In modern vehicles, small computers control and monitor the engine, maybe not liked by the classic car fan, but a fact none the less. This computer, the so-called control device is connected to the engine with cables and plugs. The engine control device receives analogue and digital signals and then calculates control commands for ignition, injection, emission control and others.
Basically, chip tuning provides two possibilities to increase the performance of an engine: via an additional electronic control device or a so-called OBD-tuning.
Chiptuning via an additional control device
For chip tuning via an additional control device either you or a garage installs an additional electronic control device which is connected to the engine and the actual engine control device. There are no constructional modifications of the engine or the engine control device.
The operation is apparently really simple. The electronics of the additional device modifies the engine control in real-time. You optimize the maps several thousand times per second and thus create a significant and directly noticeable power improvement. At the same time – when your road behaviour is the same – the fuel consumption can be reduced.
With this kind of chip tuning the engine protection programme remains unchanged. There’s no risk to overload individual engine components. If a top speed limitation (V-Max) is determined for your vehicle, it’ll remain. Also the original software of the vehicle remains unchanged.
RaceChip® Module as additional control device
RaceChip is an established company that provides such performance enhancement chips for your car. They offer three levels of RaceChip® performance improvement: RaceChip® Ultimate, RaceChip® Pro2 and RaceChip®
RaceChip® chip tuning is designed to enable in most cases a DIY-installation. For the most vehicles it takes about 10 to 15 minutes and no special tools are needed. You only have to connect the RaceChip® module with a simple plug system to the engine and the engine control device, fix the RaceChip® module, and that’s it.
With RaceChip® chip tuning you can individually adjust the performance increase of your engine to your road behaviour, if you want to deviate from the optimized basic settings for your vehicle. You can adjust “maximum performance”, “fuel-saving eco-tuning” or an expedient mixture of both.
You can remove the RaceChip® module again when you want to sell your car or have a leasing vehicle. Normally, chip tuning can’t be traced after removal. And if you like, you can use your RaceChip® module with a new harness in your next car. Ask for further information.
Chiptuning via OBD-Tuning
With OBD-Tuning, the original software of the vehicle is modified by reading it out of the engine control device at a diagnostic interface, modifying it with appropriate programmes at a PC and read it into the engine control device again. In some cases the original chip is replaced by a tuning chip.
One advantage of OBD-Tuning is that the V-max (top speed limitation) can be neutralized. Furthermore, with OBD-Tuning a higher performance increase might be achieved than with chip tuning via an additional control device.
Disadvantages of OBD-Tuning
Engine damages can’t be excluded, as OBD-Tuning can switch off engine protection functions. Beware!
The tuned vehicle might be impossible to diagnose due to the tuning software. Garages could read out error codes and repairs couldn’t be executed properly.
It’s not possible to adjust the tuning by yourself; only the tuner on site can do so.
So, if you knew nothing about chip tuning you do now, and if your considering it, it’s worth considering the effect on your car and get professional unbiased opinion from several people on the pros and cons.