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Old 07-18-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
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Use the "flash counter" to our advantage? (L99)

Here is an 'out of the box' question.

Would be possible to use the "flash counter" to our advantage when removing AFM on an L99?

First, the assumptions:

a) Many L99 owners hate AFM and want to remove it. The easiest way to remove it is via a tune.
b) The Magnusson Act is worth more than the paper it's printed on. (Some would argue this assumption.)
c) GM can detect a tune by a "flash counter". Most sources indicate this is the case.
d) Tuning out AFM is easily done w/o lot of other changes. (If there are a lot of tables involved, then GM might have a leg to stand on that something could be affected by removing it.)

Based on the above premises, what if someone intentionally tuned out the AFM but did not change any other aspects of the tune? (It would be hard to resist tuning out the excessive Torque Management, I know, but it could be done.)

At that point, the flash counter is 1 (assuming the stock tune is 0). If something goes wrong, and the owner does not reflash to stock, this should allow GM to see the only change was to disable AFM.

Doesn't this then 'prove' that the tune is not responsible for the powertrain failure? Supposedly it falls on the shoulders of GM to prove it caused a problem. And by not reflashing to stock, GM cannot say something like, "Well we don't know what they changed before they reflashed."
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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No because GM can't see the tune itself.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Higgs Boson View Post
No because GM can't see the tune itself.
+1

All they would know is that the factory calibration had been altered in some way. That gives them some leverage should they wish to pursue it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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I don't understand. Can't they pull the Tune w/o modifying it? I'm not saying they won't deny warranty coverage. What I'm thinking though is it would potentially be an easy battle to win that the Tune did no damage.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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+1

All they would know is that the factory calibration had been altered in some way. That gives them some leverage should they wish to pursue it.
Exactly.

It doesn't matter what you change in the tune. All GM cares about is if there are any non-GM authorized flashes to the ECM. If there is even one non-GM flash to the ECM your powertrain warranty is voided. The MM Act won't help you here either.

At the end of the day you changed the engine parameters and made the engine operate differently than GM designed it to. Therefore any engine/powertrain related damage can be blamed on your tune (even if the tune didn't cause it - because the burden goes to you to prove the tune didn't cause the problem).
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Three of Swords View Post
I don't understand. Can't they pull the Tune w/o modifying it? I'm not saying they won't deny warranty coverage. What I'm thinking though is it would potentially be an easy battle to win that the Tune did no damage.
Doesn't matter. It clearly states in the warranty booklet that ANY modifications to the ECM voids your powertrain warranty. So before you even get a chance to argue your case your VIN will be blacklisted from all warranty work and you can't get your VIN off that list. Once you're blacklisted your SOL

There is no way to cheat the system. If there was, someone would have figured it out by now. You have to pay to play people.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three of Swords View Post
I don't understand. Can't they pull the Tune w/o modifying it? I'm not saying they won't deny warranty coverage. What I'm thinking though is it would potentially be an easy battle to win that the Tune did no damage.
What do you mean by pull the tune? I am not sure how you imagine it works but would the dealer not need to be able to SEE the changes to the tune to verify only one thing was changed? YES.

As I said before, the dealer cannot see the changes. They do not know what the tune says, how it is changed, or otherwise. Therefore, it does not matter what you SAY is changed, you can't prove it. Sure, you can show them your laptop and a tune on it but can you prove that is the tune that is in your ECM? No.

Not to mention the dealer/GM won't be interested in what you have to say. the old, "lemme explain" thing just won't happen in the first place.

Have you ever updated firmware on a device or even done a Windows update? Do you know what the code is or exactly what and how is changed in the programming? No? you just know it was updated. That's how it is for the dealer. Do you want to flash the new program? Yes. Done. they can't see anything, therefore your idea is moot.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #8
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What do you mean by pull the tune? I am not sure how you imagine it works but would the dealer not need to be able to SEE the changes to the tune to verify only one thing was changed? YES.

As I said before, the dealer cannot see the changes. They do not know what the tune says, how it is changed, or otherwise. Therefore, it does not matter what you SAY is changed, you can't prove it. Sure, you can show them your laptop and a tune on it but can you prove that is the tune that is in your ECM? No.

Not to mention the dealer/GM won't be interested in what you have to say. the old, "lemme explain" thing just won't happen in the first place.

Have you ever updated firmware on a device or even done a Windows update? Do you know what the code is or exactly what and how is changed in the programming? No? you just know it was updated. That's how it is for the dealer. Do you want to flash the new program? Yes. Done. they can't see anything, therefore your idea is moot.
GM CHOOSES not to see the changes, it would be a simple matter of pulling them up and seeing what was changed....This is willful ignorance and disregard for customer care.....

and by disregard for customer care, I mean they have no proof that simply tuning the car causes damage, no trustworthy source has documented actual damage to the powertrain with nothing more than a tune properly added, they know it doesnt, they in fact tune engines beyond what "stock" set ups require in some models. But in order to save money, not even that much in the grand scheme of things, they turn a blind eye and wave the disclaimer because its impossible to prove a negative and they know it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:50 PM   #9
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GM CHOOSES not to see the changes, it would be a simple matter of pulling them up and seeing what was changed....This is willful ignorance and disregard for customer care.....

and by disregard for customer care, I mean they have no proof that simply tuning the car causes damage, no trustworthy source has documented actual damage to the powertrain with nothing more than a tune properly added, they know it doesnt, they in fact tune engines beyond what "stock" set ups require in some models. But in order to save money, not even that much in the grand scheme of things, they turn a blind eye and wave the disclaimer because its impossible to prove a negative and they know it.

Wrong. The dealer can't see it. Sure they can ship the ECU to the engineers in michigan and maybe they can see it, but since it was flashed with a non-gm software, they may not be able to get it decoded anyways. I don't know for sure. I do know that at the dealer level, they can't. I also know that they are not going to send your ecu anywhere when it shows in the counter it was flashed and it says in the manual flash = no help....

Beyond that, the assumption is that when you have performance enhancing modifications you USE them. When you USE them it can be argued that abuse and misuse (also warranty coverage disabling terms) are applicable. Oh, you have wide wheels and sway bars and coilovers. Your diff is burned up? Sorry. yes, not connected except through the driver....and that is the issue. Racing items are not necessary to get to the farmers market when you need eggs and milk, right? Does the manual say something about racing? Heck you don't even need aftermarket parts to race with.....Take your bone stock car to the dealer for warranty and watch it get denied. Why? Because you left the time slip from Saturday night in your center console. Derrrrr.

Subaru gives you an SCCA club membership with STi purchase. Race your STi and void your warranty. lol.

Manufactuers spend BILLIONS of dollars a year on warranty. Even more if you include Goodwill. Don't you think that this only makes the end price of your car MORE??? Same as frivolous lawsuits making everything more expensive. Tort reform, warranty claim reform. If you want to mod your car away from factory specs, don't expect the factory to pay for it when it breaks. Just DON'T.

I modify the crap out of my cars, I have never tried to get GM to fix one of MY brilliant engineering problems. It's not right. If I choose to do donuts and I ruin a hub, I replace it, not the dealership. That's MY fault.

They don't need proof that the tune didn't cause damage. YOU do. GM does not want to pay your warranty claim. Don't make it easy for them.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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be interesting to know if there is a limit to the flash counter and if it would start over when that limit is reached
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rhyder View Post
GM CHOOSES not to see the changes, it would be a simple matter of pulling them up and seeing what was changed....This is willful ignorance and disregard for customer care.....

and by disregard for customer care, I mean they have no proof that simply tuning the car causes damage, no trustworthy source has documented actual damage to the powertrain with nothing more than a tune properly added, they know it doesnt, they in fact tune engines beyond what "stock" set ups require in some models. But in order to save money, not even that much in the grand scheme of things, they turn a blind eye and wave the disclaimer because its impossible to prove a negative and they know it.
If this were the case, gm would spend thousands of man hours more just reviewing tunes, and trying to determine if that caused the failure.

I work for a dealer, our software can log a ton of pids, but not tell anything calibration-wise besides that it doesn't have a gm calibration number (cvn) anymore. The minute you flash it, that cvn changes to a non gm number.

The fact of the matter is that gm spend tons and tons of time engineering and determining through numerous tests what this platform can handle and be able to offer a 100,000 mile warranty with.

GM doesnt know the good tuners from joe blow, so they can not be held accountable for repairs when the car is being operated on non-gm calibrations. It would be impossible to make judgment decisions all the time and try to determing what caused the failure, so the easiest and most honest way is the way they do it. If its stock, its covered, if not, tough shit, they didn't make you mod it.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:13 PM   #12
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be interesting to know if there is a limit to the flash counter and if it would start over when that limit is reached
If it did, mine would be rolled over at least two times...lmao
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #13
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I am pretty sure it's a running list of 8 but the total counter can go way up. This isn't the 60's anymore, things don't "roll over to zero." lol. That's SO analog.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:25 PM   #14
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