Chip tuning


Chip tuning

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 standard 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 1970s.

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. 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 specific timing and this may limit performance accordingly.

In addition, changing fuel maps to coincide with the stoichiometric ratio for gasoline combustion may also realize performance increase. Most manufacturers tune for optimum emissions and fuel economy 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 poorly tuned ECU can result in decreased performance, driveability, and may even cause engine damage.

The most common way to 'upgrade' the ECU is using either plug in modules as mentioned above or using a specialist tuner who will use an OBD Flash 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.

An alternative to modifying the on-board chip is adding an external device, often known as a tuning box. The abilities of the external devices generally reflect on-board chip modifications, with the advantage that they can be easily removed to restore the vehicle to standard. Adding an external tuning box is generally only possible on modern engines with external management ports.

See also

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Chip-tuning — Le chip tuning ou chiptuning (littéralement « modification par puce électronique ») est la technique qui permet d augmenter de façon électronique les performances d un moteur à explosion. Sur la plupart des voitures ou des motos… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Chip tuning — Als Chiptuning bezeichnet man die Leistungssteigerung von Kfz Motoren durch nachträgliche Änderung der werksseitig festgelegten Steuerparameter der elektronischen Motorsteuerung. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Konzept 2 Einflüsse auf die Lebenserwartung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tuning — Le tuning, ou personnalisation automobile[1] (ou encore préparation automobile), est la modification d un véhicule de série ; automobile, moto, vélo, scooter, etc. Dans certains cas le but est d améliorer les performances d un véhicule ou… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tuning fork — A tuning fork is an acoustic resonator in the form of a two pronged fork with the tines formed from a U shaped bar of elastic metal (usually steel). It resonates at a specific constant pitch when set vibrating by striking it against a surface or… …   Wikipedia

  • Engine tuning — is the adjustment, modification or design of internal combustion engines to yield optimal performance, either in terms of power output or economy. It has a long history, almost as long as the development of the car in general, originating with… …   Wikipedia

  • Scooter tuning — Fahrzeugtuning am Beispiel des Audi TT: Serienmäßiges Modell TT 8N Modifiziertes Fahrzeug gleichen Typs Mit Fahrzeugtuning bezeichnet …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Chiptuning — Chip tuning Le chip tuning ou chiptuning (littéralement « modification par puce électronique ») est la technique qui permet d augmenter de façon électronique les performances d un moteur à explosion. Sur la plupart des voitures ou des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sport Compact — Tuning Pour les articles homonymes, voir Tuning (homonymie). Audi TT Le tuning, ou la préparation a …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tunning — Tuning Pour les articles homonymes, voir Tuning (homonymie). Audi TT Le tuning, ou la préparation a …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Préparateur automobile — Un préparateur automobile est une entreprise transformant des véhicules de constructeur. Bien que cela se rapproche du tuning, les véhicules transformés par les préparateurs sont très différents de ceux que l on pourrait appeler le « tuning… …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.