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Electronic tuning

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by mcmasman, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. mcmasman

    mcmasman Member

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    Can anyone elaborate the possible concerns regarding to electronic tuning (remap, "bluefin"?, sorry I'm not knowledgable in this, feel free to correct my terminology)

    1. I understand that the remap can be swtich back as many times as you like, say for a service to the dealership, but can anyone confirm that there is no way of tracing the fact that i have electronic tuning? And if they can prove it does that mean my warranty is void?

    2. Have anyone heard of engine components wear and tear quicker because of the remap? A little fuel economy decrease is expected of course.

    Please feel free to bring out other possible lookouts/concerns regarding to this.

    Thanks in advance.:icon_thumright:
     
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  3. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    Remaps are always detectable, but that depends on how deep they want to look into your ecu.

    If you have bluefin and put it back to standard to go to the dealers they cannot detect you had a remap at all as far as I'm aware.

    Superchips guarantee parts that fail that are not covered by audi due to a remap.

    Fuel economy increases in most cases. I know it has in my car.

    Due to stricter regulations from the EU car manufacturers tune down their engines to reduce emissions. So all engine parts are designed to work fine at the higher power outputs. However all parts fail eventually and it would be wrong not to assume more power would cause them to fail earlier.

    I think that's all right. Anyone care to correct me??
     
  4. Sinny71

    Sinny71 S55 LKS

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    I'd go along with that lot, my fuel consumption has improved also.

    Manufacturers detune the cars so they can cope with all the abuse and neglect that is thrown at them by dodgy taxi drivers etc, and keep running. A remap essentially optimises what is already there so shouldn't cause any problems if you look after the car.

    Its also unlikely an Audi dealer would spot a remap without driving the car, though with a bluefin you can just swap out the map before taking it in.
     
  5. normski

    normski Member

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    It is my understanding that all info from the ECU and OBD are downloaded on each service and forwarded to Audi in Germany.

    Allegedly the remap will be detectable, even if the ECU is reverted before the service, as it leaves a footprint.

    Audi would have to be specifically looking for signs of the re-map, such as on the request of police after a serious accident, but will also have a good look if the engine or parts fail and a remap is suspected to have contributed.

    Don't flame me if you think I am wrong, some bits I have been told, and other bits I know. It may not all be true.
     
  6. RobinA3

    RobinA3 Well-Known Member

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    Remapping is always a grey area with warranty but at the end of the day if a dealership finds out that the engine has been modified then they have the right to refuse any warranty work, if the dealers wanna find the f'ootprint' then with the right equipment they can do but i very much doubt they have the equipment to do so.

    The more important concern with remaps is when it comes down to insurance policies, if you have not declared your remap and you are involved in an accident and the police look through the car and then find its been remapped and you have not declared it then you be bolloxed as you technically have no insurance.

    Engine wear will increase due to the higher stresses and strains on engine components but during engine development engineers always over engineer engine components as this will maintain durability so i would not be worried about the effects of a remap on the engine.

    I have got better MPG with my bluefin.
     
  7. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    It's difficult to argue about whether there's a footprint or not because really none of us know. Some say yes some no. That element of doubt is enough to scare some people off.

    As ECUs get more complex I can imagine car companies providing an extra little bit of gadgetry to flag up a remap. By rights it wouldn't take a the brains of a rocket scientist to add it. They could then encript it to prevent it being changed.

    However VAG already protect their maps so superchips already have to do some hacking to get in there in the first place.

    It's all down to how determined they are to stop you from remapping, or from paying for work if you have remapped.

    But we all know that they often make performance cars with turbos so they have that moddability. Fiesta RS1800 was a fast car, but the Turbo was the true modders car. And ford continue to use turbo lumps in their ST focuses. So preventing a remap would be bad for buisness.

    The important thing though is superchips will cover any out of warranty work. And that says to me two things:

    1) The engines can cope with the extra power

    2) If their remap was detectable when disabled then all the car companies could refuse any warranty work. Even the small things. And I doubt superchips could really afford to pay for all that!
     
  8. RobinA3

    RobinA3 Well-Known Member

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    Warranty is only void when it comes to a failed component which was the direct result of the modification.
     
  9. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    I think that again opens a can of worms. If anything goes wrong in the engine or running gear they could in theory refuse to touch it if you have had a remap. They could argue that it was premature failure due to overwork. Unless it was a common failure of course, which you'd have to prove. But if your dealer refused you'd have a hard job getting them to change their minds! They want to save as much money as possible of course.

    But if they are happy to work on it then I'm not gonna complain. And as far as we know no dealer has ever said, "ah actually sir you've had this remapped before haven't you?". So as long as you take the bluefin off then you haven't got anything to worry about anyway.
     
  10. rich1068

    rich1068 Member

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    All maps are detectable. The Bluefin make's things a lot harder for the determined Audi tech because when you revert to standard you're putting the original code back on, not an approximation created by your chosen tuner. But obviously the number one give away is the 'flash counter'. Anyone can hook up Vagcom and see how many times the ECU has been flashed.
     
  11. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    Aha someone with some knowhow...

    what does flashed actually mean though? Is that really evidence that you have had a remap?
     
  12. JamS3

    JamS3 Active Member

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    Flashed means you are "flashing" ie putting a different program over the one that should be on the ECU.

    A counter on the ECU which can be acccessed by vagcom shows how many times this has been done, and obviously to a Audi dealer should be 0!
     
  13. HeliChris

    HeliChris Learning to fly 3D

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    It is in the dealers interest to identify chips and refuse major repairs. Dealers are targeted on the amount of warranty spend they make per car sold, so less warranty spend is always better. A dealer that has spent to much is more likely to give you the "they all do that" line, or the leather seats only last 2 week, thats fair wear and tear, or the its chips so your on your own lines. Your warranty clearly states that the vehicle most not be modified, so chipping is a 100% get out of jail free for Audi uk / dealer to cover the claim.

    You are also reliant on the tuning company doing the testing, I have seen lots of posts here where customers of a tuner are reporting misfires then the tuning company send out a new map. The is not good customer service, its a poor quality product brought to market to early without the proper testing in all climates and conditions.

    I melted a turbo engine piston once when it ran to lean for 2 miles, the damage was done before the engine performance dropped off. I don't trust the proper testing is being done, so I don't trust chip tuning, however I would trust chip tuning when the engine is well known by the tuners like the 1.8T

    Hope this helps

    Chris.
     
  14. JamS3

    JamS3 Active Member

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    I have had alot of modified cars including 2 8L S3's and when i think back I have had minor issues with them all. So with my new S3 I think i'm going to keep standard and see how it goes.

    I had a standard Fiat Punto GT Turbo once and that was the most reliable car I've ever owned, weight of a tin can but very quick!!
     
  15. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    So if it's so easy to see that it's been modded before then why don't they refuse more work on those grounds?

    Can flashing be caused by something else?
     
  16. rich1068

    rich1068 Member

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    Apparently it's not uncommon for a reflash can be carried out before the car has even turned a wheel eg an update before the car has even left Germany. Mine is currently showing five times. So if you count Bluefin on (when I got it), off (when I went on the Superchips RR), back on (for the RR again and the drive home) then that's only three. I'll be converting back to standard prior to my service and then Audi will be doing the ECU recall flash, that's two more.

    Watching the counter isn't an exact science but it's there. And Joe Public can see that with Vagcom not just the Audi techs with their own little HALs.
     
  17. HeliChris

    HeliChris Learning to fly 3D

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    Its a case of discretion by the dealer. If the car goes in for a minor repair, its not worth looking for the chip, but if its a gearbox replacement and the dealer has been spending a bit to much on warranty work the dealer may just be looking for the tell tail signs.

    Since major warranty work is not the norm I suspect most chipped car owners will never have a problem

    Chris.
     
  18. OutLore

    OutLore VOIP Dude

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    You would think that the tuners would have been able to change the code which is recording the number of flashes... Sure, it may be stored on a different chip, but hell if it means it's a little more undetectable its all good!
     
  19. rich1068

    rich1068 Member

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    @ HeliChris,

    Exactly. Well put.

    And also honesty on the part of the owner. If my turbo went pop and it was found to be without doubt the result of a remap then I wouldn't dream of trying to blag a warranty fix.

    Moot point anyway. It just doesn't happen.
     
  20. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    Again we come back to the same thing. If checking for flashes isn't a foolproof method then that'll explain why they haven't refused any work so far.

    Even if it is a gearbox change or similar and they check the flash number who's to say that your car hasn't just been flashed that many times. Irrelevant of a remap?
     
  21. mikep

    mikep Member

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    When we remap the engine the flash counter is reset to what it was when we started. It's all part of the routine to make the ecu look original to the dealer. Most reputable tuners will do the same.
     
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  23. Plank

    Plank Member

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    VAG pay for all warranty work, not the dealer. (inc parks and labour @ agreed rate)

    If it was the dealer that paid, you'd be tied to the original supplying dealer and not allowed to take it anywhere else...
     
  24. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    Well yeah Plank that's true but kinda irrelevant. If the dealer kept refusing work for whatever reason, and obviously there were no complaints from owners, and Audi UK saw that this one dealer didn't cost them so much I think Mr Audi Dealer will be getting a nice fat bonus!

    No matter who pays it's still in their interest not to do warranty work if they can get away with it.
     
  25. HeliChris

    HeliChris Learning to fly 3D

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    But the dealer is targeted on warranty spend vs new car sales, so a dealer that spends alot on warranty per new car will be looking to reduce this spend. They then tend to start the "they all do that", and "leather seats should only last a week its weat and tare ect". It is not in the dealers intrest to repair a car under warranty when there is a reason (i.e. a chip) that it should not be covered.

    Think of the dealer as VAG'a accountant.

    Chris.
     
  26. simch

    simch Active Member

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    ...and VAG pay the dealer about £20 an hour for warranty labour, noto the £80 a punter will pay!

    ...so which work do you reckon they want clogging up their workshops....?!!
     
  27. Plank

    Plank Member

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    The only warranty related KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) that Audi use are baulked claims (i.e. where the dealer do some warranty work which doesn't cure the problem). Dealers get no bonus based on volume of warranty work (to do so would be unethical and borderline illegal).

    Warranty work forms part of a workshops bread and butter living. Sure, it doesn't generate as much revenue as regular work, which means it'll be scheduled at a lower priority, but it still fills the slots and keeps technicians utilised and workshops full.

    No they're not. If they were, you'd be tied into taking your car back to the supplying dealer for all warranty work and not allowed to take it elsewhere. Think about it.

    Erm... I think VAG have got their own accountants which are perfectly capable! Dealerships have their own interests, which don't necessarily align with VAG's.

    It really doesn't work like that. VAG don't pay flat hourly rates for warranty work. Although you are right in that it's not as profitable as regular work.

    The "punter" work doesn't fully utilise the technicians or workshops.

    ...so do you reckon they'd rather have their staff sat around empty workshops reading the papers for a couple of hours a day, or got on with work, albeit for a lower profit margin?
     
  28. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    That may be so, however if a company decided it will continue to carry out warranty work, even though they know in some cases they could provide evidence to the customer that would give them the grounds to refuse the work, then they're just stupid. That would be finacial suicide. "I know, we'll keep these guys employed, then when Mr Smith comes in with his modded motor and he's blown the gearbox we'll do the work under warranty just so they've got something to do."

    Who said it had to be the same new cars vs warranty spend? If one company is selling below average but their level of warranty work was unusually high then I'm pretty damn sure someone is going to ask questions. So again if they could refuse work then I'm sure they would.

    No Plank I think they'd rather not employ the technicians in the first place because the demand was too low.

    But all this is irrelevant as MikeP has already told us the dealer can't see a remap anyway.
     
  29. Plank

    Plank Member

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    Touchy saussage, aren't you Staz! :scared2:

    The facts in my post are based on first-hand knowledge. Take it or leave it (it matters not one jot to me!). If you want to argue with them, then fill your boots, but you're basing your argument on your perception of how you think things might work!
    :nyah:
     
  30. Staz

    Staz is a retronaut
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    I not I'm basing them on my perception, I'm basing them on common sense and logic. But lets end it there hey?
     
  31. AL_B

    AL_B Active Member

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    Any idea what block that is? Would be good to check, even if the car has just been to the dealers - check to see if they have flashed it.

    AL
     

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