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One of positives of the Ascent for me was that it has a turbocharged Subaru engine under the hood, with the engine use expanding across multiple model lines. While I won't be modifying extensively, a tune is likely at somepoint. Beefing up the area under the curve, smoothing out the factory power delivery, and generally improving driveability is a nice perk of turbocharging.

And as far as factory tunes go, read up on WRX/STI tunes in the EJ days during high load/low RPM situations that would cause a razor-thin safety margin when it came to knock. Companies have their reasons as to why they do things (Ascent cargo light comes to mind), so there are certainly areas where the aftermarket could improve upon what is being offered.
 

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Seems like minor improvements for $800 ... keep complaining to Subaru ... if a couple of guys in a tuner shop can ”fix” problems, Subaru should be able to, as well.

My wife’s 2010 Saab has flawless low rpm performance and smooth transition to turbocharger ... my 2017 6.2 liter GM Silverado has perfect low rpm, and high rpm characteristics ... not even a flutter. Friend’s Honda Pilot has absolutely flawless idle to full throttle, same with other friends’ new Toyota’s.

Fixing poor running characteristics is the job of the OEM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
You have to consider that the number of folks who look for a solution like Cobb is pretty limited compared to the overall market for a given vehicle. Enthusiasts, in other words, and they are less likely to worry about the warranty aspects anyway. Subaru tunes for the overall market. Cobb tunes for the individual enthusiast.
Okay, here is a thought for re-mapping ECU's and warranty concerns: If one were to purchase a brand new Subaru Ascent ECU from a Subaru parts house (which I think cost around 600.00) would it come pre-programmed with the appropriate stock tune map? Does the ECU record "out of service" or "Disconnected" modes? I guess by now everyone knows where I am going with these questions.

Anyway, here is a very interesting video concerning re-mapping the ECU on a warranted vehicle:
 

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Okay, here is a thought for re-mapping ECU's and warranty concerns: If one were to purchase a brand new Subaru Ascent ECU from a Subaru parts house (which I think cost around 600.00) would it come pre-programmed with the appropriate stock tune map? Does the ECU record "out of service" or "Disconnected" modes? I guess by now everyone knows where I am going with these questions.
It sounds to me like you're wondering if you can essentially swap out a modified ECU for an unmodified one. While I suppose this is possible in theory, I think you'd have to have a lot of help and assistance from either Subaru of America's engineering department and/or the service department at the local dealership because, to my understanding, the VIN is programmed into each ECU. It's part of the system, and it talks to all the other modules in the car and probably performs digital data "handshakes" during each power-on event, etc. Because the chain of custody of those things is so tightly controlled (to prevent things like obscuring VINs from flood and other title close-outs), I don't think you'd find success in attempting this.
 

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It sounds to me like you're wondering if you can essentially swap out a modified ECU for an unmodified one. While I suppose this is possible in theory, I think you'd have to have a lot of help and assistance from either Subaru of America's engineering department and/or the service department at the local dealership because, to my understanding, the VIN is programmed into each ECU. It's part of the system, and it talks to all the other modules in the car and probably performs digital data "handshakes" during each power-on event, etc. Because the chain of custody of those things is so tightly controlled (to prevent things like obscuring VINs from flood and other title close-outs), I don't think you'd find success in attempting this.
Yea, I seriously doubt it would anything close to "plug and play" to swap. Probably easier and more cost effective to just reflash to stock and back to tune as necsssary.
 

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Seems like minor improvements for $800 ... keep complaining to Subaru ... if a couple of guys in a tuner shop can ”fix” problems, Subaru should be able to, as well.

My wife’s 2010 Saab has flawless low rpm performance and smooth transition to turbocharger ... my 2017 6.2 liter GM Silverado has perfect low rpm, and high rpm characteristics ... not even a flutter. Friend’s Honda Pilot has absolutely flawless idle to full throttle, same with other friends’ new Toyota’s.

Fixing poor running characteristics is the job of the OEM.
I don't disagree - but often this is kind of change is evolutionary and that, unfortunately, takes time.

Sometimes, they get it right from the start, but not infrequently, it takes recalls, TSBs, or simply the evolution of revisions to the chassis in subsequent MY updates, in order to address driveability issues.
 

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Maybe Subaru could hire some engineers from Honda or Toyota or Chevrolet?

Seriously, though - great car, but an engine that doesn’t run well, seems odd.
 

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Seriously, though - great car, but an engine that doesn’t run well, seems odd.
Why do you say the engine doesn't run well? That couldn't be farther from the truth. The engine works as designed and runs just fine. In fact, it runs really well. Yes, there are some folks who want to get more out of it...that's where companies like Cobb make their money across many brands. Subaru is partially owned by Toyota and there already is engineering and technology sharing, including a vehicle that is sold by both. (BRZ on the Subaru side)
 

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Well, much like a lot of threads, my 21 chuggles (my word) along at light loads and low speed - feels like it is swinging between too lean and normal.

Gonna wait to do a service call on it - doesn’t sound like this is unusual.

Again, a little, but fixable thing that had I known (assuming this is not unusual) would certainly have figured into my decision to buy the car. If this is something fixable on ours, then, pardon the post - we’ll keep working it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Maybe Subaru could hire some engineers from Honda or Toyota or Chevrolet?

Seriously, though - great car, but an engine that doesn’t run well, seems odd.
Doesn't run well? Can you eloborate a bit on that for us. It sounds like you may need to take your car into service for a check-up.
 

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Perhaps, but others have noted this same low throttle, low speed phenomena, right?
I've the 2021 premium 2 weeks old. I have NO issue with low speed low throttle. I have more an issue with it wanting to be in the next Indy car race..LOL Mine gets up to 45 (speed limit here on most roads) easily and quickly.
 

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Maybe Subaru could hire some engineers from Honda or Toyota or Chevrolet?

Seriously, though - great car, but an engine that doesn’t run well, seems odd.
I assume you're being at least partially facetious with the first part, but... Tunes are mostly beneficial to FI cars in general (turbo or supercharged); Hondas, Toyotas, and Chevy's that appeal to the right crowd do and will get tunes. The Zupras (current Supra) are getting tunes, previous Supra Turbos, MR2 Turbos, VWs, Audis, BMWs the list goes on. Tuning isn't something exclusive to Subarus.

It's not that the Ascent's engine doesn't run well, it's that some people that run want it to run "differently" (increase HP, power curves, etc.). As others have pointed out though, it's a very small % of the overall population who actually care enough or will tune - that's for all brands/models. For majority of the people out there, the car is perfectly fine in stock form - if it wasn't they likely would be driving something else.
 

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I've not had the problem (was stuck in traffic doing about 20 last week for 2 miles). I'd have it looked at.
 

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Perhaps, but others have noted this same low throttle, low speed phenomena, right?
Don't assume it's the engine. The programming of the transmission has a major impact on Ascent's performance.
 
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I think a lot of what you're feeling is the programming of the CVT. In some of these situations, I think it's silly at best, lousy at worst. Run the car with the transmission in manual mode and I think you'll find the engine itself to be a real sweetheart.

If you haven't written a letter or made a phone call to Subaru of America about this, please do. I think it's the only way we'll get Subaru's attention. Only a critical mass of reporting on this will compel them to fix it.
 

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Perhaps, but others have noted this same low throttle, low speed phenomena, right?
As with other communities like this, it tends to attract not only enthusiasts/hobbies and fans, but also the subset that's having trouble and looking either for true solutions or just an outlet for venting. Both of the latter are just as valid as any of the former. :)

Yes, there have been others who've had similar concerns as those you are voicing.

However, there are also many who do not.

Most of the driving that I do on a daily basis is between the 25 and 35 - I live in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and my commute is into University Heights via Cleveland Heights. Google will corroborate my self-report of my usual road-speeds, and given similar confirmation of the rather enthusiastic nature of local speed/traffic enforcement (on my 5 mile commute into work this morning, I witnessed two traffic stops), I really do try to not spoil my Zen, and just stick to the PSL.

Believe me when I say that if the 25-to-35 were a problem for me, you'd definitely have read about it in my past posts here! :ROFLMAO: For example, here's some of my earlier posts in the LegacyGT.com community (which mostly served owners active in tuning the BL/BP-chassis Legacy) about the then-infamous "stutter/studder" issue as well as ECU-remapping:
My screen-name there was "TSi+WRX"

At the time, some hobbyist-tuners had noted a strange pattern in that the surging/stuttering/studdering seemed to follow a certain base-map.... my second tune did seem to have a slight hesitation at the commonly reported flat-spot.

But guess what? The map that my early-build BL came out of the factory with? No such issue...while a fellow local enthusiast's '05 LGT -also a 5MT- did (and we both rode/drove in each others' car to verify what we thought; sure, it could have been a shared delusion, but :p).
 
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