Whether any fairy tale is destined to become a reality, we decided to find out on the example of the now popular service called “chip tuning”.


The bottom line is to change the engine parameters by interfering with the operation of the control unit. The most harmless scheme is the installation of so-called boosters (colloquially - "trick"), which in a certain way distort the signal level of a given sensor. A simple trick allows you to make the unit work at the upper (or, conversely, lower) tolerance limit, squeezing out all officially authorized juices from the motor. True, the increase is not too large - a few percent. Unfortunately, even this sometimes is enough to ditch the engine, so you are unlikely to get any guarantees from the contractor.


Other options for chip tuning are associated with ROM (read-only memory), which stores tables of variable parameters and an algorithm for their interaction. Previously, this chip was replaced with a new one, now they prefer to reprogram the existing one. Outwardly, everything is very simple - by connecting the programmer, the specialist loads previously prepared firmware into the memory. This matter does not require a big mind - just press the necessary buttons. However, versions freely walking on the Internet also cannot boast of either intelligence or novelty. They will require money for an acceptable product - both talented individuals and entire groups are fed in the industry. But they do not always know what they are doing, because they do not own the main secret - the control unit program, which the manufacturers keep in the strictest confidence. Therefore, home-grown versions, which did not lead to the destruction of the engine, are recognized as successful and are offered to the afflicted with might and main.


More often than not, the consumer wants to increase the power of the motor - nothing conquers driver's vanity like a traffic light race won! Fortunately, reserves lie on the surface: you just don't give a damn about toxicity standards, and from 7 to 12% of excess power is in your pocket. And to do almost nothing is required - just a little enrich the mixture. True, fuel consumption will also increase, but it’s customary to pay for pleasure. Alas, the amount may be much more than the estimated. Firstly, it is possible to overheat and burn the converter, and secondly, not all engines painlessly digest a rich mixture - Citroen C2, for example, which works much better on a poor one. And how the “advanced” motor will behave in transient modes, one can only guess - the tuner does not have a “golden key” (the very algorithm of parameter interaction)!

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Attempts to achieve super-economic efficiency lead to even more sad consequences. The problem is that engine performance is part of active safety. Imagine what can happen when an underfed car turns sour when overtaking?

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But there are no hopeless situations. Disappointed in household chip tuning, they turn to true professionals. It is clear that it is easiest to find them among athletes. Nobody works here with serial control units, since they are not going to hack someone else's intellectual property. They act differently - they buy blocks from non-core manufacturers! The pleasure is expensive, but along with the hardware the complete software package is included. In fact, this is still a semi-finished product in which the specialist lays the necessary parameters. The main thing is that it is easy to correct them at any moment - having the algorithm at hand, the programmer will easily evaluate the impact of the change on the system. But even this is not enough - all calibrations must be tied to a specific engine, because the individual variation in parameters is very large (say, the tolerance for fuel consumption through the nozzle reaches 5%!). Therefore, fine-tuning is carried out at the stand. You can work on the road, but then a set of measuring equipment will have to be transferred to the car. The results, as a rule, are impressive (almost 200 hp are removed from a conventional VAZ engine), however, the engine resource is catastrophically reduced, and fuel consumption is growing just as sharply. However, to attribute the achievement only to chip tuning is unfair - a tangible effect here is provided by a complex of measures, including the installation of "humpback" camshafts, an increase in the compression ratio, etc. Whether such radical alterations are necessary to a private trader - decide for yourself.


Workshops ready to bring to mind the editorial "top ten" in Moscow turned out to be more than enough. Having talked, we divided them into three conditional categories. The first is inhabited by representatives of a “clean” business, whose goal is to get as much money out of a gullible client as possible. Here they promise to improve everything that is possible, and the rest - to optimize. The technical level characterizes the dialogue:

- Chip tuning gives an increase in engine torque!

- And the increase in power?

- What for? Enough of the moment!

Often, electronic odometers are immediately twisted, hiding behind the motto: for your money - anything.

The second ones try not to take initiatives, following the wishes of the client. If you want chip tuning, we’ll do it! And what will turn out wrong, do not blame me - we asked for it ourselves! Oral advertising guarantees the complete identity of the effect and the invested funds: the spent 1, 500 rubles will turn into adequate (?) Sensations.

Still others (and there were a lot of them!) Honestly warn: reprogramming the unit does not give much - and they offer several options for complex measures (finalizing the intake and exhaust, replacing the camshafts, etc.). But this, you understand, is another topic …


Chip tuning of the standard unit is in most cases illegal, as it is based on unauthorized use of other people's information.

Even the mildest chip tuning will void your factory warranty. It is easy to calculate the modified block by the so-called checksum.

Without knowing the algorithm of the system, it is impossible to predict the mutual influence of all parameters: improving one, not ditch the other for long.

Pure chip tuning (without comprehensive engine refinement) is ineffective - performance growth is limited to a few percent.