Living with a McLaren 650s Spider as an (almost) daily

Living with a McLaren 650s Spider as an (almost) daily

Author
Discussion

MAC 720S

574 posts

93 months

Wednesday 2nd October
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
I am actually pretty happy with it now - although the main problem is I simply want to drive it all the time. Had to use the Cayenne yesterday because my mate needed a lift to the station on the way to work - and although I did take him out in the 650 at the weekend, let's say that his entry and exit from the car was...... challenging. And that was with the roof down. It wasn't worth the effort yesterday.

That meant I felt I'd missed my 650 fix by the evening - so despite fairly torrential rain, I decided I needed a run to the supermarket.

Actually - having said there are no disadvantages to a Spider - it seems my roof leaks slightly in torrential rain. There were a couple of drips on the back of the passenger seat. It's not something I'm too worried about - the rain has been very heavy, and it was only a couple of drips - but it is something they need to check at the service in December, particularly since the car lives outside. In fact, I'm not sure it's that surprising - with the roof closed, you can see that the seal between the front / rear roof panels is not even - as you face the front of the car, on the driver side the seal is sitting slightly proud of the roof. About half way across the car, it suddenly dips down and is no longer proud - it's actually slightly below the roof panels. I guess it's probably not supposed to be, but they can sort it out in December - if I find anything is getting damp inside, I'll take it back sooner.

Joined MOC a few days ago - still reluctant since I despise FB. But at least if there are local events, I'll know about them (I actually joined the day after a Surrey breakfast run which is a shame!).
Also ordered a private plate, so I guess I'm keeping it for a while yet!
There’s a few of us from the MOC off on a 3 day tour around Wales starting 10th October if you can make it. There’s quite a concentration of McLaren Owners in the South East. If you introduce yourself on FB, they will reciprocate and add you to one of the WhatsApp groups. You will get notice of localised meet ups etc.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Wednesday 2nd October
quotequote all
Thanks. Think the Wales trip is too short notice - but will post something on the FB group at some point.

LotusJas

866 posts

177 months

Wednesday 2nd October
quotequote all
We have a Kent WhatsApp group if you are interested. Just contact me through MOC if anyone local wants to be added.

Events will likely go quiet until Spring now though.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Thursday 3rd October
quotequote all
At this rate, mine will have been sold by Spring wink

Today's niggle....... no sound. Reboot of IRIS solved it.

I still love the car, and still look forward to driving it all the time - and after years of having a sunny day only Ferrari it's kind of nice that I can drive it regardless of what the weather is doing. It would be quite nice to get through a whole week without some kind of niggling failure though.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Car has behaved perfectly since the last update - no strange behaviour.

McLaren mailed me saying the car was due a service - which is a little premature. Both the service history and the car think it's due mid-December. Went to see them on Saturday to check that (just an excuse for a drive) and they had a lovely 720 Spider in the showroom. A tad out of my price range though...... Also had a gorgeous red 720 in their outside storage area - no price on it, so maybe a customer car.

Checked the oil again at the weekend, and it's still dead on - clearly doesn't use any oil.

The biggest problem I have with the car is that I am using it too much. I've owned it just over 6 weeks - a week of which it was at McLaren - and based on the miles over 5 weeks, I'm potentially looking at about 13.5k miles a year.

Given that it replaced the Aston and Alfa - which averaged under 2.5k miles a year each - it shows how many excuses I'm finding to drive somewhere.
Although it's great to have a car you want to drive all the time - it's a genuine problem. The insurance is only for 8k miles a year (which I thought was massively over-estimating!) - and although I can obviously increase that, there is another problem : The extended warranty is mileage limited, to 12k miles a year.
Curiously - the paperwork I have suggests it's cumulative - i.e. the certificate says mine is warrantied as long as it's under 60k / 72k miles for the next 2 years. But it also says 12k miles a year, which means I need to reduce my mileage unless I want to void my warranty.
I must admit, I was a tad surprised to find that a warranty costing as much as the McLaren one does is limited to 12k miles a year.

I guess when it's proper winter (Jan / Feb) the car will get used less - but I want more miles "available" in the summer, so I think I need to start using the Cayenne more for running around - maybe to work a bit more at least. I intended to start this morning, but.... er........ didn't.

I'm thinking that I will probably work on the rough principle that if it's wet on a weekday morning, I'll use the Cayenne - if it's dry, I'll use the 650. Given the recent weather, that suggests the 650 won't get nearly so much use!

Oh - and one final point. Car is tramlining quite badly. I know the tyres will need replacing in a couple of thousand miles, so I'm sure that's part of it - may get the alignment done as part of the service (although may also wait for new tyres, which might be later).

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
Oh well, haven't made it a week without a gremlin. Car always seems to have a new trick up its sleeve.

It's a very minor one - started reversing out of my drive this morning and noticed that the driver side mirror was mostly pointing at the car. Seems it had only partically folded out.
Stopped the car, opened / closed / locked the door, opened it again and this time it folded out correctly.

As of today, I've started a spreadsheet of problems with the car. Stuff like this is obviously not particularly major - but every few days there are issues like this, and it's simply not good enough. Maybe it's just software glitches and it will all go away if I make sure everything is updated when it's serviced.

The roof is still leaking - not by much, a few drips - but it's very annoying. I can see where it's dripping from - what I can't figure out is how the water is getting to that point because everything above it seems bone dry. Here's a picture - this is the passenger side of where the front and rear roof panels join. You can see water is collecting on the flat bit of the seal at the bottom - but I haven't figured out yet how. I'd like to - because I don't want the car back at McLaren before December, and I don't want the car leaking until then - it lives outside after all!



Maybe I'll try testing it with a hose tonight and see if I can figure out how the water is getting in


Edited by davek_964 on Wednesday 9th October 06:53

MPC09

78 posts

84 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
I absolutely love the fact that you state on Monday that you're going to try and start using other cars more, yet here we are 48 hours later and you're back in the 650. Great attitude to have and a refreshing change to the usual depreciation doom and gloom.

A shame you've got so many niggles; the cost of R&D at McLaren might go into things like engine and suspension etc. but it's a joke they can't get some of the basics right.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
In my defence - I used the Cayenne yesterday - and it wasn't raining this morning wink

justin220

4,183 posts

150 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
On fairness, none of those issues albeit minor ones should be happening. That's the sort of issues I had on my Evora and Lotus were great at sorting them.

The 650S is meant to be the 12C 'without the issues' so it seems you may have been unlucky.

What are McLaren saying?

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
justin220 said:
On fairness, none of those issues albeit minor ones should be happening. That's the sort of issues I had on my Evora and Lotus were great at sorting them.

The 650S is meant to be the 12C 'without the issues' so it seems you may have been unlucky.

What are McLaren saying?
I haven't mentioned most of them, because they seem to be one-off things that don't happen again. I am going to book the car in for the leaking roof - and I will mention all the other issues when I do that, and say that I want all modules up to date (if they're not already) when the roof is fixed.

Ferruccio

905 posts

65 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
[quote=davek_964

The roof is still leaking - not by much, a few drips - but it's very annoying. I can see where it's dripping from - what I can't figure out is how the water is getting to that point because everything above it seems bone dry. Here's a picture - this is the passenger side of where the front and rear roof panels join. You can see water is collecting on the flat bit of the seal at the bottom - but I haven't figured out yet how. I'd like to - because I don't want the car back at McLaren before December, and I don't want the car leaking until then - it lives outside after all!



Maybe I'll try testing it with a hose tonight and see if I can figure out how the water is getting in

Edited by davek_964 on Wednesday 9th October 06:53

[/quote]

In 1993 I drove my Lamborghini Jalpa to the factory for the 30th anniversary.
It poured most of the way and the targa top leaked.
When we got to the hotel car park in Sant Agata, the legendary Lamborghini test driver Valentino Balboni offered to check the oil on my car.
I told him it would be an honour.
He explained that he loved the Jalpa, it was the first car that he had done all the development work on.
I told him that he didn’t get the roof right, as it leaked. A lot. Our stuff was wet.
He told me it wasn’t important.





WCZ

7,168 posts

140 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
the lm002 must have been the most robust of the early lambos

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
Sadly, for a car that lives on the driveway a leaking roof is important!

paulmnz

387 posts

120 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
Sadly, for a car that lives on the driveway a leaking roof is important!
I was in at Thorney Motorsport on Monday picking up some parts for something else and was asking about their McLaren warranty business and what the cars have been like. They mentioned leaks are one of the biggest recurring issues they see with the cars.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
paulmnz said:
I was in at Thorney Motorsport on Monday picking up some parts for something else and was asking about their McLaren warranty business and what the cars have been like. They mentioned leaks are one of the biggest recurring issues they see with the cars.
Makes sense - the leak does seem to be the only recurring issue I have.

st loads of other issues that only happen once, but the leaking roof is the only one that keeps happening wink

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Friday 11th October
quotequote all
I really did intend to use the Cayenne for work today - but I park it on the road, and it was boxed in by a neighbour who usually leaves for work at 5:45 - but for some reason, today she still hadn't left by 6am. Ironically, she came out as I was getting into the 650 but I couldn't be bothered to go back into the house and swap keys.

Driver side mirror failed to fold out again this morning, so that's twice in 3 days. I mailed McLaren first thing Weds morning to say that I wanted the car booked in but they still haven't got back to me so I will call them today. All of the issues I've had are minor (and in fact, compared to the list I've seen from some owners it seems I should be grateful!) - but the frequency makes it very annoying. I could wait until the service in December to get it all sorted - but that's only going to be about a week before Christmas, so I'm pretty sure that if I have a list of issues I won't see the car for weeks after I drop it off for the service........

I tried an experiment today. Winter mode is - as the name suggests - for slippery conditions. It was very wet when I was driving this morning - and although I was driving slowly (in auto mode, so the revs were sitting at under 2k), I decided to see just how good winter mode was. According to the manual, as well as reducing power (although quite how much difference a reduction to 500bhp is really supposed to make I'm not sure) - it "sets the traction control to its most sensitive" (or something like that) - so I thought, let's see then.
I was doing about 5mph - and as I said, I was in auto mode which probably wasn't the best idea, because when you put your foot down it changes down so the revs are pretty much at maximum power - rather than the more linear approach you'd get from manual mode.

I was a bit surprised at the result. If that's the traction control at its most sensitive then frankly, it's a bit crap! Car went a tad sideways, which gave me a bit of a shock - I won't be trying that again! Clearly driver error - but if the car is still putting out 500bhp and spinning the wheels enough to launch the car sideways I'm kind of thinking they could have used that button for something a tad more useful..........

Anyway - bottom line this morning is that I'm feeling a tad disillusioned with the car. The niggles are annoying me, the crap headlights on main beam mean that I'm probably going to start using the Cayenne more simply so I can see where I'm going in the dark, it annoys me every time I get in after it's rained and I see drips on the passenger seat and I'm surprised McLaren haven't replied to my email (I know I can phone them, but I've used email successfully up until now). I actually think that if it was a different time of year, I'd be thinking about putting it back up for sale - but I think that would be an over-reaction. McLaren need to fix these niggling problems - especially the roof - and the headlights are a major issue for me, because at this time of year it really is making the car unsuitable for road use. I'm sure that's a fairly simple fix - they just need to point higher - but it's probably the thing that is making me feel most negative about the car because I'm hesitating about using it each evening.

Let's hope that when it does finally go back into McLaren they can sort some of these issues out.

12pack

885 posts

114 months

Friday 11th October
quotequote all
Sorry to hear about your niggles, Dave. I think Winter mode is just meant to help get underway in slippery conditions for those who can't manage a light touch. Of course, as I'm sure you're aware, traction control (winter mode or otherwise) is no match for a relatively light car on 305 section tyres and mega torque (hp is not the concern).

I'm sorry the niggles are getting under your skin - but I must say I haven't experienced any of these myself. And if your McL dealer is anything like mine - I'm sure they'll sort it out.

355spiderguy

577 posts

117 months

Friday 11th October
quotequote all
12pack said:
I'm sorry the niggles are getting under your skin - but I must say I haven't experienced any of these myself. And if your McL dealer is anything like mine - I'm sure they'll sort it out.
+1

I sold the Ferrari i had before the 650 as it was being a real pain with constant niggles...whereas the Ferrari before it was constantly fault free.

I have a low tolerance threshold for that kind of stuff and it was one of the reasons i dragged out buying a McLaren; fortunately i'm the same as 12pack...apart from the 2 issues discovered during the service and the temperamental airbrake issue when i 1st purchased, nothing at all. Jump in and drive every time with not even so much as a DAB issue.

That leak would drive me nuts as mines stays outside now also. I did jump in one morning to damp alcantara seats but i had stupidly left the rear window slightly open overnight.

Again, hopefully your dealer can sort it all for you.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,011 posts

121 months

Friday 11th October
quotequote all
Well, credit to McLaren - I'll drop the car off on Monday evening, and they'll look at it on Tuesday, That's a lot quicker than I was expecting, so hopefully they can cure some of these niggles.

EK993

1,709 posts

197 months

Sunday 13th October
quotequote all
Davek, I feel your pain with these cars. Mine is brand new, few months old with only 2k miles on it. So far I have had Iris crashing every other day (fixed with a software update - not sure why I needed an update on a brand new car...), comfort access that sometimes decides it doesn’t want to work, air conditioning that sometimes decides it doesn’t want to switch on, stress crack on the windscreen (been waiting 4 weeks for a replacement under warranty), loose coolant hose vibrating against the body and various panels under the car not tightened properly causing vibrations.

lLast night I got this error message. Throttle stopped responding to inputs and had to pull over quickly / safely. Cleared after a stop / start and didn’t come back. I just get the feeling that McLaren haven’t figured out how to nail these cars together properly.