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What Are the Different Kinds of Chip Tuning?

Rahmi Doğucan E.
September 10, 2022

A modern car is made of many computers working together to maintain the functionality of all the systems. Your car's radio and cooling system uses an electronic management system. A computer interface is necessary for your key fob to interact with the vehicle's alarm system. Your headlights and wipers also function likewise. Well, computers even manage the engine in your car!

A central ""brain"" is needed to oversee these systems since an automobile requires many electronics to operate simultaneously. All modern cars contain an Engine Control Unit (ECU) to regulate all the systems powering them, much like the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the ""brain"" of a computer. A modern car's computer can be meddled with to give you greater power and performance, just like a computer can be overclocked to give the user more control over its features.

The electronics that are used in automobiles evolved along with technology. Modern automobiles can regulate various engine functions, including spark timing and fuel injection, thanks to the electronic control unit and improved engine technology. 

The drive-by-wire electronic throttle control, valve timing, boost if your car has a forced induction system such as a turbocharger or a supercharger, anti-lock braking system, automatic transmission, and electronic stability control system are all additional features that the electronic control unit may be able to manage.

What are the Different Kinds of Chip Tuning?

When it comes to boosting horsepower, chip tunings are frequently at the center of conversations. With so many engines on the market, this is especially true. Fortunately, a ton of power is available for those who enjoy the performance. On standard engines, tuning chips alone can increase horsepower by 50–100 or more. However, several factors exist when selecting the best tune for your aims.

ECU Chip Tuning

The electronic control unit is reprogrammed during engine chip tuning, which alters the engine's operating range. The amount of air and fuel mixture is controlled by the ECU chip housed in the injection system. When you reprogram the ECU, you can tell the chip what you want to happen with this mixture. Depending on how you get it done, the price may vary.

Your car's electrical and automated systems depend on an engine chip that tunes your vehicle. Your car's chip regulates and ensures that various parts are always powered adequately for different systems.

OBD Tuning Chips and OBD2 ChipTunings

The vehicle's self-diagnosis system is called OBD2. An automotive electronic system known as on-board diagnostics can self-diagnose, signal, and report potential vehicle issues. By displaying the malfunction indicator light on your dashboard, it allows you to fix the problem and conveniently obtain information about the car's condition. 

The origins of on-board diagnostics may be traced back to the 1960s, when many organizations debated the need for the OBD to identify emission issues. Organizations supporting it included the Society of Automotive Engineers, California Air Resources Board, International Organization for Standardization, and Environmental Protection Agency (SAE). All automobiles must have an OBD port, and CARB started writing regulations in 1982. This was when OBD2 became a necessity for all vehicles to carry for further access to the vehicle’s information system.

This is your car's way of informing you when something is wrong. Visit the mechanic after that, and he will identify the issue using an OBD2 scanner. It is done by attaching the OBD2 reader to a 16-pin OBD2 connector close to the steering wheel. Through the OBD2 connector, you may retrieve a ton of data. For example, it can provide access to status data and DTCs for the ignition counter, powertrain, emissions control system, calibration identification number, vehicle identification number (VIN), and others.

Box Tuning & Piggyback Tuning

Like a ""performance chip tuning"" tune, a piggyback tuning performance chip tunings plugs directly into the ECU. However, the original equipment ECU set is not changed by this. Instead, piggyback or box tuning modifies specific signals and sensors to achieve the aimed car chip tuning objective. 

In essence, the piggyback tune performance chip tunings ""fake"" the ECU into producing additional power while the original ECU map remains untouched in this kind of car chip tuning. The ECU might fall for the scheme, run more aggressive ignition timing, and boost the levels. Specifically depending on the tune in question.

As an advanced boost controller, piggyback tuning is one example of car chip tuning. While the ECU's boost target is just changed, the boost itself is never seen by the ECU. In other words, the ECU believes that everything is stock. As another illustration, suppose your turbo runs at roughly 8 psi of stock boost. The piggyback tune, which has a 14 psi target, is then installed. The ECU still detects 8 psi even though the turbos are, in fact operating at 14 psi of boost.

Flash Tuning

Flash tunings and ""performance chip tuning"" tunes are related, but not in the same sense as piggyback tuning performance chip tunings. Car chip tunings like flash tunes essentially reprogram the ECU, much like performance chip tunings do. Instead of physically plugging them into anything, they are uploaded to the ECU. Flash tunings are created on computers, and the ECU, the car's computer, is then loaded with the software, typically through the OBD2 connector to apply the car chip tuning.

Flash tunings are straightforward software so that you can do anything with one when coded and installed correctly. You can design your timing, VANOS, and fueling tables, to mention a few. Flash tunings can be adjusted and personalized in many ways to get the ideal result for your vehicle's performance needs. The ECU sees the exact data as given by the flash tuning, unlike piggyback tunes.

Plug-and-Play Tuning

The ECU factory design is the foundation for a Plug-and-Play (PnP) tuning module and a Do It Yourself (DIY) add-on accessory. The ECU signals that effectively control the engine are intercepted and modified to enhanced optimization settings while staying within OEM factory design thresholds. These devices are bulletproof and manufactured to ECU specifications, which require strict certifications as performance evidence. PnP tuning modules' features and benefits are as follows;


  • Does not call for third-party ECU flashing, which voids your car's warranty.
  • Do-It-Yourself setup that usually takes 10-15 minutes.
  • A brief, non-intrusive alteration that cannot be physically tracked after removal.
  • Certain makers of Plug-and-Play products offer warranties. (Pedal Commander has a 2-year warranty)
  • They are customizable and transferable for your next automobile.
  • Is There an Alternative to Chip Tuning?

    As delicate and powerful as the whole chip tuning business is, it has many downsides. Almost everything you have read here voids your car’s warranty. They all take some extra time and money to install. If not installed properly, you’re left with less money and may be on the verge of damaging your vehicle and its engine.

    But there is one perfect alternative to all that! Meet the Pedal Commander, a simple device that plugs into your accelerator pedal. Installing it is as easy as plugging your phone to a charger! With a 2-year guarantee and the ability to be untraceable, your car will be safer than ever when tuning it. Enjoy your vehicle’s full potential by unlocking faster acceleration times and personalized throttle pedal sensitivity. Using Pedal Commander’s ECO mode will equip you with a green solution to achieve your fuel efficiency goals by up to 20 percent! When you and your car is great, don’t feel obligated to settle for less or worse. Discover greatness with Pedal Commander!

    What Are the Different Kinds of Chip Tuning?