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What is chip tuning and what is it for?

23/12/2021

Chip tuning is a way to improve engine performance by changing its control program. Simply put, replacing the motor firmware is like doing it in your smartphone to get advanced functionality. With a broad interpretation of this term, engine chip tuning can include both the installation of additional electronic modules (subcomputers, "tricks"), and the replacement of the standard control unit with a universal tuning unit and its adjustment, as well as the installation of a special “brain” designed for a specific model from a third party manufacturer. But mass chip tuning implies, basically, manipulations with the program of the standard unit, so all questions and answers will relate to just such an intervention in the design of the car.

The main goals of chip tuning are as follows:

1) Increased power and elasticity. The traction characteristics of the engine are underestimated by the manufacturer in relation to the design potential in order to comply with environmental standards, to increase the resource, for marketing reasons (derating the unit for younger models and modifications), and there are also cases of simply imperfectly polished engine control programs by the manufacturer, which are referred to as the so-called " childhood diseases "of cars.

2) Improved efficiency. The successful result of chip tuning automatically not only increases power and torque, but also slightly reduces fuel consumption during normal driving. This effect is achieved due to the fact that a more responsive engine makes it possible to drive in a lower rev range.

3) Correction for the type of fuel used. For example, it can be an adaptation of a high-performance sports engine for 95 gasoline instead of 98, or reconfiguring the engine to run on gas.

4) Installation of boost or non-standard engine parts. When it comes to tuning the power unit, flashing is almost always necessary - for the efficient or at least safe operation of the new configuration. For example, some engines may not work properly even with a direct-flow exhaust system, and intervention in the gas distribution system almost always requires a correction of the control program.

5) Removal of various software restrictions - for example, the maximum speed limiter.

 However, the overwhelming majority of those who decided on chip tuning have the simplest motivation - to "go", and not necessarily much faster. Improved responsiveness to the gas pedal and smoother traction across the entire rev range are often the most sensitive gains - this is what gives the feeling of better dynamics in city driving.

Chip tuning

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