Best Power Upgrades without voiding warranty? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Best Power Upgrades without voiding warranty?

ive done a few searches to no avail, sorry if this has already been posted. So, my question is, what are the more worthwhile power mods that wont void the warranty?

my insurance has approved a new exhaust and air intake, thats it so far.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 04:13 AM
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Go ask the dealer you would use for warranty work. It is what they would be comfortable with if you needed drivetrain warranty work. Honestly, the dealer you take it to is the one that makes the call. Some are very flexible and some are not at all. I would think if you purchased the parts from them and had them do the install they may be more likely to help you out down the line.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:42 AM
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I second GatorXT's advice... some dealers don't have problems with mods, other won't touch your car with a 10 foot pole. It's entirely up to them, so they're the people you need to ask.

As far as power upgrades, it's almost impossible to increase power on a turbocharged car without engine management. An intake will significantly increase noise levels in the cabin, but you won't gain much in terms of output unless you're tuned for it. With the exhaust you're pretty much limited to an axleback or catback system (a full turbo-back system can cause damage without proper EM), which, again, won't gain you much - if anything - in the power department. So a reflash is key to unlock the potential of the car, but in most cases that would be regarded as grounds to deny a warranty claim.

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'04 FXT 4EAT PSM - "Subed Up"
'98 S 4EAT DBP - "Slynki"
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:48 AM
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Having had a WRX for a few years, anything that is SPT or STI related that is sold by the dealer "Should" keep your warrenty but as others have said going with new filters and exhaust are a waste unless you are looking to go above 300hp and by doing that, you pretty much kiss your warrenty bye bye.

If you want, start with the handling, new tires, lighter wheels, See if any STI suspension parts will void the warrenty. Again , every dealer is different.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 09:55 AM
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Almost nothing.

By the letter of the warranty, you can only use the SPT intake/heatsheild and the SPT catback for power mods.

Any engine management, reflash or piggyback, any downpipe, an STI tmic, a different manifold (including an STI manifold), all of that voides all coverage of the engine, transmission, rear diff and axles.

The magg-moss act is irrelevant as any of those mods are designed to change the factory designed and intended power output, and the operating parameters of the motor. This means that almost any failure, in any of those systems, can very easily be attributed to the mods. And its incredibly easy to convince a judge (or in 99% of cases, the court arbitrator) that the mods had something to do with it.

Yes STI suspension parts void the warranty, if you are speaking of parts directly off an STI. The struts and springs in particular definately will due to the big ride height changes. At that point wheel bearings, all noises squeeks and rattles, the steering rack and tire wear can all be denied coverage.

Your insurance company could care less if you have 700whp. They wont not cover you. However, do not expect that they will cover the cost of the aftermarket parts in the event that your car is totalled. For this you must get a "stated value" policy, where you show documentation on the parts, and your vehicle is appraised, then insured for the correct value. This is expensive, but if you have 50k(including the price of the car) into your subaru (which isnt tough to do), and it gets totalled, its well worth it.

Bottom line, if you are concerned with warranty coverage, limit your mods to what is in the SPT/STI parts catalog that they have at the parts counter, and to parts specifically designed for the correct year and model you drive.

HOWEVER, some dealerships are willing to turn a blind eye to some mods. Some will cover about anything. Others follow the warranty policy to the letter. Dealerships that cover cars with mods that should have been denied per the policy, are taking a BIG chance, as if SOA catches it, they have to eat the cost of the repairs, AND they face big time scrutinization from the warranty people, which is a big PITA, and ends up getting legit warranty claims denied in some cases.

<< Worked as a subaru dealership tech, and as a subaru sales person.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 09:02 AM
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Warranty schmarranty

Know that this question has been asked many many times; you are in good company. I suggest you stop reading any mod-related threads on this forum, otherwise you are in for a serious problem, the slippery slope of mod addiction!

But seriously, I've been here for a good while now and there are MANY very new still under warranty cars here that are modded and still run great. It's only when you get crazy (a relative term) with the mods that engines start blowing up. I think in most cases a stage 1 or 2 car will actually run better than stock and last just as long or longer.

I had the same questions as you after buying such and expensive car, but what the heck, I threw caution to the wind and went for it. The people here (esp. including some who have responded to your question) know what they're talking about and you'll be safe following their advice.

So my .02 is you're not gonna get much if any power without voiding the warranty...but the experience and knowledge and history of those on this forum say that smart well-researched and properly installed power mods aren't going to cause any problems to your car.

Oh, and x2 to the person who suggested some suspension mods before power mods. Really, the power mods do improve the car, but the suspension mods (which are cheaper) change it more overall, very much so; if I could only do one I'd definitely absolutely do the suspension mods, they are going to give you the biggest overall improvement.

Good luck.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2008, 09:58 AM
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He is dead on right.

Safest, is bone stock. That way if it dies, you KNOW it will be covered.

But honestly

Turboback exh
Better manifold or header
Better up pipe
TD05-18G 8cm (there I go again )
Walbro fuel pump
650cc injectors (honestly you may not need these at the boost I recommend, its a case by case thing it seems. I didnt, most I talk to didnt, some do)
upgraded TMIC (STI or TXS, TXS is better, but STI will work ok. Perrin is nice but $$)
GOOD tune @17PSI peak tapering to say 14-15@redline.

The key is to not go crazy with the tune and boost pressures. 17PSI will be incredibly safe on this turbo, as long as the tune is good.

You will put out a good amount of power, and it should last almost forever. The tranny should also hold up just fine if you dont drive REALLY poorly. You dont even need to baby it. Just dont flat out abuse it. Well, you can abuse it, if you abuse it properly.
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