The truth about the diesel engine performance chips.

Let’s chat about the plug and play systems, the ones that connect onto the common rail pressure sensor. Usually, when you get in touch with these guys and you start talking about dyno runs to prove gains, they will have all sorts of excuses why you should not put your vehicle on a dyno. This is all a bunch of lies. The only reason why they don’t want your car on a dyno, especially if you are attending, is because they know the results will be minimal if any results at all. Think about it for a second, why don’t they own a dyno, not because they can’t afford it! I will tell you why because once they have to start proving figures, they will lose 99% of their sales and go bust. No wonder a huge plug and play chip producer in Germany is sued for misleading customers!

How they usually succeed in making the sale…you will pitch at their shop, a performance shop with no dyno (how ironic), they will install the chip, you will then go for a test drive. At this point, you really want to feel a difference, especially for the huge amount of money you are about to pay. During the test drive, you will be informed about the response booster device that will make the engine more responsive. This is a unit that will connect onto the throttle positioning sensor, fooling the ECU of your vehicle’s into thinking that when the pedal is really at 50%, it’s now at 80%. You will get the unit installed and take the vehicle for another test drive, all of a sudden you will feel a difference and fool you into thinking that your vehicle has more power. You are happy with what you feel and pay them a ton of money, usually R8000 or more. How do you know what 20 or 30kw additional feels like? The fact is you don’t…

The other scenario is that you will order the plug and play system online, You will install it and you will most likely become a victim of the placebo effect. How do you know what you got for your money? A seemingly fancy device which does not do anything? What is the point then? Is it fair to pay R4000, R6000 or R8000 for 1kw or 5kw?

What really happened is these guys tricked you into a sale. They effectively stole your money! South Africa, I dare you, get these guys to do a dyno to prove the claimed gains and I promise you at the most 5% of your will come back with what we will call an “OK” result. With the old engine control units, you will get an “OK” result and with a few exceptions here and there like the Toyota Hilux/Fortuner 3.0 D4D from 2011-2015.

The other catch is when you order from companies overseas, the shipping costs to return the chip will probably be so much that you will not bother to send it back. So, someone has just sold something to you that does not work.

With the new ECU technology on the market, the chances are extremely slim to get a difference that is worth paying for with such a plug and play chip.

How do I know this? As our site name suggests,, we have sold these units. We have bought these units from all over the world as dealers and importers. We know all about plug & play systems.

I will give you one more thing to think about, how can a plug & play unit that connects onto the vehicle’s common rail pressure sensor, fooling the ECU into thinking that the common rail pressure is too low, then ups the common rail pressure sky high, be a better tuning option than an ECU Remap on a dyno, where hundreds of maps get finely tuned? Impossible! Why do the manufacturers not install chips when they have the same engine but would like to increase performance to release an updated or facelift version? The answer is simple because software or modification to the vehicle’s software on the ECU is the best option to increase the power.

The plug and play chip companies telling you their chip can outperform an ECU Remap is blatantly lying to you. This is in every measurable way NOT possible. Anyone suggesting a plug and play chip is better than ECU Remapping does not have any idea how an engine works or is purely trying to trick you into a sale.

Everyone deserves a place under the sun, we all are trying to get by and trying to make a living. But once you start lying blatantly to people in order to do so is what really gets to me and the reason for writing this piece. Anyway, let’s go on…

Can ECU Remapping also be bad? Yes! It depends on who does it. I have fixed countless bad tunes in my life. That is why you should find someone doing custom tuning for your vehicle on a dyno to get a safe reliable reasonable result. The fact is most tunes are bought from abroad. And yes, there are extremely good tuners abroad, but they are not here, at the dyno, feeling and seeing how the car responds to the tune. They don’t know much either about our extreme conditions in South Africa. So the secret…get someone, like myself, doing the actual tuning, right there on the dyno.

Another issue with ECU Remapping, the guys offering to remap your vehicle at home or in a parking lot for example. Even though a million times better than a chip that only increases common rail pressure, it’s still not the best way of tuning an engine.

Dyno – There are lots of different dynos, and some of them will estimate flywheel power and some will give you wheel power. Some are loading dynos and some inertia dynos. There are hardly 2 dynos that will give you the same result. There are so many factors playing a role at the time of the run for example height above sea level, temperature, the cooling power of the fan etc. The point is, its an instrument that can be used to log the engine data in order to produce a better tune. It also gives you a pretty good idea if you are busy over tuning or if you can add a bit more power. It does not matter what the before-run figure starts out with, or, if the figure is based on estimated flywheel power or power on the wheels, what matters if the difference between the before-run and the after-run. Based on this you can do a calculation in terms of percentage gained

If you want to get your vehicle properly tuned, make the time for someone like myself and get it done properly!

Anyone is welcome in my shop, right where the dyno is. Does this not say something? Think about it…

Here is an example of a well-known chip and throttle response device costing approximately R8000 – R9000. With this setup, the engine had LESS power from 1500 to 2500 RPM and from 2500 to 4000 RPM only 4hp and 2nm difference:


  1. Please can someone assist I have a stage 3 control unit plug and play and it is continuously flashing and does not allow me to set it. What could be the issue and how do I fix it?

    • Darrean, since it is not our product we will not be able to assist. Your best bet is to get in to contact with the agent or manufacturer of the chip.

  2. Hi
    I have read your article above, sounds interesting.

    I would like to put you to a test.

    I am in KZN and driving a G7 GTI PP

    Where can the remap be done and the price

    I will remove Plug and play and compare.

  3. I have a 2012 C350 CDI , what would the cost be to remap the ecu aswell as remove the egr from software and delete the dpf .

    • We mainly work on diesel engines, but we can remap it at R4500 and we need the vehicle for a day as we custom tune each engine on our dyno.

  4. Hie. I have a 2013 Mazda6 2.2 diesel skyactive and want the dpf removed, and egr cleaned and blanked/deactivated. Also want the corresponding ECU remapping and also adjusted for economy. Is that possible and what is the cost?

    • DPF Remove & Delete, EGR Delete = R5500

      DPF Remove & Delete, EGR Delete + Tuning R7500

      We won’t be able to install a blanking plate or clean the EGR, for those please take it to your local mechanic.

  5. Jaguar XF 3D S – 202kW (YM 2013)
    What will it cost for: DPF remove and delete + EGR delete + Mapping … and what is the gains on kW and Nm afterwards?
    I understand you do not blank off the EGR – do I need to blank it short after deletion or can I still drive for a while , without installing a blanking plate?

  6. Hi, I drive a Opel 1.4 t Enjoy Plus and what to do to software, separately also downpipe and intake. Or do I do it all at once or which one do I start with obviously money is the main factor here, thanks Zander

    • Price R4000, need the vehicle for 4-8 hours as we custom tune each vehicle. Assuming it is the 103kw, 20-30kw & 50-80nm more.

  7. Hi. Ford Fiesta 1.4i 2005model mk6 4door.
    Csr has stupid revv-hang and not responsive at low revs at all, I think it’s just how it’s made.

    What will fix that? I mainly want more response without messing with its economic performance. Cape Town.

      • Hi, I am wanting to do a remap of my Tiguan 1.4TSI Allspace (110KW). Vehicle is a 2021 model, so can only assume a remap will void warranty? Does your work come with any type of warranty and would the service plan still remain intact from VW? Lastly, what type of increase could I look at and at what cost? Sorry for the many questions. Thanks.

        • Duane, we usually do not have any warranty issues with most brands.

          You would not need any engine warranty from us because our remap will not cause any damage to the engine.

          We would add n maximum of 10kw & 30nm for our conditions.

          R3500 is the price.

    • R3500 is the price, 4-6 Hours as we custom tune on dyno. The 20d can handle the additional power. I own a 520d myself which is tuned and perfectly reliable. In the region of 20% more power.

  8. Hi,

    I nearly made a mistake, so glad I read this.

    I have a 2019 VW Caravelle T6 2.0 TDI 4motion. Can you remap the vehicle? Cost and gains would help.

    Many thanks,

    • Stephen, Yes we can. R3500 is the price. Need the vehicle for 4-8Hours as we custom tune on dyno. Gains 15-20%.

  9. Hi
    I had a stage 2 ECU mapping done on a Ranger 2.2,2014 model.
    The bakkie smoked like a Detroit diesel.Took it back,dropped to stage 1.Less smoke,but still some.
    Power was better but not on low revs,as I wanted as these are dead below 1500 rpm.Fuel consumption became real bad.600 km on 78 liters.Without driving with a real heavy right foot.Had it taken back to Ford for a Factory reset and PDF delete reversed.What could have been the problem.

    • Johan, first of all, there is NO dpf installed in our SA Rangers 2.2 and 3.2s. The injection quantity was simply too much. The AIR FUEL Ratio should have been monitored.

  10. I have a polo bluemotion 1.2 tdi. It have power issues and DPF. My question is if you remove DPF and delete will the original power be back. Because my Ref counter does not exceed 3 and the top speed at the moment is 140km/h

  11. Hi, i got a vw amarok 132kw 4motion, how much would it cost to do a performance upgrade chip or remapping? Price and what power gains can i expect.

    • R3500 is the price. 20-30kw & 50-80nm more power. We need the vehicle for about 3-6 hours as we custom tune on a dyno.

  12. Thank you for your honesty I was about to order a race chip rs for my golf v gt tsi 1.4 twin charge I live in Greece and Id like more response it has a bmy engine 103 kw and the cavx 125 can I chance the ecu ?

  13. Hi I have a 2011 land rover discovery 4
    3 litre V6 diesel. Cost to remap and how much more power can be achieved

    • Yugo, R3500 is the price. We need the vehicle for 4-8 hours as we custom tune on a dyno. 25-30kw & 80-120nm more.

    • Good day, yes it is possible. R4000 is the price and we need the vehicle for about 4-8 hours as we custom tune on a dyno.

  14. Good day, I looked at the Nissan NP300 results, very impressive. Will the fuel consumption improve and how much. Currently running at 8.6 / 8.7 km per liter (11.5 l/100 km) at 110 – 120 km/h. Nissan NP300 2017, 2.5 Diesel, D/Cab with Steel Canopy.

    • Theuns, on the NP300 2.5 it is hard to say if there will be any improvement in terms of fuel. Worst case scenario it will stay the same or may improve with 1-2km/L.

  15. Hi, Chris here.
    I want to buy a new BMW 420i with a 2 litre 1998 producing 135kw and 300nm.
    Please can you help me with 3 questions:
    1) What will remapping cost
    2) What will the performance gain be
    2) Will I lose the BMW Maintenance Plan

    • Chris, we work on diesel engines only. If you really can’t find someone else that you are comfortable with, R4500 is the price and we need the vehicle for about 2 days. BMW may pick it up but with the new patch option, it is mostly undetectable.

  16. great weekend, I’m using 2015 Ford Fusion 2.0 TDCI and will like to know if there’s anything to gain by dyno tuning it. or will need to remove DPF and will there be good fuel econ after that and how much power will it gain from that?

    • Pule, you can tune them without having to remove the DPF. Usually about 20-25kw & 50-70nm more. Fuel consumption will depend on your driving style. Worst case will stay the same or improve by about 1-2km/L.

    • Good day, unfortunately, we do not work on those with Mitsubishi ECUs installed. Post-2006 they are equipped with Denso Injection systems. We work on the Denso systems only.

    • Good day, unfortunately, we do not work on those with Mitsubishi ECUs installed. Post-2006 they are equipped with Denso Injection systems. We work on the Denso systems only.


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