Subaru Modifications: What’s Allowed and What’s Not Under Your Warranty

Subaru vehicles have earned quite a reputation for being reliable cars with exceptional performance. It is no wonder why they are a popular choice for car enthusiasts who enjoy making modifications to their vehicle. However, what modifications are allowed under Subaru’s warranty and which ones may void your warranty? In this article, we will explore the answers to these questions and more.

Modifications Allowed Under Subaru’s Warranty

Subaru offers a factory warranty on all their new vehicles. This warranty provides customers with a sense of security and peace of mind when it comes to repairs or replacements. However, the warranty could be partially or entirely voided if certain modifications are made to the vehicle that impacts performance or safety. Here are the modifications that are allowed to be made without impacting the warranty status:

  1. Air Filters – Replacing your air filter with a high-performance filter will not void your warranty.

  2. Exhaust Systems – Upgrading your vehicle’s exhaust systems will not void your warranty. However, you should ensure that the upgrade is a direct replacement for the existing system and does not negatively affect the vehicle’s performance or safety.

  3. Suspension Systems – Improving your car’s handling by installing a performance suspension system will not impact your warranty.

  4. Brake Systems – Upgrading your vehicle’s brakes system with high-performance brakes will not void your warranty but should not compromise the vehicle’s safety.

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Modifications That Will Void Your Warranty

There are modifications that should not be made if you want to keep your warranty intact. Making these changes will likely void your warranty, and the dealership may refuse to repair the vehicle. Here are the modifications that will void your warranty:

  1. ECU Modifications – Making any change to the ECU or computer software system of the vehicle could lead to substantial damages and a voided warranty.

  2. Engine Modifications – Upgrading the power of your car’s engine could significantly change the system that your vehicle was designed to operate with and, therefore, void your warranty.

  3. Turbo Modification – Installing a different turbo or making any changes to the existing turbo in your vehicle will void your warranty.

  4. Intake Systems – Steer clear from modifying your vehicle’s intake system as it, too, could void your warranty.

As a rule of thumb, any modification made to a vehicle that impacts the car’s safety or performance should not be made without consulting with your dealer about Subaru’s warranty policy.

Impact of Modifications on Performance and Safety

It is essential to note that making modifications to your Subaru vehicle will have an impact on its performance and safety. Upgrading your exhaust could lead to increased power output and performance, but it could also result in increased noise levels. Installing a performance brake system will improve your vehicle’s stopping power; however, it will affect the car’s balance and impact your driving experience if not appropriately installed.

As a responsible car owner and enthusiast, it’s essential to ensure that all modifications you make to your vehicle do not negatively impact its performance and safety. When in doubt, it’s best to consult with your car dealer and discuss your modification plan.

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Discussing Modifications with Your Subaru Dealer

Subaru dealerships are often knowledgeable about car modifications, and they should be the first point of contact before making any changes to your vehicle. They may advise you on the modifications you can safely make without voiding your warranty or negatively affecting your vehicle’s performance. Additionally, Subaru dealerships have access to genuine Subaru parts (OEM) that will not only fit your vehicle but are also designed to perform well with your car system.

Subaru’s Reputation for Reliability

One of the reasons Subaru vehicles are so popular is the manufacturer’s reputation for reliability. Making modifications that negatively impact your vehicle’s reliability could have adverse effects on your driving experience and overall satisfaction. It is essential to maintain the highest standard of care for your Subaru and only make modifications that will improve the car’s performance and safety without compromising its reliability.


Q. Will installing a cold-air intake void my warranty?

A. Installing a cold-air intake can void your warranty only if it negatively impacts your vehicle’s performance or safety. Some intakes can lead to a more aggressive sound and improve your vehicle’s power output, but they should not compromise engine reliability.

Q. Can I install an aftermarket exhaust system on my Subaru?

A. Yes, you can install an aftermarket exhaust system. However, only those that are directly compatible with your vehicles and do not negatively alter its performance or safety. If installed incorrectly, it could damage your car parts and impact your driving experience.

Q. Can modifying my Subaru improve its resale value?

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A. Any modification you make to your Subaru that negatively affects the car’s reliability or safety could negatively impact the car’s resale value. However, upgrading the exhaust or brakes system or adding a performance suspension could increase the car’s value to a particular target audience.

Final Thoughts

Modifying your Subaru vehicle could turn it into the car of your dreams with improved performance, handling, and sound. However, it is essential to understand what modifications can void your warranty and impact your vehicle’s performance and reliability. Before you start making any changes, it is best to consult with your Subaru dealer and discuss with them your modification plan. Ultimately, the key to responsible and satisfactory modification practices is ensuring that the changes made are legal, safe, and enhance your car’s overall performance and longevity.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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