What is chip tuning?
Chiptuning explained simply
Chip tuning is a widespread term in the tuning industry. Those who want to achieve more power in their vehicle usually resort to chip tuning. By now, a number of terms have been assigned to chip tuning: Performance enhancement, engine tuning, diesel tuning, OBD tuning, sensor tuning, map or control unit optimization or injector tuning.
History of chip tunings
Originally, the term chip tuning originated in the 90s. At that time, engines equipped with an electronic engine management system had their eproms - the core of an ECU - desoldered and reprogrammed. Over the years, chip tuners have steadily developed and expanded their techniques.
Nowadays, vehicles do not have eproms, but processors. Here, the control units are no longer desoldered and overwritten. Various interfaces are used to rewrite the control unit. The engine control unit, monitors various parameters of the car (including temperature, load, fuel injection, boost pressure, etc.) and adjusts them to the appropriate driving style. In this way, the control unit guarantees the driver optimal driving behaviour at all times. The chip tuning transmits modified characteristic maps or values to the control unit in order to change the parameters. By means of this modification, an increase in performance can be achieved with little additional load on the entire engine.
Different methods used by chip tuners
There are various ways to produce such a change in engine values. Old cars are still chip-tuned by means of soldering. The chip can also be changed completely instead of just overwriting it.
Most cars registered after 2000 have a standardized OBD2 interface for vehicle diagnosis. The software of the ECU can be read out and adjusted via this interface. For all cars that do not allow OBD2 optimization, for example, the BDM port is used. The same interface is also used by the manufacturer to upload the software.
Another variant is an add-on module - colloquially known as a tuning box. This is connected between the control unit and the sensors. The chip tuning sends new values to the engine control unit in order to adjust the various parameters such as fuel injection and boost pressure. The modified values are adapted to the specific engine in advance. The advantage of an add-on module is the simple installation and the removal without residues, which is also possible by the vehicle owner. After removal of the add-on modules, the vehicle is back in its standard condition.