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FF PTU Design Flaw.

Discussion in 'FF/GTC4Lusso/F12/812S' started by officeline, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. officeline

    officeline Rookie

    Jul 23, 2019
    13
    Belgium
    Full Name:
    Frank Vancauwenberghe
    It seems logical that the four-wheeled Ferrari's FF and LUSSO have a major design flaw in the PTU concept.
    The motor is extra vulnerable to motor destruction when the PTU fails, unfortunately many PTUs are failing but luckily not always with engine destruction.
    The PTU is connected directly to the motor and if something goes wrong with the PTU, it is possible that damaged PTU parts will contaminate the motor.
    I know at least two cases where the motor was destroyed after PTU failure. My Lusso lost oil on the PTU as it disappeared without a trace and later on the engine was destroyed.
    I know several FF owners who had to exchange the PTU.
    Can Ferrari guaranty that a malfunctioning PTU is no danger to the motor, i guess not, the PTU concept no matter how genieuce, it is still in infancy.
    An other point that puzzles me is that the PTU (in yellow on the foto) is a small box compared with the rear gearbox which is about the size of a V12 motor clearly to adapt to big power changes and loads. It doesn't make sense to have a small gearbox that must be capable to cope with high power loads. Image you are driving manually 120km/h and and by accident you switch in second gear. Do you think this small gearbox is capable taking this load. one could say: This might be the reason that a lot of PTU are going bad after heavy use and some even destroy the motor. I think the Lusso is due to this design a very fragile car.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 22, 2002
    12,103
    pretty crazy - thank god so far its only a handful of cars...sucks for whoever has had to go through this, for sure.
     
  3. otakki

    otakki Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2016
    1,368
    Perhaps the most cost effective preventative measure would be to disconnect the PTU. I wonder how that guy in that youtube video was able to do it.
     
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  4. pelank

    pelank Rookie

    Dec 5, 2015
    33
    Monaco
    If people are worried and want piece of mind, then the quick answer is to buy the 2 wheel drive GTC4 T which does not have the PTU in the first place
     
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  5. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Formula 3

    Aug 20, 2009
    2,010
    Longmeadow, MA
    Full Name:
    Eric
    My PTU failed, luckily under warranty.....due to this my car will likely be gone when my warranty expires next year.....no confidence in it....too bad because I love the car....Ferrari has lost a customer as there are no other models that meet my needs....

    And to pelank, I think for may V12 owners (at least myself), the T is of zero interest.....a NA V12 with 4 seats is the reason I bought the car....If I'm forced to go turbo I'll buy an AM DBS Superleggera.....a stunning car IMO vs the Lusso with similar depreciation curve....
     
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  6. ttforcefed

    ttforcefed F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 22, 2002
    12,103
    Id disconnect my ptu for sure - can it be done?


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  7. Outrun

    Outrun Karting

    Really, I thought the only difference in lusso versions was the turbo engine or the v12, didn’t know the turbo was 2wd. Are you sure?
     
  8. Natkingcolebasket69

    Rossa Subscribed

    What year was ur car? Miles? What are the symptoms of ptu failure?


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  9. Caeruleus11

    Caeruleus11 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jun 11, 2013
    9,208
    Yes the V12 is AWD via the 4RM system. The V8t is RWD only.
     
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  10. BarryK

    BarryK Formula Junior

    Dec 17, 2016
    989
    Europe
    Full Name:
    Barry K
    #10 BarryK, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
    My 1 1/2 year old 6000 mile Lusso (bought used about two months ago) had a PTU failure two weeks ago, and the dealer said no engine damage since it happened at very low speed. All oil was lost quickly, so lucky the speed was low. The dealer has been great and promises to have the car back on the road by the end of the month, all being done under warranty. Would be unthinkable if past warranty and has engine damage. Lusso has been amazing, so a real shame.
     
  11. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Formula 3

    Aug 20, 2009
    2,010
    Longmeadow, MA
    Full Name:
    Eric
    2017 with a little over 5K miles....symptoms for me was over the course of a year car would go into "Wet Mode" and multiple system failure warnings.....started roughly a year ago and then happened more often as time went on....no engine damage....
     
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  12. [gTr]

    [gTr] Formula Junior

    Mar 11, 2008
    590
    London, U.K.
    This makes me question the reliability of the hybrid power plant in the future models, starting with the SF90. The PTU story is very similar to the gearbox issues (especially with the California and early FFs) when Ferrari switched to twin clutch.
     
  13. Natkingcolebasket69

    Rossa Subscribed

    That’s pretty bad! I’m glad I got mine under warranty !


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  14. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Formula 3

    Aug 20, 2009
    2,010
    Longmeadow, MA
    Full Name:
    Eric
    Mine as well!
     
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  15. montpellier

    montpellier Formula Junior

    Aug 27, 2009
    644
    Europe
    Full Name:
    Paul
    Has the PTU design changed ? If not then having it replaced under warranty is just delaying another replacement again in 2 years. Sounds more like they should be doing a recall with a robust solution.
     
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  16. Jaguar36

    Jaguar36 Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2010
    364
    Cherry Hill, NJ
    I've gone through the forum posts to see just how many failures have been reported of the PTU. I only found 10 instances of people first hand experiencing a PTU failure. I only found 10 posts on it (if you see some more let me know and I can add them to the list) , which considering the number of years that the FF/Lusso have been produced for seems pretty low to me. Also of note is that 7 of the 10 folks have very low post counts, implying that they are coming on here specifically to talk about this issue. In addition if this was truly a widespread issue you have to imagine that Ferrari would have fixed it for the Lusso.

    Given the extremely expensive cost of the repair, I think its worth being aware of it, but its hardly a ticking time bomb or a reason to stay away from the cars.

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  17. officeline

    officeline Rookie

    Jul 23, 2019
    13
    Belgium
    Full Name:
    Frank Vancauwenberghe
    Thx for the list.
    But one has to take in account that most Lussos have very low mileage and today there are only a couple of 100 V12 Lussos sold. The problem with the PTU comes when you make at least 20.000miles and you use your Lusso as a real Ferrari not as a leisure car to take your wife to the shop. There are definitely more PTU failures as not all Ferrari owners are aware of this chat site. I know a guy with a FF and he changed 3 PTU's, he's not on this list and he finally got rid of his FF.
    And after all 10 cases in 1 year on maybe 200 cars is indicating that it is huge.
    The workshop in Belgium said regarding the PTU you are not the only one so be patient.
    What worries me is that i use my Lusso daily and sooner or later the problem will come up again and i don't want to miss my car for another 7 months.
    yep i am crazy in love with the car but it's like a wife you can't trust and Ferrari doesn't care about customer service as a matter of fact it is one of the worst i ever
    encountered. If it was occasionally it could close my eyes but it is over the edge.
    i advise 4wd Ferrari owners the following. I you had already some errors on your dashboard telling you that the 4wd is not functioning and after restart everything looks right again or for some reason your battery went bad. I'll guess you are heading for some real PTU misery. Image Unavailable, Please Login
    One good advice is when the oil is missing in the PTU change the PTU immediately or you will have to go sooner or later for a motor exchange or change of tappets, be ahead of your problems.
    It is a fact that Ferrari tries to hide these problems and with limited cars that is easy to do, the customer always pays.
     

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  18. gilly6993

    gilly6993 Formula 3

    Aug 20, 2009
    2,010
    Longmeadow, MA
    Full Name:
    Eric
    Great info guys.....and officeline is spot on....I started with issues over a year before diagnosis and fix....even an exam during my annual service revealed nothing....I was then told all my errors were likely electrical and a new battery would fix my issue.....my main concern is the replaced PTU is the exact same as the original unit, how is that not at risk also?
     
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  19. BarryK

    BarryK Formula Junior

    Dec 17, 2016
    989
    Europe
    Full Name:
    Barry K
    Excellent work, thank you. I spoke to my dealer yesterday, and he has sold about 30 FF + Lusso V12s and most are still serviced by him. My one is the first he has seen and he confirms that ferrari has not sent any service bulletin on the issue. Let's see if putting together the table above brings out more reports.

    As officeline says, its a question of knowing not just the frequency of failure but also how long it takes.

    FWIW, there are threads in the testarossa section about differential failure where some people swear that they will all go, but with over 7000+ cars out there, not that many reports there compared to hundreds of owners in the section, so I think sometimes these problems feel larger if you are here.
     
  20. officeline

    officeline Rookie

    Jul 23, 2019
    13
    Belgium
    Full Name:
    Frank Vancauwenberghe
    This thread is about the PTU which is connected to the motor and it is a potential danger if the PTU is not a stabilised product. The PTU and the engine have to be hermetically separated from each other and I doubt that it is always like this.
    Like in my case and the one of Astenia the oil on the PTU was gone and there was no leakage on the floor or underneath the car. So the only place where the oil of the PTU could go to is the motor.
    It seems to me a very bolt design to connect a gear box directly to the motor how can they be sure that the engine is not contaminated if something goes wrong with the PTU.
    I went looking in my old invoices of my previous FF and what did i notice. On my invoice there is this item "change gearboxoil" but i could as well be refill oil.
    So also with that car there where PTU problems but mostly the customer is not aware of it because in warranty they cover there problems in veils.
    And again one dealer in Belgium confirmed me of the record that they change PTUs regularly.
    And a worker in the workshop confirmed me that if the oil on the PTU is lost the PTU is faulty.
    Image yourself, Ferrari customer care sent me back on the road with a faulty PTU hoping that i had to repair it outside the warranty period, how professional is that. Now they have a damaged motor to exchange.
    I also want to point out that 30 FF's & Lusso over a production period of 7 year means they sell only 2 to 3 4wd a year. Taking in to account that there is mostly only 1 Ferrari workshop in every country that brings the total production worldwide only to a couple of hundred 4Wdrives.
    Ferrari produces today about 8000 cars a year but mostly of course V8s, some year ago it was only 4000 cars and only 15% of them are V12 (tdf, lusso , italia, GTO). So the calculation makes sense there are little FF and Lusso's out there and specially not with mileages of more than 20.000.
    If it was only a PTU one had to change from time to time i might cope with that but that a PTU can damage a motor makes me feel very uncomfortable.
    I would not be surprised that a lot of PTUs are in doubtful condition today.
    I would not be surprised that the fault reading on the dashboard are due to a shortage of gearbox oil on the PTU , there is no indication on the dashboard that tells the oil is missing.And mostly these errors are coming longtime after the car went in the workshop for maintenance. So i guess a lot of 4WD are going in the workshop with depleted oil on the PTU. When i complained about these errors they where always gone after maintenance.
    Changing oil on gearboxes on low mileages is something that indicates the product is faulty this is not wright.
    These problems looks very similar to the wobbler engine. They never succeeded to make the motor oil proof.
    Maybe everybody should check his invoices. I also recall that not all Ferrari workshops report on there invoices what they have done in repair. For example FMA Antwerp never reported the performed repairs under warranty, the workshop Monza did.
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  21. Natkingcolebasket69

    Rossa Subscribed

    Any link or evidence that says: the higher the mileage the higher the chance to fail is? Doesn’t seem to have a straight up correlation to me


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  22. Bundy

    Bundy Formula 3

    May 18, 2011
    1,922
    Kentucky
    Full Name:
    Anir
    I’m at 21,000 miles on my daily driver 2012 FF with no low oil, faults, or other signs of problems. In fact, it seems to drive better with each passing year. Fingers crossed. I do renew the extended warranty each year at a cost of about $5,000 USD.


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  23. officeline

    officeline Rookie

    Jul 23, 2019
    13
    Belgium
    Full Name:
    Frank Vancauwenberghe
    Well , in the case of Ferrari it does.
    More than 95% of all Ferraris drive less than 5000km a year. Frankly I don't understand why these guys buy a Ferrari probably to look at or to take there wife to a shop.
    It is about the cars which are daily used so these 5 percenters have more than 20.000km on the car each year, it is about these cars. Most probably these 5% are the list jaguar36 supplied. The other 95 percenters don't know what is coming to them, in there case indeed there is no straight correlation.
    They even bring there car to the workshop before they reach the maintenance point so they are ignorant, because they have always oil on there gearbox. I also suspect that the don't use the car to its potential.
    I guess you are telling to me i shouldn't use the car.
    Maybe if somebody could reply on the technical issues that would be nice
     
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  24. officeline

    officeline Rookie

    Jul 23, 2019
    13
    Belgium
    Full Name:
    Frank Vancauwenberghe
    Sorry Bundy.
    20000 miles divided by 7 equals +/-3000 miles a year.
    Ever had 4wd errors or F1 errors?
     
  25. otakki

    otakki Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2016
    1,368
    I wonder if the amount of PTU engagement, rather than the mileage, has more to do with its failure rate. For example, daily city driving which uses mostly gear 1-4 might have higher failure rate compared to daily highway driving that uses gear >=5. I'm currently at 42K miles but >95% of that is highway speed at gear 5-7, thus possibly only 1-2% of the time at gear 1-4...still knock on wood after hearing about this. Sure, the PTU's clutch pack will wear out faster if the car spends more time in gear 1-4, but worn out clutch pack means the car will become a RWD rather than PTU failure.

    If the amount of engagement leads to higher failure rate, one can lessen the chance by taking it to 5th or higher gear quickly but that really takes a lot of fun out of driving this thing. Going into 5th gear quickly means missing the fun of acceleration, hearing the V12 near redline, and seeing the LED all lit up on the steering wheel.

    I've found the video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtYDxb4-49s

    13:30 - FF rear tires burnout while moving up the freeway ramp. Front wheels didn't seem to be engaging at all.
    15:15 - Owner stated the unit has been disconnected and thus the FF is a RWD.

    I wonder if the guy is on the forum. If it is for real, maybe can get him to chime in on how or where to turn FF/GTC4 V12 into a RWD.
     
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