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Old 05-04-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
Boneyard
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Default Ringland failure, what next?

I know these threads are getting old, but for the sake of keeping records, I figured I would post this on NASIOC.
2011 STI, 15,xxx miles, turbo back exhaust, tune, blown ringland, number 4 cylinder is at 55 psi. The car throws no codes, and to the average guy, it probably would not seem like anything is wrong.
Part 1
A few weeks ago I noticed a lack of power and boost. I confirmed this with the boost gage on the accessport, which would not get above 11. I went home to look at the car, took the intercooler off, and oil started dripping out everywhere.
I called the shop where I had the car tuned, and they told me to have it towed to their shop. After 2 hours with the car, they told me I had a ringland failure in the number 4 cylinder, and that the compression test came back at 55 psi for this cylinder. We devised a plan to build the engine and make the car fast. At an estimated cost of $12-14,000, I need to get a loan to do this, but I know I would be happy with the car, and I hope to make the engine more resistent to failures.
Part 2
Just to play all my cards, I went to the dealership where I bought the car. I told them my mods, the other shops diagnosis, and asked if there was any warranty on the car. They told me that even with the mods, the ringland should not fail this early. They gave me Subaru Customer Relations number, and told me that SCR were the only ones who could help, since the car was tuned.
I called the number, and Subaru said they have a good faith policy, and they would like me to have the car towed to them at their cost, to see if there was anything they could do.
The dealership gets the car and goes to work. I get a call the next day telling me that there is no way I blew a ringland, because the car never threw a code. The tech told me that it was "beyond logic", and "impossible" for this to be the case. He then goes on to say that I need a compression test at a cost of $150.00 to diagnose the problem, and if that does not reveal the problem, they will have to do more work, possibly at my expense. He tells me they will do the leak down test, call me with resukts, and we will go from there.
3 days later...
I got a call today from the tech. He told me that I had a ringland failure in the number 4 cylinder, the rod was shot, and the head gasket blown. He then goes on the say that I once had my oil changed at another dealership, and they flagged my car as "highly modified", and thus I no longer have a warranty. For $2,000.00 they will fix the problem. He then goes on to say that COBB Accessports are horrible for the car, and that is the reason for my problem.
Part 3
My real problems.
How did Subaru's gesture of "good will" result in a diagnostics bill that will probably be $600 or more, even though I never authorized it? How come they took 3 days to get back to me, when they said they would call my after the compression test? If the car was black flagged by a previous dealership, why did I go through all of this at my expense? If it is in the system that the car is not to be under warrenty, and I told them I wanted to know if they could fix it under warranty, why didn't anyone say no, before all this crap started?
What to do.
I really do not want to pay Subaru for anything besides the compression test that i agreed to. I never authorized whatever work is necessary to determine a bad rod and blown gasket. I do not see any point to fixing the engine with Subaru, even if I go back to stock, since there is no warranty.
So, It is time to build the engine. I must say though, I am really disappointed with Subaru, not the car, just the people I talked to recently. There inability to communicate with each other, and give me a straight answer. I feel used. They convinced me to bring the car in under the pretense that it would be warranted with a gesture of good faith, then rescind that offer, and left me with a bill for a problem that I had already paid to have diagnosed.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:53 PM   #2
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U r pretty much stuck with the bill cuz of the car being black flagged at another dealer and the dealer that did all the testing might of worked with u until this. U could take legal action cuz of the pre diagnoses that u gave them but really is it going to be worth while, probably not. Being in the position r in I would get it in writing that your mods caused this issue regardless of what r intending to do. I would also press the issue of getting it covered under warranty firmly but respectfully cuz they did say that shouldn't be an issue so early. If I was in your shoes I would just get a built short block and be done with it and this $10-14,000 is ridiculous, do your research there r alot of good engine builders out there for a third of this cost good luck
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:59 PM   #3
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Is your car paid off? Try to avoid borrowing to fix your motor. I know you can spend a lot less than you're talking for a factory shortblock with some drop-ins. I spent some money on a built motor from Maxwell power, but they do sell a pretty good package for a budget: 2800.00 for a new SB with JE pistons. Similar deals can be found elsewhere.

It's just not wise to pile debt on top of debt. Unfortunately, I don't see Subaru fixing that motor of yours. But I think you do have recourse on that 600.00 if you did not authorize beyond the 150.00. Go upstairs and call SOA, to start. Also, if you paid with a credit card, you can dispute the charges and have them pull the money back from the dealer pending resolution.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave D.
Is your car paid off? Try to avoid borrowing to fix your motor. I know you can spend a lot less than you're talking for a factory shortblock with some drop-ins. I spent some money on a built motor from Maxwell power, but they do sell a pretty good package for a budget: 2800.00 for a new SB with JE pistons. Similar deals can be found elsewhere.

It's just not wise to pile debt on top of debt. Unfortunately, I don't see Subaru fixing that motor of yours. But I think you do have recourse on that 600.00 if you did not authorize beyond the 150.00. Go upstairs and call SOA, to start. Also, if you paid with a credit card, you can dispute the charges and have them pull the money back from the dealer pending resolution.
+1 on calling SOA to start but depends on what he signed for the work that was done and how it was worded cuz dealers r not stupid especially if known what the prognosis will turn out to be that's why I hope he read everything before signing even when they did the checkup on mine fore the winterizing I wouldn't sign anything until the work is done even though it was free of charge, remember this when any work is being done
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:00 PM   #5
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The 12k is for more than a rebuilt engine. I'm going to have the engine built, the heads port and polished, new turbo, intercooler, fuel pump, injectors and a gauge cluster. Sorry I did not specify.
I just feel misled by the conversations I had with everyone from Subaru. I never would have moved the car from the shop to the dealership if I had known it was not going to be covered. I was up front with everyone and told them the car was tuned. I called SOA back and am waiting for a reply.
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #6
Dave D.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boneyard View Post
The 12k is for more than a rebuilt engine. I'm going to have the engine built, the heads port and polished, new turbo, intercooler, fuel pump, injectors and a gauge cluster. Sorry I did not specify.
I just feel misled by the conversations I had with everyone from Subaru. I never would have moved the car from the shop to the dealership if I had known it was not going to be covered. I was up front with everyone and told them the car was tuned. I called SOA back and am waiting for a reply.
Well for that kind of a build and money you should make sure you have headers and TGV deletes.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boneyard
The 12k is for more than a rebuilt engine. I'm going to have the engine built, the heads port and polished, new turbo, intercooler, fuel pump, injectors and a gauge cluster. Sorry I did not specify.
I just feel misled by the conversations I had with everyone from Subaru. I never would have moved the car from the shop to the dealership if I had known it was not going to be covered. I was up front with everyone and told them the car was tuned. I called SOA back and am waiting for a reply.
OK that sounds better but like I said do your research and if SOA is going to do anything in most cases if they will warranty the motor they will make u turn it back to stock or will be a one shot deal so the choice will be yours depending what your goals r for like ( DD,auto-x, drag, etc...) but by the sounds of it all of the above so I would bite the bullet and build it with in your means happy trails
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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Is your tuner a reputable business I would look further look into the tune u got cuz I'm stg2 with 35k my11 sti 318whp 352awt 94 octane. To be quit frank wouldn't let them touch my car just for the fact weather they caused it or not they wouldn't see another dollar from me
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:55 PM   #9
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Well Im a tech at a Subaru Dealer..... I know this for FACT. There is no "black Flag" policy. That doesnt exist, however if you had some previous work done that the car needed to be called in to the tech line for some kind of assistance. Then and only then do they ask if the car is modified. So, I call B.S on the tech. He just wants the job as "customer pay" because warranty is only going to pay him 10.4 hours of labor. Where as customer pay is 16.5 hours labor. The compression test and leak down test should be covered under warranty. Thats how it works, if they find that the cause was from modifications then they will deny a claim for parts warranty. Subaru gives you the benefit of the doubt that the engine that went into your car may have had a failure that WAS caused by a failure on their end. If it turns out its from abuse or because you tuned it they have the right to say, sorry not gonna happen. BUT they still should cover the compression and leak down test as it is for them to determine a cause. If they didnt get written or telephone consent from you for more things or more diag you can tell them to eat it and you are coming to get your car. By law they have to have that, all phones there should be recorded.

Now, where can you go from here. This is what I recommend! Call the service Manager for the dealer. DEMAND that the Subaru Field Service Rep call you so you can explain the situation to him and what you believe should ultimately be done about it and what is fair. In most cases there will be a 1 time exception and it will be covered. If not try to get them to pay the labor and you pay parts, or vise virsa. Happens all the time when an actual cause cant accurately be 100% be determined.

This is what I hate about my job, when other techs dont give the customer the benefit of the doubt and just shoot for the customer pay route. Yes the car was tuned, but for what? Just minor fueling....... lets hope so.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK-Wagon
Well Im a tech at a Subaru Dealer..... I know this for FACT. There is no "black Flag" policy. That doesnt exist, however if you had some previous work done that the car needed to be called in to the tech line for some kind of assistance. Then and only then do they ask if the car is modified. So, I call B.S on the tech. He just wants the job as "customer pay" because warranty is only going to pay him 10.4 hours of labor. Where as customer pay is 16.5 hours labor. The compression test and leak down test should be covered under warranty. Thats how it works, if they find that the cause was from modifications then they will deny a claim for parts warranty. Subaru gives you the benefit of the doubt that the engine that went into your car may have had a failure that WAS caused by a failure on their end. If it turns out its from abuse or because you tuned it they have the right to say, sorry not gonna happen. BUT they still should cover the compression and leak down test as it is for them to determine a cause. If they didnt get written or telephone consent from you for more things or more diag you can tell them to eat it and you are coming to get your car. By law they have to have that, all phones there should be recorded.

Now, where can you go from here. This is what I recommend! Call the service Manager for the dealer. DEMAND that the Subaru Field Service Rep call you so you can explain the situation to him and what you believe should ultimately be done about it and what is fair. In most cases there will be a 1 time exception and it will be covered. If not try to get them to pay the labor and you pay parts, or vise virsa. Happens all the time when an actual cause cant accurately be 100% be determined.

This is what I hate about my job, when other techs dont give the customer the benefit of the doubt and just shoot for the customer pay route. Yes the car was tuned, but for what? Just minor fueling....... lets hope so.
^^
+1 fare exchanges no robbery the way it should be
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK-Wagon
Well Im a tech at a Subaru Dealer..... I know this for FACT. There is no "black Flag" policy. That doesnt exist, however if you had some previous work done that the car needed to be called in to the tech line for some kind of assistance. Then and only then do they ask if the car is modified. So, I call B.S on the tech. He just wants the job as "customer pay" because warranty is only going to pay him 10.4 hours of labor. Where as customer pay is 16.5 hours labor. The compression test and leak down test should be covered under warranty. Thats how it works, if they find that the cause was from modifications then they will deny a claim for parts warranty. Subaru gives you the benefit of the doubt that the engine that went into your car may have had a failure that WAS caused by a failure on their end. If it turns out its from abuse or because you tuned it they have the right to say, sorry not gonna happen. BUT they still should cover the compression and leak down test as it is for them to determine a cause. If they didnt get written or telephone consent from you for more things or more diag you can tell them to eat it and you are coming to get your car. By law they have to have that, all phones there should be recorded.

Now, where can you go from here. This is what I recommend! Call the service Manager for the dealer. DEMAND that the Subaru Field Service Rep call you so you can explain the situation to him and what you believe should ultimately be done about it and what is fair. In most cases there will be a 1 time exception and it will be covered. If not try to get them to pay the labor and you pay parts, or vise virsa. Happens all the time when an actual cause cant accurately be 100% be determined.

This is what I hate about my job, when other techs dont give the customer the benefit of the doubt and just shoot for the customer pay route. Yes the car was tuned, but for what? Just minor fueling....... lets hope so.
What dealership do you work out of?
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Subiezilla View Post
What dealership do you work out of?
In MT, the kind that tries its best to help customers in relation with SOA. Contacting them and talking with them goes a long way, and ultimately decisions for repairs are made by us (technicians) or in some cases the FSE. I had a similar (almost exact to OP) case recently which required the FSE to get involved because the customer had his car tuned a few years ago, which I was not aware of till they asked me for the CID/CVN #s which were different from factory records. Went over with the customer what exactly was done and why, relayed that info to the FSE and he said to give the customer the benefit of the doubt and to go a head and fix it this time. The customers car was stock accept for a SPT intake and exhaust. He had kept it stock as possible for warranty purposes. If its obvious you have a tune with high boost/timing adjustments you can kiss your warranty good bye. Now, we cant see what was changed tune wise, but if the CID & CVN #s are different you can bet it raises a red flag and then your under the microscope and questions will be asked. There is a way to save your factory CID/CVN # to your car but Im not about to disclose how to do so. If you know how, good for you.

Im just a tech who really likes to play fair, Im not there to ruin your day and hit your wallet for as much as possible. I have work coming out my ears, the last thing I need is to piss someone off who is just going to tell the next guy that we are d***Ks. If there is a possibility its Subarus fault, Ill try my best to find out if it should be covered. Now go and run 20lbs of boost on a car still under warranty and try to get me to warranty a block.... Not gonna happen, its purely your fault and I shouldnt make Subaru pay for your mistakes. If you raise boost and drive it like you stole it, just man up and pay the price.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:16 AM   #13
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Sorry to hear about your ringland problem. Hope everything gets cleared up for you.

I live next State over, so I would REALLY like to know the name of this Subaru dealership...so I can avoid them at all costs.

Could you also let us know a couple other things as well...

1) What stage were you at, and who did your tune?

2) Was the CBE the only mod to the car? Did you have some sort of CAI other than stock?

3) What oil/oil filter were you using?

4) Were you rough on the car, or did you baby it?
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK-Wagon View Post
Now, we cant see what was changed tune wise, but if the CID & CVN #s are different you can bet it raises a red flag and then your under the microscope and questions will be asked.
Wow, so they CAN tell if the ecu was retuned, even if it's a stock car with a Stage 1 OTS Cobb AP tune... Hmm.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:40 PM   #15
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Wow, so they CAN tell if the ecu was retuned, even if it's a stock car with a Stage 1 OTS Cobb AP tune... Hmm.
Yes, every time you reflash it for any tune a new CID # is created. If its a Subaru Recall update there is a certain Letter & number givin to the ECU which tells subaru it was a different subaru re-flash.

There is a product that many of you use that saves the original CID/CVN #s. Open source and other means of tuning wont save these numbers. As far as I know there is only one product out there that saves these numbers and has software to re-flash those Factory #s back to the ECU. If you open source tune or use other lap-top tuning software the CID & CVN #s are erased and show up as ########.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #16
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^Are you talking about the AP unmarry?
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:07 PM   #17
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my questions to the OP is at what miles did you do a stage 1 tune?
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flk View Post
^Are you talking about the AP unmarry?
As far as I understand the AP dumps the entire ECU to its flash memory and when you *uninstall* it pushes 100% of that data back onto the ECU.

Cobb says the dealer cannot determine if it has been tinkered with... but who knows if that is true.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
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^Are you talking about the AP unmarry?
refer to the following quote below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisBits View Post
As far as I understand the AP dumps the entire ECU to its flash memory and when you *uninstall* it pushes 100% of that data back onto the ECU.

Cobb says the dealer cannot determine if it has been tinkered with... but who knows if that is true.
I didnt say this
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Old 05-06-2012, 10:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisBits View Post
Cobb says the dealer cannot determine if it has been tinkered with... but who knows if that is true.
It's my understanding that they can't tell the ECU has been modified, but what they can see is that the flash counts (number of times of the ECU has been reflashed) on the ECU don't match the number they have in their system. Now if Cobb has come up with a way modify the flash counts, that would be news to me.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #21
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Here's an email from Christian at COBB from 2006 that I found...

Quote:
*Background:*
Since 2002, Subaru ECU's with OBD2 have the ability to report their CID
values. In 2005, Subaru added CVN and VIN reporting as well. What does
this all mean?

*CID stands for Calibration Identification Number. *
The CID is basically the software version number for the software and
calibration data stored on the ECU. We've basically referred to this by
using the ECU part number for simplicity. For example, a 2002 WRX with
an ECU part number 22611AF424 we've referred to as "AF424". This is
also what we've called the "ECU Identifier" in our Map Manager
software. In reality, the actual CID value does not match in any way
the part number displayed on the case. We simply use the part numbers
as its easier for the end user. Any OBD-II scanner should have the
ability to poll the ECU for this value, as well as the Subaru Select
Monitor II and the newest Subaru Select Monitor III. When the
AccessPORT is installed, or uninstalled, the CID reported is always a
valid Subaru version number for that vehicle.

*CVN stands for Calibration Verification Number. *
The CVN is basically a "check sum" of the data stored on the ECU. This
is used to determine if the data on the ECU has been corrupted or
changed. If someone is to change the data, like we do when the
AccessPORT is installed, the reported CVN will be different than
normal. Any OBD-II Scanner can return the CVN from an ECU that supports
this function. The Subaru Select Monitor II and III can also read this
data. The big difference between the SSM II and III now is the reported
ability for the SSM III to tell the technician if the CVN is valid for
the CID or not. Basically, does the Check Sum value match what it
should be for that version of ECU software. Remember, the CVN will
change with each software revision. If a technician were to check for
this manually, like they would when using the SSM II or any OBD-II
scanner, they would have to know what the CVN should be for each given
software revision (CID) for each vehicle. That represents around 200+
possible combinations for Subarus sold in the USA since 2002. Not very
likely to be memorized, but it is possible the SSM III could store this
data for the technician and check automatically. That's not proven,
just a known possibility given readily available technology.
When the AccessPORT is installed, it changes the CVN so it no longer
matches the valid value for the CID. This is required because we are
altering data in the ECU. If the CVN is not correct for the new data,
the ECU will fail its internal check and not run because it thinks it
data is bad. So, we are forced to alter the CVN if we want the ECU to
run with the new data. That means we're not changing the CVN for the
sake of changing it, we have to in order for the ECU to operate.
When the AccessPORT is uninstalled (Reverted to stock), the CVN
_*matches*_ the CID.

*VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number.
*The VIN is a unique number given to each vehicle sold. This data is
not currently stored on the ECU, and it not something we alter or change
in any way. This was added by Subaru on 2005 models. If you change the
ECU in these cars to another vehicle, it will not alter the VIN.

*Subaru Select Monitor III
*The new Subaru Select Monitor (III/3/Three) is a PC based system just
released in the past few months to dealers only. We have had dealers
testing the new SSM-III on vehicles with AccessPORTs installed and there
is no compatibility issues. Normal diagnosis, etc can be performed. However, due to the fact that the new SSM-III is software based, it will
be easy and quite plausible for Subaru to change its function in the
field as necessary. Thus, its functionality will always be evolving.

If a current or potential AccessPORT user is concerned about their
vehicle's compatibility with the new SSM-III, it is advised they Revert
To Stock before any dealer visits. In this instance, all ECU data will
be stock and there should never be any compatibility issues, current or
future.

The new SSM-III also gives the dealership the ability to reprogram the
ECUs at will. In the event this is done to perform an update and the
customer has not uninstalled their AccessPORT, the special "key" stored
on the ECU that lets their particular AccessPORT work on their ECU will
be erased by the SSM-III reflash. In this event, the AccessPORT will no
longer work with their ECU or any other ECU until returned for service.

Finally, there is no evidence that Subaru ECUs or tools have the ability
to determine how many reflashes of the ECU have occurred. There is no
known counter mechanism employed, nor any evidence that such a system
sits in-line with the ECU to capture this data. The reflash process is
very sensitive already, it would seem a recipe for disaster to try and
employ additional complexity.

Hope that helps...and thank Trey for this clarification. I am just cutting and pasting

Take care,
Christian.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:13 PM   #22
sanguines
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da ba dee da ba dye

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Originally Posted by nightdown fox View Post
Here's an email from Christian at COBB from 2006 that I found...
This should be a sticky/required reading!
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:15 PM   #23
UK-Wagon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMax View Post
It's my understanding that they can't tell the ECU has been modified, but what they can see is that the flash counts (number of times of the ECU has been reflashed) on the ECU don't match the number they have in their system. Now if Cobb has come up with a way modify the flash counts, that would be news to me.
false, doent exist that im aware of. My software doesnt even tell me any of that using the Subaru Select Monitor III. Just tells you the current CID and CVN #.

read the last part of the Quote from Christan.

Last edited by UK-Wagon; 05-07-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:29 PM   #24
STGuy
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If the normal person can not tell you have ring land failure trade the car back into the dealership for another one and let it be their problem
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:18 AM   #25
MaddMax
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Originally Posted by UK-Wagon View Post
false, doent exist that im aware of. My software doesnt even tell me any of that using the Subaru Select Monitor III. Just tells you the current CID and CVN #.

read the last part of the Quote from Christan.
Interesting because the service manager at my Subaru dealership say they can tell that the ECU has been tampered with by looking at the CVN. Since you're a tech and obviously quite knowledgable, now I don't know who to believe Thanks for this posting up.
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