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

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

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Discussion

MDL111

3,960 posts

125 months

Wednesday 20th November
quotequote all
TB993tt said:
sone said:
I would really love to own a 720 as it looks fantastic but it's just occurred to me this thread is just like the old TVR threads from years ago when we used to congratulate each other for making a lengthy journey without an engine failure, red light illuminating on the dash or body part falling off. Those cars were a quarter of the cost of most of the Macs so perhaps our forgiveness was a little more understanding and TVR's were truly hand built. I for one expect my cars to faultless especially when paying money in the hundreds of thousands. The niggles drove me away from TVR in the end I'm sure Mac would do the same. Real shame for what appears to be a fantastic product.
Yeah, it's a real shame for you that you won't be buying a used 720 based on carping on the internet, never mind biglaugh
Really sometimes don’t get some of the complaints / not sure other cars are better
My Ferrari throws at least one, usually two to three warning lights every time I switch it on
The dashboard creaks
The nav and radio have packed it in (not covered by warranty)
The parking sensors have never worked
The battery goes flat if I don’t drive it for 3 or more days (and I already replaced it twice with a stronger one)
The heater nowadays only blows really hot or really cold and nothing in between

I sometimes feel people have completely unrealistic expectations of a McLaren


davek_964

Original Poster:

6,187 posts

123 months

Thursday 21st November
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MDL111 said:
Really sometimes don’t get some of the complaints / not sure other cars are better
My Ferrari throws at least one, usually two to three warning lights every time I switch it on
The dashboard creaks
The nav and radio have packed it in (not covered by warranty)
The parking sensors have never worked
The battery goes flat if I don’t drive it for 3 or more days (and I already replaced it twice with a stronger one)
The heater nowadays only blows really hot or really cold and nothing in between

I sometimes feel people have completely unrealistic expectations of a McLaren
My Ferrari doesn't behave like that - it's had very few gremlins like that in 6 years of ownership and it's 18 years old.
My Alfa didn't behave like that - it had one electrical issue (brake switch) in 2 years of ownership, which showed itself by preventing cruise control.
My Aston didn't behave like that in 4 years of ownership.

Why would it be realistic to expect a McLaren - which I paid 3 times what my Ferrari cost me, which is much newer and much lower mileage than any car I've owned before - to have problems virtually every time I used it?

ETA : On a more positive note - I used the car again today, and had a great drive in. It really is becoming a struggle to stop using it - one of the positives of it going back to McLaren for these problems next week is that I'm forced to stop using it while they have it.

Today, it behaved itself - even the climate control seemed to be working, which is worrying since it's been failing consistently since Friday and I really don't want it to cure itself before it can be fixed properly.

It seems that the tyre pressure warning I complained about was genuine - it's been happening again and it's only ever the rear right. It must be a very slow leak but it does seem to have a puncture. There isn't much tread left anyway (although the fronts are quite healthy) so I've followed the recommendations on the owners group and ordered Michelin PS4S. Absolute bargain with Costco's current £100 discount - £659 for 4 tyres. Last time I bought tyres for the 360 it was slightly over £1k. The car is still on the original tyres having done ~9,300 miles - and I reckon it would have got to about 11k before they legally needed replacing - that's pretty good. Not sure the Michelin will last as long though.
I've also discovered I've been running the rear tyres below the recommended pressure. The pressures have been the same all around the car since I got it - but according to the user manual, the rears should be 0.2bar higher than the fronts (which might also explain the pressure warning). When the Michelin are fitted, I'll make sure they're run at the correct pressure.

I do think the car has glitches too often, and I do think McLaren need to sort whatever is causing them. But it only takes a decent drive to remember it is a damn good car. I arrived at work with a smile today.

Edited by davek_964 on Thursday 21st November 08:06


Edited by davek_964 on Thursday 21st November 08:09

355spiderguy

675 posts

119 months

Thursday 21st November
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10 years ago McLaren were still a few years away from launching its 1st volume production car...and not a normal car, a very highly sophisticated, very complicated technical car that all these years later others still cannot match such as full carbon tubs, suspension etc.

Dyson just sacked of their plans to launch a car as designing is one matter, producing, selling and reliability is another, so i admire the balls of McLaren for going for it...its no easy feat.

On my older Ferraris the electronics and design was very basic and a generation away from my current 650 spider, but even at that, they had their own little niggling issues.

Most McLaren owners that post on here have had a few issues, some with issues on their multiple previous / current Macs, but have to say that you seem to encounter more than any other poster.

I have the same car in the same colour but the complete opposite in being i have not had a single issue; there are plenty others out there like myself i am guessing, with problem free Macs that don't really post up as there is 'nothing to report'.

Its a pity as most readers of this thread that don't own a McLaren or may be contemplating buying one will be reading this and it shall confirm their thoughts that all McLarens are problematic.

For me it is about first impressions; i don't think i would have the same opinion about McLaren if my 1st experience of ownership was blightened with issues.

As it stands, i think its the best marque i have bought into...the car seems bullet proof, ultra reliable, gets used in all weathers, resides outside instead of one of my heated garages and goes and handles like no other...it may be my 1st Mac but it most certainly won't be my last; whether i top the previous 15 constant years of Ferrari ownership we shall see.

Hopefully this may balance up experiences of the same car for any readers.

Charlie360

362 posts

206 months

Thursday 21st November
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MAC 720S said:
Alzheimer’s is setting in
Clearly! cry

isaldiri

5,026 posts

116 months

Thursday 21st November
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davek_964 said:
) so I've followed the recommendations on the owners group and ordered Michelin PS4S. Absolute bargain with Costco's current £100 discount - £659 for 4 tyres. Last time I bought tyres for the 360 it was slightly over £1k. The car is still on the original tyres having done ~9,300 miles - and I reckon it would have got to about 11k before they legally needed replacing - that's pretty good. Not sure the Michelin will last as long though.
Like for like driving you should find the michelin tyre far longer lasting than pirellis. I did 10k miles on supersports and still had tread when I had to bin then due to heat cycling from a lot of trackdays. I don't think the original pzeros lasted 2/3rds with half the number of trackdays.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,187 posts

123 months

Thursday 21st November
quotequote all
isaldiri said:
Like for like driving you should find the michelin tyre far longer lasting than pirellis. I did 10k miles on supersports and still had tread when I had to bin then due to heat cycling from a lot of trackdays. I don't think the original pzeros lasted 2/3rds with half the number of trackdays.
Interesting. The first 7k miles were the previous owner - and I was pretty surprised how well the tyres have lasted (much longer than my 360 ones do) so I assumed he didn't drive it too hard. But perhaps it's just really good on tyres - if I'm getting 10k+ miles a year out of rears on a 650hp car I'm happy!

12pack

933 posts

116 months

Thursday 21st November
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
My Ferrari doesn't behave like that - it's had very few gremlins like that in 6 years of ownership and it's 18 years old.
My Alfa didn't behave like that - it had one electrical issue (brake switch) in 2 years of ownership, which showed itself by preventing cruise control.
My Aston didn't behave like that in 4 years of ownership.

Why would it be realistic to expect a McLaren - which I paid 3 times what my Ferrari cost me, which is much newer and much lower mileage than any car I've owned before - to have problems virtually every time I used it?

ETA : On a more positive note - I used the car again today, and had a great drive in. It really is becoming a struggle to stop using it - one of the positives of it going back to McLaren for these problems next week is that I'm forced to stop using it while they have it.

Today, it behaved itself - even the climate control seemed to be working, which is worrying since it's been failing consistently since Friday and I really don't want it to cure itself before it can be fixed properly.

It seems that the tyre pressure warning I complained about was genuine - it's been happening again and it's only ever the rear right. It must be a very slow leak but it does seem to have a puncture. There isn't much tread left anyway (although the fronts are quite healthy) so I've followed the recommendations on the owners group and ordered Michelin PS4S. Absolute bargain with Costco's current £100 discount - £659 for 4 tyres. Last time I bought tyres for the 360 it was slightly over £1k. The car is still on the original tyres having done ~9,300 miles - and I reckon it would have got to about 11k before they legally needed replacing - that's pretty good. Not sure the Michelin will last as long though.
I've also discovered I've been running the rear tyres below the recommended pressure. The pressures have been the same all around the car since I got it - but according to the user manual, the rears should be 0.2bar higher than the fronts (which might also explain the pressure warning). When the Michelin are fitted, I'll make sure they're run at the correct pressure.

I do think the car has glitches too often, and I do think McLaren need to sort whatever is causing them. But it only takes a decent drive to remember it is a damn good car. I arrived at work with a smile today.

Edited by davek_964 on Thursday 21st November 08:06


Edited by davek_964 on Thursday 21st November 08:09
Well, my Mclaren doesn’t behave like that. My Ferrari F355 basically fell apart as I watched.

IMI A

6,997 posts

149 months

Thursday 21st November
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
isaldiri said:
Like for like driving you should find the michelin tyre far longer lasting than pirellis. I did 10k miles on supersports and still had tread when I had to bin then due to heat cycling from a lot of trackdays. I don't think the original pzeros lasted 2/3rds with half the number of trackdays.
Interesting. The first 7k miles were the previous owner - and I was pretty surprised how well the tyres have lasted (much longer than my 360 ones do) so I assumed he didn't drive it too hard. But perhaps it's just really good on tyres - if I'm getting 10k+ miles a year out of rears on a 650hp car I'm happy!
It would be interesting to put on a dyno and see if she's still putting out 650hp after 3-4 years. Also be very interesting to see what a 720 is also putting out on some like Litchfields Maha dyno. I have sneaky feeling may well be a tad more than 720hp!

TB993tt

1,779 posts

189 months

Thursday 21st November
quotequote all
IMI A said:
It would be interesting to put on a dyno and see if she's still putting out 650hp after 3-4 years. Also be very interesting to see what a 720 is also putting out on some like Litchfields Maha dyno. I have sneaky feeling may well be a tad more than 720hp!
Im, you've been slurping too much of that Dynojet coolaid 720s are 720PS on the button, there are 3 different Mahas done on three different cars by the company below - can't believe how accurate the Maha is cool


anonymous image hosting

Heres the after, 200 cell cats and tune, not sure how good Mahas are at capturing real tuned hp, suspect it is not as robust as manufacturer hp wink


free picture upload

Edited by TB993tt on Thursday 21st November 20:51

EK993

1,716 posts

199 months

Friday 22nd November
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Davek,

If it’s any comfort I’m still experiencing issue with my May 2019 570S. Some of them similar to your issues. McLaren had my car for 3 weeks to fix:

- Series of rattles from various locations in the car (seem ok now),

Air conditioning that works intermittently (not resolved) - now it’s got colder outside it is also affecting heating - sometimes works great sometimes seems to just blow from the windscreen vents not very effectively

- Check engine light - came on again 2 weeks after getting car back

- Comfort access works intermittently

- Front parking sensors work intermittently

I had an F355 back in early 2000’s that was infinitely more reliable but as was mentioned a few posts earlier, maybe the cars were simpler back then.

Despite the ongoing issues after 6 months with the 570 I am finally starting to bond with it and would now find it hard to part ways with it.



davek_964

Original Poster:

6,187 posts

123 months

Friday 22nd November
quotequote all

I actually thought my climate had fixed itself - it seemed fine on the way to work and back yesterday - a/c & mono stayed on, and it didn't randomly switch anything else on. Same seemed true this morning - and the windscreen demister worked when I used it. However - I then tried the heated rear window which absolutely refused to switch on. Which is good news, since I want it to be obviously broken when it goes back.

In fact, I shouldn't have used the car today - it's pretty wet outside. But I really wanted to - the excuses to myself were that it is getting new tyres tomorrow - so I may as well wear the existing ones out as much as possible - and that I needed to see if the climate control was still broken......

EK993 said:
Despite the ongoing issues after 6 months with the 570 I am finally starting to bond with it and would now find it hard to part ways with it.
Despite its issues, I feel the same way about mine. In the last month, it feels like I'm really beginning to gel with the car - despite the colder weather making it less fun most of the time anyway. I was absolutely cursing it at the weekend - and was close enough to Beachy Head to consider driving it over the edge. But I've calmed down a bit now.
I'm hoping the climate and the rattle should be fixed next week. The loose headlight will too I'm sure - the range I suspect won't. the folding mirror problem probably won't because unless they see it they don't seem to think they can fix it. Maybe I should video it........

IMI A

6,997 posts

149 months

Friday 22nd November
quotequote all
TB993tt said:
IMI A said:
It would be interesting to put on a dyno and see if she's still putting out 650hp after 3-4 years. Also be very interesting to see what a 720 is also putting out on some like Litchfields Maha dyno. I have sneaky feeling may well be a tad more than 720hp!
Im, you've been slurping too much of that Dynojet coolaid 720s are 720PS on the button, there are 3 different Mahas done on three different cars by the company below - can't believe how accurate the Maha is cool


anonymous image hosting

Heres the after, 200 cell cats and tune, not sure how good Mahas are at capturing real tuned hp, suspect it is not as robust as manufacturer hp wink


free picture upload

Edited by TB993tt on Thursday 21st November 20:51
Whats she like in this weather Toby? Still dd with 720s knowing you?!

TB993tt

1,779 posts

189 months

Friday 22nd November
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IMI A said:
Whats she like in this weather Toby? Still dd with 720s knowing you?!
An incredible DDer, use it for everyting unless more seats needed, with the PS4S traction is actually quite good. The only real PIA is the bonging warnings about low tyre pressures but we.ve discussed this before....
On the subject of Climate Control (above) my A\C stopped working after about a year, apparentlytneeded a top up, when I protested that my 997 A/C hadn't been touched in many years and still worked fine I was told they have much more fluid and Macs only have a small amount cos of weight !!

I just bought this booster seat from "The Plush Company" thought I'd plug it, fantastic quality leather and fits most supercar seats including Porsche reclining buckets smile


IMI A

6,997 posts

149 months

Friday 22nd November
quotequote all
Looking lived in and very comfortable smile

Those boosters perfect for SWMBO and my littlest one as they both struggle with folding buckets. On the Xmas list wink

LotusJas

908 posts

179 months

Friday 22nd November
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355spiderguy said:
I have the same car in the same colour but the complete opposite in being i have not had a single issue; there are plenty others out there like myself i am guessing, with problem free Macs that don't really post up as there is 'nothing to report'.
+1 literally nothing to report since new, 17 months ago. Zero problems. Not a single temporary glitch even, or false alarm.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,187 posts

123 months

Monday 25th November
quotequote all
Had a very positive weekend with the car.

Climate is still not working correctly, but for the last few days the problem is limited to the heated rear window. Everything else seems to work OK again now - and it seems the 650 hardly ever mists up anyway so it hasn't been a problem.

On Friday evening, I saw the traction light work for the first time. It was very wet and I was using winter mode - I intentionally accelerated slightly too quickly - and for the first time ever, the wheels didn't spin and the traction light came on for a second. I'm not sure why it's suddenly behaving the way I'd expect (this was before I changed tyres).
However - even without that, I did quite a few miles this weekend on wet roads and the car really is superb, The Pirelli seemed to grip very well - seemed to work better in the wet than they do in the dry.

On Saturday, the tyres were replaced with Michelin PS4S. Although the Pirelli would have lasted a bit longer, there were several issues I was hoping to fix. Repeated pressure warnings from the right rear, vibration through the steering wheel at speed and the horrible skipping the front tyres do when turning at slow speed on cold roads - which has got much much worse as the weather has cooled down.

Despite the niggles the car has, it seems the levitation feature works well :



The new Michelin are mostly positive - and at £659 for 4 were a bargain. I assume they have solved the rear right pressure problem - although it's a bit early to say. They have solved the vibration problem - and they seem to have completely solved the skipping problem at slow speed. It was worth the money just for that.
But..... the ride feels a lot firmer, even when the suspension is set to normal. Whether that's due to stiffer sidewalls (load rating looks the same as the Pirelli) or because I'm running the rears at the correct pressure (3 psi higher than the Pirelli were) I don't know. But I did prefer the ride quality before.

Fairly early Sunday morning for a run from McLaren Ascot. Very good turn out considering the time and damp weather for a run down to Goodwood - about 35-40 cars. I arrived pretty early :



All arrived at Goodwood safely - although there was a parking incident close to me. The guy in the black car has my sympathies.



[url]

|https://thumbsnap.com/fzF5bpD4[/url]

I was a little concerned about a 50 mile run down to Goodwood cafe with a group of McLarens with brand new tyres that had done less than 20 miles.
It wasn't something I needed to be concerned about - it was a very (very!) sensible drive down. I checked my mpg as we got to Goodwood - 19.3 which is the best I've managed!
Was good to meet a few other owners, and it's never a bad day being surrounded by McLarens.

Car goes back to Ascot today to hopefully sort out some of the issues. In fact - other than the climate, nothing has broken in the last week and I've used it most days - so it would have been the most reliable it's been if it didn't have a persistent fault.

Despite its issues, I am really beginning to absolutely love the car. It should be pretty unsuitable for the weather at this time of year, but it is completely the opposite. I really hope Ascot can sort the annoying stuff out because it really will be unbelievably good if they do. Think I'll miss it while they have it - but at least it will keep the mileage down for a week or two!

TB993tt

1,779 posts

189 months

Monday 25th November
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
.. the ride feels a lot firmer, even when the suspension is set to normal. Whether that's due to stiffer sidewalls (load rating looks the same as the Pirelli) or because I'm running the rears at the correct pressure (3 psi higher than the Pirelli were) I don't know. But I did prefer the ride quality before.
Its likely the pressures I run at 2.1 bar all round, factory says 2.2 (for sub 150mph speeds) but that was noticeably harsher, 2.1 feels fine.

justin220

4,241 posts

152 months

Monday 25th November
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Good update and certainly sounds like you are warming to it!

Updated are always better with pictures smile

12pack

933 posts

116 months

Monday 25th November
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FWIW, the steering vibration was likely due to the damping foam within the Pirelli's coming loose over time causing wheel balancing issues.

And the "skipping" as you make a tight turn is normal for wide cars with grippy tyres. The outside tyre traces a larger radius circle than the inside - so the inside has to skip to keep up. If it is objectively correct (exactly the same surface and turning radius) that the Michelins are not skipping - then its because they have poorer grip and are sliding continuously - rather then gripping and then being forced to let go. Or more likely you are on a more slippery surface.

And of course the "harsher" ride will be due to higher tyre pressure that you observed.

Finally, the levitation effect is normal - especially if it was on Nov 1, 2019 (Blade Runner day).....



Edited by 12pack on Monday 25th November 12:28

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,187 posts

123 months

Monday 25th November
quotequote all
The surface isn't different - it's most noticeable outside my house and my g/f's when I'm reversing off the drive.

I really doubt the Michelin have less grip - and although I'm aware of the principle I've never had that problem on any other car even though they had wide tyres.

I mentioned the foam as the likely cause when I was talking to one of the other owners yesterday. It was particularly relevant since he has a much more significant problem with vibration at speed on a recently purchased 650 - he told me that the sound deadening foam wasn't present in the 650 - that came later (570s etc.).