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iiiiight so i bought a wrx four days ago and I'm obviously in love. But the mod bug has already kicked in hard. I was wondering if I should just keep it stock till my warranty runs out, or go ahead and mod it and risk it messing up and having to foot the bill. Also I was wondering if there were any mods that were really worth doing, as far as preformance, without voiding my warranty. Thanks for the help.
 

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iiiiight so i bought a wrx four days ago and I'm obviously in love. But the mod bug has already kicked in hard. I was wondering if I should just keep it stock till my warranty runs out,
Yes.

or go ahead and mod it and risk it messing up and having to foot the bill.
No.

Also I was wondering if there were any mods that were really worth doing, as far as preformance, without voiding my warranty.
No.
 

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I'd avoid power mods if you don't have a backup fund for an engine/tranny rebuild.

Until then, there are certainly some mods you can do that are a bit more 'warranty friendly'. Driveline mods are pretty nice - things like a shorter shifter and new bushings to go with it. Aesthetics - such as mud flaps if it's your cup of tea. The sound system in these cars leaves something to be desired as well. Some light suspension work such as a set of sway bars and end links probably wouldn't cause too many issues either.

The Cobb access port is a common power mod. I'll warn you upfront, there are cases of people who use it and still have denied warranty claims. If you buy one and marry it up, don't assume you will get a replacement engine if it blows for whatever reason.
 

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I modded my car within a few weeks of purchase. Having said that, I also ate the price of an engine rebuild when it ate a ring land -- a common issue on bone stock cars of the time but my mods would have made any warranty claim impossible. The stock turbo died too, another common problem on the Legacy but not really the WRX, and I also had to pay for its replacement because of the mods that were present.

Don't try to play the other side of the coin either. Many people want to mod like crazy but as soon as something breaks they put it all back to stock and try to claim it under warranty. We all end up paying for that in the long run. If you play, ya gotta pay. If you can't do this or don't want to do this, drive the car stock and enjoy.
 

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Pretty much on any sports car whether its modified or not, any dealership will fight you stating that its your fault. You might as well do what you want to it.
I have never had a warranty problem with my WRX.

Here is what I have had replaced under warranty:

1. Radiator.
2. Clutch, throw out bearing, and flywheel.
3. ABS controller.
4. Gear box output shaft.
5. Valve cover gaskets.
6. Crank case breather gasket.
7. Respay on rear bumper.

Why? Because I use authentic parts, keep all receipts, and can document that I have done so. Every time I needed something done under warranty, I showed up with the binder of receipts and was simply told "no problem." I'd then drive off in the loaner car and that would be that.

Use authentic parts. Follow the schedule. Keep receipts. Enter agreements, keep your side, and expect the other side to be followed by the other party.

Using imitation parts and "tuning" or "modifying" the car is a reasonable basis for denying warranty work though, I agree.

Once in a while on threads like this someone will bring up the law (constitutional scholars are very common on car forums). However, expecting the Magnusson-Moss act or whatever legislation supported by imitation parts suppliers to help isn't reasonable or realistic because nobody has ever explained to me or anyone I know who is going to fix the car while the dispute is in progress.

Sometimes legitimate claims run into problems. That's very telling though - if it's the dealer, never buy from them again and tell everyone you can. If it's the maker, never buy the marque again, and also tell everyone you know.
 

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I think a lot of this comes down to the dealership you work with. Feel them out. I get all of my OEM work and even some aftermarket modifications done at the dealership. They are awesome to work with. Also, remember that you cannot "void your warranty" by modifying your car. I really hate hearing that phrase tossed around inaccurately so much. They do however have the right to deny warranty coverage for any problem that can be directly attributed to a modification you made using other than "Subaru genuine parts" (i.e. SPT). For example, they cannot deny warranty coverage of your defective headlights or head unit just because you're running a stage 2 tune. One has nothing to do with the other.

My recommendation: If stock isn't cutting it, safely and conservatively modify your car to make it more enjoyable for you.
 

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I have never had a warranty problem with my WRX.

Here is what I have had replaced under warranty:

1. Radiator.
2. Clutch, throw out bearing, and flywheel.
3. ABS controller.
4. Gear box output shaft.
5. Valve cover gaskets.
6. Crank case breather gasket.
7. Respay on rear bumper.

Why? Because I use authentic parts, keep all receipts, and can document that I have done so. Every time I needed something done under warranty, I showed up with the binder of receipts and was simply told "no problem." I'd then drive off in the loaner car and that would be that.

Use authentic parts. Follow the schedule. Keep receipts. Enter agreements, keep your side, and expect the other side to be followed by the other party.

Using imitation parts and "tuning" or "modifying" the car is a reasonable basis for denying warranty work though, I agree.

Once in a while on threads like this someone will bring up the law (constitutional scholars are very common on car forums). However, expecting the Magnusson-Moss act or whatever legislation supported by imitation parts suppliers to help isn't reasonable or realistic because nobody has ever explained to me or anyone I know who is going to fix the car while the dispute is in progress.

Sometimes legitimate claims run into problems. That's very telling though - if it's the dealer, never buy from them again and tell everyone you can. If it's the maker, never buy the marque again, and also tell everyone you know.
I should rephrase...

Any dealership could deny you especially with you drive a sports car, stock or not. I've seen it happen with different friends who are stock, who are using manufacturer performance parts etc. Every dealership is independently owned so they operate different and managed differently. One dealer may have a fit about an intake on the car another may not. If your transmission goes on you and you have a cat-back on your car...they could say it was due to abuse. Every situation is different. I've also seen someone who is using genuine manufacturer parts get fought for warranty claims.

It really depends on the situation and places you are going to.
 

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Ask the parts department of they sell DPs, CAIs, and Accessports. Then ask the service department if they install aftermarket DPs and CAIs. These are good "feeler" questions. :) If they bulk at it or try to lecture you about modifications, you may have "one of those" dealers.
 

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Ask the parts department of they sell DPs, CAIs, and Accessports. Then ask the service department if they install aftermarket DPs and CAIs. These are good "feeler" questions. :) If they bulk at it or try to lecture you about modifications, you may have "one of those" dealers.
The dealers that sell imitation parts are "one of those dealers" and the other dealers you refer to are actually the dealers to prefer.

The dealers that sell imitation parts -- and then presumably don't balk at providing warranty support -- are essentially following the old slogan "At XXX Inc, we rip off the other guy and pass the savings on to you!..." Those that sell imitation parts (and actually install them) knowing that the parts do not meet emissions standards are violating the law outright. A service department that installs imitation intake and exhaust components has more respect for immediate profit than for the law or likely for long-term customer satisfaction.

I don't think it's behaviour I want to support.

Prefer dealers that only sell and support authentic parts.
 

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So, you don't agree with a dealer selling and installing a Cobb CBE?
 

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So, you don't agree with a dealer selling and installing a Cobb CBE?
A catback is almost certainly legal (it is legal WRT emissions; the question is WRT sound levels). Assuming it is legal, I have no problem with it.

A more interesting question is whether SOA agrees with one of their dealers selling an imitation product. Dealers do sell imitation products routinely (fluids and other consumables come to mind). I don't know how aware SOA might be of this, or how much they care. However, selling imitation parts that are illegal (not just in the trademark or IP sense, but also WRT emissions, safety, etc.) and in parallel holding a vehicle dealer license that implies one cannot do so, all while performing warranty work under the auspices of being an official dealer for a marque is something I find at best questionable.
 

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So you only have a problem with it if it's illegal? Okay, that's a bit different than what you stated earlier....
 

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So you only have a problem with it if it's illegal? Okay, that's a bit different than what you stated earlier....
Where is the inconsistency so I can address it?
 

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You made it sound as though one should shy away from dealers that permit, or even sometimes encourage, the use of aftermarket parts. I believe the key is a balance. A dealer should know better than anyone which parts could cause them issues later. My dealership, for example, sells and endorses products from the more quality and reputabe names (cobb, kartboy, whiteline, etc), but will not sell knock-off/ebay crap. I respect that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks to everyone for the help. And clearing up the voided/denied thing. I guess I really should have been asking these questions before I purchased one so i could find a dealer that is mod friendly. But i'll ask the service fellas and see what they say. I guess worse case scenario I'll just get it bumpin on the inside before I get it rollin on the outside.

But if i do decide to say the heck with the warranty....should i just go straight to a tuner?
 

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No, I'd go with the Cobb AP. That way you can easily flash back to the stock map if you have a warranty issue and need to take the car in for service.

Personally, I've gone almost 10k miles on my STI and I'm finally getting around to modifying anything substantial. The only things I've done so far is a Nameless axleback, a winter set of rims & tires, and removed a bunch of badging. My AP arrives tomorrow so I can flash it to stage 1. That's easily reversible if you need to take it in for service since the AP has the base map on it too. The only thing the dealer will be able to tell is the map was changed somehow at some point because there's a counter on the ECU that allows them to see how many times it's been changed.

Other than stage 1, I'm going to stick with simple mods such as a short shifter, maybe some springs and struts, and possibly an intake. Maybe some sway bars and end links too. That's enough things to get rid of the mod bug down for a little while. I can live with the crappy stereo for now. I'd like to keep some semblance of warranty coverage.

Whether the dealer will cover something under warranty depends on whether they can get Subaru NA to pay for what's broken. Everything that's replaced under warranty gets sent back to Subaru NA for analysis of the problem. Subaru uses this to try and eliminate problems with materials or the manufacturing process because everything that breaks under warranty costs them money since they're the ones paying the parts and labor to replace something.
 
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