Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Battle Creek, MI
Performance Chips, Yea or Nea?
Ok, first off, in order to give proper input onto this subject, we must first explain what Performance/Economy "chips" are.
These "chips" come in various forums, anything from an EPROM socket chip that actually goes into the ECU/ECM/PCM, to a resistor that you plug into some random harness in your car. So lets further explain "chips".
The Resistor chips are usually there to help improve on the economic values of your car. Basically what they are "supposed" to do is limit the amount of feed back from a sensor (usually the 02 Sensor) to your ECU/ECM/PCM to allow for the value of that sensor to not read correctly with a lower voltage reading to allow for the ECU/ECM/PCM to cut the fuel needed to keep the car running. This is obviously BAD. As it can cut too much fuel causing pre-detonation (knock) and causing pitting in the pistons, heads, valves, cylinder walls, and actually cause ringland blow out (the spaces between the piston rings that are a part of the piston will crack and actually break off in your engine), and all of this can cause an engine to give out. ALL Resistor chips are worthless, and bad for anything you put them in. STAY AWAY FROM THESE!
Now, for the EPROM chips. EPROM chips have actually not been used since 1994-1995 (depending on make of vehicle (most GM's stopped using EPROM in 1995)). This being said, EPROM chips actually change values in a tune as the tune on the stock chip is removed to put this chip in. I have used these chips along with many others back in the day with much success, and many companies out there made chips like these (Hypertech is one example). These companies adjusted fueling, ignition timing, sensor voltages, and a few other things. Now, these are still considered a "canned" tune as the tune on these chips are the same across the board for that particular make/model. Most of those companies actually did a good job with them and did make good changes with the tunes, however there are still some that didn't. Being as no cars still use this type of setup, these chips are now worthless to our cars. Anything 1995+ (speaking for GM only tho) I would not even spend the money to get one of these for my car, as they won't do anything for your car.
There is one last type of "performance/economy chip" and that is a module based chip, or a simulator. These are few and far between and not a whole lot of people use these, however, they are still out there. These actually plug into the harness in replacement of an actual sensor/computer/control module on your car. The most common one to use is the 02 simulator). These are a mix of good and bad. I've personally used the 02 simulator before, and did with much success, but it all depends on the car that you use it on. Others I have seen use these types of chips on other cars and have caused a LOT of damage. With these I would recommend researching the SPECIFIC part you are replacing before getting one of these. Do a LOT of research too, not just read a handful of reviews and call it good, look on forums, talk to people, ect.
So in summary, as there are many different types of "Chips" that can be purchased to "help" your car, I say personally, STAY AWAY from ALL of them. Most companies that make these things will change values until they FEEL a difference weather a good or bad difference (most are in a bad way as they don't change the values of all the other supporting things that go hand in hand with what they changed). IF you're looking for a "tune" or "upgrade", I stand firmly behind talking to someone or a shop for a real tune. HP Tuners or Trifecta are the most common tunes you can get, and they are custom to YOUR car and MUCH safer than "chips" for modern cars.
Any questions? Please discuss.
Mods - Injen CAI, CIA MAF Relocate CP's, Dejon FMIC,
Custom 3" DP, 3" Exhaust, GT3076R, Pioneer AVH-4100DVD, Hurst STS, ZZP triple pod, Autometer Cobalt boost/DPIC/WB gauges, Nitto NT05 245/40/18's, H&R Springs, 80:20 Meth Spray
Future - KSport Kontrol Pro Coilovers, 10% Tint, FMIC spray
538whp/501wtq @38 psi on meth and 93 oct on stock ish motor
06 EVO IX MR/SE - Sold
Mods - *Updated 10/6/13* AEM TRUboost EBC, 4in custom TBE, SD dual 93/e85 tune, ETS 4in Race Core FMIC, Dual Aeromotive 400lph Fuel Pumps, T4 Tubular Manifold w/ dual WG's, FP Super99HTZ DBB Turbo, GSC 274 mivec cams, ARP headstuds/rod studs, FIC 2150cc Injectors, Aeromotive FPR, Aeromotive Fuel Rail, catch can, Mini Battery Kit, Slim Coolant Fan, Kiggly Racing high pressure valve Springs/Titanium Retainers, Supertech Stainless Steel Valves, Dual VTA Tial 44mm WG's, 4g64 Stroker Manley Pistons, 155mm 2.4 LR Manley Turbo Plus I Beam Rods with ARP 625 Studs, 100mm forged non-billet Manley Crankshaft, Full H/E PNP with Port Matching, Kiggly Racing Girdle, Dual Tial 50mm BOV's, Excedy Triple Disc Carbon HD Clutch, AEM EMS
'95 Ram 2500 Diesel
Mods - 5in TBE, Boost Elbow set to 28psi, Adjusted fuel pump, Open Turbo.
Future Mods- Super Street Clutch (rated @1400ftlbs tq), 67mm turbo, 160lb valve springs, added timing, tubular exhaust manifold, larger injectors, possible 6 spd swap.
Master ASE Certified Gasoline/Diesel Technician since 2004
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