Some facts about chiptuning.
Is chiptuning bad for your engine?
Every engine was designed with safety margins (ok, we are not talking about Lada or Trabant here guys). Within the same brand a certain engine will be used with different software , for instance for the delivery vans a different torque curve, lower performance and longer lifespan. The reasons why manufacturers lower the performace of engines are many : different countries have different roadtax systems often based on engine horsepower, different fuel qualities and service facilities. Basicaly this means that the manufacturer wants your car to be able to drive and travel from
Now, what are the odds of your driving to that goatmilker right?
On top of that , the different brands have different safety margins. Some carbrands make engines that almost require an atomic bomb to kill it, others make eningines that just need a simple kick to die.
So, is chiptuning bad for your engine? As long as you stay within the safe limits of your specific engine model and you treat your engine correctly it is not bad for your engine. It probably will lower the life expectancy a bit, because some mechanical parts get to work a bit harder and the drivers tend to adopt a more “sporty” driving habbit.
Will chiptuning void my car’s waranty?
There is one simple answer to this : YES. If your engine fails and the dealer hooks up the car to the diagnostics port they can and often will examine the software. I’m not saying you will get caught, I’m saying you can get caught. Often people will have the original software flashed back into the car before it is taken to the garage for a warranty case. No matter what some companies will try to tell you, “invisible chiptuning” does not exist.
What about the warranty chiptuning companies offer?
Read their websites and contracts carefully. 99% of all companies offer a warranty on the software. That means they do not offer a warranty if you burn the clutch or blow up your turbo or engine. Some companies offer an engine warranty, however that is usually limited to very young cars with low mileage limits.
How about my insurance, is it legal to chiptune my car?
The laws regarding chiptuning are different in every country, get information from your insurance company, because in many countries when you are involved in a fatal accident your car gets confiscated and examined.
Which cars can be chiptuned?
Basicaly all cars with en electronic engine management system. The gains however are miles apart for the naturally aspirated or turbocharged engines. For a naturally aspirated engine of a normal family car, I would say it is useless to buy a chiptuning. Spend that money on new tires or flowers for the wife, you will get more out of it.
What about a powerbox?:
Powerboxes are the mother of all evil in this world. I am sure they were developed in a secret facility by satan himself and that is putting it mildly. With chiptuning your change ALL the needed parameters that run your engine. A powerbox just lies to your engine management system, throwing it off balance and feeding your engine the wrong amounts of fuel etc. Very often you will see powerboxes on ebay, which are basically two plastic plugs, a small box and a 5 cent resistor poured into black resin. If you want to get rich quick with an astronomical profit margin you should start selling powerboxes, because the company logo sticker on the outside is the most expensive part of it. Do they give you a noticeable effect? Yes, you will get some more performance, accompanied by a tail of black smoke and an engine that hates you forever. Still want to buy a powerbox? Read this paragraph again.
Should i buy a chiptune for a very low price off ebay?
When i first got interested in chiptuning i purchased a chip from a german ebay company. At first I was happy with it, but most of that performace gain originated from between my ears. I was lucky though, some ebay tuners sell you files that are a potential threat to your safety and that of your engine. I have seen many chiptuned files so far, and the very worst ones all came from ebay tuners. So until someone shows me an ebay tuning company that delivers quality work I would recommend you save a little more and get it done properly or alternatively learn about the whole thing yourself in our FORUMS.