Do those aftermarket computer chips really do anything noticable?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MX2, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. MX2

    MX2 Lifer

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    I dont really mean horsepower, but better fuel mileage and stuff? Do they really work?

    TIA
     
  2. SketchMaster

    SketchMaster Platinum Member

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    The $15-$50 "chips" on ebay? No, do more harm than good.

    Ones made by real companies that cost $200-$500? Yes, some give crazy amounts of power if your car has a turbo or supercharger. Though most will force you to use a higher octane fuel to get the full effect.

    Edit: As far as MPG, it depends on the car. My car runs rich so the chip I got leans it out to make more power, and thus, saves me gas. Other cars might run lean so a chip will make the car burn more fuel to make better power. Though, the cost of having to use a higher octane fuel will most likely offset any fuel savings.
     
  3. woodie1

    woodie1 Diamond Member

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    Depends on the car and who makes the chip.
     
  4. fstime

    fstime Diamond Member

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    Usually a quality chip on a F.I. engine will make a noticeable difference.

     
  5. MX2

    MX2 Lifer

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    So chipping a 2007 Grand Cherokee, or a 2003 Forester, or a 1995 Cherokee is a waste of time and money?
     
  6. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    Yes. Those are NA, and while they are decent vehicles, chipping might give you a couple of HP while probably forcing you to use higher octane fuel, and even potentially cause emissions issues if it doesn't work perfectly.

    Have you already moved to quality oil (Amsoil, Schaeffers, Mobil 1), aftermarket air filter (K&N), decent plugs & wires (Bosch Platinum +4), etc? Those are all good things to consider if you're looking for slight improvements here and there. The oil especially will give your engines a longer lifespan, and the increased lubrication can yield small but real benefits to fuel economy and power.

    After that, headers/exhaust work can help, along with a decent intake system.
     
  7. Pliablemoose

    Pliablemoose Lifer

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    He he, a female talking about chipping a car...

    Run away with me :D

    The opinions on how to get more performance from your car are as varied as there are people, I chipped a Ford Ranger with a V6 and noticed a difference, and it was fun to do.

     
  8. Auric

    Auric Diamond Member

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    I put an el-cheapo $50 box in my TDI for a significant improvement in power when needed without adversely affecting economy but then it is easy to achieve more power by simply increasing fuel to a modern turbo-charged direct-injection diesel. The proper external chips or some might argue best option of re-programming the existing one range from perhaps $150-500 and still focus on power yet also claim not harming economy (no one makes claims of significant improvement in that regard). Is it worth it? Maybe for the fun factor but otherwise... well I haven't bitten yet, despite the tempation ;)

    One tack might be looking into the return policy/guarantee &c. for any chip that claims improved fuel economy.
     
  9. OS

    OS Lifer

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    yes, waste of life, especially by your first criteria of gas mileage.
     
  10. DougK62

    DougK62 Diamond Member

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    No, you're wrong. A good chip will improve just about every performance aspect of a vehicle. Manufacturers really gimp their cars. I've chipped two cars - both from very reputable places that really dig into the code - and noticed a huge difference. The cars still ran on regular 87 gas, but got noticeably better gas mileage, idled better, better throttle response, and both gave ~7hp/tq over just about the entire range. And this was on very ordinary ~140hp naturally aspirated vehicles.

    Note that not all vehicles have people out there that make good chips for them.

     
  11. Josh123

    Josh123 Diamond Member

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    I've got a BullyDog chip in my Dodge turbo diesel and it increases the performance quite a bit as far as HP goes. I believe it was roughly $1,000 for everything.
     
  12. mwmorph

    mwmorph Diamond Member

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    Inproving fuel economy is increredibly difficult. You have to remember, companies spend massive amounts of R&D to keep up with federal CAFE standards so if something as simple as a chip, or any of those el cheapo add ons like magnets and the "Tornado" could substantially improve fuel economy, it would be in your car stock.
     
  13. OS

    OS Lifer

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    i wasn't arguing power, but the manufacturer isn't going to leave CAFE mileage on the table.

    put your car on an EPA roller and then we'll talk how good your numbers are.

     
  14. Apex

    Apex Diamond Member

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    There's really 3 aspects:

    1. Power
    2. Economy
    3. Leanness/Richness of air/fuel mixture

    OEM's generally try to get the vehicle as lean as possible, safely. They do leave a little margin of error, in case you get a bad tank of gas, it's especially hot, or you go through some altitude changes.

    Can a chip get you better economy? Sure, they can make the mixture more lean.

    However, the margin for error is already slim to begin with, and you're making it slimmer.

    It might be easier to do with a dyno tune & custom software. That way, they can take advantage of the limits of your specific vehicle.

    Either way though, I don't think you'll get much.
     
  15. ajm121

    ajm121 Junior Member

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    what chip did u put in your ranger i have a 2000 v6 ranger and am wanting to get it chipped but i am not sure of what kind to put in it.
     
  16. SpatiallyAware

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    necro spambot. Hi
     
  17. everydae

    everydae Diamond Member

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    Feel good to be in 2007 again, when Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual were around.
     
  18. Pinepig

    Pinepig Member

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    I need to sell my car and house quick and buy some gold.
     
  19. ShawnD1

    ShawnD1 Lifer

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    It likely depends who the car is marketed to. If you drive my corolla for 2 seconds, you'll notice immediately that the whole thing is based on fuel economy. It will go into top gear pretty much all the time no matter what then immediately shift down a gear when I touch the gas as light as possible. My car also has absolutely no torque at all until about 4000rpm. Once it hits 4000 in first gear, it will often start to spin the tires if it's cold outside. The completely wonky behavior is all done like that to save fuel. A toyota corolla could probably be chipped for huge performance gains at the cost of gas mileage.

    Something like a Subaru WRX? People buy those to *** around. It won't do any of the things my car does. You could probably get a lot of extra gas mileage out of a WRX by chipping it, but the performance will go down a lot.
    A performance car might be factory tuned to run a very very rich fuel mixture when you stomp on it. If you corolla'ed that bitch so it runs lean all the time even when you floor it, of course that will improve fuel economy.
     
    #19 ShawnD1, Feb 28, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  20. punjabiplaya

    punjabiplaya Diamond Member

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    if your car is tuned to run pig rich (i.e. most oem turbo tunes) then yes a chip can help. Usually a flash tuner is a better way to go than just getting a chip. If you want more fuel economy out of your corolla - inflate to sidewall max and stop granny shifting noob
     
  21. ShawnD1

    ShawnD1 Lifer

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    What is granny shifting?
     
  22. punjabiplaya

    punjabiplaya Diamond Member

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    a failed attempt at Fast and Furious mocking
     
  23. ShawnD1

    ShawnD1 Lifer

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    in other words: driving an automatic?
     
  24. punjabiplaya

    punjabiplaya Diamond Member

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    I guess the assumed definition of granny-shifting is slowly pushing the clutch pedal in, slowly shifting to the next gear, slowly stepping off the clutch pedal.

    As opposed to power-shifting.
     
  25. Bartman39

    Bartman39 Super Moderator<br>Elite Member<br>For Sale/Trade<
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