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Discussion Starter #1
I was on the Legacy GT forums and ran into this thread:

http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28722

Now I was under the impression that Subie techs could not detect an accessport flash with their diagnostic equipment, so if it was unmarried before servicing, they wouldn't find anything there. Somewhere in this thread they talk of a new piece of equipment they are using that can detect whether the ECU has been re-flashed even if in stock or unmarried mode. Is this true?

The whole reason this guy had a problem to begin with is that their diagnostic equipment couldn't read the ECU at all. Has anyone else ever heard of this? I was planning on a stage 1 upgrade, but now I'm not so sure.
 

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I am curious about this myself since doing a stage 1 upgrade is the one mod I am considering right now. If programming the ECU back to stock prior to a warranty visit is not going to protect me from dealer hassle, then I am going to have to think twice on this.
 

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I'm not surprised in the least. In fact, I've always wondered why people think that a reflash wouldn't be detectable?

Ya gotta pay to play, that's what it boils down to. IMHO, it's difficult enough to get Subaru to honor their warranty even on a bone stock car, not to mention a modded one. Their reasoning in this case is simple, even though it may be BS: the AP is considered a power mod since it increases hp, and thus puts more stress on engine and drivetrain components. Case closed for Subaru. That way, just about any defect can be denied warranty coverage.
 

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pleiad7 said:
I'm not surprised in the least. In fact, I've always wondered why people think that a reflash wouldn't be detectable?

Ya gotta pay to play, that's what it boils down to. IMHO, it's difficult enough to get Subaru to honor their warranty even on a bone stock car, not to mention a modded one. Their reasoning in this case is simple, even though it may be BS: the AP is considered a power mod since it increases hp, and thus puts more stress on engine and drivetrain components. Case closed for Subaru. That way, just about any defect can be denied warranty coverage.
+1. The fact that warrenty would or could be denied was a major reason I have waited to reflash ECU. I also have been monitoring problems encountered with the different stages of mods. What I have seen, please correct me if I am wrong, is that reflashes for stage one and stage two mods, when performed by a reputable shop or by using the A/P, have been very safe. I am within a week or so of having Dyno-Comp reflash my XT with EcuTek. But in the end, pleiad7 is correct, if you want to play, you need to be aware of the risks and liabilities.
 

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Thanks for the input folks, I fully understand the pay to play philosophy, not really interested in his particular situation or warranty claim or arguing about whether or not he's a fool (the flames and wing probably tipped the dealer off more than anything, ugh):barfs . Personally I think those big donkey wheels with possibly incorrect offset would cause a bearing failure over the accessport.

Keeping that in mind, I'd like to keep this conversation as technical as possible.

I am more interested in knowing if the accessport will cause diagnostic machine intereference. In NY, when you get inspected, they hook your car up to an OBDII computer. If the accessport causes this to fail, you won't pass. I'm not too concerned that if they acutally look for a reflash that they will find it, but more if they just happen to hook it up for watever reason and it causes interference in the diagnosis process. There is a point in that thread where someone chimes in stating that if you reflash or revert to stock, the OBD won't have any info on the workings of the car, causing a diagnostic issue. A mechanic told him to drive the car around for about a week to let the computer store up information. Does each reflash/unmarry process wipe out the history that OBD computers read? How far back do they record?

Anybody out there can shed some light on the diagnostic process here? Roo?
 

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You may find that this thread has some relevant information regarding reflashes on 05+ vehicles.
 

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This is exactly why I kept my FXT stock during the warranty period. My warranty ran out about 2 months ago and my AP was delivered this Monday. I'll finally be stage 1 by the weekend! It was a long wait but well worth it I'm sure.
 

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pleiad7 said:
You may find that this thread has some relevant information regarding reflashes on 05+ vehicles.
Now that was interesting. Thanks for that!
 

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Galager said:
Now that was interesting. Thanks for that!
This quote in particular from the NASIOC thread I linked to explains ECUTEK's stand on the issue in no uncertain terms:

We do not deliberately alter the VIN or any other such codes, since they form the relationship of the ECU to the vehicle and its immobiliser system. They also indicate the code version of the ECU and are a useful indication of when a ECU software update might be required in order to fix a general problem such as over zealous cylinder misfire detection or cam sensor fault detection - most Subaru vehicle models end up going though 4 or 5 ECU code revisions to iron out any bugs that are found by Subaru.

However it would be immoral (and probably illegal in the US) if we were to write our software so that when ECUs are tuned they then deliberately appear on inspection to be unaltered. If the inspection software runs a particular algorithm to detect calibration changes, then EcuTek will not attempt to circumvent this to give a bogus result. Having said that, we do update the basic ECU checksums, since the ECU will not run at all without this being done - it thinks its own memory is damaged if the checksum is incorrect. But the calibration verification requirements do not allow a basic checksum to be the basis of the calibration verification test, so updating the checksum to correctly reflect the updated data is the correct thing to do.

So in summary, we do not alter anything that we do not need to alter to produce the desired tuning result. We also do not alter anything so as to circumvent legislation - we intend to be around in the long term to support our tuning network - not get shut down by the US government for not playing ball!
COBB on the other hand states in the FAQ section on their site:
Q. Can a dealer detect that I have an AccessPORT (AccessECU reflash)?

A. With the tools currently available at Subaru dealerships, it is not possible for them to detect that the ECU has been modified. We own the same service tools used by all Subaru dealerships and have verified that their function is unaltered by the AccessECU. Therefore, your vehicle can be serviced by the dealership in the same way as a stock vehicle.
Hmmm... :think: I'm not going to venture a guess on the accuracy on COBB's statement (lest I get flagged as a hater once again), but based on the experience of the guy on www.legacygt.com it seems misleading, to say the least... unless the dealership tricked him into admitting to the reflash without really having any concrete evidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
pleiad7 said:
This quote in particular from the NASIOC thread I linked to explains ECUTEK's stand on the issue in no uncertain terms:



COBB on the other hand states in the FAQ section on their site:


Hmmm... :think: I'm not going to venture a guess on the accuracy on COBB's statement (lest I get flagged as a hater once again), but based on the experience of the guy on www.legacygt.com it seems misleading, to say the least... unless the dealership tricked him into admitting to the reflash without really having any concrete evidence.
The guy on legacygt was a little high and mighty, plus I would at least un marry the accessport before i brought it in for that type of work. According to the nasioc post you sent me to, if it is married at least one of three of the variables will not match up that they can look at, so it is kind of his own fault.
 

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pleiad7 said:
Ya gotta pay to play, that's what it boils down to. IMHO, it's difficult enough to get Subaru to honor their warranty even on a bone stock car, not to mention a modded one. Their reasoning in this case is simple, even though it may be BS: the AP is considered a power mod since it increases hp, and thus puts more stress on engine and drivetrain components. Case closed for Subaru. That way, just about any defect can be denied warranty coverage.
To be honest, the letter of the law says that the manufacturer needs to prove that any modification done to the car actually caused the problem. I haven't spent the necessary time as of yet researching exactly what is going with dealers being able to figure out if the ECU has been updated. My point is that it's unfortunate that if you're running a modified ECU then the typical dealer response is that if a problem arises then the modification is at fault.

I don't dispute that these things place heavier strains on stock components but it's just a cop-out that dealers can use against customers because they have the backing of the manufacturer and their legal staff.

Most ECUs updates on modern turbo cars simply up the boost level and switch all the fuel/ignition maps over to those optimized for premium fuel. As long as a driver appropriately cools down the turbo after a long and heavy driving stint I think these factory components are more than up to the task of these increased power levels.

It's all about keeping the man down!
 

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Maybe this is the reason we couldnt scan the ECU correctly on one of our used WRX's at the dealer. It had a lean condition but all parameters were on the money...weird
 

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So the upshot of the reflash being detectible....?
 
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