My 222 isn't feeling very well.
Can you help? Please!

Any owner having a problem with their Maserati can send me details and I will publish these, together with any subsequent advice I receive, on this page.

Just drop me a line at


Anon in the UK writes:


"I have a J reg 92, 222SE (has the SE bumpers and was sold to me as an SE but the log book says 222E). The car is black with cream leather. The car has the electronic suspension control unit which I believe works, however, the aircon unit switches on but doesn't blow out any air. Any idea why this could be?

This is my first Maserati. I love these cars and have always owned Lancia Thema turbos and Alfas and always wanted a Maser. I've only had it for a week and haven't had time to drive the car properly but my main concern is the idling of the engine. The car is constantly idling on 2000 RPM. Is this normal and should it go down to normal rpm after the car has warmed up? If not, do you have any idea what could be wrong?

Thank you very much for your time and congratulations on your excellent web site."


Reply from Andy:-


Re: 222SE idling.

"This is curious. Idling at 2,000rpm is not correct on the UK spec car without catalytic converter, yet you say that you have the electronic shocks which on a 222SE (or indeed E) you should not have. This would suggest that what you have is either a 222SR to UK spec (which has small headlights one round, one oblong per side) or you have a car originally destined for another market.

If you have a 'cat' car, then the ECUs on these are programmed to set a fast idle speed when cold to warm the catalysts quickly. This should settle to a normal 1000rpm as soon as the engine is at normal running temperature.

If you do not have a cat, you have a problem! Most likely causes are a faulty fuel injection sensor for air temp or water temp.

Regarding the A/C, if you cannot get any air through then you probably have a vent flap problem. There is a vacuum pump in the right hand inner wing which should run with the ignition on and this creates a vacuum which is then used to operate all the flaps. Check the pump works, then start looking for an air leak."


J. in Spain writes:



I am a usual visitor of your web, I think its the most active!

I am a Maserati 222SE owner, 2800cc, 1990, Engine model: AM-473.

The problem is as follows:

The starter motor (Valeo) is broken (it is burnt). Valeo has not another one starter motor avaliable, but although I have not yet spoken with Maserati, I wish to ask you several questions:

-Do all the Biturbos have the same starter motor type?

-What other types or marks of starter motor would be compatible with mine?

I would thank a fast answer due I am desperate.

Another question... Hoy do I find the number of the car's engine?

Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,



Reply from Andy:-


Re: 222SE starter motor.

"Hi J.,

The starter motor for all Biturbos has been superceded by the Ghibli one but this is a straightforward fit. This motor does not fit any other car however to my knowledge. You should be able to buy one from Maserati and they are not that expensive.

The engine number on all Biturbo is on the back of the block (bell housing). Very difficult to see with the engine in place but easier when you have removed the inlet manifold and pipework to get to the starter motor!



Marc in Luxembourg writes:


"Hello Enrico,

First of all, great site with lots of useful information.

Maybe you can help me with this specific problem.

The water pump on my 222 seems to be leaking, do you know if it can be replaced with a 2.5l carb. water pump? Are the water pumps on injection and carb. models the same?

I think I once read there were 3 different types of pumps but I am not sure anymore.

As the tensioner is also connected to the water pump, there may also be some differences there.

Do you have any suggestion on how to repair the pump if it cannot be swapped with a carb. model?

many thanks for your quick response.



Reply from Andy:-


Re: 222 water pump.

"Hi Henry, The water pumps are not all the same but the supercessions mean that you can fit a later one on an earlier car and vice versa apart from - the first two litres had a different impellor etc but this is irrelevant to Marc. What you saw in the parts book refers to the diameter of the shaft in the centre of the pump which was increased to combat failures of the pump. The tensioner on all three valve cars should be the same and he should have no problem swapping his original over on to the new pump. What he should not attempt to do is to repair the pump as this is very difficult to achieve without breaking anything (need to make special tools to pull the impellor off) and also, because the impellor is an interference fit on the shaft, it is possible that it could fail/spin if it has been removed and pressed on to another shaft. TOO RISKY!

Cheers and Felice Anno Nuovo,



Eric in Norway writes:


"I have sent you a mail on my boost problems with my 222 4v. This is part II.

1) I have had a problem with the boost. The car usually does not want to boost to full for more than one second. Then it drops to around 0,3-0,4 bar. Yesterday, I removed the connnection to the knock sensor and cleaned the contacts (there was a lot of white corrosion/oxidisation). I put it back, but the problem didn't stop. When I drive the car with the plug disconnected, it will run with the needle almost to the first yellow position. I think this is a little bit too low. Can that have something to do with the disconnection of the knock sensor? Is this a "drive home" mode or something?

2) Check control light quite often. Very often when I take my foot off the accelerator. What is the problem?

3) Sometimes, the water temperature gauge shows different readings. On occasions it goes up to 128°, even if the engine is operating at stable operating temperature. If I hit the dash gently, it sometimes falls to normal 90° readings. I have tried to remove the instrument panel, but I can't find the problem. I think the sensor on the engine is OK. What should I do???

Best Regards,

Erik, Norway."


Reply from Rossano of Repartocorse:-


Re: 222 4v. Problems with my boost.

Il problema non semplice da risolvere in quanto non un problema comune, se poi consideriamo che non lo fa sempre o per lo meno lo fa in modo differente il non avere sotto mano la vettura un problema, comunque partirei dicendo che se le turbine non tengono la pressione pu essere dato da tre motivi:

This problem is not an easy one to resolve as it is not a common fault, is intermittent and the problem varies. Not having the car close at hand makes it difficult to diagnose, however, generally if the turbochargers are failing to hold their pressure it is for one of three reasons:

1 - Uno dei tubi che portano la pressione dal turbo attrevarso gli intercooler al gruppo di aspirazione potrebbe essere tagliato e perdere pressione, controllare anche che non si siano aperti gli intercooler che a volte esplodono, questo farebbe prendere pressione al turbo ma poi cederebbe sfiatando aria.

1 - One of the hoses carrying the pressure via the intercooler to the intake manifold is split/disconnected allowing pressure to escape. Also check the hose connections to the intercoolers, on occasions they have been known to come loose. Make suree they are not damaged or leaking pressure. This would allow the pressurised air from the turbocharger to escape!

2 - Potrebbe essere saltata la valvola di contrasto tra le turbine quella rotonda posta vicino all'attacco dell'ammortizzatore anteriore dx, provare a scollegare il tubetti che potrebbero essersi tappati e verificare se il problema persiste.

2 - The solenoid valve may be damaged, the round one close to the RH side front shock absorber mounting, and may need replacing. Try disconnecting the three small hoses, any of which could be blocked (TAKE CARE as one of these hoses contains a restrictor which must be left in place), and see if the problem persists.

3 - Il problema un problema elettrico per cui inizierei a sostituire i rel dei turbo quelli posti vicino alla valvola di contrasto e quelli interni come da schema che ti invio,probabilmente il tic tic che sente il rumore di un rel che non fa bene contatto,se si vede che anche gli altri rel sono usurati consiglierei di sostituirli tutti,con una spesa di 30 euro circa si tolgono molti problemi di contatti incerti.

3 - It could be an electrical problem. Try replacing the relay that controls the turbo system, you'll find it close to the solenoid valve. It could be that the 'tic, tic, tic...' you hear is coming from the relay which is not making a good contact. Check the other relays for wear. I recommend you replace all the relays, for little expense, around €30, you can sometimes cure a lot of problems caused by bad contacts.

Controllerei anche tutte le spinette ed i cavi visto che hai gli schemi, consiglio di controllare i cavi di massa (-) della batteria, spesso si ossidano e la centralina lavora con la massa telaio che provoca disturbi.

I would also check all your connections and wires. I recommend you check your battery's earth connection (-) [you will find several wires in the loom, make sure they all make good earth contact], very often it oxidises and causing the management system to operate with a poor earth connection.

Le 'wastegates' non hanno un funzionamento elettrico ma meccanico, e lavorano sugli scarichi e non danno questo tipo di problema.

The wastegates function mechanically and not electronically so don't cause this kind of problem.

La spia 'CHECK ENGINE' si accende in rilascio probabilmente c' un sensore sui gruppo farfallato che guasto o segna una pressione dell'aria strana, potrebbe comunque derivare dal problema alle turbine.

The 'CHECK ENGINE' warning light, coming on is probably due to a problem with one of the sensors on the throttle body. This could be sending a signal becuase it is damaged or signalling a strange air pressure. This could be as a result of the problem with the turbo pressure.

Il problema sulla temperatura dato probabilmente dallo strumento nel quadro strumenti, sarebbe utile sostituirlo, comunque verfica che il termostato sia in buone condizioni e non si blocchi occasionalmente, rischieresti di fondere il motore. Comunque potrebbe essere il sensore della temperatura a far accendere la spia 'CHECK ENGINE'.

The problem with the water temperature is probably due to ma faulty water temperature guage. It would be worthwhile changing it. Check that your thermostat is in good condition and is not occasionally sticking. This could result in a seized engine through overheating. It could also be that the water temperature sensor is triggering the 'CHECK ENGINE' light.

Hope this helps,



Stuart in England writes:


"Hi Enrico,

My 222SE 2.8-litre fuel-injected has a very high idle of 2800 rpm hot and cold. What could be wrong with the car and where should I start looking?



Reply from Andy Heywood:-


Re: High revving 222 SE.

I presume that no-one has been messing about with the car recently?

That being so, first check the obvious: Is the throttle actually returning to its stop? Yes, then with the engine running, pull the electrical connector off the idle control valve on top of the plenum chamber. If the idle speed drops to below normal, this was the valve needs replacing. If no then you need professional help!!!



Alan in Switzerland writes:


"Hi Enrico,

Thanks for passing along the information.

Does the speedometer go directly from the sensor on the transmission to the gauge on the instrument panel? I had high hopes for cleaning the terminals on the sensor because the rubber protector is torn open and everything was pretty dirty. But no luck, the thing is still intermittent.

I don't see any drawing or schematic in the Service Manual showing the speedometer cable. For that matter, what is the sensor (how does it work)? Does it matter which terminal is connected to which wire? Of course I forgot to note which went where until they were disconnected. But the speedo has worked a couple of times since cleaning and reconnecting, so either it doesn't matter or I got lucky.

How much trouble is it to take out the instrument cluster? Need to remove the steering column? Need any special tools? The car has a quite nice interior, and I don't want to mess it up.

I finally figured out that one of the fans was not working. There was enough air blowing around from the other one that I thought they were both on. I'm assuming that they always work together - if one is on, they both should be? I'm not losing much coolant, so I'm hoping that it is not a head gasket problem.

I purchased a Workshop Manual on CD from "Matthew L." and many of the photos in the CD aren't very clear, but probably weren't in the paper version either. As I have learned for the speedometer cable and fan wiring - both not mentioned except for a re-routing note for the fan cables - this manual is not all that complete.

In spite of these little problems, I drove the car all weekend, and it is quite a fun machine. No regrets so far!



Alan in Switzerland writes:



I am very recently a first-time Maserati owner: 1989 Biturbo 222E, 96,000 km, full and timely service history, 100,000 km service/maintenance done.

Although generally everything seems fine with the car (and definitely lots of fun!), there are a few things I am wondering about:

1. The oil pressure gauge is pegged off-scale while the car is in gear. At idle, it drops to just under full-scale. There is the proper level of oil according to the dipstick. The oil is (allegedly) 5W-50 and looks clean and new. Is this behavior cause for concern?

2. The speedometer frequently dies (about once in every three times that I am driving the car). It seems to occur when changing gears. Except for one instance, it remains dead until the next time I start the engine, then it works normally. Is this a sensor problem? Contact problem? (I don't have manuals yet ... ordered but not yet received.)

3. On two occasions, the cooling system temperature warning light has come on, within 5 to 10 minutes of starting the car. The first time after a few minutes of stop-and-go in a traffic jam, the second time while going up a long, fairly steep hill in town (so about 50 km/h with a couple of stops for traffic lights. The water temperature gauge was between 90C and the next higher indicator line, and both days were hot (about 32C), but not extremely so. The coolant level is fine, the fans are working and the radiator fins are clean i.e. not clogged with insects, dirt etc. The garage where I bought the car is trying to tell me that this is normal behavior for this car. Is the cooling system really that poor, or should I start checking for air pockets, thermostat function, etc.? Thanks for any advice,



Reply from Andy Heywood:-


Re: 222E

1. The oil pressure readings you describe are normal.

2. Speedo problems as you describe are common. Usually a bad electrical connection, either at the terminals on to the gearbox sensor, or on to the back of the instrument. Both should be cleaned and tested before you need to replace parts as 99% of the time, this is the cure.

3. You definitely have a problem with the cooling system. The gauge should not go any further than 90 degrees and the fans should always be enough to hold the temperature down, no matter how hot the day. Air pockets are unusual but you should attempt to bleed the system to be sure. A faulty engine thermostat could also be the cause. Otherwise, you may have a head gasket problem.




Daren in the UK writes:



On my 222E I would like to fit dump valves, so can you please tell me what PSI my turbos produce and if there are any factory dump recirculation valves already fitted and if so, how many?

Thanks Daren."


Reply from Andy Heywood:-


Re: 222 Dump valves?

There are no dump valves fitted as standard on the 222E. Maserati did not use them until the Ghibli Cup/GT.

I am not sure of the standard PSI on the turbos but I believe around 0.9 Bar.

Hope this helps,



Daren in the UK writes:



On my 222E I would like to fit dump valves, so can you please tell me what PSI my turbos produce and if there are any factory dump recirculation valves already fitted and if so, how many?

Thanks Daren."


Reply from Andy Heywood:-


Re: 222 Dump valves?

There are no dump valves fitted as standard on the 222E. Maserati did not use them until the Ghibli Cup/GT.

I am not sure of the standard PSI on the turbos but I believe around 0.9 Bar.

Hope this helps,



Erik from Norway writes:


"Hello Enrico!

I have recently bought a 222 4v. It runs smooth, but when pushing it, the boost pressure drops from around 0,8 bar to 0,4 bar in the same time as the accelerator is depressed. When this occures, I can hear a rapid "tic, tic, tic" - sound from somewhere inside the dashboard and the poweroutput is much reduced. In first and second gear, it uses to work quite well with a quite nice acceleration. I presume this has something to do with the fast reving of the engine (a result of little resistance for the engine), because at top end in second gear, I hear this tic, tic-sound. One time out of 20, it works at 0.8 bar the way up to the rev-limiter. What unit make this special sound? Is it the knock-sensor which makes the problem? It must certainly have something to do with the signals to the electronic waste-gate actuator on the torpedo. BUT WHAT?

I thank you very much for your help!!!

Erik, Norway.

I believe I am not the only one with this problem!?!"


Reply from Andy Heywood:-


Re: 222 4v. Lack of boost.

The noise you can hear is probably coming from the boost solenoid valve. This is a plastic valve (brown in colour) which on your car is usually mounted on the bulkhead in the engine bay. It has an electrical connection on the top and three rubber hoses connecting to it around the base. What this does is equalise the point at which the wastegates open between the two turbos. It will click a lot when it is either broken or has a poor connection and it sounds as though it is allowing the wastegates to open too early - hence the lack of boost.

As a first measure, you should try just cleaning the electrical connection to the valve. If this does not work, try renewing the valve. If this does not work, then it could be that the knock sensor is telling the ECU that there is knock when there isn't and the ECU is responding by killing the boost. The knock sensor itself is usually a very reliable part (just as well as it is located in the centre of the block and the inlet manifold must be removed to get to it. However, the wiring connection to it can be poor and so if you get this far, try cleaning the connectors to the knock sensor.

Hope this helps,



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