Mclaren 600LT Owner Review (Part Two)
This is the next chapter of my initial ownership post which can be found here
So now we're firmly into mid 2023 and outside of any extended warranty so very much in the 'on your own' mode of self-warranty. These blog posts will now talk to the overall experience, maintenance, costs, and also adventures - To liven things up a little :)
The first half of the year included two track days one at Donington and the other at Silverstone.
The car performed very well with zero issues. As always general maintenance checks before and after track help to ensure the car is in tip top condition.
We used the two days to test a new brake pad setup from Endless. We'd heard the Endless compound was another step up from the typical Pagid's, kinder to the carbon discs, and better stoping power. We had high hopes and if anything the Endless pads went beyond expectations!
Stopping power is phenomenal, soo much so that our typical braking points completely changed! This really did mess with the head, when you're so used to a certain point to start braking then find your going way too slow when you come out of the braking zone, it takes time to re-adjust the brain to brake later.
For sure for those with a track bias there is no better pad than the Endless setup, you can brake soo much later and enjoy consistent brake performance through out the day. It's been a challenge but we have now become a stockist of Endless in addition to Pagid.
June 2023 and its time for a road trip into Wales. The last two years I've really enjoyed the road trip experiance and the Mclaren allows you to do this with ease vs my previous Lotus Exige V6 which lacked some of the creature comforts that make such a trip a little more enjoyable and comfortable.
I had the pleasure of joining a Mclaren and Lotus group as we navigated our way through Wales over the course of two days.
Prepare yourself for a photo dump now!
Its crazy to think that the Mclaren 675LT came out in 2015 and still looks like something that could be launched in 2023 as a new car. In all manner its just an amazing piece of kit.
This specific example has the Ti harness bar setup but with the rare option of being covered in alcantara. Such a nice touch and got me thinking of following the same path when I eventually get round to designing a setup for the 600LT.
The 720S remains in my opinion the ultimate GT car and as expected lofted through the whole trip with the owner enjoying heated seats and all lol
One point to note about Wales is the availability of Super Unleaded! It should not be assumed it is widely available even at stations such as BP and Shell. A few of us were close to dry after visiting a number of stations we expected would have 98/99 octane and finding it wasn't in stock. Typical Wales, you find a local small independant station selling 98 octane and with old school service and fill up's by the station staff!
Of all the trips into Wales, its often you find some of these old ways and I love it! Don't be surprised if every time you stop you find a group of people come say hello and wanting pictures, the Welsh really are some of the most welcoming of people to cars such as Lotus and Mclaren. Its a real shame the government seems keen to control the region with an ever increasing number of average speed cameras and patrols as such road trips make Wales a great destination and petrolhead destination which in turn helps with tourism in the region.
For those interested after a few trips the common route taken looks a little like this:
Basically head towards Bala lake which has some great roads and then head towards Llanberis which will take you past Snowdonia and Snowdon peak.
As a tip at Bala lake there's a great 'back to basic' cafe over looking the lake at the boat club which is worth checking out for a breakfast. Just park at the top road and walk down, suggest not to drive down to it as its got some nasty pot holes and not a clean flat surface.
Post Trip Check Over
On return from Wales I started to keep smelling petrol, and on inspection under the car I noticed a fuel leak. Obviously the panic starts to kick in what with not being under warranty! This is the first time I admit that I started to freak out a little on the fact of not renewing the extended warranty.
A bit of research and I found out in 2020 Mclaren actually did a recall on the Senna, 720S, 570GT, and GT for a fuel leak issue. Details can be found here
In essence on these models a padding was placed between the under tray and bottom of the fuel tank to help reduce noise and vibration. This padding could trap and retain moisture which overtime could leak to corrosion of the fuel tank and cause a fuel leak.
The 570S and 600LT where exempt from the recall as this padding was not used, however knowing a number of components are shared between the various Mclaren models there was a hypothesis that the recall and my problem could be linked.
With this in mind I reached out to Mclaren Guildford, if there was a link, it would be best to pursue via a dealer vs an independant.
Mclaren Guildford ushered the car into their workshop in a matter of days arranging collection and keeping me informed of progress. On inspection they found a leak.
What was surprising was the placement of the leak was not at the bottom of the fuel tank as per the 2020 recall but at the top.
The picture above is not my tank but shows the position of said leak. It would appear to be some form of corrosion or defect. However as it was not on the bottom my hypothesis that it may be linked to the 2020 recall was basically dead.
The dread kicks in, the replacement cost was circa £3K, which would be on me due to my warranty state. Obviously my decision is my own and I bear the risk, however something just stuck that the situation did not feel right.
A fuel tank is a safety device it shouldn't corrode within such a short period of time, further unlike say a bushing, suspension, or anything that is mechanically moving or changing the fuel tank is static. It's simply a container and therefore as a static safety device should just work and not degrade. This thinking continued to stick in my mind so I decided to write to Mclaren.
I was very honest about my warranty situation, I was clear in the facts and provided evidence and asked if they could review and provide some form of response.
Within 48 hours I had a response, and credit to Mclaren, they stood back, reviewed what I had shared, and took the issue seriously. Another 48 hours or so later I was informed that they would be requesting the tank back for inspection as they hadn't seen this issue before in this placement. Further, as a gesture they would cover the cost of replacement.
WOW wow WOW - We hear soo many complaints about Mclaren support and quality, but for me this stands out as a clear example of them taking the situation seriously, listening to an owner, and doing the right thing. Let's be honest they could easily have ignored and declined. They didn't and kudos to them!
I do think there is a lot of trolling and complaining about the brand which has fear, uncertainty, and doubt all over it. However, what with my hinge situation previously and now this I have huge respect for them. My experience is if you have just cause and not just moaning, can present facts, reasonable rationale, and push to get your cause raised to the right people in Mclaren - Things happen.
Thank you again Mclaren.