What is chip tuning?

Chip tuning is a widespread term in the tuning industry. Those who want to achieve more power in their vehicle usually resort to chip tuning. By now, a number of terms have been assigned to chip tuning: Performance enhancement, engine tuning, diesel tuning, OBD tuning, sensor tuning, map or control unit optimization or injector tuning.

With chip tuning, we change the parameters of the engine control in order to achieve extra performance from the engine. We optimize the special maps, e.g. the boost map, the ignition map or the fuel map. What is of great importance here is that we leave the safety functions of the engine control switched on. With us, this component protection is fully functional – something you unfortunately cannot say of many “tuning boxes” or amateur tuners. When the component protection is deactivated, severe engine damage can be the consequence.

Most cars registered after 2000 have a standardized OBD2 interface for vehicle diagnosis. The software of the ECU can be read out and adjusted via this interface. For all cars that do not allow OBD2 optimization, for example, the BDM port is used. The same interface is also used by the manufacturer to upload the software. 

Chip tuning is the entry level to engine tuning: If you want to increase your engine performance, the first step is to optimize the engine electronics. In most cases, performance increases of up to 40% can be achieved with it. If you still want more performance – for instance, by way of changed hardware such as an upgrade turbocharger, different injection nozzles or a large down pipe – then you need individual tuning (chip tuning) in order to exploit the potential of your modified hardware components to the full.

Another variant is an add-on module - colloquially known as a tuning box. This is connected between the control unit and the sensors. The chip tuning sends new values to the engine control unit in order to adjust the various parameters such as fuel injection and boost pressure. The modified values are adapted to the specific engine in advance. The advantage of an add-on module is the simple installation and the removal without residues, which is also possible by the vehicle owner. After removal of the add-on modules, the vehicle is back in its standard condition.