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  1. #1
    Mark S's Avatar
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    Remap vs. Warranty

    My S3 is booked in to get the Revo Stage 1 map tomorrow and I'm a little bit worried about how it's going to affect my warranty. I called up my local dealership which I take the car to for servicing and they have said that I will invalidate the warranty with relation to any engine component (presumably the turbo as well) and that they will be able to see if the car has been remapped when they plug in.

    This I already knew. Although hopefully if I get it flashed back to Revo's standard map before servicing, then as there won't be a power increase they won't think to check.

    I don't want to end up footing the bill if my engine blows up, even if it is completely unrelated to the map. At the same I do want more power. I will be putting the remap down on my insurance, so presumably if the worst came to the worst I could fall back on that.

    The car is March 2011 so it still has just under 2 years of warranty to run, I haven't had any issues with it to date. I always make sure it is warmed up before the engine comes under any stress, but when it is up to temperature I do like to use it. I leave the oil changes and spark plugs to Audi, and would only top up the oil if the car told me to - I expect I would have to pay more attention to these issues post-remap, is there anything else I need to consider checking more often?

    I guess what I really want to know is any bad experiences people have had in the past as a result of remapping (aside from hesitation issues) and how often people have problems so that I can gauge the size of the risk I'm taking. From what I've read people don't seem to have any problems, although I can imagine that if the car already has some minor issues, these will be accentuated by a remap.

    Now I think about it, my post is about as well structured as an essay written by a six year old. I probably could have just summed this up into the following question: what is the chance of a remap ruining my car and how much will it cost me?

    Thanks for reading the most convoluted post ever

    Mark

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  3. #2
    S3Alex's Avatar
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    Hi Mark,
    A remap will technically invalidate the warranty,but the likelihood of any problems is remote.
    Mine has been remapped etc from about 10 000 miles,and now runs around 500bhp reliably,but the proviso to that is a good tuner,and more frequent(5000 mile oil and plug changes etc) servicing.

  4. #3
    Ads
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    Highly unlikely your car will blow up because of a stage 1 remap. The maps are written to work within your car's standard hardware tolerance so everything should be fine (apart from your clutch if it's manual).

    There are stories of turbos going pop, but it is usually the older TDIs that suffer from this. I'm yet to read about an S3's turbo going pop, especially one as new as yours.
    Your car being only a year old I would imagine there are no serious underlying faults that will be sped up by the remap.

    I think you're pretty safe.

  5. #4
    Mark S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3Alex View Post
    Hi Mark,
    A remap will technically invalidate the warranty,but the likelihood of any problems is remote.
    Mine has been remapped etc from about 10 000 miles,and now runs around 500bhp reliably,but the proviso to that is a good tuner,and more frequent(5000 mile oil and plug changes etc) servicing.
    Hi Alex

    Thanks for getting back so quickly! Good to know that I shouldn't be expecting anything terrible then. What would be the long term consequences if I didn't change the oil and plugs often enough. I will be using the car for work starting from next week and I expect that I'll be doing approx 15-17.5k miles a year. How disastrous would it be if I left it that long?

    (Not that I would, but I'm forgetful at the best of times!)

  6. #5
    Mark S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ads View Post
    Highly unlikely your car will blow up because of a stage 1 remap. The maps are written to work within your car's standard hardware tolerance so everything should be fine (apart from your clutch if it's manual).

    There are stories of turbos going pop, but it is usually the older TDIs that suffer from this. I'm yet to read about an S3's turbo going pop, especially one as new as yours.
    Your car being only a year old I would imagine there are no serious underlying faults that will be sped up by the remap.

    I think you're pretty safe.
    Cheers Ads, I would been surprised about a blow up from Stage 1 too! Yeah it's a manual so I expect the clutch will go early, but to me that sounds like a good chance to upgrade to a Sachs one haha.

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    S3Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S View Post
    Hi AlexThanks for getting back so quickly! Good to know that I shouldn't be expecting anything terrible then. What would be the long term consequences if I didn't change the oil and plugs often enough. I will be using the car for work starting from next week and I expect that I'll be doing approx 15-17.5k miles a year. How disastrous would it be if I left it that long?(Not that I would, but I'm forgetful at the best of times!)
    On a Stg1 remap,it won't be much of a problem overall,but the point is that the harder the oil is worked,then the quicker it deteriorates.

    When you look at the colour and consistency of the oil at the usual 16 000 odd mile service interval,and the sort of crap that the intake valves pick up thanks to the useless PCV system,then you see the worth of regular oil and plug changes.

    Mine is a daily driver,and I do less mileage than you at about 12 000 miles,so it's worth considering.

  8. #7
    Ads
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    Also, if you can't get past your fear of faults developing because of the remap and not being covered by warranty.... superchips/bluefin provide a supplementary warranty with their remaps that covers you for repairs in the event that Audi will not cover you because your car has been remapped.

    I don't know how good the bluefin remaps are on newer S3s though.
    I think there was someone on here who did a write up about his, and although he wasn't pleased with the first map, when he went back to superchips they provided him with a tweaked map he was happy with.

  9. #8
    Mark S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3Alex View Post
    On a Stg1 remap,it won't be much of a problem overall,but the point is that the harder the oil is worked,then the quicker it deteriorates.
    When you luck at the colour and consistency of the oil at the usual 16 000 odd mile service interval,and the sort of crap that the intake valves pick up thanks to the useless PCV system,then you see the worth of regular oil and plug changes.
    Mine is a daily driver,and I do less mileage than you at about 12 000 miles,so it's worth considering.
    Ah ok, I will have to set reminders on my phone then Yeah I've seen a lot written about the PCV system, would a catch can reduce the oil change frequency?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S View Post
    Ah ok, I will have to set reminders on my phone then Yeah I've seen a lot written about the PCV system, would a catch can reduce the oil change frequency?
    No,but it will reduce or stop the crap building up on the valves.

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    S3Alex's Avatar
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    It's worth looking after,if you want something reliable,quick and usable over a long time,and having spent a good bit of time making mine into what I wanted,I do take good care of it,but use it hard as well.
    The plugs and oil service intervals may be fine for a stock car,although that's debatable,but on a mapped/modified car,it's too long.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ads View Post
    Also, if you can't get past your fear of faults developing because of the remap and not being covered by warranty.... superchips/bluefin provide a supplementary warranty with their remaps that covers you for repairs in the event that Audi will not cover you because your car has been remapped.

    I don't know how good the bluefin remaps are on newer S3s though.
    I think there was someone on here who did a write up about his, and although he wasn't pleased with the first map, when he went back to superchips they provided him with a tweaked map he was happy with.
    Quote Originally Posted by S3Alex View Post
    No,but it will reduce or stop the crap building up on the valves.
    Cheers guys, I'll just stick with it then and be anal about the maintenance. At a guess I expect it will only work out at £200-250 a year if I change the oil and plugs every 4 months on average, which is about the cost of a night in a posh hotel. So less hotels, more oil.

    Thanks

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S View Post
    Cheers guys, I'll just stick with it then and be anal about the maintenance. At a guess I expect it will only work out at £200-250 a year if I change the oil and plugs every 4 months on average, which is about the cost of a night in a posh hotel. So less hotels, more oil.Thanks
    It's worth it,especially when you increase the power a bit more.......on the warranty side,I never had any problems with the local dealer,in that they know it's been shall we say,modified,but then I know also that any drivetrain related failures would be my problem.

  14. #13
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    I did 16k in 9 months on stage 1 (09 plate)of flat out going for it. 2 sets of tyres (bridge stones, then michelins ps3 (+ toyo proxes only for 100 miles so doesn't count)

    Only problem I had was the clutch, as it was a manual.

    im now on stage 2 with a different S3 (I wanted DSG) and its done 6k in 2 months. (from new) not a problem at all.

    Dare I say it these engines seem pretty bullet proof? (need a piece of wood to touch!!)
    2012 Ibis Black Edition S-tronic S3, 3 Door, Shark Stage 2, MTC Intake Kit, Powerflex Fast Road Dogbone Mount, Full Non Res Milltek Exhaust, Forge Development Intercooler + DV system,
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    All I can add to this is that I agree, it's not likely to do damage... If you are worried about warranty, get APR or GIAC instead. APR you switch back to stock programming with the cruise control stalk in about 30 seconds than lock it out and not many techs at Audi are competent enough to find the tune than... I'll wager none of them are motivated enough to dig deep enough. GIAC you have to buy a separate switcher module I think but it will also revert the programming to stock.

    One other option is to look for another dealership to work with. There are some out there that don't care about the tune.

  16. #15
    The Governor's Avatar
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    Just readin between the lines... is there a view that the clutches on these cars are a bit poo then?

  17. #16
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    From reading up on here... The dual mass flywheel is not the greatest and most ppl who tune them tend to upgrade eventually... Mine has been tuned for almost 3 years now and I overheated the flywheel 2.5 years so it's been a but wobbly ever since. I don't baby it and only now am I starting to hear some noises that may mean its time to upgrade...

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Governor View Post
    Just readin between the lines... is there a view that the clutches on these cars are a bit poo then?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gryphon001 View Post
    From reading up on here... The dual mass flywheel is not the greatest and most ppl who tune them tend to upgrade eventually... Mine has been tuned for almost 3 years now and I overheated the flywheel 2.5 years so it's been a but wobbly ever since. I don't baby it and only now am I starting to hear some noises that may mean its time to upgrade...
    The clutch is a weak point.

    It's OK at Stg1 but sooner or later,above that,it will start to give in.

    The Sachs is an excellent choice for anything up to Stg2+,providing it's bedded in gently over the first thousand miles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gryphon001 View Post
    All I can add to this is that I agree, it's not likely to do damage... If you are worried about warranty, get APR or GIAC instead. APR you switch back to stock programming with the cruise control stalk in about 30 seconds than lock it out and not many techs at Audi are competent enough to find the tune than... I'll wager none of them are motivated enough to dig deep enough. GIAC you have to buy a separate switcher module I think but it will also revert the programming to stock.

    One other option is to look for another dealership to work with. There are some out there that don't care about the tune.
    Revo's SPS provides the same level of stealth,and to be honest,most dealers aren't bothered,as long as there are no warranty issues to contend with,in which case you will be on your own at some stage or another.

    Mine certainly knows about the power and the mods,as the last time it was in,first there was the one designated tech looking it over,then the whole lot were there.
    And then the questions.....how much power,who did the work etc etc.

  19. #18
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    I wouldn't be too sure guys, have a read of my post here: Heads up - TD1 (for those that have Audi warranty).

    Looks like Audi CAN check for maps and void warranty in the US, won't be long before it gets implemented in the UK too - if it hasn't already.
    Imteyaz.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imteyaz View Post
    I wouldn't be too sure guys, have a read of my post here: Heads up - TD1 (for those that have Audi warranty).

    Looks like Audi CAN check for maps and void warranty in the US, won't be long before it gets implemented in the UK too - if it hasn't already.
    Of course they always could......it's more a matter of whether or not they spare the time to check,and in any case,you can be sure if an engine breaks,the ECU would be checked.

  21. #20
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    Revo SPS, APR switchable etc are all detectable very easily by the dealer.

    The reason is the core code is changed. Even when you put it back to "standard" mode it is still different from what came out of the factory. The issue isn't that if dealers care anymore, the equipment automatically does a check for software modification which is then flagged on Audi's database.

    The only way to get round this is to remove the ECU, take a read of the ECU bypassing Audi's communication protocols and then store a copy. With this method you can revert the ECU to the state it left the factory.

    Rick
    Unicorn Motor Developments. Bespoke Calibration and Remapping Services
    www.unicornmotordevelopments.com

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    I see what you're saying there Rick......luckily I'm not in the warranty position any more,but I always took the attitude that it would be invalidated anyway,and I think anyone modifying their car should assume the same.

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    With Shark, you have an exact copy of the original ECU software which you can load back on to the car before a service ( in case they flash the ecu, in which case Shark will update your map anyway ), but I expect that even in cases like this they can check whether there has been a change due to a counter on the ECU........I think you need to find an independant who doesnt mind if it has been chipped, or a suitably enlightened main dealer, but they are few and far between.

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    With Shark, you have an exact copy of the original ECU software which you can load back on to the car before a service ( in case they flash the ecu, in which case Shark will update your map anyway ), but I expect that even in cases like this they can check whether there has been a change due to a counter on the ECU........I think you need to find an independant who doesnt mind if it has been chipped, or a suitably enlightened main dealer, but they are few and far between.
    For the most part,main dealers aren't bothered,UNTIL something goes wrong.
    Most of them come across mapped or modified cars regularly,and some are honestly quite interested in the mods and the power etc,but if a claim results and gets the warranty invoked,then we all know where we stand.

  25. #24
    Rick @ Unicorn Motor Dev.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    With Shark, you have an exact copy of the original ECU software which you can load back on to the car before a service ( in case they flash the ecu, in which case Shark will update your map anyway ), but I expect that even in cases like this they can check whether there has been a change due to a counter on the ECU........
    You don't have an exact copy as it's done by OBD, as you point out there is a flash counter as well as other data that changes. If requested we can remove any changes but it's an ECU out job.

    Rick
    Unicorn Motor Developments. Bespoke Calibration and Remapping Services
    www.unicornmotordevelopments.com

  26. #25
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    From my experience the dealers dont seam to care if the car has been remapped.
    They dont pay for the warranty work, the manufacturer does.

    In fact warranty work can mean more business for the dealers workshop so apart from some jobsworth talking the moral highground I cant even see where the incentives are for Service Dept to go digging and making your life difficult?

    I have had various warranty work carried out on my previous REVO Stage 1 and MK5 Golf before that, without any hassle at all.

    I was once asked if the S3 was `chipped` as one of their Techs queried it after a test drive but I pleaded dumb (I am good at that) and after that they didnt really mention it.

    Of course the risk is there but IMO it is small enough to significantly improve the ownership experience with a remap.

    Good luck
    Paul
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  27. #26
    mjr901's Avatar
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    I just tell them not to plug it in! they're fine with that haha. if it isn't plugged in then they can't know. Might struggle with dianostics but all other things like drive shaft or somet. just tell them to get on with it. when I had it serviced they also were told not to plug it in. so hopefully you can dodge them knowing for some aspects of work.

    I agree with Paul ^^^^^^^^

    Just have to pick the right dealer I think.
    2012 Ibis Black Edition S-tronic S3, 3 Door, Shark Stage 2, MTC Intake Kit, Powerflex Fast Road Dogbone Mount, Full Non Res Milltek Exhaust, Forge Development Intercooler + DV system,
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  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjr901 View Post
    I just tell them not to plug it in! they're fine with that haha. if it isn't plugged in then they can't know. Might struggle with dianostics but all other things like drive shaft or somet. just tell them to get on with it. when I had it serviced they also were told not to plug it in. so hopefully you can dodge them knowing for some aspects of work. I agree with Paul ^^^^^^^^ Just have to pick the right dealer I think.
    The thing about telling your dealer not to that of course is that it's pretty much like saying "My car is remapped..."

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    mjr901's Avatar
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    they can't assume
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  30. #29
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    From what I have read on the Bluefin/Superchip remap you get an extract of your original map which can then be reflashed at any time (before a service!) so you can freely change between the two - not sure whether or not it resets the flash counter though ??

  31. #30
    Ads
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob2k68 View Post
    not sure whether or not it resets the flash counter though ??
    Apparently on the latest versions of bluefin remaps (within the last couple of years I think) it does.

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    Sorry to play devil's advocate here, but is there not a fraud aspect by remapping a car then attempting to claim under your warranty (IF something fails) which by doing so makes a declaration that the car is unmodified?

    That's rhetorical by the way! Don't get me wrong I'd LOVE to remap my car but not if it gets me into hot water!

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    Quote Originally Posted by batch View Post
    Sorry to play devil's advocate here, but is there not a fraud aspect by remapping a car then attempting to claim under your warranty (IF something fails) which by doing so makes a declaration that the car is unmodified? That's rhetorical by the way! Don't get me wrong I'd LOVE to remap my car but not if it gets me into hot water!
    Quite so.....If you were found to have attempted to defraud,or actually done so,but the aim of what Rick was talking about appears to be to pre-empt that.

  34. #33
    The Governor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulAr View Post
    In fact warranty work can mean more business for the dealers workshop so apart from some jobsworth talking the moral highground I cant even see where the incentives are for Service Dept to go digging and making your life difficult?

    I have had various warranty work carried out on my previous REVO Stage 1 and MK5 Golf before that, without any hassle at all.

    Paul
    I've got no experience of Audi dealers and warranty issues as yet, but having just left BMW I was amazed at how much of a fight the dealers used to put up to do warranty work, as I had a very similar view as you say.

    My experience of BMW dealers has been that they actively try and avoid doing it. I can only assume BMW made their lives difficult when carrying out the work.

    I'm hoping Audi dealers will be less difficult... time will tell I guess.

  35. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Governor View Post
    I've got no experience of Audi dealers and warranty issues as yet, but having just left BMW I was amazed at how much of a fight the dealers used to put up to do warranty work, as I had a very similar view as you say.

    My experience of BMW dealers has been that they actively try and avoid doing it. I can only assume BMW made their lives difficult when carrying out the work.

    I'm hoping Audi dealers will be less difficult... time will tell I guess.
    Interesting.
    I have just come from a BMW, however I didnt have any warranty issues and all my visits were of the `paying kind`or a potential sale so they were exceptionally helpful.

    Hopefully you have an easier ride with your local AUDI outfit.

    Cheers
    Paul
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  36. #35
    Mark S's Avatar
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    I am pleased to report back that it was worth it! The car feels smoother now and although I haven't had much of an opportunity to hoon around due to weather, it is different. The biggest difference to me is at higher speed, particularly when I drop to 4th on the motorway, 3rd is also better and 2nd is over almost as quickly as 1st now

    The car is now putting out 320.1 bhp and 312.5 lb/ft per the print out I got, might even increase a bit once it's adapted and the curve is pretty smooth. That's a power increase of 59 bhp or the same power as the girlfriend's Ford Ka
    MY11 S3 Black Edition in Phantom Black

    Revo Stage 1: 320.1 bhp, 312.5 lb/ft

  37. #36
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    Well, let me be just the first to tell you 'I told you so...'

    lol

  38. #37
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    Apr 2011
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    South East
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    43
    Haha, for once that is a good thing!
    MY11 S3 Black Edition in Phantom Black

    Revo Stage 1: 320.1 bhp, 312.5 lb/ft

  39. #38
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    Apr 2008
    Location
    Tyne & Wear
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    98
    You have to do what you feel comfortable with and its about risk. Plainly you have to be prepared to foot the bill if it goes tit's up, quite simply. I never did map mine and sometimes i wish i did but i knew my car very well after 4 years and it felt fragile with the issues i had so never did it. Saying that even standard it always performed truly excdellently, really did, but i always in the back of my mind knew that if i did go a remap route then i should be able to afford whatever the cost of what 'going wrong' was.

    Your should base your decision on that, i'm not knocking modded cars and had plenty but if you can't pay then don't play.

 

 

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