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This is a discussion on warranty bull within the Engine Modifications forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I've been on here a while and I've had my wrx for the better part of 7 months and ...

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    Dog
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    warranty bull

    So I've been on here a while and I've had my wrx for the better part of 7 months and in those seven months I have put 12k on the car. Mostly cruising around and highway driving because I bought the car in florida and drove it up to illinois. Anyway. The car is currently stage 1+ with the intake and I have an exhaust. Earlier this week I noticed a knocking/clinking noise coming from the engine. Not good. I took it to my dealership(I am away for school so It isn't my hometown dealership) and they said I have a blown rod bearing and it is not covered under warranty because the ecu has been modified. Now, I was wondering if I took the car back to my hometown took everything off and took it to that dealership would work. Is my car flagged? Can I do this? help please. I don't want to throw more cash into this car

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    Registered User kh202's Avatar
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    warranty bull

    Sounds like you're screwed. I had same rod bearing issue, but was completely stock except axle back exhaust. If you tuned it, they will know. Subaru goes thru a very long and detailed process before replacing a short block, trust me

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    Dog
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    Quote Originally Posted by kh202 View Post
    Sounds like you're screwed. I had same rod bearing issue, but was completely stock except axle back exhaust. If you tuned it, they will know. Subaru goes thru a very long and detailed process before replacing a short block, trust me

    are you absolutely positive? Cobb representatives have said that there is no way for them to trace that.

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    warranty bull

    Quote Originally Posted by Dog View Post
    are you absolutely positive? Cobb representatives have said that there is no way for them to trace that.
    I mean it doesn't hurt to try, but two different dealers assured me that Subaru has ways of finding out. They would easily be able to see that the ecu was flashed.

    And a cobb representative telling you that is about the same as a stripper saying that you're really cute... Lol
    Last edited by kh202; 09-02-2014 at 08:56 PM.

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    Registered User nsibanez's Avatar
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    They can tell if your ecu was tuned. SOA will go through whatever they can to see how the car was running, can tell what gear rpm everything when it blew
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    Your car is a computer, they will know if you tweaked it.

    That being said, humans are not perfect....

    Give it your best shot and see what happens.

    Good luck brother!


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    sorry to hear man! hope it all works out

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    I would also add that your car is indeed flagged in the system. They would have most certainly documented the work they did. I have a 15 that had a factory defect on the rocker panel. SOA approved the claim, the work was performed and my dealer stated there is a lifetime warranty on the repair, and it will follow me even if I move to another state. Call your local Dealer, the one you are considering fleecing, and asked them to check your service history, and see if the most recent one pops up. Actually, if you are still considering fleecing them, you might want to call a Dealer a county over so it does not hit your local dealers radar.
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    A rod bearing has nothing to do with having a Stage 1 flash. Also, Subaru has several stock instances of rod bearing failures so, they have to prove that your flash caused the issue (which it didn't unless you over revved the car). Flash the car and put it back to stock and work with a different dealership and escalate if necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dog View Post
    are you absolutely positive? Cobb representatives have said that there is no way for them to trace that.
    This is incorrect, the ECU has a checksum which changes once you flash. Simply put, Subaru checks the value and if it is not the initial value (not sure if it is a TRUE/FALSE flag) they know that the ECU has been flashed. However, even if the ECU is flashed, it has nothing to do with a rod bearing failure unless the car was driven in high revvs or driven very hard.
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    Village Idiot McBill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris410 View Post
    A rod bearing has nothing to do with having a Stage 1 flash. Also, Subaru has several stock instances of rod bearing failures so, they have to prove that your flash caused the issue (which it didn't unless you over revved the car). Flash the car and put it back to stock and work with a different dealership and escalate if necessary.
    Wrong, all sorts or wrong.

    Here is how it works. A stage one tune can absolutely cause a rod bearing failure. Second, while there is no way to prove that the stage one tune caused the failure Subaru has every right to deny the claim since the owner (OP) went outside of the very firm warranty guidelines Subaru has set for their factory warranty. That being, that no mods are to be done to the car at all. And a mod like this that effects the performance of the vehicle by changing the way the engine actually operates, to a way which is outside of the factory specs, is in fact something that could be deemed a probably cause of ANY internal engine part failure, ie a rod bearing. And that is all they need to deny a claim like this.

    There is also absolutely no way of knowing if your car has been flagged or not. Unless there is some sort of service record stating what Subaru inspected in IL and why they did not fix the problem. Which could have happened. There is honestly only one way to find out. Give it a try if it's not too far out of your way. DO NOT, under any circumstance, drive your car all the way back to Florida. It needs to be towed down there on a trailer, preferably one that keeps all 4 wheels of the ground. It wont hurt to try doing this. But if they find out that the ECU has been flashed to stage 1 and if there are ANY aftermarket parts on there that affect the way the engine performs they WILL do the exact same thing the one in IL did, that being telling you to go pound sand. It is a very iffy topic, some dealerships will go ahead and process a warranty claim and fix the problem on failed engines that have been tuned but entirely returned to stock. They just miss it. Other times the dealership finds out somehow and denies the claim faster than you can spit to the ground. Unfortunately there is no set answer and again, there is only one way to find out.
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    The Guy On The Couch TownLine500's Avatar
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    Uninstall the AP.
    Like the other guys said bring it to another dealer.
    The worst they could say is no. If you have had all factory recommended maintenance done regularly, you might just get lucky. I personally know the service manager and the head shop foreman at my local dealer.
    If your a repeat customer (I bought 3 cars from them) with service records, sometimes they look the other way.
    But it is all up to the Service department to decide.
    I'll cross my fingers for you.
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    While it's too bad the OP experienced this failure, this is the risk we take by modifying a car still under the factory warranty.

    Try to see the issue from their perspective: Say you're a chef and you spend hours carefully selecting a steak, seasoning it, grilling it to perfection, and then tastefully serving it. It's not as spicy as it could be, but you've seasoned it to appeal to as many people as possible, and spent months carefully selecting your secret ingredients.

    You sell the steak in your restaurant to a buyer who feels the steak could be spicier. He's brought with him from home a fiery hot sauce made from mace and rattlesnake venom, and applies a liberal helping all over the steak.

    Aghast! After adding the hot sauce, the steak turns black and burns to a crisp! The customer comes back to you, the chef, and demands a refund. You have never seen this happen to your steak before with any of your ingredients, and you know the customer has added their own hot sauce after you sold it. Would you give them a refund? You might give a refund, just to be nice, but you wouldn't be obligated to.


    The same applies to the OP: the car was modified outside of the factory specifications. While the tune might not have directly caused the problem, it's a factor Subaru can't ignore, and they have every right to deny a warranty claim in this situation. That said, they might decide to cover the replacement costs out of goodwill. It's entirely up to them.
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    I agree that if the rev limiter were raised it could cause rod failure. Beyond that, could you please explain how a Stage I tune would affect rod bearings? I could understand how it could affect pistons/heads however, a rod bearing is more of a mechanical piece depending on oil pressures so, I am honestly asking to learn how a Stage I tune could affect a rod bearing.

    Also, I spoke to a dealer and they have seen several 2014 WRXs with rod bearing failures with low miles which were completely stock. Subaru has an issue and they know it, that is my concern and it could very well be the case with this person's car as well.

    I'm not arguing, I am curious on how a Stage I tune could affect rod bearings outside of the over-revving or improper driving ie...dropping into a gear at too high of a MPH etc...etc...



    Quote Originally Posted by McBill View Post
    Wrong, all sorts or wrong.

    Here is how it works. A stage one tune can absolutely cause a rod bearing failure. Second, while there is no way to prove that the stage one tune caused the failure Subaru has every right to deny the claim since the owner (OP) went outside of the very firm warranty guidelines Subaru has set for their factory warranty. That being, that no mods are to be done to the car at all. And a mod like this that effects the performance of the vehicle by changing the way the engine actually operates, to a way which is outside of the factory specs, is in fact something that could be deemed a probably cause of ANY internal engine part failure, ie a rod bearing. And that is all they need to deny a claim like this.

    There is also absolutely no way of knowing if your car has been flagged or not. Unless there is some sort of service record stating what Subaru inspected in IL and why they did not fix the problem. Which could have happened. There is honestly only one way to find out. Give it a try if it's not too far out of your way. DO NOT, under any circumstance, drive your car all the way back to Florida. It needs to be towed down there on a trailer, preferably one that keeps all 4 wheels of the ground. It wont hurt to try doing this. But if they find out that the ECU has been flashed to stage 1 and if there are ANY aftermarket parts on there that affect the way the engine performs they WILL do the exact same thing the one in IL did, that being telling you to go pound sand. It is a very iffy topic, some dealerships will go ahead and process a warranty claim and fix the problem on failed engines that have been tuned but entirely returned to stock. They just miss it. Other times the dealership finds out somehow and denies the claim faster than you can spit to the ground. Unfortunately there is no set answer and again, there is only one way to find out.
    Chris
    '14 WRX Crystal Black/SPT CBE/Tuned by Torqued Performance

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    OMG WTF MainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris410 View Post
    I agree that if the rev limiter were raised it could cause rod failure. Beyond that, could you please explain how a Stage I tune would affect rod bearings? I could understand how it could affect pistons/heads however, a rod bearing is more of a mechanical piece depending on oil pressures so, I am honestly asking to learn how a Stage I tune could affect a rod bearing.

    If the tune happens to go lean in one place, or the timing isn't quite right, it can cause the engine to knock. Knocking can cause abnormally high cylinder pressures, pushing down on the piston.. that force goes directly into the rod bearing where it is attached to the crank shaft, squeezing the oil out of the bearing, and causing metal on metal contact. With moderate knock in a commonly used area of the powerband, over time the metal on metal contact will eat away at the bearing surface..


    That's why it's so important to data log after any tuning (especially OTS maps) and insure there are no repeatable knock events occurring. I have seen several Cobb stage one maps on GR WRX/STi that knock like crazy. It can also cause piston ringlands to crack over time.

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