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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello im not too knowledgable on car warranties, i just bought a 2018 wrx and i want to know if hooking up an AFR guage would void my warranty because i do know ill be throwing off a check engine light if i replace the downstream o2 sensor. thanks in advance ?
 

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Virtually nothing will void your warranty as far as modding goes.


If you're talking about installing a WBO2 gauge and sensor, I can see how it could potentially (but not likely) be grounds for a warranty claim denial for the exhaust or electrical. If you wire it in wrong and fry your ECU, that is clearly something that should not be covered under warranty.

If you're talking about installing a narrow band gauge that feeds off of the OEM sensor, I wouldn't. They're absolutely useless. It would be a waste of money, and again, you could screw up the wiring and cause problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah its a WBO2, i guess ill just wait until tomorrow to call subaru to make sure, thanks for responding i appreciate it, im not too worried about wiring it wrong but ill take that into consideration
Virtually nothing will void your warranty as far as modding goes.


If you're talking about installing a WBO2 gauge and sensor, I can see how it could potentially (but not likely) be grounds for a warranty claim denial for the exhaust or electrical. If you wire it in wrong and fry your ECU, that is clearly something that should not be covered under warranty.

If you're talking about installing a narrow band gauge that feeds off of the OEM sensor, I wouldn't. They're absolutely useless. It would be a waste of money, and again, you could screw up the wiring and cause problems.
 

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Calling Ng them isn’t useful. Only writing exists.
 

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Depending on the year the car uses the down stream sensor to make adjustments to the fuel trims so you can’t just pull it and replace it. You would have to tap into the exhaust elsewhere
 

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Depending on the year the car uses the down stream sensor to make adjustments to the fuel trims so you can’t just pull it and replace it. You would have to tap into the exhaust elsewhere

^This. You will be drilling and tapping the downpipe to install the sensor (don't replace the OEM downstream sensor), so if something were to happen to your downpipe (not likely at all) they could say it was because you drilled holes in it and welded it. Same thing with the wiring. The install is pretty straightforward, and it's not something I would worry about warranty wise.
 

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...however, changing ECU settings has the highest potential for issues with a warranty.

Tapping for a gauge installation has no effect on a warranty unless it causes a failure (in their opinion).

You can fight a negative dealer opinion on any modification via Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (P.L. 93-637).

This goes for any modification... even those which many dealers and the manufacturers consider to be "warranty breakers".
Good luck. A lot of people quote that but don’t understand what it actually protects
 

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Modifications are technically allowed by law...

Any and all modifications that have even the slightest thing to do with emissions equipment are illegal in all 50 states. This includes modifications to the exhaust, intake, ECU, etc. Literally any change made to the factory ECU mapping is illegal under federal.
 

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Any and all modifications that have even the slightest thing to do with emissions equipment are illegal in all 50 states. This includes modifications to the exhaust, intake, ECU, etc. Literally any change made to the factory ECU mapping is illegal under federal.
Nobody understands what that warranty act does for them. They think it’s free reign mod city and it’s not.

It was designed to clarify written warranties without double talk and contradictory statements. It was also put in place to prevent companies from forcing grossly overpriced oem parts on you by not allowing them to void the entire vehicle warranty because you put in the wrong brand hose clamps.

It does not in any way permit the modification of any factory system outside of oem specs and any damage to any system related to that modified part does not have to be warrantied at all.
 

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sorry too lazy to read all the writing - here are my two cents -

- if i install an aftermarket radio and my engine blows up then my engine will be covered under warranty -

- if i flash the ecu of the car with a performance map and my engine blows up then my engine will not be covered by warranty IF the dealership can link the tune to causing any issues with the vehicle -

- everyone is throwing around legislature and fine print - dealerships know how to squeeze out of things - unless the dealership wrote IN WRITING by someone with position and power that having "XYZ" modification is okay
 

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To clarify this...

Put wheels on the car that use hub centering rings*, have a slightly different offset** & weight*** (66.1 v 56.1*, 38 mm v 55 mm stock** & weigh about 6 lbs less***).

Service rep mentions wheels are not OE spec & that may void warranty on adjacent mechanicals (shafts, calipers, suspension parts etc... ).

To this one replies... "Unless you can support an assertion that the wheels actually caused an issue... no".

Am definitely not pushing the idea that one can mod to their heart's delight and be protected by Magnuson-Moss.

Along those lines I would not modify suspension components, catalyst, federally mandated emissions equipment or an ECU (etc...)



With local labor rates currently at $130 an hour, and parts costs rising every day, I'm one who needs my warranty intact.
 

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IF the dealership can link the tune to causing any issues with the vehicle

OR if it's reasonable to believe that modifying the ECU parameters could potentially cause an engine failure. They don't exactly have to "link" anything. That specific tune could be perfectly safe, but it's entirely possible that a tune could cause an engine failure. That's what matters.
 

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1. I question why you would even consider doing this on a stock vehicle with an ECU that you have no means to remap.

2. As I understand, the front O2 sensor on the FA20F is after the turbine and (like previous models) is capable of a wideband reading. I see no reason not to use the OEM component if mapping is necessary.
 

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You can fight a negative dealer opinion on any modification via Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (P.L. 93-637).

This goes for any modification... even those which many dealers and the manufacturers consider to be "warranty breakers".
If you plan on using this as a defense in the case of a failure on your own vehicle, I'll spare you the pain right now -- it doesn't work this way.
 

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Point well taken and I am...

...not going to argue the point except to note that in M-M it is stated:

"Under a full warranty, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with the written warranty, the warrantor:

  • may not exclude or limit consequential damages for a breach of any written or implied warranty on the product, unless the exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty."

If you commit what the dealer or manufacturer consider to be -a breach- the dealer must support then prove that your modification caused the subsequent defect.

The warranty must state plainly that said modification will cause the warranty to become null and void for the component or components which would have been covered had the modification not been made.

All the aforementioned considered, I do know it is very difficult to fight an entity that has loads more capital and legal impetus than one (me, you, an owner of a new WRX with a warranty) may have...

I don't plan to use it to defend a dealer perceived warranty breach on my own vehicle because I will not be breaching my warranty.
 

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I surrender.
 

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...not going to argue the point except to note that in M-M it is stated:

"Under a full warranty, in the case of a defect, malfunction, or failure to conform with the written warranty, the warrantor:

  • may not exclude or limit consequential damages for a breach of any written or implied warranty on the product, unless the exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty."

If you commit what the dealer or manufacturer consider to be -a breach- the dealer must support then prove that your modification caused the subsequent defect.

The warranty must state plainly that said modification will cause the warranty to become null and void for the component or components which would have been covered had the modification not been made.

All the aforementioned considered, I do know it is very difficult to fight an entity that has loads more capital and legal impetus than one (me, you, an owner of a new WRX with a warranty) may have...

I don't plan to use it to defend a dealer perceived warranty breach on my own vehicle because I will not be breaching my warranty.
Good you proved me right. You modified the basic function outside of the engineered parameters. That’s the only reasoning they need.

That act is to protect you when you use non oem parts for REPAIRS. Basically the same part doing the exact same function and conforming to the manufacturers original function.

Such as using a denso O2 sensor over a Subaru one, or using fram air filters over Subaru, or using a duralast water pump. Those parts are all designed to function exactly as the factory part. They themselves are not covered but everything else is barring there isn’t a glaring defect with the part that caused a catastrophic failure.

That act isn’t, nor has ever been designed to protect you from purposely modifying your vehicle outside of manufacturers engineered operating parameters. You seem like the type of person who will find out the hard way. Don’t be that guy, take the advice from a guy who has seen it blow up in people’s face.
 

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Yes... I agree with what you said except...

I did NOT modify anything outside of the manufacturer's parameters. I don't know where you got that idea.

And... no I am not addressing that specifically in the text above.

" ...unless the exclusion or limitation conspicuously appears on the face of the warranty".

This means it must be in writing... They ignore this fact more often than not.

***And I am not modifying anything***. Only had a discussion about wheels and (luckily) prevailed.

This act is applicable to the aftermarket unless explicitly prohibited by a warranty... in writing.

Again... all that said... it does not mean I am going to 'rage against the machine' (dealer/manufacturer).

I understand all logic and 'facts' presented in the thread. Much is subject to legal interpretation and not just intent.
 

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Well, try and push it in a court. Tell everyone how well it works out. This topic has literally been beaten to death across multiple forums spanning everything from Subaru to Ferrari. So far nobody has beat anyone with the MM act. There are dealers that may turn a blind eye, that’s your only hope
 
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