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Old 07-22-2003, 02:13 AM   #51
Zeta
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Let your dealer know IF you are experiencing detonation (NOT ALL CARS EXHIBIT IT!), and they will help you resolve the issue after testing and verification. If they aren't already up to speed on the issue, have them contact their regional rep for more information.
This is great news. But how is everyone to even know that they have detonation in their STi? What about those owners that have never owned a turbo vehicle or owned a car with det or visit the internet? I personally have been trying to figure out if I have had det since Glenns first "Fess up about STi det problems!!" post. I had not heard anything like it in my car at the time I had listened to the <12 gear steep hill.wav> file from that thread. It wasn't until a few days later on a 100 degree day here in Colorado on 91 (all that is available with out driving 30+ miles) that I heard the pinging, it was only audible because I knew what to listen for and had the radio off. Could it have been due to bad gas and the heat, who knows, but it happened today again for the second time. The first time I took it in to the dealer but it was not reproducible. Just didn't have time today.

I think SOA would want to check out each car first hand, otherwise they will might be replacing the engines of those ignorant to the fact later on down the road. Why wouldn't this be a recall?

I know it will all get worked out and I have owned a Subaru now for about five years since the first 98RS came out here in the states. So I am not too worried. I just wish there was a better solution than me dropping the STi off for several days. I have been happy with the STi since day one, worried a bit with all the det talk, but then again I think my det is minor in comparison to some.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:23 AM   #52
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Originally posted by Zeta

I think SOA would want to check out each car first hand,
Why? Why not just have the Ecu reflashed? How are they supposed to determine whether you experience det if you can't?
Do they use 91 octane or 94? Do they drive the car in 100 degree heat, put it on a dyno? Waste of time. Just have the Ecu reflashed.

The real issues then become:
Does the Ecu reflash work...for those who have problems, and does it reduce power and if so how much?

They need to measure crank hp with the Ecu reflash and release new hp numbers if need be. If there is no loss of power and torque then they also need to say so.....speculation will be rampant until they do.

Lastly they deserve credit for jumping on the problem fairly quickly, though I still wonder how this issue managed to slip thru quality control.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:35 AM   #53
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Lastly they deserve credit for jumping on the problem fairly quickly, though I still wonder how this issue managed to slip thru quality control.
This may not have slipped through Quality Control. In big business Production always has the last word on whether or not the product gets shipped.
Were there any reports of det./pinging in any of the magazine articles? How about all of the test drives in California where the highest octane is 91? Do you think the STi's had something other than 91 in them for the test?
Quality Control can only report the issues. They can interrupt production to down machinery for repairs, but there isn't any further power in the department concerning production.
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:37 AM   #54
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Originally posted by deadbolt
Ya know, some of you guys are absolutely impossible to satisfy.

Some complained that the car didn't have a radio, then everyone was up in arms about the det issue, demanding an immediate fix, so SOA rushed to get it done, and now we still have people complaining about the "way" they are going about fixing it.
If this is directed at my comment, I won't apologize for it. It's great that they're fixing the problem. It's still pretty inconvenient to have to leave your brand new car at the dealer's lot for several days while they mail your ECU out to be reflashed. If there's a problem, I think it's a much better customer service system to ship 20 or so floating ECU's out to dealers, which would allow them to replace the ECU's on the fly, then send that ECU back to be reflashed, and sent to the next car on the list.

Discussing the best way to handle these things is a great way to send SOA a message on how to best satisfy their customers. The cost of shipping these 20 ECU's out to set up a rotating system would be peanuts. And, once all of the cars have been reflashed, if they are so inclined, they could reclaim the 20 floating ECU's for new production, or keep them as inventory for replacements.

Like I said, I have a daily driver, so it doesn't inconvenience me too much to leave my new baby at the dealer for a week. There are a bunch of STi owners who don't have a smokin' hot 96 Altima(no flames, please) to drive in addition to the STi. This small gesture would really go a long way to developing owner trust and loyalty.

Problems happen, especially with brand new cars. The first run finds problems that can't be uncovered in prototyping, and I'm not complaining about that. But, the way these problems are handled is the very definition of customer service.

bottom line: it's great that they're fixing it. It would be even better if they made a slight change to their plan to get the fix to people faster, with less inconvenience.
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Old 07-22-2003, 09:27 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cndchronic
I've got roughly 2400 kms on my car now and heard quite a bit of pre det. Especialy under heavy boost ( 3rd, 4th gear and 60kph) the best I have up here is 92octane. Since I changed my intake the pre det seem to have disappered all together. Could be a combination of things but that intake is sure restricting. What a difference. Who Knows?
Which aftermarket intake are you now using? When you say, "what a difference", do you mean in performance or just the elimination of det.?
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:07 AM   #56
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When the WRX reflash came about, some of the larger dealers sent in an ECM from stock to get reflashed and used it to give quick turnaround. I doubt that will happen with the STi because of thw low number per dealer.

I actually count being without the car for a few days as a minor inconvenience, given that I get a loaner.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:29 AM   #57
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Glenn -

Yes, a loaner definitely makes it a minor inconvenience, if every ECU reflash is given that treatment.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:55 AM   #58
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Why? Why not just have the Ecu reflashed? How are they supposed to determine whether you experience det if you can't?
I guess my point was that maybe SOA could hook up a listening device or sensor to detect/hear the det that is not easily audible. I agree that the ECU's should be reflashed.
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Old 07-22-2003, 01:00 PM   #59
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I'll only take loaner if it is a Forester XT (2.5 Turbo). 13.8 quarter mile in a wagon sounds like fun.
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Old 07-22-2003, 02:52 PM   #60
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I can understand why SOA may prefer to only have one ECU out for reflash - it's cheaper. SOA saves on materials and labor costs, and makes the dealers (some making a good profit on the STi, and others making a killing) fork over the money for loaner cars and warranty service.

If someone was making that much money off of my work product by adding a greasy handshake, smile, and possibly some undercoating, I would expect them to do the same thing. IMHO, the dealers should be forking over the cash to have SOA send them the equipment and software for reflashing the ECU. But hell is still on fire so that won't happen.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:04 PM   #61
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Originally posted by VVVV
IMHO, the dealers should be forking over the cash to have SOA send them the equipment and software for reflashing the ECU.
let me get this straight....you think the dealers should buy the equipment to reflash the defective ECU's because it's the dealer's fault somehow?

Sorry, but the dealers clearly aren't the guilty party here. No busting on Subaru, because it seems they're trying to handle the problem as best they can. But, it's clearly their problem, not the dealer's problem.

I would hope that Subaru is picking up the tab for the loaners, also, as this is not a dealership specific service issue, but rather a product line defect.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:09 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally posted by robmarch
bottom line: it's great that they're fixing it. It would be even better if they made a slight change to their plan to get the fix to people faster, with less inconvenience.
Here's my thought. It takes a while to get from the point of finding a fix and shifting production to actually start making fixed ECUs. Someone said they should have shipped out 20 instead of using one. Maybe it takes them a week or two to produce 20 (whether they have to retool the ecu production or they just have too much red tape). Well, would you rather wait those two weeks for every dealer to get one, or would you rather send in your ECU and have it done within one week?

For some people, they'd rather not have the car for a week if it means having it fixed in a week, instead of having to wait 2 weeks (or more) for their dealer to be able to do it. For those of you that think having your car in the shop for a week is too much, then just wait for a month or so until your dealer can do it locally.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:17 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by robmarch


let me get this straight....you think the dealers should buy the equipment to reflash the defective ECU's because it's the dealer's fault somehow?

Sorry, but the dealers clearly aren't the guilty party here. No busting on Subaru, because it seems they're trying to handle the problem as best they can. But, it's clearly their problem, not the dealer's problem.

I would hope that Subaru is picking up the tab for the loaners, also, as this is not a dealership specific service issue, but rather a product line defect.
Sorry, I was a bit overzealous with the commentary. I don't believe the dealers should have to pay for an SOA mistake, I just understand why they would want to do it as cheaply as possible, especially when the pinging is not a universal issue.

It is no offense intended to you, but I am very biased against car dealers, just like I am against real estate agents. And I am even more disgusted by the fact that they make the most money on the cars that sell themselves, especially when you aren't allowed a test drive, which IMHO is the only reasonable purpose for dealers to exist in the first place. But this is a different rant for a different day, and I apologise for mentioning it in this thread.
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Old 07-22-2003, 05:13 PM   #64
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So, as someone on Page 2 of this asked, and since I'm in a similar situation (waiting on my August STi delivery)

Are the new cars already flashed?
Or may we still have to take them in and get them reflashed (ver 1.2? 2.0? whatver) *IF* they show signs of detonation?
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Old 07-22-2003, 06:26 PM   #65
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When they do the PDI, you can ask them to check the ECM version with the SSM. If it is not the latest, then they can schedule you for an update.
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Old 07-22-2003, 06:51 PM   #66
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I talked to my dealer today and they said they will do the reflash only if the check engine light comes on. =(
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Old 07-22-2003, 06:57 PM   #67
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Jeez guys, get a grip. Every dealer has the ability to flash ECM updates in some capacity. The key problem is that there is only ONE flash cartridge in the country to perform such an update. It's not a matter of purchasing the equipment... the dealerships already own the equipment. The software is simply not available to execute the flash, for a variety of reasons.

I'm simply amazed that Subaru is offering a flash update at all. We should be down on our knees thanking them profusely, not bitching about the wait or the way things are being handled.

Remember, in order to offer such an update, that update has to be tested and approved through the NHTSA and the EPA before it can be released. Any change to the emissions control on a vehicle has to be completely retested by the government and get its rubber stamp before it can be released to the public. The legal ramifications of such a change are mindboggling in their scope. It's absolutely incredible that Subaru has been able to respond to this issue as rapidly as they have done.

-Porter

Last edited by Porter; 07-22-2003 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 07-22-2003, 08:50 PM   #68
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Originally posted by pbuckley
I talked to my dealer today and they said they will do the reflash only if the check engine light comes on. =(
thats bs. go call your regional serivce rep and complain. then go to a different dealer, because the previous one will probably beat the p*ss out of your car when you bring it in next.

sorry to the dealers out there, but c'mon- you wonder why dealers have a bad rap? seriously...
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Old 07-22-2003, 09:49 PM   #69
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Originally posted by Porter


I'm simply amazed that Subaru is offering a flash update at all. We should be down on our knees thanking them profusely, not bitching about the wait or the way things are being handled.
Do you work for Subaru? The way you defend them, it seems like it. Sorry, but I'm not amazed in the slightest. SOA isn't stupid, they've obviously had hundreds of complaints. It's in their best interest to scramble like never before in order to resolve the issue and minimize the potential damage that could result if word gets out to the media/public that these cars have a problem. No, I am not amazed a company wants to avoid catastrophe or at least serious financial harm.

Quote:
Originally posted by Porter


Remember, in order to offer such an update, that update has to be tested and approved through the NHTSA and the EPA before it can be released. Any change to the emissions control on a vehicle has to be completely retested by the government and get its rubber stamp before it can be released to the public. The legal ramifications of such a change are mindboggling in their scope. It's absolutely incredible that Subaru has been able to respond to this issue as rapidly as they have done.

-Porter
Nope, my mind isn't boggled one bit. After realizing (...maybe 4-6 weeks ago?) that there was indeed a real problem, SOA probably started to scramble then. It probably took them 2-30 hours to design a remap of the ECM. The rest of this time was probably spent with NHTSA and EPA, approving the remap.

The only time a big business company will scramble harder is if there is a safety issue. But either way, it's all about money...and nothing that we should be down on our knees thanking them for. They have their own best interest in mind.

And like Ford had to in case of the Cobra ('00 or '01 model year?), when the car only made about 305 hp instead of the advertised 320 - they had to do a recall to provide a bunch of new parts...throttle body, chip...someone help me here, what else? Anyway, I'm willing to bet that the remap doesn't affect power, otherwise, they'll have to do the same as Ford. Myself, I bought the car specifically because it has all of 300 hp.
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Old 07-22-2003, 10:29 PM   #70
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It may well be that the car makes less power on 91 but then the figures I believe were quoted for >= 93 AKI.

In any event, not living somewhere where I can fill up on 93 or 94 every day, I would prefer the durability.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:02 PM   #71
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STiBro,,How long have you been around the Subaru community?I think what Porter is saying is,,this is damn fast for Subaru and I agree with him.As many of us know Subaru has a history of dragging their feet on issues like this that goes way back.For them to step up this fast with a fix or even admit that there is a problem is a pleasent surprise.
I do agree that the initial plan here for the reflash is inconveniant to some and yeah it's a new car yada yada,,but hey it's better then waiting 4 years to find out the clutch you replaced and payed for in your RS,,,,,,, is now covered under warranty
my two cents
Rudy
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:15 AM   #72
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I agree that this is pretty fast response time, probably aided by the fact that Subaru is a pretty small company, with a well focused group dedicated to the STi.

I'm nitpicking the delivery strategy, but I think the quick response is commendable.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:09 AM   #73
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No, I don't work for SoA. All I'm trying to point out is that for Subaru to change the ECM programming and get it approved by the EPA so rapidly is amazing. Changes that go through the EPA approval process are infamous for their delay times, often more than half a year in the process, and sometimes longer than that. Realize that if Subaru changed something in the engine management system and it later was shown to negatively affect emissions in any way, Subaru could (and would) be charged up to $10,000 per car in fines from the federal government. If something like that happened, there would probably be no more STi.

In the past I've been one of Subaru's biggest critics, over the years I have accused them of dropping the ball on all kinds of things, for example the old threads on the ABS problem in the WRX. But in this case, I think they've stepped up and done the right thing. It's nice to see forthright response like this from a company that doesn't have a perfect track record of responding to owner complaints. It makes me feel pretty good about owning one myself, and helps justify the efforts that I (and many of us who were around from before the Impreza-RS.com days) have made over the years to promote the ownership experience in the enthusiast community.
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:14 AM   #74
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It was the '99 Model year. They messed it up so bad they didn't have a 2000 model for the Cobra. They got it almost right in 2001 by increasing the compression ratio, among other things. Guess what, it caused pinging!!!!

They never did anything about it. I should know, I have one. It pings under load in 3rd. Not bad and not all the time. Some guys had melted/pitted pistons. Ford just handled them on a case by case basis. What subaru is doing is great!
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Old 07-23-2003, 10:56 AM   #75
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Porter or deadbolt, supposedly one can log into Subarunet, scroll down the left side of the screen to 'Service' and then select 'Control Unit Reprogramming' from the dropdown box and this will open and allow you access to tables that will list reprogramming availability. I was curious whether there is any entry for the STi there yet and, if so, what does its description say?
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