Week 5: Friday’s Smoke Show

May 03, 2019

This week a Ferrari F360 pulled into the shop. The car was custom rebuilt by Renntech, a company which specializes in modifying vehicles to be more high performing. To add to the already high performing Ferrari, carbon fiber body panels and a supercharged engine were added to it.

The owner explained that his Renntech Ferrari F360 had a check engine light flashing and a message displayed “slow down”. To find the problem James turned to Leonardo, the car computer, and a catalytic converter efficiency error code came up.

After scanning the engine electronic control unit (ECU), James did not find any error messages for the post catalytic converter O2 sensor. James told me that it was puzzling why the catalytic converter error was lighting up. Ferrari is the only company that has a “slow down” message displayed when the catalytic converter temperature control system is overheating.

James decided the perform a compression test which measures the pressure inside the cylinder. The pressure in the cylinder should be around 170 psi but the pressure inside the Ferrari F360’s eight cylinders, four on each side of the engine, ranged from 110 to 180 psi. James discovered that the side with the low pressure was the cause of the problem. This low pressure can indicate three possible issues, the head gasket was not working properly, the engine valves were left open for too long, or that the piston rings are sticking to the piston. After checking all of the possibilities James established that in the Ferrari F360, the issue was the head gasket. To fix the issue, James re-tightened the head bolts because they were stretched. After re-tightening the bolts, James reset the ECU and the car was ready for a test drive. I got to ride along with Cosmo in the passenger seat and was excited to find out if James was able to eliminate the problem. In a few minutes after we left the shop and got on the highway, I noticed a cloud of smoke appearing behind us. My ride in the Ferrari F360 was short, Cosmo quickly pulled over and saw that the head gasket blew up and the coolant started leaking into the exhaust. He called a tow truck and the car is back on the lift.

The head gasket needed to get replaced so the part was changed and that’s another satisfied customer from Corsa Motors.

4 Replies to “Week 5: Friday’s Smoke Show”

  1. Ryah A. says:

    Wow this looks so awesome Peter!!! Do you think that your findings from your senior project will influence the car purchases you make in the future?

    1. Peter S. says:

      I have defiantly learned more about what car safety means and will include my new knowledge when making my car purchases.

  2. Phoebe L. says:

    Your experience working at Corsa Motors is so cool!!! You are such a car expert now! Do you think you will assemble a car in the future from what you have learned in these three months?

    1. Peter S. says:

      Through my internship at Corsa Motors I have definitely learn more about what goes on “under the hood” but I do not have the complete knowledge to fully assemble a car.

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