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Discussion Starter #1
Next Saturday I will pick up a slightly used Coupe. I will fly to the dealer and test drive it before purchasing. I have read back about 18 months of posts on the forum, but have a couple questions.

First, any hints on checking out the car in the test drive. What I have is:
1. Clutch - Smooth shift? Misses gears? - Report from Mas dealer is that it just had the clutch replaced 1k miles ago.
2. Some shake - check at high RPMs.
3. Stitching coming loose on the interior.

Anything else besides the obvious visual items (scratches, tires, etc) that should be checked before purchasing? Purchasing from used car dealer, but was locally owned and serviced. Mas dealer has confirmed service info.

Second:

How do I drive the paddle shift? I know this should be obvious, but...

1. Will it allow me to shift into a gear that will put the RPM's above red line (i.e. I am accelerating and want to hit the upshift but hit the downshift instead)? If so, what happens?
2. Will it downshift automatically when slowing down if I am in manual mode?
3. Assuming the RPMs are ok, is it OK to downshift 2 gears quickly, or should the car be stepped down slowly? What about upshifting?
4. In manual mode, if I come to a stop, can I keep the car in 1st or do I need to shift into neutral (forum seemed a little unclear on this one when I checked the back posts).
5. If I am in auto mode and driving, how do I switch to manual mode and then back to auto mode?

I will read all the manuals, etc, but probably will not have a chance before I take the car for a test drive. Any help is appreciated.

Thank you and great site...
 

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pre purchase

Hi. If you are buying from dealer then you must have some sort of warranty/comeback as they should have checked it out before selling to you. If its slightly used then you will have the remaning warranty. If warranty is about to expire try and strike a deal WITH warranty.

Ask them to show you the OBD (SD2) readings to show how the clutch is. Takes 5 mins with the SD2. If they have nothing to hide then there is no problem. Ask them to give you a written report.

If you are buying private then ask seller if you can get it inspected by a dealer (about £200 in UK) to give you an impartial written report.

I drove mine in auto for a few weeks to get familiar and then as members pointed out keep it sport and in manual mode- you will get used to it.
The gears sort themselves out in case you forget to change gear-try and not redline it.

In Uk we get a HPI autocheck for £30 for history and can ring dealers for service history which is important unless offset by price.Look under the car/bonnet(hood) with torch and ask lots of questions -even if they are stupid.Check all switches and knobs/alarm/2 or 3 sets of keys and manual(handbook),and other books as they can be expensive (hundreds of pounds((RIP OFF)).AND toolkit/spare/luggage if possible.

In Uk there have been many recalls from Maserati and many campaigns from factory and make sure theat they are all up to date.( I will write about this in detail ASAP).

Get the best colour that you are happy with. Sorry but I dont recommend White/burgandy/green/yellow-its a euro thing!

Make sure you understand about reverse up inclines and the special reverse gearbox mode.
If you dont like the deal walk away and dont trust dealer/seller 100%!!

good luck and tell us more price/model/color and mileage.

FIT A TUBI!!
 

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Grenik said:
1. Clutch - Smooth shift? Misses gears? - Report from Mas dealer is that it just had the clutch replaced 1k miles ago.
If it was really replaced you should have no problem. Should be simple to confirm if you've got access to dealer.

Grenik said:
2. Some shake - check at high RPMs.
Shaking? Cowl shake or driveline vibration? The 2002 Spyders aren't the stiffest chassis in the world but you shouldn't be seeing that in a Coupe. If it's driveline vibration there's something wrong and it needs to be sorted. Rich Hale has been reporting on a lenghty diagnostic problem with his trying to sort out what's going on - check the threads for torque tube.

Grenik said:
3. Stitching coming loose on the interior.
Shouldn't be happening - should be fixed under warranty if there's any left.

Grenik said:
Second:

How do I drive the paddle shift? I know this should be obvious, but...

1. Will it allow me to shift into a gear that will put the RPM's above red line (i.e. I am accelerating and want to hit the upshift but hit the downshift instead)? If so, what happens?
It won't let you shift into an overrev situation.

Grenik said:
2. Will it downshift automatically when slowing down if I am in manual mode?
yes

Grenik said:
3. Assuming the RPMs are ok, is it OK to downshift 2 gears quickly, or should the car be stepped down slowly? What about upshifting?
Go as fast as you want, unit completes a shift in 250 msecs and it won'tlet you do anything stupid.

Grenik said:
4. In manual mode, if I come to a stop, can I keep the car in 1st or do I need to shift into neutral (forum seemed a little unclear on this one when I checked the back posts).
Your choice. some take the position that shifting to neutral is bedtter for the clutch, others contend it doesn't matter. I tend to leave it in first because it won't let you shift N -1 without your foot on the brake and I hate hitting the paddle and the gas and sitting still like an idiot.

Grenik said:
5. If I am in auto mode and driving, how do I switch to manual mode and then back to auto mode?

Push the Auto button - it's a toggle - first push engages Auto second push disengages. You can do it while moving. After you get used to the paddles you won't drive it in Auto much I'm betting.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for the help. Wonderful people here!

I will let you know how it turns out :D
 

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First time '04 buyer as well

Hi Grenik,

I just purchased an '04 Coupe as well (Blue Med/Tan Interior) with 8800 miles. The clutch on the vehicle was 40% worn, but the service manager of the dealership I bought from noticed some 'abrupt' shifting in 1st gear so he called Maserati and is replacing the clutch under warranty. Hopefully one less thing to worry about about for a couple of years.

My suggestion would be, if you find something that doesn't seem right ask them to check it out and get it fixed now under warranty.

I take delivery of mine when I get back in town, 9/21 - can't wait!
 

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Grenik said:
First, any hints on checking out the car in the test drive. What I have is:
1. Clutch - Smooth shift? Misses gears? - Report from Mas dealer is that it just had the clutch replaced 1k miles ago.
2. Some shake - check at high RPMs.
3. Stitching coming loose on the interior.

Anything else besides the obvious visual items (scratches, tires, etc) that should be checked before purchasing? Purchasing from used car dealer, but was locally owned and serviced. Mas dealer has confirmed service info.

Second:

How do I drive the paddle shift? I know this should be obvious, but...

1. Will it allow me to shift into a gear that will put the RPM's above red line (i.e. I am accelerating and want to hit the upshift but hit the downshift instead)? If so, what happens?
2. Will it downshift automatically when slowing down if I am in manual mode?
3. Assuming the RPMs are ok, is it OK to downshift 2 gears quickly, or should the car be stepped down slowly? What about upshifting?
4. In manual mode, if I come to a stop, can I keep the car in 1st or do I need to shift into neutral (forum seemed a little unclear on this one when I checked the back posts).
5. If I am in auto mode and driving, how do I switch to manual mode and then back to auto mode?
On the clutch, I would ask to have a copy of the service records showing the clutch replacement. OBD2 can indeed give you a "guesstimate" report as to the wear on the clutch. It really shouldn't be a problem given the clutch is so new, but one thing I guess you could look for is slippage on the clutch during shifting (revving high before settling into correct gear).

I would check that all the miscellaneous items that should come with a new car comes with this one (two keyfobs, one valet key, full set of manuals, key ID # red card - IMPORTANT!, full set of navigation CDs, tire inflator if no spare, etc).

Driving F1: The transmission won't let you redline or stall (mostly) during shifting; I believe it just ignores the shift command. If you forget to shift and try to redline, the limiter takes over. It does downshift for you, although I tend to shift into neutral as it is much smoother when coming to a stop at a light and I want to believe causes much less wear on the clutch than going through all the gears. On the downside, if there is an emergency maneuver that needs to be made, you'll have to shift into gear quickly. Even worse, as mentioned before, if you're going really slow, the F1 will not shift from N to 1st unless you have the brake depressed almost all the way down. Finally, I keep the car in neutral some of the times while stopped at a light, but not always. I don't think there is consensus on this.
 
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