Advantages and disadvantages of car chip tuning
Chip tuning is a relatively young phenomenon in the automotive industry. It emerged in the late twentieth century in Europe and immediately gained great popularity. It has a lot of fans and today, in fact it allows modifying the engine significantly without interfering with its internals, but improving its functioning in many ways. However, its subtleties, pros and cons are not known to all motorists.
What is chip tuning
We should start with the main thing – what is car chip tuning, what does it mean. Initially, the term meant improving the work of the engine without external interference in its internal mechanism. It was an adjustment of different modes of operation of its electronics, changing of internal control programs. Nowadays, the term “clup tunning”, which literally translates as “microchip tuning”, most often refers to adjusting the engine management system of the car. At the same time such a term is used in the case of additional automotive electronics modules, through which this system can be improved.
If to summarize all these subtleties, nuances, which, by the way, have their own specific coloring in almost every European country, the content of the word “chip tuning” is reduced to such a kind of engine re-flashing, which excludes mechanical interference in it and gives, as a result, the following benefits
- Increases the power of the motor; car fuel;
- facilitates the process of driving a car.
Positive aspects of engine ditching
Like any other automotive know-how, chip tuning can lead not only to improved motor performance, but also to some unforeseen moments, of which it is necessary to know in advance. Chip tuning of the engine has “pros” and “cons”. That is why specialists emphasize that not every engine can be chip tuned, but only those cars, which have ECU – electronic engine control unit. It is this block that is subject to re-flashing.
Continuous improvement of this procedure on the basis of modern technology has led to the fact that it began for almost all injection-type machines. The only exception is the individual samples of Japanese models. Therefore, from an engineering point of view there is no particular difference in whether to chip, say, our native indispensable VAZ or “cool” foreign “Porsche”.
In addition, the list of vehicles suitable for chipo experts include not only cars, but also trucks, tractors, motorcycles, yachts, boats and other modern equipment, significantly adding its engines power, reducing fuel costs, whose prices are increasingly high. These are the main positive aspects of the chipover.
Effect of Modification on the Service Life of a Motor
Now for the other side of the coin – the potential dangers of doping, even if it is carried out competently, with strict observance of all the required operations.
Many drivers are wondering whether a chip affects the life of the engine. Most experts in unison note its disadvantages, which can lead to premature engine failure, its unexpected failure, the need to engage in a thorough repair of the car, spending a lot of money on it.
The fact is that if you increase the engine power and torque, it will to some extent increase the load on important parts of the internal combustion engine, that is, it will begin to accelerate the process of its wear. This is especially true for piston rings, cylinder walls, crank and main bearings, and other parts. The liners, for example, will get a lot of radial deformation, which will be the basis for the formation of all sorts of gaps and other defects. There is also a risk, that unprofessional carrying out of chipover will not reduce, as expected, and will increase the fuel consumption. Therefore, planning tuning of diesel engine, as well as the motor working on gasoline, it is desirable to find out from specialists beforehand, how it can threaten your car in the future, how it will influence the term of engine operation, what parts and components will be in the risk zone first etc.
What cars will benefit from engine chip tuning
Long-term experience has convincingly proved that a large number of cars can benefit from engine chip tuning. First of all, it is necessary for the cars with HBO. The gas equipment makes it obligatory to chip the engine, since the transition from one type of fuel to another changes important characteristics of the engine functioning.
It is also obligatory if there is a turbocharger, and the power can increase by 20%. If there is a turbodiesel, the increase in power will be about a quarter, and the torque will increase by almost a third. Atmospheric-type engines can be tuned, adding nearly 10 percent more power. Of course, in all these cases it is necessary to calculate if tuning is harmful for the engine to have all the information, however, according to many experts, for the just listed types of cars the risk of premature engine wear is insignificant and should hardly stop the car owner before the dilemma: “To chip or not to chip”.
The cost of chip tuning
The cost of chip tuning is determined in each case, as it depends on many important factors. Among them – car model, engine type, year of manufacture, tastes and wishes of the owner of the car, etc. In fact, each specialized firm dealing with such complicated service issues has its own scale, therefore the scatter of prices is very large even within one and the same region, differing sometimes by 3 – 4 times. It should be borne in mind that not always high cost of the work is adequate quality, so it is advisable to conduct a thorough monitoring of prices in relation to the quality of services and thoroughly consult in order to choose as a result the best option that is feasible for your personal budget.
Why the manufacturer will not perform the chip tuning by itself
There are many good reasons for this. The manufacturer gives buyers a fundamental basis, which each of them has the right to supplement, based on their own wishes, tastes and financial capabilities. A multi-variant process of chipping would take him unreasonably much effort, not giving the desired mass effect in the end. Therefore, in practice, everything, more often than not, is solved by the tried and tested principle “There are no comrades for taste and color!
Chip tuning: what is good and what is bad
The notion of chip tuning came into our life after the cars became totally controlled by electronics. We smoke e-cigarettes and read e-books. Why not drive e-cars? Be that as it may, but chip tuning is of interest to many people today, because it allows you to change the character of even the most humble car.
Let’s start with the definition. What is this notorious chip tuning? It is a change of electric controllers modes by correcting internal control programs. Typically, this type of tuning involves making changes to the ECU (Engine Control Unit) – the engine control unit – and is used to increase the power of the power unit. But this is not all what chip-masters can promise you.
It begs the question – are automakers so stupid that they can’t produce more powerful cars themselves, so car owners wouldn’t have to resort to chip tuning afterwards? Certainly not. The thing is that the companies, which produce cars, have their own reasons for engines not working at their full capacity. For example, the engine is often “turned off” in order to reduce emission of carbon dioxide, thereby minimizing “an ecological tax”.
And such examples can be found at every step. For example, on Russian market diesel Ssang Yong Actyon is presented in two versions: two-liter engine with capacity 175 “horses” and its forced analog which capacity makes 149 horsepower. And it is thus, that structurally these engines don’t differ from each other essentially.
What engines can be “chipped”?
If you are the owner of a steel horse, which wide chest beats an atmospheric heart, it is better to refuse the idea to increase its capacity. The reason of such non-optimistic recommendation is in the fact that in case of atmospheric engines, increase of power by means of “chipping” may make only 3-7%. You will never feel such limits in practice.
But if a diesel engine or supercharged “beast” roars under a cowl, then you can count on that the master will squeeze out of it additional 25, and even 50 percents.
What is the process of “chipping”
The car is driven to the stand for power testing and mapping is performed – specialists look for the data in the factory programs, which are responsible for the work of the engine. After that, the specialists make adjustments, depending on how big the number of regulating parameters is. In the case of simple engines, it is the fuel feeding time and the ignition advance angle. Complex units, e.g. BMW engines, are puzzled by the valve timing angle, valve lift height and variable intake manifold length.
The complexity of chip tuning is that the engine control unit is quite closely connected with other systems and blocks. And if you make adjustments in the ECU, then, most likely, it will be necessary to adjust the gearbox as well. It’s all quite complicated, and on the example of a car like the new BMW Seven, it’s almost impossible: there are about 80 interconnected blocks in that car. So if you hear about a “chip tuned” BMW 7-series, you can laugh with accusatory notes in your voice.
The cost of chip tuning
The price of this service depends on both the service and the car. It is possible to do homemade tuning for 1 thousand rubles, or you can turn to professionals, which will cost about 10 thousand rubles for a non-powerful atmospheric engine and 25 thousand rubles for a solid engine with a multi-liter “belly.
Much depends on the make of the car. If you modify vazovskoy “Niva” – the wallet will lose 2,000 rubles, “acceleration” BMW will cost at least 5 thousand. If you own a sports monster, its tuning will cost more than a thousand dollars.
Advantages of chip tuning
Before we start talking about all the pros and cons of chip tuning, we should say that all of the following points can be considered purely subjective. Because the plus from another angle may look like a minus, and the disadvantage, based on this or that reasoning, can be transformed into an advantage.
Chip tuning can please the car owner with improvement of dynamics, fuel economy, liquidation of engine “hang-up” and “lag”, increase of gas pedal responsiveness, correction of program errors and motor characteristics correction. In general it makes no sense to talk a lot about the advantages of the chip tuning, because they are obvious.
Many people are wondering if it is possible to increase the engine power and improve its fuel efficiency at the same time. We authoritatively declare – it is possible. But you will hardly like it, if you together with Greenpeace activists are saving Mongolian skylarks. The engine power is increased due to the fact that its environmental parameters are reduced. Reduced ignition advance angle reduces both economy and power. If this angle is bigger, these parameters increase, but, alas, the ecology suffers. Although the last one for some reason is of little concern for motorists who love their cars and hate the malignant deity who patronizes those who raise prices for fuel.
Disadvantages of chip tuning
If we ponder on how the “chip tuning” can affect motor resources, we should directly say that such tuning can’t bode well for you. But we shall note at once that there is nothing critical in it. More important is the fact that the master of chip tuning will not give you any warranty. That’s why it’s better to apply to the verified firms, which boost engines to the safe limits.
By the way, about warranty. By “chip tuning” your engine you automatically lose the factory warranty: who will want to cover expenses for engine repair, which performance does not correspond to the factory warranty? But there is another point: almost every chip-tuner will convince you that it is impossible to detect any changes. But again, do you really think that the manufacturer is so hopelessly stupid? Many companies today use special means, allowing determining the fact of tampering with OEM software. Therefore, even if you are going to the car service, try to “roll back” the engine to the factory settings.
As we said above, the engine in modern cars is closely related to the transmission. Therefore, forcing the engine can have a negative impact on the operation of the transmission. And again there is a question of professionalism chip tuner, which will depend on how the character of your car will change, and whether it will not lose the qualities that it had before forcing.
Whether to carry out chip tuning or not is your own business. But thus it is necessary to remember, that such changes only increase potential of the driver. The engine resource depends first of all not on settings, but on driving style and operating conditions. The main thing is the competent and careful attitude to the automobile. And it does not matter what engine it will have – standard or rebuilt.