Is chip tuning secure?
Looking for information about chip tuning, we can come across quite different opinions. As in other topics, almost everyone we ask will have their own opinion, unfortunately not always supported by knowledge. On one hand, we have fervent followers. They convince us that such modifications are simple, safe and in total anyone can easily make them themselves. On the other side are the prophets of the end of the world. From them we will learn that interventions in the car’s software will inevitably destroy the engine in our car. What is this all about? To get your own opinion, let’s check how it all works.
Let’s start by saying a few words about tuning in general. For cars, motorbikes and other motor vehicles, tuning means adapting the factory product to the owner’s expectations. As a rule, it is about improving the appearance or technical parameters. Somewhat lofty we can say that tuning is changes in a car or motorcycle that change an ordinary vehicle into something better and unusual.
Of course, chip tuning is about engine modification. A quick replay in physics. Internal combustion engines in cars burn a mixture of fuel and air. The energy from combustion sets the engine components and the wheels of the car in motion. For this to happen, it is necessary to supply the combustion chamber with the right amount of fuel (gasoline, diesel oil or gas) and air, which must be fed at a specific moment and at the right pressure. Then the fuel-air mixture is compressed. This mixture must then be burnt, for which the ignition system is responsible. Once a mechanical distributor cared for the perfect moment of ignition, today the computer deals with it. Residues from the combustion of the air-fuel mixture escape through the exhaust pipe. In contrast, the energy released during combustion is transmitted through the crank-piston system to the gearbox and then to the wheels. In modern cars, the correctness of the whole process is supervised by a computer equipped with hosts of various sensors.
At this point, tuners entering the stage equipped with their computers. Rather, it will be difficult for us to chip a pre-war vehicle. However, it can be done to a greater or lesser extent in most of the cars we use. For many years, more and more parameters of their work are controlled by computers. Based on data from various sensors and algorithms created by engineers, they decide on the configuration needed at the moment. They collect information from, for example, an air flow meter, oil and fuel pressure sensors or boost pressure (if the car is equipped with a turbocharger). Performing even thousands of measurements in each second, the computer constantly adjusts the way the engine works so as to properly use its capabilities. For this purpose, it changes the amount of fuel fed, accelerates or delays the ignition moment or even controls the operation of valves. Chiptuning affects computer decisions. By changing the computer settings, the operation of the entire engine is modified. In this way, without affecting the mechanical structure, you can dramatically change the characteristics of the car.
We can achieve various effects using chiptuning. They cannot always be reconciled with each other. The most desirable results are an increase in power and an improvement in the torque curve. Unfortunately, often higher power does not go hand in hand with low fuel consumption. However, it should be mentioned that a good tuner will be able to choose the parameters so that the increase in power does not cause gigantic combustion. While we’re at it, chip tuning can correct our car’s appetite for fuel and emissions. If we want to save and reduce fuel consumption or reduce the greenhouse effect, we can modify the car’s software accordingly. However, it will probably degrade performance. Just like mechanical tuning, chip tuning must be done wisely. The strength of engine components and transmission must be taken into account. The greater our interference, the more sensitive the car will become to the quality of fuel or engine oil. Tuners recommend, therefore, that in modified cars change oil more often, take care of regular service and not save on consumables or fuel. That is why it is so important to choose a professional workshop that will make changes in our car. An experienced specialist will select the engine work parameters in such a way that they do not go beyond the limits of common sense and do not destroy the car.
In summary, is chip tuning safe for our car’s engine? Like any modification, carried out with your head it will improve the car’s performance and give you a lot of driving fun. If we rely on an inexperienced mechanic, or we want to squeeze too much from the motorcycle, it may end up in a malfunction. That is why it is worth going to a proven specialist who will assess the condition of our car and what it can safely do with it.