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What is Chip Tuning?

Chip Tuning is a safe way to increase the performance of your vehicle. Modern cars are equipped with engine control unit ECU (engine control unit), which affects the quantity of injected fuel and control ignition, depending on engine operating state. Car manufacturers are forced to compile these programs according to certain criteria and with significant reserves.

Simply put – a car that meets the production line, it must also function well in extremely warm in extremely cold climates. It is a serial program data sufficiently broad and take into account a wide range of other aspects (such as low fuel, etc.).. Consequently, the engine of your vehicle used for approx. 60-70% of its possibilities. This fact, however, can be easily and safely changed by adjusting the data stored in the memory control unit, called Chip.

 

WHAT IS NOT CHIP TUNING?

There are many companies that sell add-on tuning boxes under the pretence that they are ‘chips’ which is utter nonsense. These boxes simply attach to the common rail and increase fuel rail pressure to increase power and torque, they do not and will not ever work as effectively and efficiently as a full OBD remap, or remap by chip tune.

Things you need to know

This was done with early engine computers in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the term chip tuning can be misleading, as people will often use it to describe ECU tuning that does not involve swapping the chip. Modern engine control units can be tuned by simply updating their software through a standard interface, such as On Board Diagnostics. This procedure is commonly referred to as engine or engine control unit tuning. engine control units are a relatively recent addition to the automobile, having first appeared in the late 1970s.

As technology advanced, so did the electronics that go into cars. The engine control unit in a modern automobile, together with advanced engine technology, makes it possible to control many aspects of the engine’s operation, such as spark timing and fuel injection. The engine control unit may also control electronic throttle control (drive-by-wire), poppet valve timing, boost control (in turbocharged engines), Anti-lock braking system, the automatic transmission, speed governor (if equipped), and the Electronic Stability Control system.

Performance gains are realized by adjusting the ignition timing advance. Different timing may result in better performance. However, to cope with advanced timing, one must run high-octane gasoline to avoid pre-ignition detonation or pinging. Manufacturers design for a specific timing and this may limit performance accordingly.

The reason to change the engine control unit map is if there are engine, intake, or exhaust modifications to the car. These “bolt-on” modifications alter the way that the engine flows, often causing the air to fuel ratio to change. Without re-mapping the fuel tables, some of the performance gains from the modifications may not be realized.

A poorly tuned engine control unit can result in decreased performance, driveability, and may even cause engine damage. The most common way to “upgrade” the engine control unit is using either plug in modules as mentioned above or using a specialist tuner who will use an On Board Diagnostics Flash tool. These devices generally plug into the diagnostic port although in some cases the reprogramming is done directly on the circuit board. Maps are supplied by tuners.

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Fuel Saving

Saving Fuel with ECU Tuner?

When we remap a vehicle, especially when fuel saving is the priority we focus on improving the low end torque in particular and widening the power-band as far as we can.

This increase in low end torque will mean less throttle pedal input is required to maintain cruising speeds, when fully laden or when on a gradient. It will also mean that the vehicle will be more comfortable in higher gears at slower speeds as well requiring fewer gear changes overall.

If you combine these factors with adjusting your driving style to make the most of the extra low end torque you will see an improvement in fuel consumption. This is most effective on turbo-diesel engines where the savings could be as much as 20%!

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What do you actually modify in my vehicle?

We do not change any hardware in your vehicle, we just modify the operating parameters in the ECU’s program or ‘map’. In many cases the map stored on the ECU’s processor can be accessed via the on-board diagnostics port (OBD) in the vehicle, normally found under the dashboard. In some newer models the ECU will have to be removed from the vehicle and the casing opened, our technicians will then use specialist tools to read the original map straight from the processing chip.

The technician will then upload the original map to our map writing team who will adjust the parameters to maximise the performance, fuel economy or a clever blend of both. Depending on the vehicle and ECU type the remapping process can take under an hour and if at any time you wish to return your vehicles ECU to its original default settings, this can be done easily and free of charge as we always keep a copy of the original software as a backup.

Benefits of Chip Tuning.

Generally, any car equipped with an engine management system can be tuned, which includes both petrol and diesel engines. However, chip tuning or remapping produces best results on turbocharged, or supercharged engines. Raising the turbocharger or supercharger boost pressure, allows for much higher gains in power to be achieved, when combined with the correct ignition timing and fuelling adjustments. Normally aspirated (non-turbo) engines will only gain a significant improvement in power if the manufacturer also offers the same engine in a significantly detuned state by ECU Programming software alone. With a remapped car you can expect:

  • An engine that responds more eagerly to your right foot
  • Smoother power delivery making town driving much easier with
  • Fewer gear changes
  • Improved acceleration for safer overtaking
  • Improved fuel consumption on diesel engine vehicles


The other main benefit of chip tuning will be a reduction in fuel consumption. With the extra torque especially at the bottom of the rev range you will see a fuel saving, as it will require less throttle input to maintain motorway speeds, you can drive in a higher gear at a slower speed as well as helping significantly when fully laden, towing or on gradients and even in start stop traffic.

After your ECU upgrade to your turbocharged diesel engine, you will enjoy:

  • Increased horsepower
  • Increased torque
  • Better throttle response
  • Smoother power delivery
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Safer overtaking

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