2013 WRX Stage 1
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This is a discussion on 2013 WRX Stage 1 within the Tuning: Electronic Engine Management forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi All, I see there are a few threads on this subject but I didn't want to "steal" another's thread. ...

  1. #1
    Registered User Brandi's Avatar
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    Post 2013 WRX Stage 1

    Hi All,

    I see there are a few threads on this subject but I didn't want to "steal" another's thread.
    I just purchased my wrx in July. I have approx. 2500 miles on it. I am concidering buying the new Cobb v3:COBB Tuning - Subaru Accessport V3 (003) from IAG Performance in Westminster, MD. I've been doing a lot of reading on this modification and it is all a bit confusing because everyone has their own opinion. IAG told me that Subaru's don't "store" the mapping thus if I take my wrx to a Subura shop and they hook it up it will not show it was tuned. I also don't want to void my warranty. I also read somewhere that if by chance a dealership finds something suspicious, don't admit to anything and tell them that I unplugged the battery (or some crap like that). Now, mind you, I'm not a hot rodder, nor is my wrx "decked out". I understand profiling (former Police Officer here) and I'm sure the dealerships do this too. I'm not the profiling type to "give" them a reason to check my wrx in the event something seriously happens to my car. I don't take my car to the track, nor will I. I am an average driver, who "kicks" in the turbo once and awhile. With that said, is it recommended to stage 1 my new wrx?
    I was told that the Cobb will put it at stage 1. I will not be stage 2'ing it while under warranty.
    I'd like more hp, a cleaner torq and hp band. I was also told it could improve the mpg if I stay out of the turbo (but we all know that). I also read that if I stage 1 it, it will run fine with everything else stock.
    Sorry for rambling in different directions here, just trying to learn.
    Thank you,
    Brandi
    Purchased 7/17/13: 2013 WRX Limited- satin pearl white: short throw shifter, Perrin cat-back, and some other stuff. ;-)

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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Stage 1 is generally fine. That assumes that the engine itself if fine. That is why I waited about 40K miles before I even did anything to my car. You should be ok, but if you are concerned something might go wrong with your engine (considering how new it is), then get a compression/leakdown test before you do anything. A lot of people go stage 1 immediately after they get to 1000 miles. Some will have issues, most will not. A lot of people argue that stage 1 is a "safer" tune. I will say that I did notice that the power was delivered smoother when I went to stage 1...

    That being said, my mindset was that once I started to go aftermarket, I was accepting my decision to change the car from how subaru originally intended it to be when they offered me a warranty. I weighed my options and decided that going aftermarket was a risk I was willing to take and that if any modification that I chose to do to my car resulted in something going wrong then I would not hold subaru accountable. When I ever go into the dealership my accessport is mounted right on my dashboard and all the extra red in the engine bay (as well as the loud turboback exhaust) announce that I have modified my car.

    Good luck with your decision.

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    I don't know what context IAG used but when you reflash the ECU the image is absolutely "stored" until you reflash it back to the factory mapping. And unless something catstrophic has happened to the car Subaru isn't going to delve into the ECU. 95% of the factory technicians wouldn't even know what to look for or even what they are looking at. The 5% that actually are into the aftermarket scene with Subaru's might.
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  5. #4
    Registered User Brandi's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.
    I guess I should have made my post more clear regarding IAG's advice. They did tell me that if flashed back to factory upon taking it to the dealership they will have a more difficult time discovering the reflash.
    I'm lucky if I'll put 10,000 miles on it a year, thus the reason I don't want to wait until after warranty to flash it. I'm looking into waiting until atleast Christmas so my wrx will have a few more miles on it.
    As far as the engine, if something serious happens to it, it will be due to issues when built, not something I've done to it.
    11blackSTi, I understand your post and will take it into consideration. Both yours and Donkey's posts helped me considerably.
    Thank you again,
    Brandi
    Purchased 7/17/13: 2013 WRX Limited- satin pearl white: short throw shifter, Perrin cat-back, and some other stuff. ;-)

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    Registered User Zitro's Avatar
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    Similar position a you Brandi, leaning towards getting the V3 as it really is a multi-purpose device, and reverting back to the stock ECU is nice peace of mind. Unfortunately, every thread on any forum I've read has a lot of discord on whether or not Subaru can tell if you reflashed the car back to stock. Some say you're golden so long as you flash back to stock and unmarry the AP, some say they can still tell it's been flashed. I honestly don't know which is the case. 60k is a long time to leave the car stock though when I only have 3.5k lol.
    Last edited by Zitro; 10-18-2013 at 12:35 AM.
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    Registered User Brandi's Avatar
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    I hear that Zitro. That's why I asked here cuz I ran into the same thing on other forums. Come Christmas, I'm going to get it. Lo
    Purchased 7/17/13: 2013 WRX Limited- satin pearl white: short throw shifter, Perrin cat-back, and some other stuff. ;-)

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    I just purchased the Accessport and went stage 1 couple days ago on my 2013 WRX hatch. Basically, the car will feel smoother in the lower rev ranges, especially from a start. The power increase is kinda noticeable but nothing dramatic. The power is more consistent. I think it is fine for now but I will be trying out the TP stage 1 map soon. Most people say it is a huge difference from Cobb's stage 1 map. Also, it would be smart to reflash to stock when you take the car in to the dealership. Even if they cannot detect the change of the map from stock the technician will definitely know from driving the car and whether or not he decides to report that, nobody knows.
    Last edited by scoobs1; 10-18-2013 at 03:18 PM.

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    See post #12 in this thread:

    ECU Flashing Clarification - NASIOC

    It's from Bill at Cobb Tuning.

    Part of the answer: you can reflash the ECU to the original state before taking the car in to the dealer, but the dealer will find when the ECU was last reset. Don't count on fooling them.

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    Registered User Ingo's Avatar
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    The last ECU reset is easy to explain: I accidentally left the gas cap off, had to reset...
    However, I think it would depend on the extend of problem and just how deep they're going to dig into it - with enough effort they could almost guaranteed tell if the ECU has been flashed before. There's been a lot of talk about checksums and whatnot, I would simply assume they can tell if they really want. I bought my car used and previously modded, risky but this one turned out ok, I'm well aware that any warranty would be denied and am not even going there, I'll just have to "suck it up" and deal with any issues.
    You can't have everything - where would you put it?

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    Registered User XRedJar's Avatar
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    The dealer I bought mine from calls themselves mod neutral. Meaning if a suspension arm breaks and you have a tune on the car....they will still fix the suspension arm. Now if it's the motor/turbo...etc....then you don't have much recourse.

    I told the service manager about my accessport and tune last oil change. They are not stupid, and can tell if you have put a tune on it. How many times have they heard the same line about disconnecting the battery, forcing a ECU reset? Call me old fashioned, but I figure if you shoot straight with em....just maybe if you need a break....you'll get one.

    It's not likely a stage 1 tune will have any bad effects on the motor. I started with Cobb's 91 octane tune...had it worked to 16 lbs of boost. I've got 240 Hp / 255 Tq. to the wheels now, and that should be plenty safe. My IDC's are not above 85%, and AFR's all are still conservative.

    Depends on the amount of risk you are willing to accept. Cobb's tunes have been used on so many cars, with so few problems that I think it's a low percentage risk. You want to play it really safe...use the 91 octane tune, and get 93 octane gas. People may argue with me that it's wasting money, but I guess you could look at it as another layer of insurance.

    I think the gauges are the best part of the V3. I don't drive much without having the AP hooked up and running the gauges. I just like knowing whats going on.
    2013 Ice Silver Premium 5 door - Stage 1 E-Tune

  12. #11
    Registered User Brandi's Avatar
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    So, I purchased the Cobb V3. The 1st map installed was the Stage 1 93 Octane. I noticed the boost peaking at 18.75. Realizing that was too high, I called the performance shop I purchased it from. They advised me that was too high and to flash the Low Wastgate map via cobbtuning.com. As I was leaving for out of town and was unable to get on the computer, they told me to load the Stage 1 91 Octane map but run 93 until I was able to flash the low wastegate. I peaked at high 17s. So, when I got home, I loaded the Low Wastegate map and flashed it. I am still peaking at 17.75.
    I unstand that it has been very cold here in MD and our turbos love the cold. But should it peak THAT high above the 16.5psi for those maps? I plan on calling or taking my WRX back to the performance shop to find out why it's peaking so high, but any advice here would be great
    Purchased 7/17/13: 2013 WRX Limited- satin pearl white: short throw shifter, Perrin cat-back, and some other stuff. ;-)

  13. #12
    Registered User Brandi's Avatar
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    PS: They also told me that it's not that the turbo cannot withstand that much boost, but with the stock down-pipe and exhaust, it cannot "push out what I'm bringing in".
    Purchased 7/17/13: 2013 WRX Limited- satin pearl white: short throw shifter, Perrin cat-back, and some other stuff. ;-)

  14. #13
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    It's just the weather. Everybody pretty much is gonna have some boost spikes (especially in the higher gears and if you stomp on it). Towards redline what is the psi?
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  15. #14
    Registered User Brandi's Avatar
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    17.55 upto mid 18s, mapped with a 16.5 psi.
    Purchased 7/17/13: 2013 WRX Limited- satin pearl white: short throw shifter, Perrin cat-back, and some other stuff. ;-)

  16. #15
    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    You are seeing 17.5psi to 18 at redline? This is straight from Cobb's map notes for the Stage 1 93 octane:

    "Boost Targets: ~16.5psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~13.5psi by the 7000RPM redline, +/- 1.0psi "

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