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Old 06-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #1
99bajakid
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Hesitation towards getting a stage 1 tune

I use my GTI as a daily driver, and drive 100 miles a day and i'd really love to get the APR tune for it, but i'm really hesitant towards pulling the trigger on it. After reading through the "the dealer screwed up my gti" thread it has brought on more hesitation. If I were younger it wouldn't scare me off, but now that i have a mortgage, wife.. blah blah blah, I'm worried about the "what if's". Is there any fool proof way of getting around warranty work with an APR tune? Should i scour local junk yards and pick up a stock ECU beforehand? ..just in case? I know this seems extreme. that thread has me
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #2
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I own a 2012 and I was tuned at 1,000 miles (zero issues so far). If you're overly worried wait till the vehicle is out of warranty. With that said, the majority of car issues tend to arise when you're out of warranty anyways.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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There just isn't a really good answer to this question.

When I got tune March 2011 my car was 9 months old and there was a guarantee that the dealer would never find out.

Now that guarantee is worthless.

Am I scared...yes. Every day now there is a thread or post about problems...not from being tuned, but on cars that are tuned and dealers using that as an excuse. Even when they agree to do repairs under warranty it is still a huge hassle to get them to that point.

And waiting until warranty is over is a drag because the power train warranty is 5 years. That's a long wait.

I do feel confident that the tune will do no harm to the car, but I worry about stuff going wrong and being refused a claim. And some of those costs are huge.

You've got to do what you are comfortable with. If I had to do it over again I would likely have waiting at least one year to see if the car had bugs.

So far, though, I'm not sorry I got tuned. But I haven't had any problems.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:46 AM   #4
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<--also flashed over to stage I at 1000 miles on my '12
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:48 AM   #5
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I flashed mine at less than a month old
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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With as many people running these tunes, there are bound to be a few weak links. Thats the way it goes with everything produced in a large quantity. Personally speaking, I was hesitant at first with the tune, but after touring APR's headquarters, and seeing the process in which they flash the computer, I was convinced.

Look at the power and tunes/turbos other people are running, on STOCK internals and STOCK components.

The motor is robust enough to handle the boost and added power. Stage 1 and Stage 2 are not pushing this motor beyond its capabilities, now when you get up Stage 3 and 3 + you might be running into some other issues,but for the lower end of the tunes, you are fine.

Same as the guy that posted earlier, I rolled into APR's parking lot as the odometer clicked over to 1000 miles. Tuned and left. NO problems since, and im at 3100 now.

The same goes for the FSI motors. They had the APR tune on them, and very few of those motors had tune related issues. I think its safe to say that you can flash the computer and you will be fine.

As for the warranty part, if you have a water pump fail, they cannot refuse to warranty the part because of a flashed ECU. The tune has nothing to do with the water pump. The tune has to directly cause the problem. SO, if your turbo grenades and dies, then they COULD say you were tuned and this is why you turbo blew up.

BUT the failure has to be related to the part that was modified. End of story, been taken to court and upheld.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:05 PM   #7
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The dealer needs to prove that the modified ECU caused the issue in order for them to not repair the issue on warranty. The Dealership thread your are referring to is a really special case and the dealer is just trying to push it off on the ECU, i'm sure with some effort and time it will all get resolved without the OP handing over a bunch of out of pocket money.

anyways, back on topic.
Remember this: When something bad happens - people are going to complain about it and complain about it to everyone they possibly can. When everything goes the way it's supposed to, people just go on with their day. So basically out of the thousands of tuned 2.0tsi/fsi engines, only a very small fraction of them have issues, these are the posts you see - these are what will cause you hesitation. You don't see everyone coming here saying "guys, i've had an APR tune for 20,000 miles and have had no issues, just wanted to tell you that, have a good day"
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Yeah... nobody can guarantee you won't have problems, but it is highly unlikely. I've had warranty work done since my tune, and nothing has been denied (most recent example: water pump replacement).

Flashed my car 2 months after I got it, and I've put on about 15k miles since, and have not had a single tune related issue. Just went stage 2 last week.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:14 PM   #9
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since u have mortgage and wife. DONT DO IT! stay stock! apr stage1 tune is only the start of the whole mod bug......
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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I'm on the fence about it too.
But the issue is not that the tune will cause a problem - the tune is proven reliable and it is only software, so the only risk with that is the guy opening the ECU and the work on that.

Something may fail in the future regardless of tune or not tuned. Thats were they'll get you.
There may be recalls too that I would think can be denied.

Do those with DSG need to be more concerned?
I dont know what the percentage of MT to DSG is of people getting tuned. Would be interested to know.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:30 PM   #11
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People with manuals need to be more concerned because of clutch wear. The DSG seems to be relatively strong.

A lot of this is reiterating what other people have already said, but...

This is a good question that people almost always have really polarized answers to. It's seemingly either, "the stock internals can handle 350 hp forever. Of course you should chip it!" or "it's just not worth the risk of something going wrong." It's nice to see the reasonable responses on here.

If you can wait a few thousand miles, you'll probably see if anything is going to go wrong, with or without the tune. Waiting gives you time to do more research, to see if everything on the car functions like it should, and gives your mind a chance to get used to the power your stock GTI makes. That way you'll probably appreciate the tune all the more--to me it's really like getting a new better version of your car, so letting the new car excitement wear off before upgrading might be a good idea.

It's a really small gamble to just go stage 1, but there is a bit of risk. From what I've read, when components that a stg 1 tune affects fail on a car, it's really unlikely that the tune is what did it. But if you do the tune and something goes wrong as a result, or more likely by coincidence, then you might be in a crap situation. Even still, it seems some dealers are pretty lenient even when it happens. Those events are just really rare, with or without a tune.

After spending $20k keeping a $6k 944 running while I was in college, that I upgraded pretty conservatively, I'm also really risk averse (or I was) about modifications. But, your GTI is not a 15-year old worn out race car, so the chances of something going wrong with the extra boost pressure are very low. With this GTI, I waited until I was bored by my stock car, then chipped it--I made it about two years. I then made it another two months before going to stage 2, and will hopefully make it a full six month from then before swapping in a K04. Be warned that it can be a slippery slope. Even the people who spend months talking about how much they like the car just mildly tuned risk end up doing some pretty heavy mods after a while (...plac ). Mods on this car are like crack. Stage 1 is a pretty big crack rock. Try it, Whitney.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xytbyk View Post
Stage 1 is a pretty big crack rock. Try it, Whitney.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:41 PM   #13
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My car is my DD, and I have a fully decked out K04 (Mods in sig) for 13K miles and Stage 1 for the car before that (I'm at 52K) No issues internally whatsoever and even had my Mechatronic replaced under warranty. Cant argue that. I commute 100miles a day in the SOUTHEAST and never had a hiccup.

As far as the physical act of flashing goes, use a dealer that KNOWS what they're doing with the ECU or.....ship it to APR and have them flash and ship it out the same day, just have to wait on shipping time.

The only horror stories I've seen have been dealer mishaps with handling the opened ECU.
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grambles423 View Post
My car is my DD, and I have a fully decked out K04 (Mods in sig) for 13K miles and Stage 1 for the car before that (I'm at 52K) No issues internally whatsoever and even had my Mechatronic replaced under warranty. Cant argue that. I commute 100miles a day in the SOUTHEAST and never had a hiccup.

As far as the physical act of flashing goes, use a dealer that KNOWS what they're doing with the ECU or.....ship it to APR and have them flash and ship it out the same day, just have to wait on shipping time.

The only horror stories I've seen have been dealer mishaps with handling the opened ECU.
This. APR has a rig that they put the computer in when they flash it. This significantly reduces the chance of a Short circuit when grounding the pin.

If you cam get a car for a few days ship the computer to APR and bam. Stage 1





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