Cars are usually mass produced, all of them are alike . To change that, tuning service (upgrading) was born. It’s a relatively small modification that can drastically change how your engine runs. But those changes can also have a downside. Here are a few risks you take when you tweak the ECU or engine control unit.
Chip Tuning – Some risks when tweaking the ECU | Auto Advice
It Can Push the Engine Too Hard
One of the most common engine remaps is to get more power out of the engine. The right settings for the fuel/air mixture and timing can get your engine functioning at a higher speed and getting more power with every stroke.
But that extra power can push the engine parts beyond normal stress limits. At the same time, the increased heat and repetition lead to higher wear levels. Both of these factors can combine to increase the risk of catastrophic engine failure. This is why engine tuning can often void your powertrain warranty unless it’s done with the right gear by the right person.
The Engine Can Be More Susceptible to Changes
The default chip parameters are set by the manufacturer to make the vehicle as versatile as possible. After all, consumers are all over the globe, and most of them just want a reliable car they don’t have to worry about.
When chip tuning brings out more power or efficiency, it often comes at the cost of that versatility. This means that the engine can be more susceptible to factors like a bad tank of gas or higher air temperatures.
It’s Easy to Make Mistakes
The ECU controls a lot of different systems, and most of them are vital to how the engine works. Many of these systems are interconnected. For example, the fuel/air mixture is tied to the spark timing which is tied to the transmission. Tweaking one of these settings without changing the others accordingly can actually make the engine perform worse than it did before.
The wrong adjustments can do more than just lower the quality of the engine’s performance—they can actually cause the engine to break down entirely. These breakdowns can cause irreparable damage, so it’s important to know exactly what you’re doing.
Other Parts May Need to be Replaced
Changing the tuning of your ECU will give your engine and vehicle better performance, but all of the stock parts are chosen with the manufacturer’s default settings in mind. So they might not give you the best results after tuning.
Parts that directly concern running the vehicle are hit the most by this. Things like spark plugs, distributors, wires, and valves should all be replaced in order to get the most out of the tuning. This risk is probably the least of all the others, but it can be a hefty hit to your budget.
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