Author Topic: 2k1 S4 APR Chip questions  (Read 3417 times)

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kutarkvalidus

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« on: April 07, 2005, 04:27:32 AM »
Hello everyone.  I've been enjoying my new S4, but alas, the need for more power has arisen.  Regardless i have been hearing lots of good things about the APR chip for the S4 and just had a few questions regarding it, for anyone who has one.

First and most importantly.  APR claims the chip is unrecognizable to a dealerships VAG diag tool.  This is of utmost importance to me because i have an extended warranty, and the last thing i need is to drop 5k on replacing turbo's etc because i was chipped and the warranty was denied.  If anyone has had any experience with that please let me know.

The second thing i was curious about is the fuel economy hit.  I imagine as long as your staying out of boost it shouldnt be too much of a hit, but again, these things aren't mentioned on the website.

Other than that my main concern is reliability.  If i chip it can i just expect the turbos to be toast after 70 or 80k miles?  Am i risking tranny failure? Is the stock cluth up to the task of the additional hp/torque?  The site reccomends the intercoolers and exhaust, is this really necessary or is just chipping it still safe/etc.

Thanks again for all your time, and hopefully we can all meet up sometime and cruise.

RobD

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2005, 10:20:34 AM »
I highly recommend a conversation with Mark or Mike at SCR Performance.  I just had them do my APR software upgrade yesterday and Mark was showing me their new project car....S4 and it has the APR upgrade albiet a more aggresive program than the standard upgrade.

I know Pat will chime in and give you a more pessimistic outlook from what he has read on AW.  My own experience with the 1.8t (this is my second APR program/car) has been a very reliable product.  Jon (indigo03) did have his turbos go on his 2.7t allroad.  Check with him on details because I'm unsure of the specifics.

Bottom line is if you want to play, you might have to pay!

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2005, 10:20:34 AM »

DenverPat

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Re: 2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2005, 12:20:32 PM »
Quote from: "kutarkvalidus"
First and most importantly.  APR claims the chip is unrecognizable to a dealerships VAG diag tool.  This is of utmost importance to me because i have an extended warranty, and the last thing i need is to drop 5k on replacing turbo's etc because i was chipped and the warranty was denied.

The second thing i was curious about is the fuel economy hit.

Other than that my main concern is reliability.  If i chip it can i just expect the turbos to be toast after 70 or 80k miles?  Am i risking tranny failure? Is the stock cluth up to the task of the additional hp/torque?


Well, APRs claims for being unrecognizable are wrong.  If you're chipped, they'll find it.  03Indigo went with APR because they told him the same thing.  5,000 miles later his turbos blew.  He was under warranty, but they found the chip and he was out $5,000.
As for fuel economy, if you don't tap into the extra power, you won't use extra fuel.  If you do use the extra power, mileage will decrease slightly.
What kind of tranny?
Turbos in those cars are a crap shoot.  I wouldn't be surprised if they blew after 80K miles.  I wouldn't be surprised if they lasted 50K or 120K, either.
Clutch- it depends on your driving style.  If you're smart about it there shouldn't be a major difference in clutch life.
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kutarkvalidus

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2005, 01:57:25 PM »
Tranny is the 6spd.  All in all i'll probably not end up doing it.  If the dealer can find the chip, they'll most likely deny repairs on just about anything.

Oh well, guess i can save up for those 18" SSR GT3's i've been lusting after ;-).

Unless someone has an idea of a work around?  I know with the Accessport for the subies, you could just flash the stock program, and as long as you didnt have any aftermarket turbo's etc.  They couldnt say shit.

Is there anything like that for the S4's?  Or are they all solder on the chip only type thing.

kutarkvalidus

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2005, 02:24:34 PM »
Hrmm, i'm thinking Revo tuning may be the way to go.

http://www.revotechnik.com/products/faq.aspx

Sounds pretty much just like an Accessport.

JDawg

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2005, 12:52:41 AM »
I would check into GIAC as well.  They produce a flash program for the S4, and you will have to contact them regarding what dealers see when they VAG your car.
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Cole

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2005, 01:10:16 PM »
You can also check the AW  classifieds for a complete computer with chip already in it. This way you just swap computers when you go to the dealer for service. This is about a 10 min job.

Cole Ford
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JDawg

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2005, 01:14:06 PM »
I do agree that a computer swap is the way to go.  But remember, that computer will not accumulate miles while it is sitting on your shelf, so your dealer may wonder why you have only driven 20 miles the past year.
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Cole

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2005, 01:26:45 PM »
My understanding is that the "miles" in the S4 are actually stored in the gauge cluster. (unlike many cars). I have read posts about gauge clusters being swapped out (for whatever reason) and the miles of the donor car are the ones that stay.

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JDawg

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2005, 03:07:01 PM »
Well, that is mostly true.  The computer stores its own distance information too, so the two have to match somehow.
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kutarkvalidus

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2005, 04:18:22 PM »
Hrmmm, you guys don't think just spending a little extra on the revo thing would be easier than swapping out the computers?

RobD

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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2005, 05:54:47 PM »
If Revo offers a flash program and the ability to switch back to stock mode (I did not check the link too close) I would say that would offer more detection protection than an actual chip sodered into place, as in the APR product for your car.  Any chip that is sodered into place can be detected.  All you have to do is pull the eco and remove the cover and see the chip right there. At that point a seperate ECU with a stock chip is better.  A flashed prgram that offers a lockout back into stock makes it much more difficult for the dealer to detect anything.

I had a seperate ecu for my last Passat and it definately came in hand since I had several kind of major warranty issues covered.  With my current Passat I went with the direct port programming with the stock mode and lockout added.  Hopefully I won't have to test its detectability.

Like Pat said, if you use the power you will use more gas thus lower mileage.  The trade off is the smile on your face!

Good luck with whatever you decide,
Rob

Rian_Colorado

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2005, 09:04:38 PM »
Quote from: "kutarkvalidus"
Hrmmm, you guys don't think just spending a little extra on the revo thing would be easier than swapping out the computers?


Actually, having a complete extra ECU will cost more then the Revo (or GIAC, or APR) multiple program options (most are in the 1200$ new, 800$ used price ranges)

I would VERY much suggest going the "extra" ECU route however. How many of the techs do you think know what the tricks are to swapping the programs? (most if not all are controled via the Cruise control stalk) If a tech checks, and finds you have the programming......... bye bye. I suggest this for more then one reason however. If you ever have a problem with one, you always have a spare, you have options for eliminating variables when troubleshooting..... etc. (not to mention the trip to the dealer when you'd prefer not to arouse suspicion)

NO aftermarket ECU or programming is "undetectable" all you have to do is use a vag com to prove this to yourself. The program logs "actual" and "Requested" boost. As soon as they see "requested" at a value higher then normal...... again... bye bye.

As others have stated, you gotta pay to play. I've seen people chip, and literally 50 miles later..... toasted turbos. I've also seen cars go 120K on stock turbos and GIAC X software (one of the more aggressive) Moral here is that it's a TOTAL crap shoot. Seriously, it's totally luck. The B5 S4's have been known to have more then thier fair share of turbo problems too. I'd put it this way, IF you chip, do so with the 90/10 certainty that IF they blow, you'll be paying for them. (cost is more like 8K at a dealer, 4K via independents) I'd say the chances of failed turbo's are probably 8-10%, and probably a little higher being that you're in Colorado. This varies some on the flavor of the chip you buy...... but all basically do the same thing, so all increase your risk. Just FYI, plenty have been known to fail on STOCK software so.......

console yourself with the fact that a) K04's are mega fun :) and b) they have proven to be pretty reliable (MUCH moreso then K03's)

Just food for thought.

Rian
55 MPH, slow enough to make you THINK you're safe, fast enough to kill you"

RobD

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2005, 12:32:06 PM »
Rian - Is it possible that the failures you discuss both stock and chipped are more related to the design of this engine and combination?  Big heat producing engine in a small space cooking the turbos especially when not properly cooled after aggressive use?  The chip just accentuates this problem.

Again if you chip you run risks.  How much risk are you willing to take so that you can play?

Rob

Rian_Colorado

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2005, 02:18:19 PM »
Hey Rob!

    The heat/space issue in the S4 is certainly an issue, and a large contributor, if not the primary reason. Most of the Audiworld guys would probably agree with you. I have a little different opinion, but I think many things help out here. Personally I think that the shaft on which the turbine spins was poorly designed. Heat causes weaknes in the metal, the shaft moves ever so slightly, and the turbine begins to contact the housing. Of course heat is the primary cause for failure here too..  The reason I'm sold on a design failure instead of heat? All turbo's have heat issues. Look at Jon's allroad failure for example. MUCH larger engine bay, better heat handling, and it still fried the turbo's, same with many of the 2.7T A6's. I do think the problem is more exagerated in the S4. I think it's reather telling that when you look at conservativly tuned cars with K04s (if you can consider 400HP conservative) and you don't see failures... that tells me something about the part. I'll go that way someday (once $$ allows) but I think maybe Audi should have gone that way from the beginning.
55 MPH, slow enough to make you THINK you're safe, fast enough to kill you"

RobD

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2005, 02:48:56 PM »
Yes I would agree Rian.  The KO3 has it's limitations and that is especially true when Jon's Allroad failure is examined.  He showed me those turbos and its a wonder the VWAudi engineers used these puppies especially on the 2.7 engine.  If they would have upgraded to the KO4's alot of bad press would not be out there.

As for your upgrade, I guess it got put into a new tranny for the Passat!

How is that situation?

Oh and in my previous post I meant to say "...combination of heat."

Rob

Rian_Colorado

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2005, 07:27:48 PM »
LOL, Yeah, no $hit

   Tranny ended up costing me 3600$, that would have gone a LONG way in parts for the K04 swap. Having been laid off for a month didn't help either. I swear, every day I left for work this week, I came home and something had broken. New Washing machine, broken screen door, broken electric truck (my son).. the $$ is all going out, but not coming in!

Problem is adding up all the costs on what really SHOULD be done on a K04 swap:

turbos = 2-2300$
Clutch = 600$
Flywheel = 600$
downpipes = 1000$
IC's = 1200$
piping etc (small stuff) = 1000$
Programming = 800 - 2000$
Install = 1-3000$

8200 cheap, 11,700 on the high end. It CAN add up. Especially when the car's only worth 20Kish in the current market. Problem is, you're still not going to buy many other cars with that performance for the 30K from adding up all of the above...

R
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Cole

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2005, 07:32:59 PM »
Did they replace or rebuild your Trans?


If they just did a replacement did you have a "core" charge? Or did they just keep your old tras without discussing this with you?

Cole Ford
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kutarkvalidus

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2005, 09:45:19 PM »
Hrmm, that may just be a good idea.  Unfortunately not much is on ebay that looks promising.

Wouldn't the dealer be able to tell that wasnt the ECU that came with the car though?

Cole

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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2005, 10:39:28 PM »
Chip the new ECU, use the original for stock.

Cole Ford
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RobD

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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2005, 10:47:46 PM »
I had no detection issues with my spare ecu.  The only problem is when you pull a CEL on the chipped unit and switch back to stock you lose that info for the dealer but I found that you find the out the code info/meaning and "help" them along with whatever the issue is.

kutarkvalidus

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2005, 01:39:52 AM »
Hrmm, i found a company that sells pre chipped ECU's, the whole unit, so i can keep my stock ECU and swap it if something happens.

Forgive my n00bness but CEL is check engine light?

If thats the case, i assume by your last message you pretty would just have to say "well here is what happened, etc etc" whereas normally they would pull the code and discover it that way.

Regardless, the chip is from AWE Tuning, and GIAC chipped.

http://www.awe-tuning.com/pages/shared/part_detail.cfm?PMaI=1&PMoI=4&PEI=6&PP=s4_27t_chips.cfm&PPT=Chips&IL=s4ECUs

What do you guys think?  Probably a good idea given my situation?

kraut-sled

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2k1 S4 APR Chip questions
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2005, 04:18:13 AM »
Quote from: "kutarkvalidus"
Hrmm, i found a company that sells pre chipped ECU's, the whole unit, so i can keep my stock ECU and swap it if something happens.

Forgive my n00bness but CEL is check engine light?

If thats the case, i assume by your last message you pretty would just have to say "well here is what happened, etc etc" whereas normally they would pull the code and discover it that way.

Regardless, the chip is from AWE Tuning, and GIAC chipped.

http://www.awe-tuning.com/pages/shared/part_detail.cfm?PMaI=1&PMoI=4&PEI=6&PP=s4_27t_chips.cfm&PPT=Chips&IL=s4ECUs

What do you guys think?  Probably a good idea given my situation?



We are a GIAC dealer, right here in Denver. We can flash your car on the spot, and give you a device (handheld flashloader) that lets you turn the chip on or off at will. The handheld device can fit in a coat pocket and will provide you with the adjustability and protection you need with your warranty. I f you want a whole new ECU that is chipped, we can provide that as well.
Give us a phone call at 303-400-3001 for expert advice on the S4.
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303-935-9065