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Are Chip Upgrades Worth It?

chris1638chris1638 Posts: 1
edited August 2015 in INFINITI
I own a '93 infiniti G20 and am considering making
several modifications to try and add hp and beef
up the performance a bit. I found a chip upgrade
at for about $300.
Anybody had any experiences with using these chips
in an infiniti or other small cars?

See Also
Performance Upgrades: Are They Worth It?



  • rryder1rryder1 Posts: 1
    I've changed the chips in small engines and big engines. Unless, it has a turbo the change seems to be negligible, except that now you'll have to use premium. But they do work great if you've added other modifications like an exhaust, or air filter assembly, etc. For the most part chips w/o a turbo or supercharger add about 10-15 horsepower and about 5 ft-lbs of torque. On another note if your really planning on doing several changes to the engine your better off waiting untill they are done before changing the chip. Some performance shops can tune the chip to take into account the changes you've made, and really make the chip work for you and the other mods you've done.
  • joe48joe48 Posts: 1
    Anyone have any experience or info. comparing these two? Is there much of a difference?
  • dmkdmk Posts: 22
    I'd have to agree w/ rryder1. The VW Passat comes w/ 1.8L Turbo and a 2.8L normally aspirated V6. The chip for the turbo increases hp approx. 50 hp to 200 hp and the V6 increases 15 hp to 205. This is from the same manufactures and the prices are similar ($300-500). I chipped my 1.8 Turbo and the difference is amazing! Literally breaks the tires loose when the turbo kicks in.

  • Does anyone have any information on whether chip upgrades will affect the warranty? Also, if i buy a performance chip (ie, how much does it usually run to get it installed; also, where are the best places to get it installed? i assume that the dealership will not have any suggestions. :)
  • dmkdmk Posts: 22
    The warranty issue is a grey area. Go to the or site for more discussion on this. Many chip tuners offer socketed chips(removable) that prevent the issues of warranty coming up. When your car has to be serviced for a problem switch to your stock chip.
    Re. install it varies. It helps if you liver near a tuner. I was lucky. Wetterauer was only a hour from my house so I drove down and was chipped in less than an hour. If you can't do that the next alternative(and most common) is to mail in your ECU. Go to Wetts site for more info on this as well. Their address is

  • stsmanstsman Posts: 8
  • tateostateos Posts: 36
    The self leveling system uses sensors, an on-board air compressor, and air shocks to keep the rear of the car level regardless of load.

    The Traction Control permits you to start and drive normally when it is on. If you turn it off, it forces the transmission to start in 2nd gear. If you put the TC back on, it will allow 1st gear starts again.

    Richard Moore
    '97 Eldorado Owner
  • lleroilleroi Posts: 112
    chips work on a 87 Yugo.If so what suspension modifications should I have done to handle the increased power.
  • orlieorlie Posts: 12
    ... the chip (or, better yet, computer) upgrade is definitely worth it. My friend has an Audi S4, and once he replaced the computer itself, he's able to toggle between 3 modes: stock, valet, and chip. I couldn't believe the difference that chip made ... it has more power than his '98 Vette! (Of course, the Vette still handles a hell of a lot better, no doubt.)

    I'm skipping the chip for my SUV -- it aint worth it, not even if I change the headers, exhaust, etc. (Translation: too much money for too little performance increase ... 'might as well get a sports car.)
  • Don't go anyplace else but Jim Wolf Technology. They don't use "chips" they reprograme your ECU and custom-taylor the programe to your aftermarket changes.

    Also since you have one of the older SR20DE engine, you might wanna try some JWT S2 camshafts, HotShot header, Unordothox Racing underdrive pulleys, Place Racing cold-air intake and a good exhaust system. With those changes and a JWT ECU programe, you can make 150-160hp at the wheels easy.

    You should check out, and

  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    How many people dyno their cars before and after receiving a chip upgrade to make sure they aren't buying exaggerated products?
  • swinga7swinga7 Posts: 45
    i've seen hundreds of ads for performance chips. which companies make quality chips?
  • Companies like Superchips Diablo Jet, etc. The bigger names in ECU chip mods. I dynoed each one in my old Focus. Not one of them gained more than 2 hp and the Superchips lost torque across the board. Naturally aspirated they are a total waste of money. They are only worth it if you have an automatic or a turbo. Even so you would be better off spending more and getting the AVC-R. The only use I had for them was rev-limiter and speed limiter removal. I have heard very good things about chips for the VW but why get a chip when you can just get the AVC for the same cost?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "Little by little, cars are becoming software-rich. While this probably isn't news to engineers, it's only just now being noticed by the world at large, including programmers."

    Automakers, beware: hot rodders do software, too

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    then yes, it's worth it.
  • What about a 1997 z3 2.8? How do they fair with the chips? It takes that pesky governer off right? Does it set rev limiters and new redlines or are they completly removed? Im assuming since its a naturally aspirated motor I shouldnt buy the chip unless I have cold air induction, new exhaust, or a turbo correct?
  • jmestas1jmestas1 Posts: 4
    I have a '95 Nissan Maxima GXE, the engine is a bit sluggish, mainly due to the fact that i have 125K on the car. Would it be worth it to do some modifications on the car? i.e. new chip, exaust, intake ect...? Are Mod chips availabe for the 3.5L Pathfinder? Thanks!!!
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Try the basic maintenance routines first (tune-up, etc.) If your engine has a distributor, new wires, cap, & rotor will help also.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    "With Mr. Rascon's Civic howling away on the dynamometer, Mr. Wilmizig adjusted air and fuel mixtures on his laptop while Mr. Church read out continually increasing horsepower numbers. Mr. Church figured that the Civic would be good for 220 horsepower and would be able to run the quarter-mile in just over 12 seconds, about as fast as a new $73,000 Dodge Viper or a $115,000 Porsche 911 Turbo would. Mr. Rascon paid only $8,000 for his Honda."

    Gentlemen, Start Hacking Your Engines

    Steve, Host

  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    a 1.8 liter motor with 300 hp and no turbo or nitrous. Programming a chip with a laptop isn't anything new - it's relatively simple, but you aren't going to triple the horsepower on a car no matter what kind of fuel or spark curve you're running.

    Plus, he surely didn't buy a Civic AND make 300 hp on 8 grand.
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    Just look at what N group rally cars can do... 220hp at 6k rpm on a normally aspirated, 1.6l inline 4 engine! And the rules put a restraint on the size of intake manifolds...

    Mr Aguilar did not have such restrictions. I believe this is possible, especially since Honda engines are rev happy. Pity there are not more technical details but I bet the 300hp are put out in the 7k range.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    rally cars run 13:1 - 15:1 compression - certainly not a ratio than can be run on any pump gas (or even the 100 octane stuff you can get at the track). Limiting CR to 11:1 or 12:1, with the most radical cam and intake yields around 200-225. ECU hacking IS NOT worth 75-100 hp, no matter what Mr. Aguilar says. Besides, to run low 10s like he says takes nearly 375 hp in a 2200 lb car, not 300 hp.

    That article was written by someone who nows jack about cars and believed everything the guy told him.
  • use an HP-41c calculator to land NASA's Space Shuttle (click here and here for the history).

    The other question is "for how long?". There's no such thing as a free lunch, and the Viper and 911 Turbo come with warranties as well as proven track records of reliability: both should easily go a decade and 100K miles without rebuilds. You can pay now or pay later.


  • zueslewiszueslewis Posts: 2,353
    you've got a guy electronically advancing and redlining every curve - fuel, air, spark, all for the sake of every last pony. That works fine for 12 seconds, but what about a 30 mile ride to the next town??

    I'll give you a hint - his Honda came in on a trailer.

    Bear in mind, also: 6,000 hp Top Fuel motors don't run oil coolers or radiators because they only run for 20 seconds from start, burnout and the race!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Altering Your Engine With New Chips (NY Times)

    Steve, Host
  • I've had a chip in my Cougar for over 2 years and never had a problem with it. It is a chip by Diablo. It greatly enhanced the feel of the automatic and I picked up both hp and torque on the dyno.

    I'm not running a stock Cougar and my chip was burned to match the enhancements, so that could be a big part of why I saw improvements and the individual with the Focus didn't. The chip was the last enhancement. The car was dynoed before the chip install and after, so I know for a fact the chip did indeed help. That was 2 years and 36,000 miles ago. No problems at all since the install.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Keeping 'car chippers' plugged in (Boston Globe)

    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Anyone have anything new to chip in?

    Steve, Host
  • geo9geo9 Posts: 739
    I recently purchased one of these units and re-programmed my 04 Chevy 2500 4x4 truck. 6.0 auto. $329 bucks !

    I programmed it for the 93 octane tune, (this is a dual mode 93 or 87 octane handheld unit) 5500 WOT shift points (top of the power band),...
    (Stock shifts at WOT were 5200) ....5900 rpm rev. limiter,.......Firm shift mode,............Top speed 110.
    All other settings left at factory specs.

    SOP feel is killer !...........Nice burnout and 1-2 tire squeek at WOT !
    Total pig stock...NO burnout or 1-2 squeek !

    Data According to supplied spec. sheets:
    Stock... 228 rwhp @ 5500 rpm......... tuned...263 rwhp @ 5500 rpm
    Torque.......stock 226 @1250 rpm.......tuned 260 ft. lbs. @ 1250 rpm

    Purchased mostly for a little more "pep" and a few more mpg...............

    As soon as the novelty of whipping on it is over.........Will report how it
    works out using the 87 octane tune and mpgs....................
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well I'm glad it seems to produce results. Many chips don't but the programmable type at least can mess with the timing (which, along with fuel enrichment), which is where you are getting the power.

    I kinda doubt those figures of HP jumps because to get any substantial power you just can't keep adding fuel, you have to add air at some point. But most stock systems are made to run quite lean, for emission and fuel efficiency, and a good chip, along with a timing bump, can take advantage of that (to a point).

    I suspect your MPG will decrease (really, it HAS to) but I trust not too much.
This discussion has been closed.