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, 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 manufactures tune for optimum emissions and fuel economy purposes which can limit performance.
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 common misconception is that the ECU can be tuned to provide different power maps optimized for different driving courses (e.g. race tracks). In fact, once the ECU is tuned for optimal torque at all RPM ranges, there is no reason to "de-tune" the ECU for any RPM. 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 a device such as CMD Flash or Optican. These devices generally plug into the diagnostic port although in some cases the reprogramming it done directly on the circuit board.
Certain vehicles have different options of different ECU Tuning. Some cars respond better to ECU Flashing. Since you are physically changing the variables on the ECU, you are getting more precise results and better driveability. Piggyback ECU systems plug in between the ECU and the engine which allow you to interject control over certain ECU parameters without completely remove the stock ECU's function. A full stand alone engine management is ideal for high horsepower cars or race cars. This completely replaces the ECU with a more tunable system. Stand alone ECU's enable the car to be adjusted over a wide variety of parameters.
Vivid Racing carries many different ECU Tuning options for vehicles. Visit our ECU Tuning section here.
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|VRT-F458-TUNE||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Ferrari 458 Italia 10-13||$3,000.00|
|VRT-F575M-TUNE||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Ferrari 575M 02-06||$2,000.00|
|VRT-F599-TUNE||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Ferrari 599 GTB 06-12||$3,000.00|
|VRT-993-TT||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 993 Turbo 95-98||$1,000.00|
|VRT-F82-M4||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune BMW M4 F82 15+||$1,500.00|
|VRT-F80-M3||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune BMW M3 F80 15+||$1,500.00|
|VRT-FA20-FRS||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Scion FRS FA20 2012+||$500.00|
|VRT-F32-435I||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune BMW 435I F32 2013+||$1,000.00|
|VRT-997-GT3||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 997 GT3 07-09||$1,000.00|
|VRT-A6-3.2L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A6 3.2L 05-09||$700.00|
|VRT-Q7-3.6L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi Q7 3.6L 07-10||$800.00|
|VRT-A3-1.8T||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A3 1.8T 2000||$700.00|
|VRT-A6-1.8T||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A6 1.8T 01-04||$700.00|
|VRT-A6-3.0L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A6 3.0L 02-04||$700.00|
|VRT-A6-4.2L-331||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A6 4.2L 05-06||$700.00|
|VRT-A6-4.2L-346||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A6 4.2L 07-10||$700.00|
|VRT-A8-4.2L-331||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A8 4.2L 05-06||$700.00|
|VRT-A8-4.2L-346||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A8 4.2L 07-11||$800.00|
|VRT-A8-6.0L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi A8 6.0L 05-09||$700.00|
|VRT-RS6-4.2T||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi RS6 4.2T 03-04||$800.00|
|VRT-RS6-5.0L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi RS6 5.0T 08-10||$1,000.00|
|VRT-S6-4.2L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi S6 4.2L 02-03||$700.00|
|VRT-S6-5.2L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi S6 5.2L 06-10||$800.00|
|VRT-S8-5.2L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi S8 5.2L 07-09||$800.00|
|VRT-TT-3.2L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Audi TT 3.2L 03-04||$800.00|
|VRT-BETL-1.8T||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Volkswagen Beetle 1.8T 99-05||$700.00|
|VRT-BETL-2.0L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Volkswagen Beetle 2.0L 98-03||$700.00|
|VRT-PST-1.8T||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Volkswagen Passat 1.8T 00-05||$700.00|
|VRT-PST-2.8L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Volkswagen Passat 2.8L 99-05||$700.00|
|VRT-Z34-TUNE||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Nissan 370Z 09-13||$800.00|
|VRT-FA20-BRZ||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Subaru BRZ FA20 2012+||$500.00|
|VRT-FA20-GT86||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Toyota GT86 FA20 2012+||$500.00|
|VRT-JAG-XF50L||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Jaguar XF Supercharged 5.0L V8||$1,500.00|
|VRT-997TT-825||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 997 Turbo GT3076rs 825HP Tune 07-09||$2,500.00|
|VRT-997TT-700||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 997 Turbo VTG Upgrade 700HP Tune||$2,500.00|
|VRT-996TT-700||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 996TT GT2860rs Upgrade 700HP Tune||$1,800.00|
|VRT-996TT-650||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 996TT K24/18G 60lb Inj Upgrade 650HP Tune||$1,800.00|
|VRT-996TT-625||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 996TT K24/18G 5Bar FPR Upgrade 625HP Tune||$1,800.00|
|VRT-996TT-575||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 996TT K16/16G 5Bar FPR Upgrade 575HP Tune||$1,800.00|
|VRT-997-GT3RS||VR Tuned ECU Flash Tune Porsche 997 GT3RS Tune 07-09||$1,000.00|
|VRT-AF-IS||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash Lexus ISF V8||$800.00|
|VRT-AF-IS||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash Lexus IS300||$800.00|
|VRT-AF-F430||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash Ferrari F430||$1,500.00|
|VRT-LAMBO004||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash Lamborghini Huracan||$2,500.00|
|VRT-AF-MP412C||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash McLaren MP4-12C||$3,000.00|
|VRT-AF-12C-SPI||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash McLaren 12C Spider||$3,000.00|
|VRT-AF-458||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash Ferrari 458 Italia||$2,500.00|
|VRT-LAMB001||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash Lamborghini Aventador||$4,500.00|
|VRT-AF-335i||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash BMW 335i F30||$900.00|
|VRT-AF-328i||VR Tuned OBDII Port Tune Auto Flash BMW 328i F30||$900.00|
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