After one year of owning my Ferrari 458, maintaining it myself, and gathering information from other 458 owners, I’ve assembled this guide to aid your purchase of a Ferrari 458. This is not meant to replace a PPI, but it is designed to save you some time, energy, and frustration down the road. Perhaps best of all, this guide will help you save money!
I’ve noted all of the items that I personally would look for if I were buying another 458. This does not mean the car will be perfect, but it should help you find a very good example of a 458 that is scaled to your expectations making for the best possible ownership experience possible.
I am so confident you will find this guide useful that I offer a 100% money back guarantee if you do not feel it was helpful. Simply email me and I will refund your money.
Please note – this is a DIGITAL PDF DOWNLOAD copy of the document. If you would like to buy a hard copy of this document, you can do so with the link below.
Below is the first 3 pages of the document so you can get a feel for what it’s like. The document is currently 32 pages long.
This document, assembled from the lived experience of Ferrari 458 owners, serves as a comprehensive guide for prospective 458 purchasers. The checklist is inclusive of critical and minor flaws observed among 458s and will assist you in making an informed decision. I want to empower your selection process with knowledge gleaned from my ownership, help you understand price differentials within the marketplace, and raise awareness of maintenance concerns associated with 458s.
Although I feel this guide is exhaustive, some items may be missing or difficult to check prior to purchase. This is a living document that will be updated periodically to reflect my experience of ownership and DIY maintenance. All future updates are included with the purchase of this document.
It’s tempting to save money by using this guide in lieu of a Pre Purchase Inspection (PPI) provided by a professional mechanic. For most older Ferrari purchases, I believe a PPI is critical but on the more modern Ferraris, I’ve found them to be less helpful and sometimes a waste of money. Please do your own due diligence and determine what the PPI will include before you agree to have the service done. If you are unsure about whether or not the PPI is worth the money, you can contact me to set up consulting time and I can review the PPI.
Finally, do not discount your emotional experience throughout your considerations. It can feel exhilarating to purchase a 458, but that state of mind can interrupt better judgement. This guide can help you maintain objectivity while evaluating a car you have cultivated bias for. Please bear in mind that Ferraris are still just cars, machines that can and will wear and break. However, like any ordinary car, a Ferrari can be thoughtfully maintained to provide many years and miles of use.
You should scale your expectations based on your desire for perfection. If you are in search of an immaculate 458, then you’ll want to ensure most items on this list are in excellent repair. If you are looking for a driver’s car, then your threshold of tolerance for minor functional or aesthetic flaws may be higher. Bear in mind, lower miles can mean more problems. Cars that have sat unmoved for long periods of time tend to have more issues than those that have been driven and maintained properly. This guide will help expose these issues and let you decide if they are deal-breakers, negotiation points, or simply items to resolve (or even just accept as is) after purchase.
People ask me all the time, “Should I buy this Ferrari?” That is a question I cannot answer for you. I can only help inform your decision with knowledge gleaned from my own experience. The decision is ultimately yours to make, but in most cases, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
The Ferrari 458 presented some unique challenges when creating this buyers guide. Unlike my experience with the Ferrari F430, owning and driving my 458 over 17,500 miles in the first year has been drama free. So far all of the maintenance has been very minor. It’s been 100% reliable other than the battery dying after sitting for too long a few times. I waited to produce this book for a year because I kept expecting something more significant to go wrong, but so far nothing has. The only unanticipated issues that have arisen on my 458 in the past year of ownership are a leaking fuel fill nozzle, 3 leds burnt out on the tail-light, and the steering wheel adjustment switch acting up occasionally. All of the other problems were known prior to purchase and identified by myself and my friend while inspecting the car.
As you’ll see below most of the issues that are common on the Ferrari 458 are not as significant as previous Ferrari models. Ferrari spent a considerable amount of effort making the 458 much more reliable. What this suggests is you can spend more effort in trying to determine what options you are most interested in, or trying to find the right 458 at the right price. To be certain there are still issues that can occur in the Ferrari 458 just as with any car, and there are some rumors about a few critical flaws but, I’ve had a hard time verifying that these issues were common versus noisy complaints on the internet by a select few.
Prior to Starting the Engine
This section contains items that should be checked while the car is off and cold. Some of these items can be checked without access to a lift or jacks while the car is on the ground. Others may require you to put the car in the air and remove some of the access panels underneath the car. If you are uncomfortable removing these panels, I would advise asking a friend to help, or specifically note these sections as items you would want to have inspected during a PPI by a mechanic.
Sticky Buttons / Parts
The “soft touch” coating on many 458 components can degrade and develop a sticky texture. This is especially prevalent in warmer climates. This stickiness can be removed using rubbing alcohol and a bit of elbow grease, but that’s at the possible risk of removing factory lettering on interior buttons. It also leaves the buttons with a raw plastic touch with a shiny look. Alternative options include replacing the parts entirely or shipping them to 3rd party companies that can refurbish them. You can check for stickiness by simply rubbing your finger over the component.
Note that unlike many of the older Ferrari models, the 458 incorporated the “soft touch” coating not only on many of the buttons, but also on some of the other parts in the car such as the binnacle, instrument panel, and even the rear view mirror.
- HVAC controls
- Stereo, Navigation, & Right Display controls
- Side view mirror control & headlight control – note the mirror switch was replaced and is brand new with soft-touch coating in perfect condition vs. the headlight switch