Interesting Conversation with Subie Tech
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This is a discussion on Interesting Conversation with Subie Tech within the Everyday Impreza Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I was at the dealer to have my fuel door checked out and started talking to one of the techs ...

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    Interesting Conversation with Subie Tech

    I was at the dealer to have my fuel door checked out and started talking to one of the techs about mods. I told him i was putting it off for the time being because i have heard a variety of stories regarding warranties and most mods will require a flash.

    He said that when they plug the ECU into the computer it will pull up a number. They call Subie and read off the number and if that number does not match then your warranty covering the engine will be denied. He said he has seen cars come in with blown engines that clearly had aftermarket downpipes, intercoolers, and what not that had clean codes.

    He said some of the guys in the shop use open sourced tunes but have issues reflashing without showing up when they call subie. He said that the ones using the access ports reflash without issue. He said he has seen those cars get engine replacements without issue just because the code came back as stock.

    I have a hard time believing all of this. Does anyone know if this is true?

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    Not sure about what Subaru's actions and policies are, but for sure Subaru cannot deny engine warranty claims just because the engine has external parts added/replaced - unless the part actually caused the failure.

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    Yea that's why I mentioned the tune. If they know you tuned your ECU then they can deny the claim because there isn't proof that it didn't cause the failure. The guy even said (as mentioned above) that he has seen cars come in that have downpipes get their engines replaced. You should run a tune if you have a DP and run a risk of failure if you don't.

    Therefore, if you have a DP and no tune then that alone can cause failure, which in turn means they could deny the claim because your bolt on part caused the failure. Thats of course if they wanted to be a **** about it.

    The main point was, has anyone else heard about anyone having issues reflashing to stock when using open source tunes or have they heard of people having issues reflashing using the cobb tuner?

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    Yes. It has to do with the "checksum" value. On the 32 bit ECUs isn't as much of a problem but on the 16 bit ECU's it is. And Subaru can absolutely deny a claim but they cannot void your warranty. By denying the claim you take them to court under the Magnusson-Moss act and hope you win.
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    Just have to remember if you put any type of mod on there is a chance of warranty denial.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 13WrXx View Post
    Just have to remember if you put any type of mod on there is a chance of warranty denial.
    Yea i agree, yet it seems the dealer i go to is one of those "mod friendly" dealers. Well at least i hope they are, based off the conversation with the tech.

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    Yea but its not up to the tech at the Subie dealer if your motor takes a ****. They will most likely send a SOA tech out to inspect it and if there is anything on the car that shows there were mods you're SOL.
    Your safest bet is to stay stock and mess with suspension mods if you want your powertrain warranty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 13WrXx View Post
    Yea but its not up to the tech at the Subie dealer if your motor takes a ****. They will most likely send a SOA tech out to inspect it and if there is anything on the car that shows there were mods you're SOL.
    Your safest bet is to stay stock and mess with suspension mods if you want your powertrain warranty.
    Interesting, because the tech said he has seen people get engines replaced even with a DP and other mods. Even searching around, i hear of people getting lucky and having their car covered under warranty. Sending an SOA rep out every time there's a claim would be pretty costly.

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    Key word you said there [I]lucky[I]. I'm sure there are lots of people who get lucky and goodwill repairs.
    All I'm saying is be prepared to pay if anything ever happens. Not trying to scare you I'm just letting you know to be prepared.

    Just like at my local dealer , I was there 2 weeks ago and the kid working in the service department was asking if I had the accessport yet. I told him no since I want to keep my powertrain warranty. He proceeded to say they don't care about access ports and nothin would happen. The service manager overheard him say that and came right in and straight up told me that he is WRONG and SOA will most defiantly deny any powertrain warranties and ended up yelling at the kid working there lol.


    Edit: check out nasiocs warranty threads

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    Yea i figured. However, is it true that they can not tell that you reflashed back to stock? COBB has stated that it is untraceable, yet i have a hard time believing that.

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    I've asked Cobb the same question before. They said it goes back to 100% factory settings. But I also asked them if the stock Ecu will read the original mileage before being flashed and they said yes it will. Meaning the mileage in the Ecu will differ from the mileage on the car.

    Who really knows the true answer but it seems to me that if you stick to stage 1 flash and nothing else as long as you UNMARRY the ap correctly you should be in the clear. But like I've said before alwayss be prepared to pay if you do any mods. SOA techs aren't dumb they know what they are doing and they know what to look for.

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    Maybe next time ill buy a used Subie from a dealer that's already stage 2. Then they have to cover the vehicle because they sold it in that condition.

    Edit: forgot to mention that those with extended warranties from a third party do not have to worry about what SOA will cover. They only have to worry about what the extended warranty covers. SOA can deny the manufacturers warranty but can not deny coverage from an extended warranty purchased from another company. So most likely the vehicles that got lucky had extended an warranty from another company.

    I know it saved me with my Ram 2500 when its drivetrain was not covered by the manufactures warranty after i lifted it 6 inches, yet my extended warranty covered the new transfer case i needed.
    Last edited by Mike0341; 07-03-2014 at 04:24 AM.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Just because Subaru denies a claim doesn't mean in the end the won't pay. You might have to fight them on it but if you understand the Magnusson Moss act then you would have to understand that Subaru has to prove that the part installed caused the damage.
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    I just went through something like this. Bought an 05 WRX wagon with 80K on it in January. I bought the extended 6 year bumper to bumper warranty. First off, worst experience of my life trying to get the warranty company to cover what they said they would and what I paid for. Warranty people are terrible humans and will find any reason not to cover what you paid for. Let me say up front, my car was bone stock when I bought it.

    Basically what happened was I drove down to Tucson from Denver in mid May, never went over 80 MPH and basically never hit boost unless I was climbing a pass of some sort. When I got to Tucson my whole car starting shaking while going 75 MPH and then the CEL came on. Took it to a local shop that got great ratings and was suggested by my grandfather who lives down there. The code that came up was a cylinder 3 and 4 misfire. So naturally we thought, ok, it just needs new spark plugs, maybe a new coilpack. Tried those, still getting same error codes and car still shaking.

    The shop then ran compression test and found that I had no compression in my 4th cylinder and had burnt valves, so I had to get the entire left bank head rebuilt. This is where the story starts to really suck.

    So my shop put together a quote for the parts needed along with labor for the warranty company. They then sent out a claims adjuster to confirm the diagnosis. The warranty company came back with their own quote with the same parts, their quote came out over $2K less than the quote from my mechanic. Know this, warranty companies will only pay MSRP prices for parts and go based off of All-Data to approve how long they think the work should take. According to them a rebuilt head should only take 11.8 hours, I got quoted no less than 14 and as much as 16 from every shop I spoke with.

    At first they tried to deny the claim all together saying it was my fault, even though I didn't drive my car hard and had ZERO mods! Unless you count tinted windows as a mod, haha. I ended up having to call the dealership I bought the car and warranty from and have them call the warranty company to see what could be done. They finally agreed to pay for the work, however they would not budge off of their approved price for parts and labor.

    I called 6 subaru dealerships from Colorado to Arizona trying to find the price for the parts that they approved and the MSRP price they approved them for. No such luck because apparently dealerships do not like to sell their parts for MSRP, all but one dealership had a minimum 15% markup.

    Fast forward 2 months later to the 4th of July. I fly down to AZ to finally get my car. The mechanics were unreal and did a great job. Plus they had to deal with the warranty company and their bull ****. In the end I still had to pay out $1000 of my own money, that trust me I didn't have to part with but had no choice. My warranty was supposed to be as follows: I pay $100 deductible and everything else is covered by the warranty company. This was obviously not the case, I am very happy to have my car back but not without heartache and shenanigans.

    I say all that to say, if you care about your warranty, only do SPT mods installed by subaru tech so it is still covered. If you have to mod, then I would suggest keeping all of your stock parts and get the stock rom so that if you ever have to go back to stock you can and just reflash ecu with stock rom. Just for emissions purposes I would keep your stock downpipe because as said by earlier posts, once you do a downpipe you need a new tune.

    Hope my horror story helps. I am still fighting with the warranty company to get reimbursed for the out of pocket costs I had to incur. Just sucks because this is on top of the $2500 the warranty cost me when I bought it.

    Let me know if you have any questions
    05' WRX Wagon
    Platinum Silver
    Rebuilt head at 86K miles

  16. #15
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    I am a subaru service advisor. My 13 wrx is currently having two pistons replaced due too poor tuning. SOA good willed the repair. The access port does flash your setting back to factory, it however does not reset the flash counter. as stated the ecu has a number built into it that counts up every time it has been flashed. My own person vehicle i flashed back to cobb factory setting with my v3 accessport and the counter counted that as a flash too . No way around that. Subaru is a very willing to help its loyal customers. They know people love to mod these cars and if your honest about it with them, they are much more likely to help you because they will know its been modded or tuned. Most techs are car guys too.

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