corvallisbattery I totally agree with you U.S. if he had a rotated 35 in there and blew it up. I feel an intake and exhaust with a tune should never lead to a blown motor. I really am not the fraudulent kind of guy. I once bought a new Mac book and dropped it outside of the store in the package. Got it home...wouldn't fire up, and I told them I dropped it and paid for the fix. Subaru sells intakes and some even do tunes at the dealership right? Seems some level of mods would have to be acceptable. Would this maybe only void the warranty on the exhaust and intake system?
US can be an a$$ at times but he is correct. When nothing more than a dowmpipe/tune can add 50+hp/tq to stock levels and having XXX tune my car, (not saying xxx is a bad tuner just my guess they're more bad tuners than good ones), then trying to return it back to stock for warranty....fraud, plain and simple. This AIN'T your dad's big block Chevy where you can throw parts at it and it simply keeps running, that type of mentality is what gets a lot of people into trouble with these cars. These are highly stressed small displacement motors putting out close to/equal to v8 power with little room for mistakes.
OP...The dipstick thing...well it can be a pain. I'll check the level, let it sit for a couple seconds, recheck, about five times before confident it's accurate. Might try doing this or develop your own routine as it is difficult at best to get an accurate reading.
If you're even slightly mechanically inclined it's fairly simple to do a compression check, a compression tester can be had for cheap. Pulling the plugs can lead you toward the culprit. If one plug is covered in carbon/fouled/oily you know to start at that cylinder, my bet would be on piston/rings, if all of them look bad then it has to be a problem affecting all, pcv, turbo seals, etc.
I know your story can be heard across other brand's service departments but it seams to be increasingly more common here. We have at least two new vehicles to purchase in the next three years, sorry to say it looks less and less like it will be another suby.