Public Service Announcement: Modding and Warranty

  1. Design

    Design Senior Member

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    #1 Design, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    I had shared this on another thread but wanted to make a separate one to ensure this got the right kind of attention & focus.

    We are seeing some examples of owners coming back reporting that Honda can pick up vehicle PCM history, regardless of whether the ECU is returned to factory state. It should be emphasized that in all cases, Honda ended up doing an in-depth diagnosis to read live data. And I'm not sure exactly what gets stored there beyond over-rev events.

    Bottom line: If Honda suspects foul play involved, the burden of proof is going to be on the owner. There have been a lot of observations, stories, and testimonials that certain mods cannot be detected (or can). But no one has a scientific, definitive answer as to what data gets captured and where. Always best to assume that Honda knows exactly what you've done to your car and when.

    If considering any mod, always ask yourself the following questions:
    • Could the mod possibly cause something to fail under warranty that I can't afford?
    • Do I fully understand what the mod is doing to my car?
    • Do I need to modify my maintenance schedule as a result of operating at a higher level?
    Below is yet another example that made the rounds on Reddit (copy/paste the address and remove the spaces):

    https://www. reddit. com/r/10thgenaccords/ comments/ bxzby9/ ktunerhondata_vs_honda_warranty_void/

     
  2. JT Si

    JT Si Senior Member

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    With zero context for that image, there's really no way to tell what's going on or even if it is indeed real. We don't know if they rolled in with Honda hack and tunerview on the head unit or a ktuner sitting in the car at some point in service history, making it obvious they had a tuning module. We don't know if they had ktuner stickers or a dozen hard mods on the car.

    In another discussion about what Honda can detect, someone asserted they can tell when certain information has been cleared which would occur with a flash, but also with a reprogramming by the dealer (fuel dilution update) or if the battery died or was disconnected.

    This image, even if real, doesn't give us any more information about what Honda can see with the data. It's possible based on service history and other information that they determined the data clearing must have been due to a flash. Maybe they asked the customer if his battery had died, was disconnected, or replaced and he said "no?" Not realizing they were attempting to rationalize the data before jumping to the conclusion it must have been modified.


    If we think about it, Honda couldn't know how long ago an event occurred if the ECU contained a simple write counter. Perhaps if ECU writes log more information at the time of flashing. But they could have just as well figured it out by how much data had been collected/recorded since the flash if it really is data being cleared.
     
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  3. PowerPerLiter

    PowerPerLiter Specific Output

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  4. amirza786

    amirza786 Senior Member

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    #4 amirza786, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    Yes, context is very important. There could be more to this story. This person may have brought in his car in multiple times for warranty issues which could trigger a deeper look by Honda. I'm pretty sure that Honda would not scrutinize a car so closely unless they suspected abuse, and gear lockouts like the ones listed are a sign of abuse. I had an 86 GTI, and I abused it to the point where I broke an engine mount. That led to gears locking out, starting with reverse, and eventually the car was not driveable. I've read several threads here where people have broken their engine mounts and blamed them for being "weak", when clearly they abused the car

    I'm telling you, kids between the ages of 16 and 24 should not drive a car with any kind of power. They should be driving 1990 Toyota Corollas...with AT until they learn responsibility. Although they would somehow try to race that as well. Sorry kiddos, needed to vent :D
     
  5. Jeffers

    Jeffers Senior Member

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    Thanks for the information!
    It seemed logical to me that history could be pulled up if push came to shove on a warranty claim.
    And that Honda had to choose a compromise between performance and reliability.
     
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  6. OP
    OP
    Design

    Design Senior Member

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    I think that's the point being made in the OP. We can't confirm what they know or don't know. We should simply assume that they know more than we think.

    I can say that I've encountered similar feedback from both Master Techs and fellow owners. A typical diagnosis doesn't usually turn up these type of concerns, at all. It's when Honda's regional field rep/engineer gets involved, and a more in-depth diagnosis is performed, they get a lot more insight beyond a simple OBDII scan.
     
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  7. Maroco

    Maroco Senior Member

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    Amen.
     
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  8. FlexRex

    FlexRex Senior Member

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    #8 FlexRex, Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    ..was flagged by American Honda.

    FWIW new C8 Corvette pcm mapping is cloud based. New Supra is also cloud based and a tuner posted pics how putting the car on dyno activates cloud reporting to Toyota/BMW. Obviously this vehicle was flagged by American Honda for the tech to contact and see why.

    The question is how often do they check the pcm and when is it required to be checked before repair? I know for a fact that Subaru owners have been successful in reverting car to stock for warranty purposes without incident. Can not confirm that tech actually checked pcm or data for tuning evidence, just that it was done somehow. Multiple times. Perhaps tech didn’t check, perhaps Cobb can truly hide the flashing as they allege, who knows.

    Still only powertrain warranty should be void, but not ac or power steering for example, as per document.
     
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  9. PowerPerLiter

    PowerPerLiter Specific Output

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    Has anyone else wondered why multiple satellites are always pinging our cars even though they don't have navigation?
     
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  10. RKS17

    RKS17 Member

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    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnuson–Moss_Warranty_Act

    Not trying to be pedantic but; the dealer still has to show the modification caused the malfunction.

    I have modified my other car(s) and am no longer interested in the black-hole. The only mods that I foresee for my son's Si are yellow laminix fog covers and car seats covers to keep his sweaty smell out.
     
  11. FlexRex

    FlexRex Senior Member

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  12. OP
    OP
    Design

    Design Senior Member

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    Fixed.

    Honda is ultimately the one who chooses to honor the warranty - not the dealer. If they deny coverage, for any reason, the onus is on the user to prove otherwise.
     
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  13. Andre80

    Andre80 Senior Member

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    we don't think so. we rely on an etuner who knows the platform well, therefore reliability, who has a history on the product he sells. ktuner / hondata has tested the product, it is not etuner who raises the limiters and pressures at random, without testing their product. there has been a development. we hope they won't find out about the change because we are sure that the melody will not spoil the engine. the failure would also have occurred stock. to blame the modification is only an excuse for not paying and forfeiting the guarantee. I believe in this. I drove 140000 km with the previous car. I have Flooring every day for 10 years with 100 nm and 38 hp more. engines explode for reasons other than melody, the melody can increase the already existing malfunction. I hope it is understandable.
     
  14. Maroco

    Maroco Senior Member

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    My inner conspiracy theorist has some ideas....
     
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  15. JT Si

    JT Si Senior Member

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    This is exactly why I have issue with that they did not perform a diagnosis before cancelling the warranty. If they do not know the specific pathology how can they make any claim as to what caused it?

    What's more, as was mentioned earlier in the thread this generally only occurs if Honda corporate has to be brought in. What exactly happened that is not reflected in that image that brought Honda corporate in? If they didn't diagnose it, how do they know the tranny was blown for instance to bring corporate in?
     
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