Volvo XC90 Performance Upgrade

kylechoffmankylechoffman Member Posts: 79
edited March 2014 in Volvo
Just wondering if anyone who owns an XC has done an ECU upgrade. If so, who did it and what type of improvements have you seen?


  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    I asked the service advisor at my dealership about this and he said they only do an ECU upgrade if there is a problem with the engine management. My wife's 2007 XC90 3.2 runns perfectly and we do better than the EPA mpg estimates.
  • kylechoffmankylechoffman Member Posts: 79
    ECU is done by a third party usually, not the dealership. But I will be asking the dealership tomorrow about engine management since my XC is getting 15.4 on mixed driving (On new tires no less).
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    What year and engine is your XC90 that is getting only 15.5 mpg?

    Over the first 10,000 miles my wife's 2007 XC90 3.2 has averaged 18.8 mpgUS using the pump volumes and trip odo readings (10,328 miles / 550.1 galUS), but we have had individual fillups as low as 13.0 mpg and 15.5 mpg.

    The computer in her XC90 consistently gives an mpg value ~4.0% higher than the pump volumes. (So if the true value from pump volumes would be 20.0 mpg, the computer would give 20.8 mpg.) It is possible that in other examples the error could be the other way.

    So "third parties" are downloading engine management programs into the ECUs of Volvos? Is this an official Volvo download? How does this work?
  • kylechoffmankylechoffman Member Posts: 79
    2006 2.5T Engine - 24K miles, the car was put into service in March 2006 so just over 2 yrs 2 months old.

    As far as the mileage, sadly this is my commuter car. I drive 16 miles each way to work (Half on the highway, avg speed is 35 mph per the computer). I live in san diego, so the landscape is flat.

    As far as the ECU upgrade, only reason Im asking is bc my buddy has had his two audi's updated and saw a very large increase in MPG, Torque and HP. Im not so much after the HP although it would help as the 2.5 is underpowered for an XC.

    Hopefully this is ok to reference third parties: C-Volvo&Category_Code=VL-S40-V50-en
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    Basic scientific and engineering principles assure that performance tuning of turbocharged engines can increase max available torque and power, but increasing efficiency (higher mpg) is an altogether different matter. I do not think that one can reasonably expect higher mpg after performance tuning.

    The IPD site makes no claims about improved efficiency.

    The other site states

    [Q.] What about the fuel consumption after PPC tuning?

    [A.] This depends on your driving habits. If you are using the extra power from the PPC upgrade you will use a lot more gas. If you are making more power you are going to be using more fuel. But during normal cruising fuel economy will usually be the same as stock or even improved. Optimized software in the ECU means that you will get more power and less fuel consumption in general.

    There are two ways that mpg could be improved

    (1) Improving the inherent efficiency of the engine, the so called brake specific fuel consumption or BSFC. There is no reason to think that performance tuning could do this.

    (2) Change the fuel delivery program so that at lower power demand (i.e. light accelerator pressure) the tuner program delivers less fuel than the stock program, i.e. leans out the fuel-air mixture. This might have harmful consequences for the engine, such as higher exhaust gas temperatures.

    Do these tuner manufacturers suggest that the highest octane fuel be used with their ECU programs?
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