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

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

Author
Discussion

drcarrera

593 posts

175 months

Wednesday 1st January
quotequote all
I agree with the above that this has been a very interesting and informative thread. I really hope you get your car fully sorted soon!

Could it be viewed, though, that although the car has had numerous issues, most of them are essentially down to a single "fault"? i.e. A poor roof seal allowing water ingress into the door mounted electric modules ...

PompeyReece

732 posts

39 months

Thursday 2nd January
quotequote all
Couldn't agree more with the sentiments of others.

This thread is honest and worth its weigh in gold - I hope the detractors don't win, the thread is updated accordingly and the car niggles are a thing of the past!

Felonious

254 posts

124 months

Thursday 2nd January
quotequote all
Hear, hear. Terrific thread, and a good read. Thank you.

Has it put me off hankering after a Macca to follow my V12VS? Not in the slightest, but it has flagged a few points to be wary of and the importance of a warranty and a local dealer or trusted specialist.

David W.

1,468 posts

159 months

Friday 3rd January
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
I might try that!

I've played around with it today and warmed a couple of the seals at the point it leaks then adjusted them.
It seems much improved, but time will tell.

I've taken the car out several times today, just for the drive and enjoyed it a lot. I will talk to Ascot tomorrow but it's unlikely I'll give them the car until new year.
Just found this from 2013. I’m starting to worry that you could be a little paranoid about moisture dave winkbiglaugh


Penrhyn

9 posts

48 months

Thursday 16th January
quotequote all
This is without doubt one of the best threads on Pistonheads.

I hope Dave will continue to update us.

What comes across to me is that McLaren Ascot are not investigating and fixing the faults properly. That combined with the poor Quality Control at the factory is a big problem.

McLaren need to fix QA now on all new models produced. And those already out there should be fixed FOC with retro fixes like moving electronic equipment away from drainage channels etc.

Yes it will cost money, but once done they will be rewarded with more sales, and repeat sales too.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,399 posts

125 months

Thursday 16th January
quotequote all
I'm not sure that retro fixes would be practical for some things - the climate controls for the 650 are on the door, and I don't think it would be very easy to put them somewhere else on a finished car. However - making them a bit more waterproof wouldn't be a bad idea!

In Ascot's defence - there have been a couple of things which have taken more than one attempt to fix - and the climate issue was particularly annoying because they absolutely should have checked for a leak properly. But some of my issues are intermittent, and (since I work in an industry where we have to deal with customers finding faults) - I am well aware how hard it can be to fix something that happens occasionally, and that you can't reproduce.

The latest issue with the leak is that - without taking the car back to Ascot - it's now watertight. Quite why, I have no idea - but even in the monsoon we had in the last couple of days, the car is bone dry inside. Maybe the new seal had to settle (it was noticeably harder to close the door when I got the car back, but isn't now), or my messing about with the seal helped. But either way, I cancelled the booking at Ascot - there is currently nothing it needs to go back for.

In fact, in recent weeks the car is finally beginning to behave itself. I no longer feel that something will break pretty much every time I get in it - so it seems that I am eventually reaching the point where the car is working. Most of my issues have been pretty minor anyway, so I have high hopes that - if I've not already achieved it - I'm very close to having a mostly problem free car.

Ironically - when I started my Cayenne on Monday morning, it told me it was low on oil - I really couldn't be bothered to sort that out in the dark at 6am, so used the 650. By coincidence - given the weather - somebody at work said : I bet I know which car you didn't use today! Well, actually...........
Seems the Cayenne is even better at throwing up issues than the 650 - having told me the oil was low, when I got home to top it up - it decided that was a good time for the bonnet catch to sieze too..........

I took the car out at the weekend a couple of times - and particularly on Sunday drove it very hard on dry roads. Not the fastest I've driven it, but certainly the hardest I've cornered since buying it. The capabilities of the car really are impressive.

The real problem I have with the car now, is the same one I've had all along. I want to drive it more than the warranty will allow. I'm forcing myself to avoid using it for work during the week now - despite wanting to use it every day, these are miles I'd much rather save for later in the year - at least daylight, even if not dry and sunny. I've done ~3,300 miles since buying the car in August - I'd like to reach at least the end of February with the total still under 4K - I really would like some proper icy weather, with salty roads - and even a bit of snow - to make that easier!

At the moment, it means my plans to use the car as a semi-daily car just aren't working because I've used it far more than I expected anyway. But hopefully, when we get to ~April, that will change again.

The Surveyor

7,124 posts

187 months

Thursday 16th January
quotequote all
I love your updates on this thread, shows the real world roller coaster ride of highs and lows which seems to come with the brand.

Happy motoring.

PompeyReece

732 posts

39 months

Thursday 16th January
quotequote all
Good to read the niggles aren't re-appearing - fingers crossed fate has not been tempted with this post and it remains that way.

This thread is so much more informative and realistic than the single posts highlighting problems as your issues actually have some real-world context. Do keep posting, it's a little gold mine.

To solve the mileage vs warranty issue, you could always buy two 650's? :-)

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,399 posts

125 months

Thursday 16th January
quotequote all
PompeyReece said:
To solve the mileage vs warranty issue, you could always buy two 650's? :-)
I think I've mentioned before, but although it says "12k a year" - the warranty certificate actually shows that it's warrantied as long as the mileage remains below 60k this year, and 72k next year.
I just have a feeling that if the engine went pop, doing more than 12k in a single year might result in me having to pay!

RobDown

3,774 posts

78 months

Saturday 18th January
quotequote all
That warranty sounds like it’s worth checking out. If you can take it up to 60k miles (and not worry about in year mileage) would be happy days

justin220

4,308 posts

154 months

Saturday 18th January
quotequote all
Great to read that update Dave, hopefully a sign of things to come.

Can you add Miles to the warranty agreement? Daft question maybe

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,399 posts

125 months

Monday 20th January
quotequote all
A good weekend with the car - sunny weather really doesn't help to keep the mileage down.

Gave it a clean on Saturday, and the VO paint really does sparkle in the sunshine - and attracts lots of positive attention. Was walking back to it from M&S, and was asked by a guy whether he could take some pics before I left.

On Sunday, I took it down to Brighton - with a passenger who has never been in anything faster than a Corsa. Her first language is not English, and her vocabulary is conversational rather than fluent - but she appeared to know ways of saying "you're going too fast / slow down / I'm going to die" that I've never heard before wink

Was a great trip though - and she was a lot more relaxed on the way back. Which just goes to show that the best way to address your fears is to face them smile

ETA : On the subject of extending the miles - to be honest, given that the 12k limit is about 3 times what I was doing with the cars it replaced - I think it's good to have some kind of limit, even if it's one I would be able to move!

JPCGT

152 posts

95 months

Monday 20th January
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
A good weekend with the car - sunny weather really doesn't help to keep the mileage down.

Gave it a clean on Saturday, and the VO paint really does sparkle in the sunshine - and attracts lots of positive attention. Was walking back to it from M&S, and was asked by a guy whether he could take some pics before I left.

On Sunday, I took it down to Brighton - with a passenger who has never been in anything faster than a Corsa. Her first language is not English, and her vocabulary is conversational rather than fluent - but she appeared to know ways of saying "you're going too fast / slow down / I'm going to die" that I've never heard before wink

Was a great trip though - and she was a lot more relaxed on the way back. Which just goes to show that the best way to address your fears is to face them smile

ETA : On the subject of extending the miles - to be honest, given that the 12k limit is about 3 times what I was doing with the cars it replaced - I think it's good to have some kind of limit, even if it's one I would be able to move!
Think you may have passed through Petworth yesterday afternoon. Great colour in the sunshine and super clean too !

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,399 posts

125 months

Monday 20th January
quotequote all
Yep, that was me. Once about lunchtime and once about 5.

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,399 posts

125 months

Saturday 8th February
quotequote all
The car has continued to be (mostly) problem free for the last few weeks, and it makes owning it a much more positive experience. The windows do play up occasionally (go almost fully up then lower to half way) but it's pretty rare. The other issues - even the ones that happened several times - seem to have disappeared. The car just works - finally.

One thing I've mentioned several times before is that I prefer the steering on the 360. The steering ratio is clearly different between the cars and for the same turning circle, the (smaller) steering wheel on the 650 needs to turn much more than the 360. Apparently, the McLarens have the best steering in the world ever - but personally, I prefer the 360.

To make the 650 optimal, I got the alignment done yesterday. This hasn't made much difference to how much effort it takes to turn in, but it has significantly affected the feel of the car as you corner. On long / fast corners, once the steering is already turned - it feels like even small adjustments make a big difference to the line the car is taking. On tighter corners, it now feels like there is much more grip at the front, and almost as if the car is being pulled around the bend. A vast improvement.

When I bought the car, one of the things that made me hesitant was the lack of true manual. I really really didn't want flappy paddles - but for the kind of cars I was looking at, there was no manual choice.
In fact - 6 months later - I no longer miss it. In fact, not only do I not miss it - if I use the 360 it seems like an unnecessary complication. I think this is probably partly because I use the 650 as more than an occasional car, and also because my other "daily" is an automatic Cayenne - so I get very little opportunity to drive a real manual car these days. Rather than a treat when I do, it now feels a bit like a chore. I'm as surprised as anybody by this. It has made me realise that it is time to sell the 360 - I just don't find I want to use it much these days.

A common criticism of McLarens (and most turbo cars) is the lack of noise - and it's something I missed when I bought it. Compared to the Ferrari, it's practically electric-car silent.
In reality though, it's not - and everything is relative. If you get out of an NA Ferrari (or similar) the 650 is disappointing - but 6 months later, without the immediate transition - I quite like it. If the roof or rear window is down, it sounds sporty (and in fact, the general public have commented on the noise it makes) and I don't really miss it being louder anymore.

I'm going to struggle to keep the mileage below 11k by the end of this month - I think I only have about 100 miles to go. But hopefully, some winter weather will mean I don't go too far over.

I am beginning to really love the car, and still look forward to driving it. In fact, on Thursday evening I was really looking forward to a decent run for the alignment - despite the fact that it was going to be cold, dark and rush hour!

Hopefully, Spring is not too far away - I think it will get even more use then.





Edited by davek_964 on Saturday 8th February 14:09

12pack

987 posts

118 months

Sunday 9th February
quotequote all
Glad you’re now really enjoying the car.

I had replied earlier about the faster Fezza steering that you had commented on before. All subjective, but I always hated that about my old 355. Just made the car twitchy. Ferrari do that to make the car feel agile. Even dedicated track cars have lower ratios.

Hope to survive this weekend and indeed really looking forward to spring!

davek_964

Original Poster:

6,399 posts

125 months

Tuesday 11th February
quotequote all
When I updated the thread at the weekend, there was one issue with the car I was concerned about but wanted to see what the conclusion was before including the details here. And now it has :

Over the last month or so, I've been concerned with the paintwork on my car. Under bright sunlight, it looks perfect - and I think the photos I added a few days ago look good.
However, very often the bonnet looks noticeably darker than the front bumper / wings - particularly if the light is not bright. It even shows up in some photos. The bonnet is the most obvious, but if you look closely at the car it's not the only panel - the roof lid looks darker than the engine cover (I've been told it's actually the engine cover which doesn't match, not the roof lid), and there is a very slight mismatch between the passenger door and the rear wing.

It has been difficult to be sure there is a genuine problem, because Volcano colours do change significantly under different lighting. But the fact that the bonnet almost always looks darker convinced me that it wasn't right - if it had just been the case that it looked slightly different to the bumper / wings, I would have put it down to shifting colours under light angles.

I mailed Ascot about this last week - my assumption was that panels had been replaced / painted under warranty due to the common bubbling / corrosion issues and that was the cause. Ascot said that they have no record of any bodywork warranty claims on the car, and did not do any painting as part of pre-sales prep. The issue simply seems to be due to fading (I don't believe it's a result of accident repairs - it can only be repaired in McLaren approved bodyshops so there would be a record, and it wouldn't explain random panels like the engine cover).

On the way back from getting my geo done on Friday, I stopped at Ascot so that they could take a look. They took photos of the areas I was concerned about, and said they would raise a claim on McLaren.

Confirmation received today that McLaren client services will provide goodwill to resolve this. I've spoken to the paintshop, who say they will repaint the entire front of the car, plus the LHS to the rear wing, plus the engine covers. Car will be collected by covered transporter and returned to me the same way - and will take about 15 working days. I'll have to decide whether to delay until after Goodwood V-power breakfast club since the car is booked into that.

A big thumbs up to McLaren - my car should come back cosmetically perfect. I know the brand gets a lot of negative press on here - albeit usually from the same half a dozen people - but my ownership experience seems to be improving the longer I have the car. I'm currently very happy.


johnwilliams77

6,194 posts

53 months

Tuesday 11th February
quotequote all
Fantastic news - pleased to hear it. These gestures really go a long way.

ChrisW.

3,315 posts

205 months

Tuesday 11th February
quotequote all
Great to see such care ...

MAC 720S

743 posts

97 months

Tuesday 11th February
quotequote all
Fantastic result! Well done to McLaren for sorting out an issue they could have easily turned away from.