Performance Mods and Warrantee
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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, Performance Mods and Warrantee in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; There are now several outfits that are starting to produce performance modifications for the ATS and I am sorely tempted ...
  1. #1
    Tallis77 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Performance Mods and Warrantee

    There are now several outfits that are starting to produce performance modifications for the ATS and I am sorely tempted by a boost in HP for my 2.0L ATS. I have read many of the threads here about performance mods and there are always a few raising the issue that these mods will most likely void the drivetrain warrantee. I have the same concern: this is a new car and I am leery of giving up the warrantee. The funny thing is that if this were a three or four year old car that was out of the main warrantee, I might take my chances and do a mod anyway.

    I have been thinking about this recently and wondering what others think. Let's assume the worst: suppose I installed a mod and sometime down the road the engine blew out or the transmission ground itself to dust. I am far from an expert, but I would guess it might cost 8-10K with labor to have a new engine swapped in. Is that in the right ballpark?

    That's a big chunk of change and a pretty sobering prospect. GM would certainly do all that it could to avoid that liability in the presence of modifications. But then I began to wonder: what if the performance mod outfit offered a warrantee? Say, for some fixed time (maybe two years or so), they would cover a catastrophic drivetrain failure. Now I think most of these outfits offer a kind of warrantee on the parts that they are selling but not on the drivetrain itself. They don't make the engine itself so that's not normally part of what they warrantee. Fair enough -- maybe this kind of warrantee could cost extra. It then becomes a bit more like insurance. I would be willing to pay extra for that insurance (probably up to about 20-25 percent of the cost of the mod) for that extra peace of mind. Do you think something like that could work?

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  3. #2
    mikesul is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    For 8-10K I could have a V8 installed.

  4. #3
    SLA
    SLA is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    If you're that concerned about your warranty, the only option is to stay stock unless they offer GM performance parts in the future.

    Most of the modding vs warranty thing is up to the dealer. Some dealers are ok with doing warranty work on a modded car, some are not.

  5. #4
    ATSFL is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    not many aftermarket companies will offer anything to cover engine damage. i've seen it attempted by a few companies in the past; just turns into lawsuit after lawsuit, with each party pointing at each other.

    when you do anything to your car/engine outside of manufacturer's specifications, you do it assuming the risk yourself. do your research on each product you install, and make an educated decision. ask every question you have.

    as far as warranty is concerned, the best and safest bet would be to sit down with your service advisor, and see what they would agree on as being permissible. things like intake pipes, axle-back exhausts, wheels & suspension components will typically be OK with your dealership. tuning products where boost is manipulated outside of factory spec, and the removal/modification of catalysts is typically something they're NOT OK with.

  6. #5
    Stevo Supremo's Avatar
    Stevo Supremo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesul View Post
    For 8-10K I could have a V8 installed.
    lol try more like $25,000 a V8 LS1 crate + trans is like $12,000

    The only guys that offer warranty on parts are paces like UR and Hennessy (they used to on the V models) but even that was sooooo finicky. Honestly you gotta pay to play, if you're worried about this stuff I wouldn't mod. But lets be honest, a simple tune, intake/dp isn't gonna ruin anything. Its when you start slapping big turbo's, spray, serious computer tinkering and the sort that you're gonna blow something to pieces. I've seen it a million times in the forced induction crowd lol.

  7. #6
    YoshiFD3S's Avatar
    YoshiFD3S is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo Supremo View Post
    But lets be honest, a simple tune, intake/dp isn't gonna ruin anything.
    Honestly, you're wrong.

    It comes down to the District Manager for your dealership area(s) as to just how much support/service they will provide to your car after you've modified it.

    In San Diego, my local Hyundai dealer still worked with my Sonata even after I put a tune on it, but they basically made it known that if my tune was identified as the root cause of any issues, that they would not be able to cover it.

    Flash forward to now, in Georgia.

    I take my Sonata to a local dealer and they go on and on about how their DM would gladly "black-list" my car if he were forced to come look at it as part of any warranty service, simply because of the mods I have.

    So again, it's completely situational and dependent on the dealership and just how stern their DM is.

    From a neutral position I would agree that bolt-ons shouldn't matter and unless you can prove that a tune caused an issue, then warranties should still be in-place...but not every dealership is going to be that nice.

    Anyone who is willing to modify their $40,000+ Cadillac should recognize and realize the risks involved.

    "Pay to play" as you/we say.

  8. #7
    mikesul is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo Supremo View Post
    lol try more like $25,000 a V8 LS1 crate + trans is like $12,000

    You don't have to buy new. Look for a fairly new wreck and buy the running gear. I new LS1 can be had for <$7K.

    The only guys that offer warranty on parts are paces like UR and Hennessy (they used to on the V models) but even that was sooooo finicky. Honestly you gotta pay to play, if you're worried about this stuff I wouldn't mod. But lets be honest, a simple tune, intake/dp isn't gonna ruin anything. Its when you start slapping big turbo's, spray, serious computer tinkering and the sort that you're gonna blow something to pieces. I've seen it a million times in the forced induction crowd lol.
    I've added a stage 2 upgrade to the factory turbo along with dp, intake, E85 conversion, and tune. Now up to ~360 rwhp. Total spent is <$2K and pretty happy with the results.

  9. #8
    malaka1 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesul View Post
    I've added a stage 2 upgrade to the factory turbo along with dp, intake, E85 conversion, and tune. Now up to ~360 rwhp. Total spent is <$2K and pretty happy with the results.
    Link to this upgrade?

  10. #9
    Stevo Supremo's Avatar
    Stevo Supremo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiFD3S View Post
    Honestly, you're wrong.
    actually I'm not, I've been involved with this engine breed for almost 5 years and nobody that I know of has blown an engine or broken things with a tune/intake/DP... unless you obviously abuse the tune and push it beyond the parameters that it was sent with. the LNF/LHU/LTG are fantastic engines that are sent from the factory far below what they can actually tolorate.

    guys in the cobalt club get trifecta tunes/intakes/DP's and push over 300HP and never have a single issue (unless they're doing something stupid)

  11. #10
    Tallis77 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    Ok, it seems like the consensus is that it's unlikely that a warranty from the performance mod outfits would work. I buy that -- it would be difficult to assign responsibility in case of failure. The engine itself could have been wonky even without mods and that would muddy the waters significantly.

    Ultimately, I think this really comes down to how likely it is to suffer a drivetrain failure with modifications in place. I suspect the mod outfits have done their engineering assessments on this scenario. If their mods caused lots of drivetrain failures, word would get around and they wouldn't sell very many of their mods. So it seems that they must believe that their mods are unlikely to cause major failures. Others have noted that the 2.0L turbo is a solid block and is over engineered for its application in the ATS. So, for moderate bolt-ons and tunes, I conclude the probability of drivetrain failure is pretty low. How low is anyone's guess without data to back it up. That's going to be a personal judgement call.

    The warranty issue boils down to how your dealer chooses to handle modifications. They could be uptight about it and refuse any warranty work as long as there are modifications in place. They could be a little less uptight and handle any non-drivetrain warranty issues but object if they need to touch the drivetrain. I would be ok with the latter stance but that might be a problem if there was an overlap issue. Suppose there is a service bulletin that says that they need to adjust the engine computer settings. That would make for an awkward situation -- I suppose you could simply ask for that TSB to be skipped.

    I understand that this is a "pay to play" zone and that we are dealing with a tradeoff: better performance at the cost of additional risk to the drivetrain that may not be covered by any warranty. There may be other headaches too: dealing with the service staff at the dealer could be a pain. Nonetheless, I am still considering a moderate tune :-)

  12. #11
    Clavery is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    I will preface this with the fact that i do work in a dealership.

    That said, a dealership cannot deny your warranty unless they can show that a particular mod you have done or something you have changed is the cause of your particular concern. Its as simple as that. It is true, some of our reps are much less likely to help out if they know your car has been modified. But even then, if a technician can determine the cause of your issue is something that has not been affected by whatever you have done, they cannot deny your warranty. Usually a call to customer car by the consumer (if warranty was denied) helps greatly. Your o2 sensor goes out after a tune or air/fuel changes you have made, probably not gonna be covered. You throw a piston through your head, more than likely its gonna be hard for them to determine that was due to an engine tune. Just examples.

  13. #12
    mikesul is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    Quote Originally Posted by malaka1 View Post
    Link to this upgrade?
    Vtuner has this available.. vtuner.com

  14. #13
    YoshiFD3S's Avatar
    YoshiFD3S is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Performance Mods and Warrantee

    In my example with my modified Sonata, the service reps seemed "honest" in basically stating that their District Manager had "final authority" in the sense that he could tell them NOT to work on my car.

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