Why Engine Chip Tuning Maybe Dangerous – If Handled Unprofessionally

9 July 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Engine chip tuning refers to different processes that modify the electronic control unit (ECU) of a car to improve its performance. The ECU is the main component of your car's onboard computer, and it controls most of your car's operations. A professionally tuned chip may increase your car's performance or fuel economy. However, if the job is poorly done, then your vehicle may suffer disastrous consequences such as these:

Increased Risk of Detonation

Most people upgrade their car's chips to increase performance. As you know, you can't get something out of nothing. The increased performance usually means your car will be programmed to run on an air/fuel mixture that is a little richer than usual.

The problem with such a setup is that it increases your engine's temperatures, which increases the risk of detonation. The air/fuel mixture may spontaneously ignite before the spark plug fires. This can cause mechanical damage to your engine, overheat it or even pit it.

Premature Engine Wear

The engine (plus all its different components), is always vibrating when it is on. This is why engines are placed on motor mounts – to prevent the vibrations from damaging other parts of the car. Car manufacturers design their engines with these vibrations in mind. All engines (and other car components) have maximum stress/vibration limits that they can safely bear.

When you push your engine's performance up, the vibrations also increase. Since your car may not have been designed for such high forces, it will experience higher stress levels and premature damage.

Increased Fragility

All the components of a car function as a unit. For example, the engine is attached to the mounts that are connected to other parts of the car such as the powertrain, wheels and body. There are also sensors in different parts of the car. These sensors include the speed detector at the output end of the transmission, the knock sensor near the engine and the oxygen sensor

When you tinker with your car's ECU, which interferes with its engine's operations, then these sensors may not work as well as before. For example, the knock sensor may be damaged when the engine vibrations become too much. This means chip tuning may make your car fragile.

It's clear that engine chip tuning is not a job for novice mechanics. If you have decided that this is what you want for your car, then just get a mechanic with lots of professional years behind him or her to handle the job. Of course, you shouldn't forget that it can void your manufacturer's warranty, so it is necessary to confirm this first.

For more information on auto-maintenance, contact a professional like those at Slipstream Autocare.