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2019 Forester Sport
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Hello Everyone,

Just got a Forester Sport. First Subaru.

Just exploring....
Has anyone successfully chipped a 2019 2.5 for the purpose of increased power?

Does it make sense or not?
What are the best chips for performance and reliablity.
Any good ones that plug into OBD2?
Any problems?


Steve
 

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1999 Forester S
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426 Posts
I won't get so down on you as others will for wanting to tune a M/A Subaru, but honestly, more power is why there are turbo engines...

"Chips" are a carryover term from when fuel injection computers used flashable ROMs to store their programs. You could buy reprogrammed chips to replace the ROM in your car's ECU. That hasn't been a thing since the mid-90's.

These days you simply reflash the onboard memory of the ECU with a new program.

That said, a retuned ECU won't net you much in the way of power unless you've made significant investments in other areas of the engine. Camshafts, high compression pistons, blueprinting, etc. will run you many thousands of dollars and might net you an additional 40 hp after a custom tune. That's less power than if you'd just bought an '18 XT from the get-go.

Not saying it's not worth it, but it's not a wise path to go down unless you're committed.
 

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2019 Forester Sport CVT
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540 Posts
I had a 2009 Forester that I chipped. I noticed a little difference, but not much. I also added an intake. That made a difference. Then lastly I added an STI dual exhaust with Magnaflows. No difference off the line but a Big difference at 60mph and up when passing or going uphill. I woulg guess that these three modz gave me about 6HP.

However, my 2019 Sport is way faster off the line and at speed with no engine modz. I really don't see why you need any more power, but I guess it really matters on what you compare it too. My 09 was truly sluggish and needed more power. The 19 is great in comparison so I do not feel the need to make that mod. And everyone here knows that it does not take much for me to get excited and modifiy something.:nerd:
 

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As was said above...CHIPS for a SUBARU are a scam. A true tune requires ECU programming and one is not offered for the 19 Forester and, most likely, will not be since it's not a turbo engine.
 

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2020 Subaru Forester Sport - Ice Silver Metallic, Option pkg 24.
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Chips are scams in this day and age with all these well-invested tuning hardware/software companies.
I have a 2015 BMW X5 twin scroll turbo that produces 300 hp/ 300 tq stock.. I've upgraded it with a BMW flash tune that adds 23 HP and 25 tq. I've also added an aftermarket Racechip tune ( $650 ) and based on the dyno results its not a scam. What this chip does is trick the ECU to thinking more boost is needed thus increasing the HP and TQ.

Will a chip tune work for a naturally aspirated engine? Absolutely not...
But a chip is not a scam.
 

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I have a 2015 BMW X5 twin scroll turbo that produces 300 hp/ 300 tq stock.. I've upgraded it with a BMW flash tune that adds 23 HP and 25 tq. I've also added an aftermarket Racechip tune ( $650 ) and based on the dyno results its not a scam. What this chip does is trick the ECU to thinking more boost is needed thus increasing the HP and TQ.

Will a chip tune work for a naturally aspirated engine? Absolutely not...
But a chip is not a scam.
Can we just delete this thread and give a solid warning to all users that use the word or say it's not a scam?

Lets start over with ECU Tune, computer tune or some variation of the proper term.

Back on topic, an aftermarket tune is possible, but not sure any company has done it yet. The performance gains will be small and probably not worth the money.
 

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2001 Forester STi 6spd with MapDCCD
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I have a 2015 BMW X5 twin scroll turbo that produces 300 hp/ 300 tq stock.. I've upgraded it with a BMW flash tune that adds 23 HP and 25 tq. I've also added an aftermarket Racechip tune ( $650 ) and based on the dyno results its not a scam. What this chip does is trick the ECU to thinking more boost is needed thus increasing the HP and TQ.

Will a chip tune work for a naturally aspirated engine? Absolutely not...
But a chip is not a scam.
If you are actually "reflashing" the ecu with something that has been tested and proven, then its a flash based tune, not a "chip"

Im referring to cheap piggyback based units that stay plugged in to the OBD port all the time and just force the car to run more fuel and timing, giving the illusion of gains at the risk of blowing it up. Generally they dont cost much for that exact reason. What your BMW has there, for its price, is likely an actual tune that was developed properly.

Generally you never want to trick an ECU into thinking anything. Today's layouts are quite complex and involved, and if more power is to be had then there are many layers of protection that work behind the scenes to make that happen, so its not so much being tricked as much as it is being told to do something while monitoring for any issues as it is doing it.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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I own a '19 Crostsrek. Its slower than the Forester...But.. I give it a WOT throttle a couple times a week and let it shift at redline 2 or 3 times. The CVT is perfectly mated to the FB20 engine. IMHO people that call it slow have never driven one hard. I suspect its the same with the NA forester. I do the same with my '18 XT. Now when I WOT it I take maybe 2 seconds to go to WOT. And then just leave it on the floor.
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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If you are actually "reflashing" the ecu with something that has been tested and proven, then its a flash based tune, not a "chip"

Im referring to cheap piggyback based units that stay plugged in to the OBD port all the time and just force the car to run more fuel and timing, giving the illusion of gains at the risk of blowing it up. Generally they dont cost much for that exact reason. What your BMW has there, for its price, is likely an actual tune that was developed properly.

Generally you never want to trick an ECU into thinking anything. Today's layouts are quite complex and involved, and if more power is to be had then there are many layers of protection that work behind the scenes to make that happen, so its not so much being tricked as much as it is being told to do something while monitoring for any issues as it is doing it.
I am not familiar with the Subaru world, but in the BMW/VAG world there are some seriously good piggy backs. One major benefit of avoiding a proper reflash is it's supposed untraceability for warranty reasons. As you said you're basically fooling the ECU by augmenting some of its inputs, but you're maintaining all of the stock safety mechanisms as well. I have a JB4 unit on my Golf R, which on current map adds about 60 hp/tq. It's quite a bump in power for all of $400 or so. Such is turbo life :)
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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'Chips' are typically just resistors that simply change the current flow in some significant place. Don't read any degree of integrated circuit smarts into the name.
 

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2001 Forester STi 6spd with MapDCCD
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I am not familiar with the Subaru world, but in the BMW/VAG world there are some seriously good piggy backs. One major benefit of avoiding a proper reflash is it's supposed untraceability for warranty reasons. As you said you're basically fooling the ECU by augmenting some of its inputs, but you're maintaining all of the stock safety mechanisms as well. I have a JB4 unit on my Golf R, which on current map adds about 60 hp/tq. It's quite a bump in power for all of $400 or so. Such is turbo life :)
Some ECU's are not re-writable or able to be reflashed (older models) , so unless you run something like an AEM, megasquirt or Syvecc's (popular for european models) aftermarket ECU, there is no ability to make changes needed for higher performing parts. At that point, a piggy-back is your only option, if you want to look at it that way.

In terms of it being able to be traced, that may be up for debate. Ive seen multiple cases where a dealer accepted warranty engine replacement on a modified WRX/STi after the owner blew it up from poor habits (typical bolt-on, stage 2 flash tune) and the owner would unmarry the AP and replace stock components, and no flags were raised. These newer ECU's are smart, but they arent like the blackboxes off of an airplane and recording intricate data. The only thing they record in the long term would be learned AF and fine knock trims, idle setpoints ( throttle position) and EVAP readiness states.
 

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Some ECU's are not re-writable or able to be reflashed (older models) , so unless you run something like an AEM, megasquirt or Syvecc's (popular for european models) aftermarket ECU, there is no ability to make changes needed for higher performing parts. At that point, a piggy-back is your only option, if you want to look at it that way.

In terms of it being able to be traced, that may be up for debate. Ive seen multiple cases where a dealer accepted warranty engine replacement on a modified WRX/STi after the owner blew it up from poor habits (typical bolt-on, stage 2 flash tune) and the owner would unmarry the AP and replace stock components, and no flags were raised. These newer ECU's are smart, but they arent like the blackboxes off of an airplane and recording intricate data. The only thing they record in the long term would be learned AF and fine knock trims, idle setpoints ( throttle position) and EVAP readiness states.
GM cars the dealer can see how many time the ECU is flashed. They compare warranty work and how many flashes should be in the system. If it's an abnormal amount (I bet I flashed the Cobalt 50 times) they void your powertrain warranty.
 

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2001 Forester STi 6spd with MapDCCD
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GM cars the dealer can see how many time the ECU is flashed. They compare warranty work and how many flashes should be in the system. If it's an abnormal amount (I bet I flashed the Cobalt 50 times) they void your powertrain warranty.
Good thing these aren't GMs then!
 

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17 Forester XT
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Tough luck modding the engine. But you could prop up some of the good qualities of your vehicle with better tires (makes a big difference) and, I'm not sure if the rear sway bars still makes the big improvement on handling like in the previous gen.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 
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