CHIPTUNING

Chip tuning refers to changing or modifying an EPROM chip in a car's or other vehicle's electronic control unit (ECU) to achieve better performance, whether it be more power, cleaner emissions, or better fuel economy.

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 ECUs can be tuned by simply updating their software through a SPECIAL interface, such as OBDII. This procedure is commonly referred to as engine or ECU tuning. ECUs are a relatively recent addition to the automobile, having first appeared in the late 1980s.

As technology advanced, so did the electronics that go into cars. The ECU 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, Throttle, Valve timing, Valve lift, and many others parameters. The ECU may also control electronic throttle control (drive-by-wire), valve timing, boost control (in turbocharged engines), ABS, the automatic transmission, speed governor(if equipped), and the electronic stability control system.

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

In addition, changing fuel maps to coincide with the best ratio for gasoline combustion may also realize performance increase. Most manufacturers tune for optimum emissions and reliable engine duration under any condition with purposes which can limit performance.

Cars with a turbo fitted can have the requested and allowable boost levels raised; these applications usually have the most effect if the turbo fitted is a low pressure turbo which leaves the most room for improvement.

Another reason to change the ECU 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 good tuned ECU can result in increased performance, drive ability, and never cause engine damage, that’s why your choice of your tuner has to be more then precise and only go to professional peoples with a good knowlage in Electronics and Mechanical!

The most common way to 'upgrade' the ECU is using either plug in modules as mentioned above or using a special tuner device who will use an OBD / BDM /Jtag 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.