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Old 06-17-2013, 11:04 PM   #1
dennisd
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Default Subie Reflash recall question-regarding past mods installed

Please excuse another new thread on the Subie re-flash recall topic, I've searched past threads and haven't found an answer for my question..

I have a 2012 WRX with a Cobb Air intake, Cobb downpipe and a tuner who performed an "open source" tune flashing, as it was explained to me.

I 'd like to go to my Subie dealer and have the ECU reflash performed as they keep sending me E-mails telling me it's really needed and I feel they will do it eventually as part of an future service visit and screw up my mod settings.

I was hoping I could KEEP the downpipe and air box on (don't care dealer see's it I'll worry about engine warranty when it happens) have the tuner return the chip to stock, do the ECU reflash at the dealer and have the tuner re-flash the chip to the mod settings.
Tuner guy said if I drove the car even a few days with stock settings with the downpipe and air box on, I would damage the engine. Really?? I figured I wouldn't get the best performance but it wouldn't damage the car the turbo just would run on lower boost. What do you think? I know the recall isn't "mandatory" but I'm afraid someone at the service desk will slip it in and then screw up the ECU..Please help..Dennis
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
Tuner guy said if I drove the car even a few days with stock settings with the downpipe and air box on, I would damage the engine. Really??
There is your answer. It is his job to keep his customer's cars running. You think he would bull**** you? What does he have to gain? Are you really willing to gamble your $5k+ stock engine for this?

If you are tuned stage 2 why do you want the OEM reflash? It will do nothing. It will be overwritten as soon as you flash stage 2 again.

There is no need for the OEM tune if you are already flashed stage 2.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:10 PM   #3
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Just tell dealership to not reflash it because you tuned it. Because you did?

Or, be a lying tool and 'put your car back to stock' when you have an issue.

I just told my dealership straight up to never flash it and we were great for over 100k miles.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:27 PM   #4
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Please excuse another guy that doesn't understand tuning...... Really??
YES! Listen to your tuner.

Last edited by 575rider; 06-17-2013 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:36 PM   #5
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OK,OK I do trust the tuner, I just was hoping to get this ECU recall thing behind me and didn't know if running the car with stock ECU settings with down pipe and air box would screw it up. I know it never was a danger with my S4 when I used a stock chip with those mods, at least temporarily. To answer JSchell, I WAS only going to keep the OEM settings for the dealer to do the recall flash, then I was gonna go back to the stage2 tune. Napalm3nema, I agree, the dealership should never flash the car if I told him, but what if he says it was a mandatory recall? and what if the mechanic working on your car just does it? That's never happened to owners before? Has anyone developed engine trouble after the settings returned to stock?
Here's another question, would the chip return to "stock" values after open source tuning was "overwritten" with a dealer flashing? Someone said the "stock" values are removed and must be reprogrammed by the "tuner" It was a whole lot easier with just swapping proms in Audi..I wish I used the Cobb setup, would be a lot less dependent on the tuner. Am I wrong here?
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:46 PM   #6
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Subaru wants to reflash your ECU to a safer tune, for a STOCK motor. You have an intake and dp, that's not stock.
Your tuner tuned the ECU to run safely with your mods. So, yes, reflashing the ECU back to stock would delete your current tune. You'd run extremely lean, lean blows motors.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:47 PM   #7
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What is this ecu reflash, and why wasn't I told about it? What was changed in the ecu?
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:05 AM   #8
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What is this ecu reflash, and why wasn't I told about it? What was changed in the ecu?
Call your closest dealer, make an appt., only if your car is bone stock. Or, do a search and read up.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:07 AM   #9
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Well put, guess i'll put that question to rest. OK, lets play out a real possible scenario I tell dealer to never flash my chip, and he does. Will I go back to stock settings? Now, how do i transport the car.. If I used thecobb mods I could just rpreprograh it at the dealerand drive awaw
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:06 AM   #10
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Yes, if the ECU is reflashed to stock parameters, you lose your current tune. You'd drive away not realizing it, you wouldn't think "I got my oil changed, how do I transport my car now." No, you'd get in and go wherever you're going.

Tell the Service Mgr not to reflash your car, the notes should be on the estimate work order. Picking up the car verify it wasn't reflashed. I think a reflash would be on the finished work order too, but not certain. Your original note not to refash should definitely be on the finished work order.

In all actuality, if they pop your hood for any work, they're going to see the intake and most likely downpipe. Should clue them in your car is tuned and they wouldn't want to give it a stock tune. Half the techs had modded cars at the dealership I went to in Portland. They know how these cars work. I'm sure there are some dumb techs out there though.

You're way over thinking this!

Last edited by 575rider; 06-18-2013 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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If you're that paranoid: talk to your tuner and request that he send you a copy of the map (assuming you have your own tactrix and laptop). Take your laptop and cable with you every time you go to pick the car up for service, and reflash the ecu to your stage 2 map every time. Is it ideal, no.

If you tell your service department that you are modded and have an aftermarket tune, they should honor your wish not to reflash....but, **** happens.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:13 PM   #12
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I've only been to the dealer for 2 services so they're new to me too, but going to have them put it up on my work order all the time..When I had my Audi, I just swapped computers if I needed major work, the stock worked fine for the downpipe and air box mods , just saw the boost was down.
Not only can the dealer lose my tune but I can damage the engine if they do?.. why hasn't there been more f## ups posted? There must be owners who have tune work done and don't have a clue about this potential problem..
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:28 PM   #13
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Since you had it tuned you never have to worry about the stock tune because it isn't on there. You are fine now and don't have to worry about any of that reflash stuff.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:30 PM   #14
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Some state (cali) required you to have that reflash in order to pass emission as it has to do with emission.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
I've only been to the dealer for 2 services so they're new to me too, but going to have them put it up on my work order all the time..When I had my Audi, I just swapped computers if I needed major work, the stock worked fine for the downpipe and air box mods , just saw the boost was down.
Not only can the dealer lose my tune but I can damage the engine if they do?.. why hasn't there been more f## ups posted? There must be owners who have tune work done and don't have a clue about this potential problem..
I had the same concern initially, but then I spoke with the mechanics, and they are SUBARU mechanics. So they can easily spot your downpipe or CAI and know right off that you are probably tuned. They even gave me an odd look when I asked not to be flashed and said 'Yeah we figured since you're not stock'.

Still mention it to the service advisor when you drop it off each time, but outside of that you should be fine.
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Old 06-18-2013, 12:42 PM   #16
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^ Yeah there is no reason to lie to them as they'll now you have non oem parts anyway.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #17
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FYI - not every parameter in the ECU gets changed when you tune the car...

My dealer reflashed my car when my CEL went off, and it was to fix a misfire issue.

If I were you I would get the reflash done as it fixes some misfire issues. However, that means removing the downpipe, etc. to prevent beating on your ringlands between the stock tune and the reflash by your tuner.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JSchell1309 View Post
If you are tuned stage 2 why do you want the OEM reflash? It will do nothing. It will be overwritten as soon as you flash stage 2 again.

There is no need for the OEM tune if you are already flashed stage 2.
+1

If you take it in and have it flashed, when you load your custom tune back in it will overwrite the recall calibration anyway and you'll have the exact same parameters you have right now. Why bother? All you'd be accomplishing there is driving your car back home on an inappropriate tune for your current setup and risk damaging your motor. The recall flash is assuming that your car is 100% stock.

Your only other option is to reinstall ALL of your stock parts, take it in for the recall, then go home and swap all your parts back in and reload your tune. And that just seems like a MASSIVE waste of time and energy.
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Old 06-18-2013, 04:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by luan87us View Post
Some state (cali) required you to have that reflash in order to pass emission as it has to do with emission.


this is the case for me. after i did the reflash i had some piece of paper that i am to carry witht he car indicating that flash was done; emmissions related, and required for me to re-register.

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Old 06-18-2013, 05:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mejifair View Post
FYI - not every parameter in the ECU gets changed when you tune the car...

My dealer reflashed my car when my CEL went off, and it was to fix a misfire issue.

If I were you I would get the reflash done as it fixes some misfire issues. However, that means removing the downpipe, etc. to prevent beating on your ringlands between the stock tune and the reflash by your tuner.
If there was a misfire issue with the stock map it was likely "fixed" by adjusting one of the big 3: air, fuel, or timing. Maybe spark. These are the main parameters the tuner has already adjusted for his mods. If you're tuned, the stock map or anything the dealer would flash is pretty much worthless.
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Old 06-18-2013, 05:15 PM   #21
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this is the case for me. after i did the reflash i had some piece of paper that i am to carry witht he car indicating that flash was done; emmissions related, and required for me to re-register.

Same here. I've heard that they just let your car idle for 20 minutes, and then give you the slip of paper...

I guess I'll just take the tune off, have them do it, and then re-flash stage 2.

But if they need / want to drive it, I'll swap DP's.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:15 PM   #22
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As Jpatt said use your laptop and tactrix to pull your current map and take the car in. When you go to pick up the car bring your tactrix and laptop with you and flash your tuned map back on to the ecu in the parking lot.

The reason you don't hear about more dealer mishaps is because this is what people with os and ap tunes do if they need to get an ecu update.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:21 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisd View Post
I have a 2012 WRX with a Cobb Air intake, Cobb downpipe and a tuner who performed an "open source" tune flashing, as it was explained to me.

I 'd like to go to my Subie dealer and have the ECU reflash performed as they keep sending me E-mails telling me it's really needed and I feel they will do it eventually as part of an future service visit and screw up my mod settings.

I was hoping I could KEEP the downpipe and air box on (don't care dealer see's it I'll worry about engine warranty when it happens) have the tuner return the chip to stock, do the ECU reflash at the dealer and have the tuner re-flash the chip to the mod settings.
Tuner guy said if I drove the car even a few days with stock settings with the downpipe and air box on, I would damage the engine. Really?? I figured I wouldn't get the best performance but it wouldn't damage the car the turbo just would run on lower boost. What do you think? I know the recall isn't "mandatory" but I'm afraid someone at the service desk will slip it in and then screw up the ECU..Please help..Dennis
The WRQ-39 Service Campaign is mandatory in states which have adopted CARB vehicle emissions standards. Some states, notably California, won't let you renew your registration if there are any such campaigns outstanding for your car. SOA has to make quarterly progress reports to authorities and leans heavily on its dealers to put up good numbers. You might find that a dealer won't handle an unrelated warranty issue (e.g. rattle or leak) until he can first complete the WRQ-39 service campaign.

If your only significant mods are an airbox and downpipe (i.e. you're still using stock turbo and injectors), then the stock ECU settings can easily accommodate those changes after a period of "learning" new fuel trims, which might take a few days. After learning is complete, you won't have any issues if you drive normally such that the ECU operates in "closed loop" fueling (i.e. you don't go wide-open-throttle). Your tuner's warning that you would necessarily "damage the engine" using the original ECU settings indicates he's probably a moron and you've wasted whatever money you spent on your "tune."

Get the WRQ-39 reflash. Download the new ECU microcode image with your Tactrix and send it to your so-called tuner. Tell him to refit your "tune" to the new microcode image.

P.S. According to page 13 of http://techinfo.subaru.com/assets/re...ck_listing.pdf, the WRQ-39 reflash also addresses issues with P0128, P030* <misfire detection>, and P050A trouble codes. Just do it!

Last edited by Cocoa Beach Bum; 06-18-2013 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:24 PM   #24
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It's not rocket science.

Call the dealer and tell them you got sick of being badgered about it so you traded it for an Audi.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:08 PM   #25
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It's not rocket science.

Call the dealer and tell them you got sick of being badgered about it so you traded it for an Audi.
This advice is as useful as a bag of rocks.
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