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Old 02-17-2011, 07:16 AM   #1
nighthawk06si
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Default Cobb AP Stage 1 before or after break-in?

Didn't know whether to post this in the newbie & faqs section or here, but i guess i'd probably get more useful responses than criticism in here.

So basically I got the mod bug really bad and ordered the Cobb AP and the car hasn't arrive yet. I have read on NASIOC the 08+ stock tune is crap due to emission issues and what not but should i wait till after break-in to flash the stage 1 OTS map Cobb provides or just do it right after I drive the car off the lot?

Thanks.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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The re-flash will void your power train warranty and yes the dealer will know if they look at your ecm even if u re-flash back to stock. Wait a few months, make sure the car runs well and nothing needs under warranty repairs and then re-flash. Also subaru does not recommend driving the car hard during break in so what's the point of re-flashing right off the lot?
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonrider_99 View Post
The re-flash will void your power train warranty and yes the dealer will know if they look at your ecm even if u re-flash back to stock. Wait a few months, make sure the car runs well and nothing needs under warranty repairs and then re-flash. Also subaru does not recommend driving the car hard during break in so what's the point of re-flashing right off the lot?
Yeah i took those into factor when i was thinking about it, but everyone said the low end throttle response was better and everything so I just wanted you're guys opinion if it's worth it to say screw it to the warranty and flash it even tho if my tranny actually blew they couldn't really technically blame it on the ap...
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by moonrider_99 View Post
The re-flash will void your power train warranty and yes the dealer will know if they look at your ecm even if u re-flash back to stock. Wait a few months, make sure the car runs well and nothing needs under warranty repairs and then re-flash. Also subaru does not recommend driving the car hard during break in so what's the point of re-flashing right off the lot?
Reflashing the ECU does not "void" your power train warranty. They can deny specific claims if they have reasonable argument that a modification contributed to the failure.

Also, once the AccessPORT is uninstalled, the dealer cannot tell in any way, shape or form that the ECU has previously been tuned The ECU is returned to stock exactly as it left the dealership.

Best regards,
Lance
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:14 AM   #5
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I flashed to stage 1 last week and the power definitely has a smoother delivery and seems to not die off after 5500 rpm. Overall I am really impressed with the AP and am glad that gas mileage has stayed the same if I drive as I did when it was stock, only problem is that is very tempting to go into boost more often now!!
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:46 AM   #6
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You are the only one who can decide what level of risk you want to take with potential warranty claims. If you can make it invisible by uninstalling, I guess the risk is low, but there is always some debate over what the dealer may be able to surmise from looking at counters or other attributes that may be available in the ECU.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:51 PM   #7
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Warranty isn't what I'm really worried about, it's more of whether the stage 1 tune will effect breaking-in the car in any way... Like will the different fuel timings effect the way the rings will seal up or not is my main concern.

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't since it doesn't do any physical change to the way the pistons move but I just wanted to be sure and ask the more knowledgeable guys here like Lance who knows Subaru's engine management inside and out
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
Reflashing the ECU does not "void" your power train warranty. They can deny specific claims if they have reasonable argument that a modification contributed to the failure.
That's in theory, in reality, the dealer will give the COBB user hell for any drivetrain warranty work. And unless COBB wants to contact the dealership and argue about technical details the end result is that the owner is going to be on his/her own versus the dealer and SOA and will most likely loose. Dealer will just have to say that the car was flashed, therefore it was operating outside of factory specs and probably raced/abused. Good luck getting any repairs done!

This is not my first tuning experience and the moment there's anything aftermarket on a car, trouble starts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
Also, once the AccessPORT is uninstalled, the dealer cannot tell in any way, shape or form that the ECU has previously been tuned The ECU is returned to stock exactly as it left the dealership.
That's something outside of my field of expertise so I can't really argue with you but my service advisor (subaru dealership, always has been honest with me and does have some "tuning" experience) did warn me that they can find out about reflashed ECMs using their tools. I personally flashed a lot of electronic devices (motherboards, small electronics, etc.) and most of them retained a trace of the re-flash: date or a unique numerical integer, etc... I doubt subaru ecm is any different.

I think the OP has all the best intentions in the world but should really think twice before doing anything, these cars are not cheap. Sounds like he's a young guy with the tuning bug. ;-) With all respect (I love cobb products), I understand that COBB wants to push their products but I do not think this is the best advice for him.

Last edited by moonrider_99; 02-17-2011 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by moonrider_99 View Post
This is not my first tuning experience and the moment there's anything aftermarket on a car, trouble starts.

I think the OP has all the best intentions in the world but should really think twice before doing anything, these cars are not cheap. Sounds like he's a young guy with the tuning bug. ;-) With all respect (I love cobb products), I understand that COBB wants to push their products but I do not think this is the best advice for him.
Haha thanks for the long explanation moonrider, this isn't my first rodeo with tuning cars either. Before the wrx I had a 2006 Civic Si. My experience with dealerships and mods aren't as I've experienced with my friends Mazdaspeed 3, they basically gave him shiet for having a aftermarket tmic. Granted Honda wasn't as involved with tuning as Subaru's are because it's turbo-charged, it was more bolt-ons and boom power. no need to really tune cause the power to cost ratio was just not worth it for a n/a four-banger.

I do have the best intentions on doing everything right just like I did with my Si and i'm wouldn't really consider myself a young guy with this whole tuning scene. Been in it for quite a while, not like 20+ years experience tuning cars but i know enough to not be the one asking noobie questions before searching on forums and stuff haha.
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanM9 View Post
I flashed to stage 1 last week and the power definitely has a smoother delivery and seems to not die off after 5500 rpm. Overall I am really impressed with the AP and am glad that gas mileage has stayed the same if I drive as I did when it was stock, only problem is that is very tempting to go into boost more often now!!
thanks for the feedback Jordan
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb Tuning View Post
Reflashing the ECU does not "void" your power train warranty. They can deny specific claims if they have reasonable argument that a modification contributed to the failure.

Also, once the AccessPORT is uninstalled, the dealer cannot tell in any way, shape or form that the ECU has previously been tuned The ECU is returned to stock exactly as it left the dealership.

Best regards,
Lance
From my experience in the Honda scene, this is basically what i've learned with dealing with aftermarket parts and dealerships. they try to deny warranty claims but if the gears weren't working cause of an air intake system, both systems have no relations to each other so they can't deny warranty work on my tranny just because i had a intake in the car.

So many times people say this over and over but just because a dealership mentions that they know you have a aftermarket intercooler, doesn't mean that your warranty is completely void...
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:49 PM   #12
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how much was the AP?
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:16 PM   #13
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how much was the AP?
pm'd you
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by moonrider_99 View Post
That's in theory, in reality, the dealer will give the COBB user hell for any drivetrain warranty work. And unless COBB wants to contact the dealership and argue about technical details the end result is that the owner is going to be on his/her own versus the dealer and SOA and will most likely loose. Dealer will just have to say that the car was flashed, therefore it was operating outside of factory specs and probably raced/abused. Good luck getting any repairs done!

This is not my first tuning experience and the moment there's anything aftermarket on a car, trouble starts.
I definitely understand that it can be a sticky situation. The law regarding this is known as the Magnusson-Moss Act and is designed to protect consumers from deceptive warranty practices, including a denial of warranty fulfillment based upon unrelated circumstances. Sure, the dealer may not roll out the red carpet for an expensive repair on their dime, but the consumer has every right to pursue legal action if the dealership or manufacturer unrightfully denies a warranty claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonrider_99 View Post
That's something outside of my field of expertise so I can't really argue with you but my service advisor (subaru dealership, always has been honest with me and does have some "tuning" experience) did warn me that they can find out about reflashed ECMs using their tools. I personally flashed a lot of electronic devices (motherboards, small electronics, etc.) and most of them retained a trace of the re-flash: date or a unique numerical integer, etc... I doubt subaru ecm is any different.

I think the OP has all the best intentions in the world but should really think twice before doing anything, these cars are not cheap. Sounds like he's a young guy with the tuning bug. ;-) With all respect (I love cobb products), I understand that COBB wants to push their products but I do not think this is the best advice for him.
The ECU does not contain any unique identifiers that will be permanently changed or that can be recognized as altered after the AccessPORT is uninstalled -- we flash back the exact map that was read from the vehicle during the AP installation process and leave the ECU exactly as we found it. The ECU has no way to track dates...it doesn't have a clock; it cannot track how many times it has been flashed as there is no flash counter what-so-ever

If we're talking about while the AP is installed, sure, they can absolutely detect as such. Once the AP is uninstalled, however, to the very best of our knowledge, they have no tools (especially at the dealership level) that can detect that the ECU was previously flashed by an aftermarket tuner. However, we are always VERY interested to know what advanced detection methods the dealership or manufacturer is using, so we'd love that information if you have it available!

I am simply trying to dispel any myths and truthfully answer any questions about our products. If that results in an AP sale, great, if not, that's OK too

Regards,
Lance
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:33 AM   #15
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I would love to hear someone that has worked for Subaru about if they have any detection methods.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:09 PM   #16
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Lance, Thanks for the clarification. The "reflash counter" story has been floating around forums for years now, I have always bought into it.

I'm inclined to believe that other than checking stored code and data, the dealer doesn't have any tools available to look at boards and chips and guess how many times they have been flashed.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:38 PM   #17
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I love how people have no clue what they are talking about. Two myths that keep on going around on this forums is:

1. If you do a Cobb it will void your warranty.
2. that if you don't change the tune on your stock car from mile 1 off the showroom floor it will blow up.

First of all i know for a fact from a Subaru Service rep from corporate who handles warranty claims that if the cobb is uninstalled and put back to stock the dealer themselves have no way of telling if it was flashed before.

What they can do is if they suspect that it may have been flashed (usually because the car has other mods i.e. headers, dp, pulley) is send it off if Subaru requests it only. They would have to mail it to Subaru and then Subaru would have to open the ECU and do extensive searching to find that there was a different file on there before hand. Again they will not be able to tell what it was but they can see if it was changed. The dealers tool will not show that.

Now most people getting their warranty void either tell the dealer outright that there car is flashed, they leave it flashed without uninstalling the cobb, or their car is modded to the wazoo. Going into the dealer with a blown motor with a cat-less full exhaust, headers, injectors, and fuel pump will probably cause your warranty to be denied on any motor or turbo work.

If you have a showroom stock car and have had it flashed before they will not void your warranty.

And the second thing on this forum that people say has no basis and is completely untrue. Yes some motors blew up showroom stock but its a small percentage and the tune has its faults but not enough to blow up the motor.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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lol I am so darn glad I have a somewhat mod friendly dealer
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:16 PM   #19
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Sorry to bring up this old thread but I don't think the OP's question has been answered. Now I'm in the same situation and am looking for advice.

Is it better for the car to upgrade to Stage 1 before or after the break in period?

It would be great to get Cobb's position on this, too.

Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:40 PM   #20
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I would reccomend after but as long as your following the cars break in procedure it really doesnt matter.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:00 PM   #21
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How about the claim that the AP will reduce knock?
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:30 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by silletti View Post
Sorry to bring up this old thread but I don't think the OP's question has been answered. Now I'm in the same situation and am looking for advice.

Is it better for the car to upgrade to Stage 1 before or after the break in period?

It would be great to get Cobb's position on this, too.

Thanks.
You may hear different opinions on this, but, personally, I think it really doesn't matter as long as you are following the break-in guidelines. The biggest problem with the factory tune is the extended closed loop to open loop delay which can cause you to hold closed loop (i.e. stoichiometric AFR) well into boost. While our staged maps fix this, you shouldn't be seeing any notable levels of boost if you are following the break-in guidelines (i.e. no heavy throttle and keeping it under 4000 RPM). On the other hand, our stages maps will also run more boost than the factory tune, but, again, the difference won't be realized if you are following the break-in guidelines.

Bill
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:57 AM   #23
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Cobb. Just wanted to say.............your awsome.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #24
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Bill,

Thank you verymuch for your informative response. I will be sure to follow the break in guidelines and look forward to the gains the AP can provide when the car is ready.
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