Tuning, to put it simply, is simply a set of activities aimed at enhancing the car’s performance or making it look more attractive. Tuning may interfere with the vehicle’s engine or other components or be limited only to the installation of external elements such as spoilers, additional backlighting to give the vehicle a sportier, extravagant look.
The latest models of cars have an extensive electrical installation, which can also be modified. This is what “chip tuning” is. It mainly consists of changes to the car’s software, which can greatly improve the vehicle’s capabilities, without any mechanical improvements. How is this possible? About it below.
Factory settings and vehicle power
Chip tuning is about breaking the limits that have been imposed by a given car manufacturing company. At this point, it should be clearly stated that the car delivered to the customer does not have the same performance as the car that left the assembly line. Car manufacturers block the engine’s capabilities in this way to secure a predetermined amount of power reserve, so that the vehicle can function properly even in improper use (e.g. by using poor-quality fuel or not replacing important parts). Perhaps this is a good solution for people who do not know how or do not want to take care of their car, but for other drivers it is an unpleasant difficulty. That’s why chip tuning was born.
Thanks to the knowledge of how the car software works, drivers can overcome the factory restrictions and enjoy the full power of the engine.
The increase in the car’s capabilities depends on the type of engine and the internal policy of the company. On average, the increase in power varies between 20-30%, although sometimes it can be much more, even up to 50% (although in this case it concerns only a few car models).
Chip tuning – what does it look like?
Chip tuning consists in introducing changes to the ECU controller. It is a device that monitors all parameters of the drive, such as ignition. The changes that will be made to the ECU depend on the type of car, engine and its age. Of course, on newer vehicles with the latest ECUs, chip tuning is relatively quick and simple. It consists in uploading the appropriate software to the controller through a properly adapted diagnostic socket. In the case of older cars, it may be necessary to remove the controllers first and then reprogram them. It is a much more difficult task.
Ecotuning – what is it?
It is a kind of chip tuning that is becoming more and more popular. Rather than increasing the vehicle’s performance and speed, ecotuning focuses on using the engine’s capabilities to drive more economically. These are changes to the driveline which, in normal operation, make the car burn less fuel.
Chip tuning and security
The possibilities of the car after a correctly performed software tuning definitely increase. Chip tuning makes the vehicle not only faster, but also safer. It has much better driving properties. This is an advantage to keep in mind.
However, it is worth noting that chip tuning is intended only for people who know how to properly care for a car. Unfortunately, this type of solution is often used by young, inexperienced car fans and can be problematic. The growing popularity of chip tuning meant that ready-made programs appeared on the market, which were to quickly and easily remove factory restrictions. However, the use of such software is not safe. It is not easy to distinguish a good program that interacts with the car’s software, from a program that simply inhibits the operation of certain parts of the vehicle’s software and thus can damage the system.
Any universal tuning software should be approached with caution. The engines are different and they behave differently in different car models. A much better solution is to go to a professional plant, where specialists will evaluate the engine, check the parameters and select the appropriate programs.
Chip tuning is not cheap. It is a process that requires specialist knowledge, so its price will also be higher than PLN 200-400. These types of cheap offers can be found on automotive forums or other portals with advertisements. You should approach them carefully. Probably people who perform chip tuning at such a low price use generally available programs that contain many bugs and may not be compatible with the software of the car.
Before a given driver decides to use chip tuning, he should consider whether he has appropriate knowledge of caring for the car and key engine parts, because without factory restrictions, his car is much more “sensitive” to all kinds of operating errors.