A friend bought a preowned 2014 Audi S4 [3.0-litre] from a dealership in June of 2015 and had it tuned in 2016 with 33,000 kilometers on it. He brought it back to the dealership last week to get some warranty work done because he was having problems with the timing chain and tensioners. The trader notified him that the computer system was showing that the vehicle was flagged as a result of the alterations made and therefore wouldn’t be covered under warranty. He believes the tune doesn’t have anything to do with the job that’s required. – Jennifer
The “song” in question is an after-market reprogramming of the vehicle’s onboard computer to boost engine output.
Your friend’s supercharged Audi S4 probably received a noticeable performance advantage of 25-35 horsepower from this song.
Enthusiasts are willing to swap out their inventory programming, seeing this software-only modification as “free horsepower” because no pieces are required.
However, is it free? Audi does not think so. Their design team computes the last power output with consideration to motor and drivetrain longevity. Any performance gain means increased wear to all those components. How much wear and if that extra horsepower led to the timing chain to fail is problematic, it’s also virtually impossible to disprove.
Car enthusiasts now should think twice, as any modification during their vehicle’s warrantable period obviously has a risk associated with it.
Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about repair and maintenance? E-mail , putting “Lou’s Garage” in the topic area.