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BRZ First-Gen (2012+) -- General Topics All discussions about the first-gen Subaru BRZ coupe


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Old 07-02-2016, 05:15 PM   #127
Jordan Silveira
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I'm sorry, if you want to carry this type of thinking moving forward, you're just going about this wrong.

How in the world is a tint shop going to water damage the ECU? HOW? I drove through a massive hailstorm/thunderstorm in Texas on April 29th after a day at the track and nothing was damaged, not even the paint.

You don't know what caused the problem, the dealers can't give you a straight answer, you reviewed footage at the tint shop, and suddenly now you "firmly believe it's likely the tint shop caused the ECU to fail" after the dealer can't fix your problem because of a bad/bricked ECU?

Yeah, good luck figuring it out. And before you get a lawyer you might want to start getting your facts and your story straight.

-alex

Edit: what is your proof for the ECU being damaged? Did you take it apart? Did you check fuses for ECU? Was there any visible evidence of water damage? Did you document this?
Alright Alex, throwing stones from a glass house is fine but from the high perch you sit upon while you still have a vehicle to drive tell me what your all omniscient and omnipotent self would do in my situation based on where I am currently at? I'll tell you what though, you can do me a big favor, where and how can I look and access the ECU in the car?
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Old 07-02-2016, 05:34 PM   #128
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@theadmiral976 I didn't pull a carfax specifically (fox and all) but rather autocheck (a part of experian), and for some reason, the history says I am the only owner listed. However, when I bought the car I know there were previous owners. Obviously, you will probably say CarFax is the most trusted and reliable so that may be why. Also, I really would like to thank you for the detailed and honest bits of advice rather than be pujilistic like others. In short, what's most important now is getting the car running again and of course, doing that professionally is more important and desirable than doing some work around (such as some reflash or something). That said, getting the car running is numero uno at the moment. Unfortunately, as you suggested, looking back now saving 2,000 off of MSRP in exchange for what looked like 193 on the ticker seemed great on the surface but has been the worst decision I made. The car was sold as used because according to the dealer (who I obviously know as shady now) someone bought the vehicle and their was an unwind meaning the vehicle had to be returned, resulting in the dealer having to go through what I am sure is various protocol (inspections, smog, etc.) As for my approach, I am ultimately hoping to achieve the aforementioned desire (getting the car running) but doing it with the least amount of wasted resources (i.e. buy X thing to see if that does it and then it doesn't and I'm out of time, money, and progress that otherwise wouldn't have been exhausted. With that said however, while I am searching for a professional solution (e.g. dealer, MBI, mechanic, replacing parts, etc.) I also posted this in hopes of getting various knowledge from forum members that have experienced an issue such as this (immobilizer light, ECU bricking likelihood, etc.) and perhaps getting detailed help based on dealing with these issues or just helpful and knowledgeable troubleshooting and feedback.


@silvercervy I definitely will take that into consideration. I have every intention of leaving Geico in the coming weeks (2-4) for greener pastures and only have kept them around to see if I elect to use my MBI through them as opposed to using it with a new provider where they up my rates or drop me.


@ScoobsMcGee I understand and will definitely be doing any or all of those things. The issue however is that we are currently in a weekend and a holiday weekend at that where consultation and phones are not available to be answered. So for the time being I am doing what I can otherwise.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:51 PM   #129
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Alright Alex, throwing stones from a glass house is fine but from the high perch you sit upon while you still have a vehicle to drive tell me what your all omniscient and omnipotent self would do in my situation based on where I am currently at? I'll tell you what though, you can do me a big favor, where and how can I look and access the ECU in the car?
Here's what I am getting at:

You didn't see or find any physical damage to the ECU, and now you are claiming that it is damaged from the tint shop.

Did you actually pull it out to inspect? Did you check fuses to make sure it's not shorted out? Or did you want to just find the next plausible cause and pin all blame on that?

Here's what Google told me when I searched for "BRZ ECU location", in case you wanted help with that.
http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19590

My initial suggestion still stands: if you don't want to deal with this dealer, take up your case with another dealer. If you've gotten yourself in a situation where Subaru doesn't want to help you out, then you start putting together a timeline, collect evidence, and go from there.

Blaming the tint shop for damaging your ECU (when it could be perfectly fine to begin with) is akin to blaming the construction truck in front of you for dropping nails that caused your tires to blow out, even though the tires blew up because of a sidewall defect that you are having trouble proving. I'm not saying the tint shop isn't at fault. I'm just saying it's very difficult to believe your story when you move to place blame so suddenly without providing evidence.

-alex
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:00 PM   #130
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I also just noticed that you mentioned the Subaru dealer said something about an ECU-to-immobilizer communication fault. I am no expert; however, it got me thinking that something may have happened to the original ECU prior to you owning the car (given its not-so-clear history). To my knowledge, there is a separate immobilizer unit ("control module" - part number 88035CA030 for 2014 BRZ Limited) that communicates with the ECM (part number 22765AG511 for 2014 BRZ Limited MT). Using the ECU removal guide from the thread linked by mav above, you can pull the ECU and check its part number and year (if present). I'd also look to see if there is any evidence that the ECM has been removed after factory (broken or bent clips, marks on bolt heads, etc.). It is possible that something nefarious happened to your 2016 ECM and it was replaced by a 2015 ECM (containing this unclear "2015 BRZ profile") and something has occurred to prevent it from pairing properly with your immobilizer, such as a prolonged battery disconnection at the tint shop.

This hypothesis of mine has some holes - like why would the 2015 ECM ever pair with the 2016 immobilizer, causing problems earlier - but its at least an idea. By checking the ECM location, you can also see if perhaps something has been damaged, either by water or otherwise.

I would check your OBD-II port (located under the steering column on the right side next to the knee panel). This port is extremely fragile and is often a source of poor connections for those of us who routinely use it to change ECM maps and track powertrain parameters (FWIW, the common recommendation is to get an OBD extension cable and permanently leave it attached to the car). Get an inspection mirror, light, and look at the pins, making sure they aren't bent. Check the bracket and make sure it isn't too bent out of shape, making a connector not seat properly. Without looking at the readouts of the dealer tech's code pulls, it's not possible to determine if they are even getting a good connection. One would presume they are, but in my years of experience, I've learned that the best way to ensure something is performed correctly is to do it yourself.

Finally, I would check the immobilizer unit connections in your car. The unit should be located in the steering column, even if you have push start (see this picture: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-SCION-F...271258068708); however, don't quote me on this. While unlikely, it's possible you have a simple wiring issue for some reason or another. Always worth a check. To see how to get access to the steering column, search the forum for a thread about wiring the combination switches for fog lights, or for removing the steering wheel).

These recommendations should be free to do yourself (no special tools required besides a trim removal tool and a couple spanners or sockets). If I was in your position, I know I would feel better just having a quick look at these things. That said, if you are planning on pursuing legal counsel, I would heed the advice of others and remove these threads so that you have the best chance of getting a favorable resolution. Finally, if you choose to remove threads, please feel free to PM me if you want additional (but certainly not "professional") advice. I am no mechanic/technician/engineer, I am actually a physician, but I do really enjoy learning from and helping others, particularly about cars!

You can reference the parts using the diagrams shown on the website below. Information for newer model years is not complete - hence why I chose a 2014 BRZ Limited to pull part numbers.
https://www.subarupartsdepot.com/par...iagram=viewAll
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Old 07-02-2016, 10:32 PM   #131
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If you know where the BRZ ECU is located (yes, inside the car and under the dash--So, driving through a massive thunderstorm can do no harm to the ECU as no water from the outside can get to the ECU) and if you know how wet the inside of the windshield and the dash can get during the tinting process.

It is hard to explain but if you ever see the process of applying tint film on to the windshield then the possibility is possible.

Look at minute 18 till 26. At T25 minute, you can see the tinting guy is squeezing the solution down into and under the dashboard and that's where the ECU is located. If you look closely at your car, there is a gap between the inside of the windshield and the top of the dash, where it meets the windshield.

Overall, I'm not judging that the tint shop is the culprit, but, however, tinting job can be one of the possibilities....It may be fine for other cars as the ECU may not be located under the dash, but for 86/BRZ, it's something that we have to take as a precaution.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ll9x_pTnPY"]How to tint windows like a pro (Windshield) By: Best Reflections Window Tinting - YouTube[/ame]

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Old 07-02-2016, 11:50 PM   #132
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It is hard to explain but if you ever see the process of applying tint film on to the windshield then the possibility is possible.
Then the question to OP is, did you get your windshield tinted?

I think OP should start by checking ECM (Subaru name for the ECU) fuse circuit, and then check the ECM physically.

If you want to dive into wiring, here's the wiring diagram:
http://www.ft86club.com/files/BRZwiringi.pdf
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:24 AM   #133
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_Flashing a different year model caibration id wil not usually cause car not to start but it may cause some issues talking to say dash cluster, i know this first hand.

If the battery is good and the key symblol on dash is going green thats good.

If the dealer can talk to the ecu and extract the calibration id and the check sum ie cvn than the ecu is communicating with obd port.

if the dealer cannot flash the ecu or extract the rom\tune then its likey been flashed with brzedit or ecutek or the ecu actually has problems.

If the dealer can read the cvn (checksum) and its different to what a stock rom calid cvn is then your stuffed they have proof its tuned

if you dont have diagnostic tools then it going to get difficult

even an obd scantool will give you a clue if their are any storred error codes..

maybe get a subaru auto electrician to look at it it might be a simple fix

the autoelectrician should be able to swap in a same year\model ecu see here

http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102810
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:38 AM   #134
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Just a thought.

turn car ignition full on , two pushes of start button

the make sure cruise control is off

then pull back on cruise stalk, does tacometer go too 1000, 2000,3000,4000 ?

if so you likely have ecuteck tune

some tuners have a valet or safe mode which may prevent car starting.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:18 PM   #135
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Here's what I am getting at:

You didn't see or find any physical damage to the ECU, and now you are claiming that it is damaged from the tint shop.

Did you actually pull it out to inspect? Did you check fuses to make sure it's not shorted out? Or did you want to just find the next plausible cause and pin all blame on that?

Here's what Google told me when I searched for "BRZ ECU location", in case you wanted help with that.
http://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19590

My initial suggestion still stands: if you don't want to deal with this dealer, take up your case with another dealer. If you've gotten yourself in a situation where Subaru doesn't want to help you out, then you start putting together a timeline, collect evidence, and go from there.

Blaming the tint shop for damaging your ECU (when it could be perfectly fine to begin with) is akin to blaming the construction truck in front of you for dropping nails that caused your tires to blow out, even though the tires blew up because of a sidewall defect that you are having trouble proving. I'm not saying the tint shop isn't at fault. I'm just saying it's very difficult to believe your story when you move to place blame so suddenly without providing evidence.

-alex
@mav1178 Everything you said is fair. No I did not check fuses or the ECU specifically. The unfortunate part about this whole issue is that every part of the equation could be possible. With that said, I am just going by what's most likely. Was the car indeed tuned/flashed before I bought it with 193 miles. I seriously doubt someone would drop the money for an OFT or ECUTEK within what, a week's driving time at most? However, sure, it is absolutely "possible" that it was tuned/flashed. I will say though that if that was the case, I can't imagine a tune/flash would run so well with zero check engines lights and such and all of a sudden become unstable and crap out at 3700 miles. I guess weirder things have happened though.


Secondly, could the tint shop have been the cause of the problem? Sure they could have. They could have had some punk flash my car. For what reason and how that benefits them I don't know. I did watch the footage though and saw no instances of possible foul play. What I can't stop thinking though and this is why I arrived back at the tint shop is that I seriously doubt this problem would have occurred randomly that same day on my next drive. Is it possible it was ticking time bomb and in the next 3 push starts the car would stop running? Sure but it seems more unlikely than not. So the problem would have to have been at the tint shop and since I didn't see any foul play the only possible way the tint shop could be held responsible was for the tint job itself. I watched the video and my battery terminal was never disconnected, the doors were left closed up until they started the job in the bay. It definitely is possible the doors stayed open too long but if the battery flatted I think that would have been fixed by the attempted (reconnecting of the terminals, attempted jump starts, dealer analysis, and me recharging at AutoZone.) So, my thought is its from the water or solution.


Lastly, the dealership. I believe the dealership was largely incompetent but more important than that, lazy and quick to jump to conclusions. Based on them telling me they hadn't seen a situation like this before and the next day I am being told it's been tuned or flashed tell's me they saw an immobilizer light, and said okay, definitely ECU related so rather than truly dig and spend time figuring out what's wrong. Let's take the whole area and restart (the ECU). Their knowledge (or lackthereof) of the alleged tune is evident by the changing stories. Furthermore, they seemed so quick to jump to conclusions about some "0"s that I can't help but feel skeptical of their professional opinion. However, I will not deny that they are being as truthful or honest with the readings as possible. I don't believe some exterior force hates me and PHS is maliciously approaching this problem. So the one thing I cannot explain from the dealer's side and I have to give some sort of credence to is the fact that according to them the CVN is unrecognizable and the CID is from a 2015 BRZ which seems to be more specific than just guess work like I aforementioned.


To answer your question, yes I did tint the windshield and that's why I have arrived at this conclusion that it may be the tint shop because I have no doubt the tint shop would tint my car's windshield like any others without a clue of ramifications to the electrical components of the car.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:29 PM   #136
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I also just noticed that you mentioned the Subaru dealer said something about an ECU-to-immobilizer communication fault. I am no expert; however, it got me thinking that something may have happened to the original ECU prior to you owning the car (given its not-so-clear history). To my knowledge, there is a separate immobilizer unit ("control module" - part number 88035CA030 for 2014 BRZ Limited) that communicates with the ECM (part number 22765AG511 for 2014 BRZ Limited MT). Using the ECU removal guide from the thread linked by mav above, you can pull the ECU and check its part number and year (if present). I'd also look to see if there is any evidence that the ECM has been removed after factory (broken or bent clips, marks on bolt heads, etc.). It is possible that something nefarious happened to your 2016 ECM and it was replaced by a 2015 ECM (containing this unclear "2015 BRZ profile") and something has occurred to prevent it from pairing properly with your immobilizer, such as a prolonged battery disconnection at the tint shop.

This hypothesis of mine has some holes - like why would the 2015 ECM ever pair with the 2016 immobilizer, causing problems earlier - but its at least an idea. By checking the ECM location, you can also see if perhaps something has been damaged, either by water or otherwise.

I would check your OBD-II port (located under the steering column on the right side next to the knee panel). This port is extremely fragile and is often a source of poor connections for those of us who routinely use it to change ECM maps and track powertrain parameters (FWIW, the common recommendation is to get an OBD extension cable and permanently leave it attached to the car). Get an inspection mirror, light, and look at the pins, making sure they aren't bent. Check the bracket and make sure it isn't too bent out of shape, making a connector not seat properly. Without looking at the readouts of the dealer tech's code pulls, it's not possible to determine if they are even getting a good connection. One would presume they are, but in my years of experience, I've learned that the best way to ensure something is performed correctly is to do it yourself.

Finally, I would check the immobilizer unit connections in your car. The unit should be located in the steering column, even if you have push start (see this picture: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-SCION-F...271258068708); however, don't quote me on this. While unlikely, it's possible you have a simple wiring issue for some reason or another. Always worth a check. To see how to get access to the steering column, search the forum for a thread about wiring the combination switches for fog lights, or for removing the steering wheel).

These recommendations should be free to do yourself (no special tools required besides a trim removal tool and a couple spanners or sockets). If I was in your position, I know I would feel better just having a quick look at these things. That said, if you are planning on pursuing legal counsel, I would heed the advice of others and remove these threads so that you have the best chance of getting a favorable resolution. Finally, if you choose to remove threads, please feel free to PM me if you want additional (but certainly not "professional") advice. I am no mechanic/technician/engineer, I am actually a physician, but I do really enjoy learning from and helping others, particularly about cars!

You can reference the parts using the diagrams shown on the website below. Information for newer model years is not complete - hence why I chose a 2014 BRZ Limited to pull part numbers.
https://www.subarupartsdepot.com/par...iagram=viewAll
Firstly, @theadmiral976 I really do appreciate your responsiveness and willingness to help and offer solid advice or suggestions. I think your first hypothesis may be shaky as you said because how would a 2015 system operate in hand with a 2016 immobilizer but I still think it pays me nothing but satisfaction that I have checked all resources if I at least check what the ECU and wiring looks like. At which I can thank both yourself and @mav1178.


I will definitely inspect the OBDII port for signs of wear as well. I will see if I can get an OBDII reader from either a store or a friend/family member as well. What exactly would I be looking for if I scanned it? Just previous error codes? Or anything else? Will it show me stuff like CID/CVN? Sorry I just have no experience with this. I will look into analyzing the immobilizer unit as well. Thanks as per usual for the headstart and push in that direction. I definitely agree that just the piece of mind that I checked everything will help. I definitely will take these down once I acquire legal counsel but until then enjoy the helpful feedback. I definitely will PM you as well if I need further help but I think you and @mav1178 have given me a great start now that I have the car back. As previously said, thank you again!
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:31 PM   #137
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If you know where the BRZ ECU is located (yes, inside the car and under the dash--So, driving through a massive thunderstorm can do no harm to the ECU as no water from the outside can get to the ECU) and if you know how wet the inside of the windshield and the dash can get during the tinting process.

It is hard to explain but if you ever see the process of applying tint film on to the windshield then the possibility is possible.

Look at minute 18 till 26. At T25 minute, you can see the tinting guy is squeezing the solution down into and under the dashboard and that's where the ECU is located. If you look closely at your car, there is a gap between the inside of the windshield and the top of the dash, where it meets the windshield.

Overall, I'm not judging that the tint shop is the culprit, but, however, tinting job can be one of the possibilities....It may be fine for other cars as the ECU may not be located under the dash, but for 86/BRZ, it's something that we have to take as a precaution.

You hit the nail on the head. This is the exact reason I have redirected back to looking at the tint shop because I had my windshield tinted and wouldn't be surprised if the water/solution found a way into the electrical components. Thanks for your help
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:39 PM   #138
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@steve99 thank you as always. I will definitely give the cruise control stalk idea a try and report back. Sounds like you've flashed previous years CID? The battery is good and the green key symbol is good. So as you've said, at least I have that going. According to the dealer, they sound confident they can extract the CID and CVN and that the CID is a 2015 BRZ profile but the CVN is unrecognizable according to "techline" As for the check sums, they kept getting all 0's. All said though, as confident as the dealer was, they sure were confident it was a 2015 STi tune, so not sure I can place much faith in their confidence or competence for that matter. I will try and get an OBDII Scanner to see more. I will also look further into the Subaru electrician as well. Thanks Steve!
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:11 PM   #139
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To answer your question, yes I did tint the windshield and that's why I have arrived at this conclusion that it may be the tint shop because I have no doubt the tint shop would tint my car's windshield like any others without a clue of ramifications to the electrical components of the car.
and it took 10 pages for this information to come out...

Why didn't you mention this in the first place? It would completely change the diagnosis moving forward.

There would've been two approaches about this:

1) attempt warranty claim, but mention that the tint shop tinted the windshield and have them inspect for physical damage. If it's approved for warranty, that's that.
2) if there is any physical damage or electrical short, have the dealer give you an estimation of charges to fix and have the tint shop reimburse it.

Seriously, we could've all given you different/better advice off the bat w/ the relevant information...

-alex
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Old 07-03-2016, 02:20 PM   #140
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ORRR....
you could skip all this bullshit and go borrow a goddamn ODBII reader from Autozone and read out the fucking CALID Like I already suggested.


If this had happened to me I would have completed that step before the tow truck showed up. And CERTAINLY after the dealer tried to tell me they couldn't read the ECU.


Again My $10 OBDII Bluetooth reader can do this from my cellphone.


This is like watching a slow motion trainwreck
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