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2012 2.5 wagon, named Newbaru
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am really disappointed with the lack of power and torque with my 12 Outback wagon. So I have been looking at getting a performance chip. They advertise UP to 60hp (with a lot of other mods, I presume) Anyone try one of these and what difference did you notice in performance??

thanks
 

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73 Posts
It may help, but will void the powertrain warranty. At one time you could remove the chip and re-flash and all evidence of the chip was removed. Not so these days, it can be detected regardless. That said there are some shops out there that will ignore what they find. However all manufactures are cracking down on these activities. Rechip at your own risk.
 

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2013 outback SAP
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84 Posts
I would expect very little to no gains from a chip. 60hp is laughable. My guess is a perfect tune, for your altitude and gas type could net you 10 max with no other mods. A mail order chip will not be that good.

You would be better off with a nice intake and exhaust, but I'm not sure those are available for an outback 2.5

Chips work excellent on turbo diesels where it can play with the boost. Not so much on a na 4cyl.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,372 Posts
No no no no no no no. Nothing more than junk. THEY DO NOT WORK.

Have I gotten my point across?

If you needed a lot of HP, I'm sorry to say you have the wrong vehicle. The OB puts out 170 HP in a heavy wagon form...if you need more power, the 3.6 is the only way to go.
 

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2,818 Posts
If ECU mods worked, I would think Subaru would install them OEM. Why wouldn't Subaru want more HP, cleaner emissions and better mpg for its consumers?
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
Here's how I explain PCM chips to people.
There has to be a performance part there that can be modified. Turbo boost can be altered for more power. The better quality the turbo the higher output potential hence the "Up to" designation. On a naturally aspirated engine you're limited to timing and fuel:air ratio adjustments.

What does this mean for you engine?
Imagine that you're riding a horse. Now give that horse some speed. Yeah it might perform better for a little bit but you're wrecking your horse.

There are tolerances built into most engines. This allows for incremental power increases of the life of a model but they're usually negligible. The reason cars aren't sold with their engines running at their limit should be pretty obvious.
 

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2012, Outback, 3.6R
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If ECU mods worked, I would think Subaru would install them OEM. Why wouldn't Subaru want more HP, cleaner emissions and better mpg for its consumers?
OEMs have to account for both power and reliability.

Without a turbo, it is safe to assume that all 'chip' mods are snake oil.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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2,104 Posts
Chip mods are all snake oil, turbo or not. A proper ecu tune on an N/A car will make the car smoother and possibly a few more hp. There's nothing you can do to a 2.5 N/A engine to get an extra 60hp short of adding a turbo...There was someone on here at some point with a 2.5i that went with e85 and got a tune for it. Got a bit more power.

60 extra hp is easy on the 2.5 turbo. downpipe and tune, or in the case of the 2010 2.5turbo, a tune might be all you need. There is no chip that will do it though. You need a real tune that modifies timing, fueling, boost control, and many other things!
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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True, except that rocketchip appears to alter entire maps by an offset. Not a good idea without the ability to log. I haven't messed around with turbo diesels, so maybe it's not as much of an issue. If you increased timing, boost, and leaned out fueling on a stock map from a 2.5 gas turbo, you'll destroy your pistons very quickly! The stock map unaltered is borderline dangerous for the engine.

Even the ones that will give a performance gain should be treated with extreme caution. There are always ways to trick the ecu into doing things, but without the ability to monitor any possible negative consequences, it's a terrible idea.
 
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