so on the 4200's, GS', and more on the Quattroporte. This is not an easy prb to solve, and it can be labour intensive and it can be $$$; and

- you may not find 6MT cars that easily. The CC system and the DuoSelect certainly will be more problem prone, shorter clutch life, and more picky - but these systems can be managed.
 

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Thanks for the good points! Keep it coming.

Agreed, not looking for a “cheap” exotic, and I am mechanical in nature, so basic maintenance I can do.

Just afraid of acquiring a landmine and having it blow up on me.
Prior to getting the Spyder I had a 911SC for many years. Didn't get another early 2000's Porsche due to major engine failures with their intermediate shafts as they were switching to water cooled engines. Now there was a landmine! On the other hand, even with their complexity, the Spyder engine and transmission are very reliable. Everything else you can fix. I get my parts from Eurospares | Maserati 4200 Spyder (2002) 001 Crankcase. Talk to them about spares availability.
 

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I'm surprised the open deck/wet liner design that the F136 (is it called?) engine has is indeed reliable. I would have expected the head to shuffle and the barrel o-rings to leak coolant into the oil as time went on... but neither seems to occur. Kudos, Ferrari engineers!
 

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Good day,

Welcome to the forum - first off, owning an Italian machine will give you an experience unlike any other. I was waiting for the Porsche comment (nothing wrong with a Porsche) other than it’s a Porsche and you can’t even really compare the two - honestly.

Be prepared for all the quirkiness - you will have warning lights come on for no reason (which can be remedied by turning the battery off/on)….these cars dislike cold weather - but once warmed up, they move ingesting all that cold air from outside (like any other car)….Drive the darn thing - drive it every day…don’t let it sit. Not only let the engine warm up - get the transmission warm to…then drive the hell out of it. Always shift at 4k rpm and in Sport mode to preserve the clutch. Try and look for a car with a leather headliner - or “all leather interior” stay away from that space age looking fabric. Find a good Italian tech to work on your car - it buy the parts if you can from Ferrari/Maserati. Although mine is not installed yet, but the Formula Dynamics Drive by wire to save clutch life and increase performance. Change out exhaust, get either the performance cats or cst deletes as the second set of cats are due to fail and will cause massive engine failire

also, there is a “squashed” exhaust section under the car…which robs the car of power….if you get the sport cats or cat deletes…that section is opened up and freer flowing which increases performance and sound. I am partially biased - get the Gran Sport model if you like the aero aggressive kit, x-pipe and larger wheels. As I mentioned earlier - this is nothing like a “yawn” Porsche - so quality issues with the sticky seat backs and sticky buttons can be remedied by certain members on this forum….heater core can be replace by an Aluminum Saab version….and may need to be tweaked by a few millimeters or…you can bypass the heater core and not use your heat (cabin gets warm enough from the engine. Oil changes - change your oil every 3-5k miles….do it and don’t neglect it…Italian engines have nothing in common with German engines. Air filter - because of the air filter placement (lower left inlet located in the air dam) be careful in driving through puddles in order to avoid hydro lock. Be sure to change out the fuel pump fuse as those are known to fail causing the “over running” of the fuel pump which will lead to it burning out.

Make sure the steering rack boots aren’t torn…not a biggie as mine have been torn for 8 years now (I have the replacement boots) just haven’t put them on yet. The dealer will say you have to buy a new rack but that’s not true. The oil pressure gauge may act “wonky” but I believe it’s just the “sender” going bad and it’s replaceable.

Be prepared to have every kid known to man try and race you from a Prius to a cankle looking Lamborghini (sorry if I offended anyone - take a mental health day or go to your safe room).

These cars are super reliable - do a PPI and buy the best you can afford - drive it every day - don’t let it sit.
You might also need to change out your MaF but cleaning it won’t help - you would need to replace it. Be prepared to spend 5-8k for a new clutch…once you get the Formula Dynamics drive by wire and you understand how to drive it, you can master pro long clutch life. Always feel the clutch engage then hammer it.

Also, look for a car where the center airbag doesn’t have a “bubble” look to it…a lot of these cars tend to have that….mine does not…fortunately…just another quirk for being related to a Ferrari.

I also forgot that you should change out the thermostat and make sure the fan relay has been replaced and is in great working condition…temperatures can creep up fast in warm climates…but thanks to the two powerful fans up front and enormous opening of a grill….if properly maintained…will never over heat.

If well maintained, and you have pockets to run the car it can be more reliable then the 65 Porsches/Corvettes/BMWs/Audis you see at Starbuck’s Buy it, use it…and embrace that this is one of the last, normally aspirated, high revving V8s around…you won’t regret it.

very respectfully,
Stephen
 

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You note 06' as a preference, but I cannot recommend the below car more. It is in amazing condition, the guy that owns it is insanely knowledgeable, and backs that up with the wrench time. Last time I saw the car a couple years back it looked better than most new cars (had recently had a paint correction at the time). The Mods done, specifically cat delete and DBW, are the ones that are almost obligatory on these cars - and very pricey to complete yourself.

 

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Good advice all, the only thing I would add is, note the length of time that these guys have owned their cars.
Those that don't "get" a 4200 buy them, then move on, but for many of us, these cars are long-term keepers.
We go to great lengths to enjoy what may well be a lost breed of sports car.
Don't let all the how-to posts here discourage you, it's just us exchanging info on keeping them on the road. :)
 

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Good advice all, the only thing I would add is, note the length of time that these guys have owned their cars.
Those that don't "get" a 4200 buy them, then move on, but for many of us, these cars are long-term keepers.
We go to great lengths to enjoy what may well be a lost breed of sports car.
Don't let all the how-to posts here discourage you, it's just us exchanging info on keeping them on the road. :)
So…
I had my ‘06 GS on Pcar market and the bidding was anemic. New clutch, perfect condition. Don’t get it
 

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I'm completely non-technical. Bought my 2006 GS Spyder about 18 months ago with 25K miles. No mods. It is my daily driver. I've put about 8K miles on it ( I don't go very far!). I have a Ferrari/Maserati trained mechanic a couple of miles away from my house and he gives it an annual service (changes oil and filters, checks clutch and whatever else) for about $1,000 a year. I've had to replace the straps on the roof ($400 installed) and had the driver's door window extender collapse (that was a bit of a nightmare as there are no spares available but eventually got it rebuilt for another $400).
BUT as other people have said, this is the most fun you're going to have in a car (I've had 2 911's and it doesn't even get close). I tell my wife, and anybody else who will listen, that nothing i have ever owned has given me as much pleasure. I smile every time I see it. and driving it, well . . . Buy it, love it, drive it. Oh, and people stop me to tell me how beautiful it is. And they're not wrong.
Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Automotive tire
 

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Like you, I was enamored by these vehicles for years. In my case, it was a situation of raising 2 children and a revolving door of wives...yes, I got married 3 times, always holding me back. The kids didn't care but the wives consistently spewed forth an endless litany of "too expensive...too much maintenance (like they would have any idea) and expensive insurance..(maybe if they hadn't kept wrecking their BMW's the insurance may not have been an issue but whatever)....Anyway, now the kids are away at college and I'm single. I am fully embracing my mid-life crisis and took the plunge on an 03 CC Coupe last year and wouldn't change a thing. I would say just be prepared to get to know the car and don't be discouraged by the things you'll have to deal with because they are temperamental. At least mine is....but I love the damn thing and will happily spend whatever it takes to keep it moving ...why???? Because it's more fun than any of the ex-wives ever were! Go for it!
Thank you for your story, almost identical to mine although I didn’t wait for the divorce to be finalized, kinda bought it just to piss her off ( payback’s a bitch honey!) couldn’t afford a Ferrari and stumbled luckily upon them on e-bay and couldn’t be more happy with the car, which is such a blast to drive!
 

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Like you, I was enamored by these vehicles for years. In my case, it was a situation of raising 2 children and a revolving door of wives...yes, I got married 3 times, always holding me back. The kids didn't care but the wives consistently spewed forth an endless litany of "too expensive...too much maintenance (like they would have any idea) and expensive insurance..(maybe if they hadn't kept wrecking their BMW's the insurance may not have been an issue but whatever)....Anyway, now the kids are away at college and I'm single. I am fully embracing my mid-life crisis and took the plunge on an 03 CC Coupe last year and wouldn't change a thing. I would say just be prepared to get to know the car and don't be discouraged by the things you'll have to deal with because they are temperamental. At least mine is....but I love the damn thing and will happily spend whatever it takes to keep it moving ...why???? Because it's more fun than any of the ex-wives ever were! Go for it!
It was my third wife who insisted I buy it. Guess I finally got it right! :)
 

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That was very well-put in all regards, in my opinion. I would add:

- parts are starting to become hard to get;

- sticky rubber surfaces abound... perhaps less so on the 4200's, GS', and more on the Quattroporte. This is not an easy prb to solve, and it can be labour intensive and it can be $$$; and

- you may not find 6MT cars that easily. The CC system and the DuoSelect certainly will be more problem prone, shorter clutch life, and more picky - but these systems can be managed.
How did you get rid of the sticky rubber? I've had that problem since I owned my '04. I thought it was the result of a unknowing dealer using the wrong stuff to detail the car...
 
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