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Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty
Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty
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Old 08-13-19, 04:13 PM   #11
T1000
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

Based on my research I am leaning towards the consensus that Subaru can detect if an ECU has been flashed. In the end, it is at the dealership's discretion if they want to help you out but ultimately, if they really wanted to, they can detect historic flashes after unmarrying. This is based off of the GR models. I'm assuming anything newer would be the same.

Source - Spoke to the following at multiple dealerships:

4 of 4 Service Technicians all said they can see key counts after the last flash (same as ECU reset). They can also see that each historic flash will update an identifier and add a number to it after unmarrying.

1 of 3 Service Advisors said the same thing as the Service Technicians above.

1 of 3 Service Advisors said they can check key counts after the last flash but will require SOA to come down to actually check the ECU to confirm each historic flash. It can be done but it just requires more involvement.

1 of 3 Service Advisors said they can only check key counts after the last flash.

1 of 1 Parts Dept said they can't check if reverted back to stock tune.

1 of 1 Front Desk said they can't check if reverted back to stock tune.

There is consistency with the service technicians which are likely the most knowledgeable. I've also spoken with SOA and they have confirmed a trail is left behind after each flash even if reverted back to stock. Of the 3 Service Advisors, they all had to put me on hold and ask someone else to relay the message. Parts Dept might know what they're talking about depending on the person but I don't have any expectation for them to actually know. Based on my experience the Front Desk is usually the least knowledgeable at least at my local dealership.

Note that I have not seen or received any of these services in action. However, this is a service that you can pay for to have an ECU checked. They range from $100 - $200 to perform.

Last edited by T1000; 08-13-19 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 08-14-19, 04:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

* Error in my last post. I would not trust anyone for a correct answer. I wouln't even trust someone at a dealer to give you an answer that will hold up later if you were to have an problem!!! Talking to someone is not a contract!!! It's that simple.


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I believe the Pre Purchase Inspections includes a diagnostic scan. However I'm not sure if this would be the same as a scan from any other average joe.

Thanks for another source to look into.
SOA does have better electronic diagnostic tools than us. Not sure if dealers use em or just the Tech reps, but they exist.
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Old 08-14-19, 08:06 AM   #13
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

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* Error in my last post. I would not trust anyone for a correct answer. I wouln't even trust someone at a dealer to give you an answer that will hold up later if you were to have an problem!!! Talking to someone is not a contract!!! It's that simple.









SOA does have better electronic diagnostic tools than us. Not sure if dealers use em or just the Tech reps, but they exist.
I hear you on that! That goes with anything in life. In the end, you have to just use your best judgement.

I spoke with a few Subaru service technician on this subject and they all showed good character. A few of them just enjoyed talking about Subarus in general as they also have been modding cars themselves for years. I don't believe they had any incentives to mislead me on this topic. Based off of all the sources I've encountered, I would put the most weight on their responses.

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Old 08-14-19, 08:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

Cobb is not the party to honor your warranty. That is Subaru.

I do not see Cobb to have any interest in you not buying AP due to warranty being voided.
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Old 08-14-19, 10:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

Regardless of if they can tell what exactly has been done, they can tell that something has been done.

They can look at the "reset" count (maybe flash count?) to see the number of times that the ECU has been "reset" (ie battery disconnected or ECU has been flashed). They can also see the number of key cycles and if the obd2 readiness monitors have passed since the last reset. Subaru will keep track of any revisions that they've flashed to your ECU.

It'll look suspicious if you take the car in for an engine issue and the key cycles are low and the readiness monitor haven't passed yet. You could try to sell it as "I tried resetting the battery to see if it would fix the issue".. but it'll probably look suspicious enough for them to dig deeper, especially if it's a warranty claim for engine failure. Keep in mind that when you have a pro-tune or e-tune (especially for flex fuel) the ECU is flashed at least 10+ times for tune revisions. It'll look very suspicious if you have 10-20 "resets".. At that point they'll probably be checking to see what bolts have been loosened.. and digging deeper into the ECU (if they have that ability). Either way, it'll be a hassle for you..

I've heard from Subaru techs that the general diagnostic ran for troubleshooting and pre-purchase inspections don't go in depth enough to look at the reset/flash count. They ran "diagnostics" on my '16 WRX when I traded it in and made no comments about previous mods/tune. They planned to sell it as certified pre-owned (CPO) due to the condition & low mileage.

As others have said, do it at your own risk and be prepared to pay for repairs.. "Pay to Play". With that said, my local Subaru dealership sells AccessPorts on a display in their showroom... so it may just depend on how "mod friendly" your dealership is.

Last edited by STINick19; 08-14-19 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 08-14-19, 02:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

subaru can not detect if an ECU has been flashed and then reverted back.. However, doing this resets all the counters - similar to a disconnected battery and subsequently drained capacitors.

Its the same as if you reinstalled the OS on your computer.. You cant tell what was there before, but astute observers can identify a fresh install / restore.
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Old 08-14-19, 05:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

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subaru can not detect if an ECU has been flashed and then reverted back.. However, doing this resets all the counters - similar to a disconnected battery and subsequently drained capacitors.



Its the same as if you reinstalled the OS on your computer.. You cant tell what was there before, but astute observers can identify a fresh install / restore.
The multiple techs I've spoken too think otherwise.

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Old 08-15-19, 06:23 AM   #18
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

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The multiple techs I've spoken too think otherwise.
theyre wrong..

ask them to tell you specifically how they can tell that a different tune has been on the ecu, other than the counters have been reset. And that doesnt necessarily mean that other than OEM software has been installed.
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Old 08-15-19, 07:32 AM   #19
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

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theyre wrong..



ask them to tell you specifically how they can tell that a different tune has been on the ecu, other than the counters have been reset. And that doesnt necessarily mean that other than OEM software has been installed.
They all said they can see beyond ECU resets and key counts.

I basically told all of them I was buying a used Subaru from a private party but wanted to insure the warranty won't be compromised due to past ECU flashes that have been unmarried. I asked them how does one go about that and they all said they can confirm how many past flashes with a diagnostic test which they can include in their pre purchase inspection services for $100-$200.

I don't believe they would lie in such a scenario as they will be taking on the risk of misleading someone on a significant purchase of a used car. It would be stupid of the dealership to take on such an unnecessary liability.

Unfortunately I don't have an unmarried car for them to check. If you want to put a nail in the coffin to this question and specifically see the results of their test I would suggest to find someone with an unmarried tune to bring their car in.

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Old 08-15-19, 09:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: Consensus on Cobb Access Port and Subaru Warranty

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They all said they can see beyond ECU resets and key counts.

I basically told all of them I was buying a used Subaru from a private party but wanted to insure the warranty won't be compromised due to past ECU flashes that have been unmarried. I asked them how does one go about that and they all said they can confirm how many past flashes with a diagnostic test which they can include in their pre purchase inspection services for $100-$200.

I don't believe they would lie in such a scenario as they will be taking on the risk of misleading someone on a significant purchase of a used car. It would be stupid of the dealership to take on such an unnecessary liability.

Unfortunately I don't have an unmarried car for them to check. If you want to put a nail in the coffin to this question and specifically see the results of their test I would suggest to find someone with an unmarried tune to bring their car in.

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If you dont think dealerships lie, ok then. for me, the nail is in the coffin. my car is already out of warranty period.

no tech can guarantee any future warranty claim will be honored or denied, that is the entirely arbitrary decision of SOA.

if youre buying a used STI, get the normal PPI, leak down, and compression test. if those check out - negotiate as low as you can.
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