Will Car Tuning Void Your Subaru Warranty? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you own a Subaru car, chances are you’re passionate about its performance and reliability. So, it’s understandable if you’re contemplating tuning your vehicle for better performance or adding engine upgrades to maximize power. Even though engine tuning and performance upgrades sound like a great idea for performance enthusiasts, it’s important to know how these actions can affect your Subaru warranty.

In this article, we’ll cover the potential risks of car tuning, the impact on warranties, and what you can do to avoid voiding your vehicle’s warranty.

What is Car Tuning?

Car tuning is the process of making changes to a vehicle to optimize its performance and handling. Tuning can include upgrades like performance brakes, air filters, exhaust systems, and engine management systems.

Car tuning can provide power gains and improve vehicle handling, but it also carries risks. When adding performance enhancements, the car’s engine and transmission must withstand more stress than they were designed for, which can lead to premature wear and tear.

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What Are the Different Types of Car Tuning?

Car tuning can come in different forms, including:

Engine Tuning

Engine tuning involves modifying a vehicle’s engine to produce more power and improve overall performance. Modifications can include new air filters, fuel injectors, upgraded intercoolers, and more. The goal of engine tuning is often to increase power and torque.

Suspension Tuning

Suspension tuning is the process of modifying a vehicle’s suspension to improve its handling. Tuning can include upgrading shocks, struts, springs, sway bars, and more. The goal of suspension tuning is to improve a vehicle’s handling, minimize body roll, and improve braking.

Drivetrain Tuning

Drivetrain tuning typically involves installing performance clutches, flywheels, limited-slip differentials or upgrading transmissions and axles. The goal is to improve power transfer and handling for better vehicle performance.

What Are the Potential Risks of Car Tuning?

While car tuning can enhance the driving experience, it also comes with risks. The most common risks include engine strain, premature wear and tear, damage to the transmission, and the potential to lower the vehicle’s lifespan.

Does Car Tuning Void the Subaru Warranty?

When it comes to voiding your Subaru warranty, car tuning can play a significant role. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act defines the criteria for warranties. According to the act, unless a manufacturer can prove that a repair, modification, or addition caused damage to a component or system, it cannot void your warranty.

The act means that if your modifications cause damage to a specific part, that part’s warranty may be voided. For example, if you’ve changed your air intake and the engine fails, your claim to replace or fix the damaged engine may not be covered by warranty.

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What Can a Subaru Car Owner Do to Avoid Voiding Their Warranty?

If you’re considering tuning your Subaru car, there are some ways to ensure that you don’t void its warranty:

Check Your Warranty

First and foremost, it’s important to understand what your Subaru’s warranty covers. Make sure to read the warranty documents to understand the specific terms and conditions of your warranty.

Keep Records of Upgrades

Keep all records of your upgrades and modifications. These documents can help prove that your modifications did not cause damage to a component or system if an issue arises.

Use Manufacturer-Approved Parts

Subaru offers approved parts that are designed to work with your specific vehicle. Using approved parts may reduce the risk of damage.

Talk to a Professional

If you’re unsure about tuning your Subaru car, reach out to your local Subaru dealer or a professional tuner. They can provide advice on the best ways to upgrade your vehicle without violating the warranty.

What Impact Can Car Tuning Have on the Car’s Resale Value?

Car tuning can significantly affect a vehicle’s resale value. While tuning can increase power and performance, it may not appeal to all potential buyers. So, it’s essential to consider that future buyers may not want a vehicle that has been heavily modified.

What Are the Legal Aspects of Car Tuning?

There are no federal laws directly related to car tuning, but state laws vary widely when it comes to exhaust noise restrictions and emissions testing. So, if you’re planning to tune your car, make sure to research your state’s laws to avoid any potential legal issues.

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Is car tuning legal?

Car tuning is legal, but it is subject to state and federal laws. If you’re considering tuning your car, make sure to research state laws to avoid any legal issues.

Does car tuning void my Subaru warranty?

Car tuning can potentially void your warranty if it causes damage to a specific component or system. Ensure that you check your Subaru’s warranty documents and talk to professional tuners before upgrading your vehicle.

Does car tuning affect my car’s resale value?

Car tuning can significantly impact a vehicle’s resale value, as it may not appeal to all potential buyers.

Can I install my own upgrades on my car?

If you’re experienced with car tuning, you can install upgrades on your own, but ensure that you follow manufacturer guidelines and use approved parts to avoid potential damage.

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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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