Engine is strong but keep an eye out for cracked manifolds
The core of the engine is very strong and should not give problems if the annual service has been observed. It's unlikely you'll come across a car that needs more than this as very few will notch up the 6,250 miles that Ferrari specifies as the distance between regular maintenance halts. When you do visit a garage, a specialist is likely to charge around £1,000 for the routine service if nothing else is needed. At a main dealer, that price can double or more, so may owners now prefer a reputable specialist. This has no negative impact on the car's value if the history has been kept up to date with the right stamps.
Tough as the engine is, there's one problem that almost every owner and specialist we spoke to kept mentioning. This is cracked exhaust manifolds and it seems to afflict most cars at some stage in their life. Earlier F430s are more prone to this and will probably have the later type of manifold fitted, which Ferrari did under warranty in many cases. Others choose to go down the aftermarket route with a four-into-one manifold design. So long as this is supplied and fitted by a trusted specialist, it's a worthwhile upgrade but it will set you back around £3,000 plus fitting.
Part of the reason it's so important to check the health of the exhaust is that, in the worst cases, the pre-cat can disintegrate. Bits are then sucked into the engine and destroy it.
While checking the exhaust system, look at the brackets that support the pipework as they can fracture. For many, it's an excuse to source an aftermarket exhaust, such as the one from Tubi or Fabspeed. A complete system including manifolds and an ECU tune to optimise it costs around £12,000 but gives more power and frees up some more noise. A cheaper solution is Capristo brackets that allow some movement and absorbs the shocks from the engine more effectively so they don't fracture.
A transmission fluid change for the F1 gearbox is very important and must be completed at the correct intervals to avoid poor operation or damage to the 'box. This is recommended every three years. Air can get into the F1 gearbox and cause problems with selection. A new F1 pump is the usual cure for this and it's a chance to fit an updated version on any earlier F430. If you're unlucky, the F1 actuator will need to be replaced and it's £6,000. Another common fix with this Ferrari is a Hill Engineering clutch connecting block
The clutch is more durable than 360's but 12,000 miles is about normal before it will need to be replaced. That will cost around £800 in parts at a specialist plus labour, with the F1 costing more as the whole system has to be recalibrated to ensure smooth automated engagement.
The E-diff in the F430 is an advanced limited slip differential. Errors can occur with the solenoid and this disables the diff. A new solenoid is easy to fit and within the scope of an owner competent with mechanical work, but the bolts have to be carefully and correctly torqued to avoid damaging the new solenoid.
PHer's view: "Much has been written about the exhaust manifolds and the bottom line is the standard ones are not good." Anthony Gnapp