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, plugandplaychip.co.za, 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: