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    Thread: Purchasing a VW from a Toyota dealership - How can I be sure it's stock?

    1. Member mcbaker55's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 09:51 AM #1
      I'm looking at a low mileage Golf R at a Toyota dealership a couple of hours away. Obviously, getting the balance of the 6/72 warranty is a big benefit and I want to avoid any potential warranty claim issues in the future due to the car being tuned and flagged. How can I be sure I'm purchasing an unmodified car? Or am I over-thinking this? Thanks.

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    3. Member n0rdicalex.'s Avatar
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      12-06-2019 09:59 AM #2
      take it for a test drive and get it scanned by a VW dealer.
      welcome to the layer cake

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      12-06-2019 10:08 AM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by n0rdicalex. View Post
      take it for a test drive and get it scanned by a VW dealer.
      Having a dealer scan it will flag it if it was not flagged before. And he'll have no way of knowing that day. So it would potentially come up not flagged then 6 months later when he goes to take it in for something it may show up flagged.


      If you call a dealer and they are willing to punch the VIN to check and it's not flagged it still may be tuned. If you want to make sure for certain it has no tune any of the major tuners should be able to flash with a stock file to erase the tune. There's zero evidence flash counters are used for flagging cars, but software versions even stock to stock may trip up the system so you don't want a shop to update just a lateral reflash of the same software level.

    5. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 10:23 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by mcbaker55 View Post
      How can I be sure I'm purchasing an unmodified car?
      From a practical standpoint, you can’t be sure. The selling Toyota dealer cannot and will not guarantee it. If it’s already been TD1 flagged then a sympathetic VW dealer might be willing to look up your VIN to check. However, I’ve found very few sympathetic VW dealers, so it’s a crap shoot. VWVortex used to have friendly dealer people provide hookups for the community with things like this but not sure if anyone does that anymore. Perhaps best to check the Golf R sub-forum. Furthermore, as Chris mentioned, there may be latency in the information system between when a car is scanned by a dealer and when the TD1 flag populates across the network. So a car could theoretically have a scan today and be fine and the TD1 flag may not “appear” until the next dealer visit.

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      12-06-2019 12:31 PM #5
      I bought my 2012 GTI from a Toyota dealer.

      I could tell it wasn't stock from the smell of unburnt hydrocarbons coming from the exhaust.

      But seriously..it was CPO and the Toyota dealer conveniently forgot to tell me I could have the CPO transferred to me for a fee.
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    7. Member Pnuu's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 12:59 PM #6
      Get the VIN and start contacting anyone you can find to sweet-talk them into sharing info with you. That's about all you can do.

      This will include the selling VW dealership as well as any other VW dealership that logged service on the car (check the Carfax).

      You may have some luck checking with the popular tuning companies, by calling them and phrasing the question as "I'm looking to buy this Golf R and I can't figure out what tune is on it. Do you have this VIN logged in your system?" or something like that.

      Beyond that, if you're savvy you can inspect things like bolt heads for removal of some parts (intake, downpipe, suspension, etc) or have a local independent VW tuning shop inspect it for you.

    8. 12-06-2019 01:33 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by chris86vw View Post
      If you want to make sure for certain it has no tune any of the major tuners should be able to flash with a stock file to erase the tune. There's zero evidence flash counters are used for flagging cars
      ummmmmm....it's not in dispute that flash counters are used by the current VW system.

      Not sure where you're coming from.

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      12-06-2019 02:14 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by elmo3 View Post
      ummmmmm....it's not in dispute that flash counters are used by the current VW system.

      Not sure where you're coming from.
      Flash counters have been available in ecus used by VW and Audi since the late 90s. Vehicles with flash counters but older ecus that do not make other data visible externally are not able to be flagged by the VW/Audi system automatically and require a dealer to manually flag.

      Vehicles with dozens of flash attempts and numerous successful flashes on the counters have gone to the dealers with 100% stock and correct (correct being very key here) software and not been flagged.


      There is no evidence I have ever seen that flash counters have been used to automatically flag cars, and there is good reason. Legally you or I can pay VW for a stock file if you have a J2534 to flash that file into our cars as many times as we wish. You can show up to the dealer with a car that has never seen anything but stock software and has 100s of attempts and dozens of successful flashes.

      Flash counters have not and never will mean a car had aftermarket software.

    10. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 02:54 PM #9
      Even VW dealers may not know unless the ECU was touched.

      A local kid dropped by to visit KBJr and was talking about modding the GTI he had just picked up from a local dealer. I said, wait, let's have a look because I think it's already at least had suspension work. Yeah - not just suspension work, but nicely modded and tuned as well. The VW dealer caught none of this.

      Kudos to the previous owner, though. They built a nice car and it was damn near stock-looking. The poor kid was so bummed as he was looking to do the work himself!
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    11. Member n0rdicalex.'s Avatar
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      12-06-2019 03:24 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      Even VW dealers may not know unless the ECU was touched.
      the TD1 flag indicates it's been flashed. how that flag is set, I don't know. there's info about being able to return to stock flash for dealership visits, but I'm not totally sure if that can be hidden.
      welcome to the layer cake

    12. 12-06-2019 03:25 PM #11
      I personally would stay away. You are rolling the dice here. In before you get it, turbo fails and it turns out to be TD1 flagged. Someone probably dumped for a reason.

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      12-06-2019 04:49 PM #12
      You could always performance test it against stock benchmarks.

    14. Member Jimmy Russells's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 04:55 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by oidoglr View Post
      You could always performance test it against stock benchmarks.
      Won't help if it has been put back to stock file.

      I would look for telltale signs on various bolts and clamps. Has the airbox been removed, the inlet piping been messed around with etc. You can usually tell by orientation of the clamps and compare to a stock engine bay. Check the harnesses a JB4 would plug into for any marks. Same with all the exhaust clamps, check the exhaust fasteners for tool marks, orientation of clamps against factory, etc.

    15. Global Moderator EPilot's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 05:46 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Russells View Post
      Won't help if it has been put back to stock file.

      I would look for telltale signs on various bolts and clamps. Has the airbox been removed, the inlet piping been messed around with etc. You can usually tell by orientation of the clamps and compare to a stock engine bay. Check the harnesses a JB4 would plug into for any marks. Same with all the exhaust clamps, check the exhaust fasteners for tool marks, orientation of clamps against factory, etc.
      Also check the downpipes for finger marks and the clamp bolt for tool marks. Most tuned and turned back to stock will show signs of removal on the DP.

    16. Member mcbaker55's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 09:41 PM #15
      Thanks for all the replies. Just to get this out of the way - there is nothing to suggest that this car has ever been modified, but I've probably spent way too much time lurking around this place, so I have the paranoia for these things. The sales person has assured me it's stock and was owned by a middle aged dude. She sent me a bunch of pics of the engine bay and it looks fine to me. As I mentioned, the car is a few hours away, so swinging by the dealer to poke around in there isn't really an option. I dunno - maybe I should buy new.

      mb

    17. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      12-06-2019 10:24 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by mcbaker55 View Post
      maybe I should buy new.
      Buying new certainly has advantages: better lending terms, almost certainty that it has not been TD1 flagged, stronger Lemon Law protections, etc. But you pay for more depreciation. Only you can determine the risk/ reward/ cost/ benefit.

    18. 12-06-2019 10:44 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by chris86vw View Post
      There is no evidence I have ever seen that flash counters have been used to automatically flag cars
      And therefore, by definition it's not happening.

      Got it.

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      12-07-2019 01:18 AM #18
      Why not get a PPI from a VW dealer while you're at it. Small price to pay for a big purchase and a peace of mind. Also, if they find anything at all you can leverage it negotiating with the seller and the PPI might just pay for itself and more.

      Incidentally, I'm also looking at used 2018-19 R's and if I find a candidate that is the route I will take. Lastly, anytime a dealer says CPO it is a cheap way for a dealer to charge a few thousand more by essentially marking their own paper. No shortage of stories about CPO cars that turned out be rotten apples or had been in accidents and the like.

    20. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      12-07-2019 08:39 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Duvel View Post
      Why not get a PPI from a VW dealer while you're at it. Small price to pay for a big purchase and a peace of mind.
      PPI is always a good idea but it won’t guarantee the car won’t be TD1 flagged. My understanding is that if it wasn’t already TD1 flagged before, visiting the dealer and scanning it could result in it becoming TD1 flagged but that likely wouldn’t be known until the next dealer visit after the car has already been purchased. I don’t know this for certain but it seems plausible.

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      12-07-2019 08:53 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by elmo3 View Post
      And therefore, by definition it's not happening.

      Got it.
      You really need to learn how to fkn read the words that are in front of your face.

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