Basic Introduction into chiptuning.Each internal combustion engine in a modern car is controlled by a engine control unit (ECU). The ECU controls the parameters of the engine for all variables in real time. The control is based on so called maps or tables stored in flash memory inside the ECU. By altering the contents of this memory the manufacturer can change the power and torque output to match the requirements of the final product.
Inside of ECU # 0 261 207 931 used on 2001 VW Jetta TDI (very popular car for tuning).
There is a need for an engine with different characteristics for different markets and applications and now the manufacturer can meet the need by tuning the ECU instead of altering the engine. Many engines are tuned way below their capabilities. A perfect example would be 2.7L Biturbo Audi engine with Motronic ME 7.1 system used in A6 and S4 models. Here, you can clearly see that the torque of A6 motor is artificially limited to 310 Nm while the same motor in S4 model is allowed to output up to 400 Nm.
Comparision of tuning for A6 and S4 models 2.7L Biturbo engine (factory software)..
A6 achieves 169 kW (227 HP) and 310 Nm (229 Ft/lbs),
S4 achieves 195 kW (261 HP) and 400 Nm (295 Ft/lbs).
Upsolute S4 achieves 233 kW (312 HP) and 485 Nm (358 Ft/lbs).
Why such a difference? A6 required "comfort, conservative" tuning while S4 needed a "sport" tuning to match the character of the car. Both cars use the same engine and achieve their goal by modifying the software.
In addition to tuning to match the character of the car, manufacturers include safety margin in the software offsetting the lack of maintenance and low quality of fuel. This safety margin ranges from 10% to 50% for cars with turbo (GM/Opel data). There are also many other factors going into consideration when designing the engine software that have little or nothing to do with engine performance. Chip-tuning, on the other hand, focuses on performance and is the most effective way to improve the power and torque output of any car.
Reading and writing of early ECUs could be done with simple programmer.
Very popular in Europe, where many governments tax car sales based on power output or size of the engine, chip-tuning became very advanced and gradually developed into an automotive art.
Chip-tuning consists of reading a file from the ECU, modifying it and writing it back. Reading and writing, that is the easy part, modifying it to come up with a good tuned file takes a lot of experience and knowledge. It is always a good idea to buy a file from a reputable tuner with long track record.
Many modern ECUs can be done through OBD2 port using CMDFlash from CMD Technologies.
We are using files from Upsolute, well established, global company from Austria with years of experience and literally thousands of tuned cars all over the world. They have developed software that maximizes the power and torque gain while maintaining the reliability of the power-train. Visit their web site of facebook page to learn more.