The vehicle’s electronic control unit (ECU) works just like any computer. It plays a vital role in controlling how much fuel is directed into the engine cylinder, ignition timing, and a lot more fundamental engine functions. In modern-day automobiles, the ECU is also responsible for handling sophisticated electronic systems like managing variable valve timing and valve control.
Essentially, a piggyback module serves as a communication link between the ECU and the engine’s sensors. It connects to the vehicle’s wiring and modifies sensor signals before sending them to the ECU. Piggyback modules are also capable of increasing boost by telling the ECU it’s below the target boost level.
When it comes to tuning your vehicle, you normally have two options. First is to alter the original coding sequence of your car’s factory ECU (Electronic Control Unit) using a tuning device like a chip. The chip contains a specific tuning program and is fitted in the factory ECU, changing its coding. This can also involve completely replacing the factory ECU with a standalone aftermarket ECU that is more powerful and versatile.
The second option, meanwhile, involves the use of special tuning modules that override your car’s original system settings. These devices are known as piggyback tuning modules.
Benefits of Piggyback Modules
A piggyback tuning module is an electronic device that intercepts sensor signals and modifies them before sending the signal to the ECU. Its main function is to provide a distinct performance-based map to enhance your car’s horsepower and torque. There are piggyback modules that can be custom programmed while others feature pre-set mappings.
It’s fairly easy to install a piggyback module and you don’t have to be a skilled mechanic to do it. You can also DIY the installation process with just some basic hand tools and instructional videos on YouTube. This means you don’t have to spend money on hiring outside help.
Since your car’s factory ECU will still retain its normal functions, your car will be able to communicate via the OBD-II port. This allows you to pass emission tests, examine codes and issues, and run OBD-II gauges through the port. It works in complete compliance with any sensor and gauge in your car. Since there are zero changes needed on the factory ECU or sensors, every function will remain the same.