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Are Chip Upgrades Worth It?



  • I want to know if there is a way to override the Speed limiter and adjust the shift delays in the 6-speed in the XR?
    Not much this car need but these two things would make it a lot better.
    I have looked at Jet, Super chip and a few others but none do Saturn Aura's.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,307
    its just way too new.
    what engine is in there again? is it an ecotec? if so, they MAY develop a chip. If not, then I wouldn't hold my breath.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • The engine is the 3.6 L Twin cam 24V, V6 from the Cadillac CTS.

    Sure would be nice if someone would let us reprogram the top speed and transmission
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,307
    OH. The aura. geesh. for some reason, i was thinking of the new compact ... uh, the astra? (this is why companies shouldn't name their products so similarly)

    WELL, I would think they'd come up with one for the 3.6 since it is being used in more and more vehicles. Did you try calling any companies? You might find one who would do yours for free just to get a prototype on the road. :)

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • what is WOT and SOP? I am a little confused on exactly what you are talkin about.
    I am wonderin if a chip upgrade will help enough with towing to be worth the money? My truck(04 2500 HD 4x4) could use the help towing @ 70 with hills and high wind, but @ 55 or a flat 70mph zone with no wind i'm fine.
    Also does hypertech program shift firmness? I really know nothing about re-programing. can i go from performance to stock settings for fuel economy or should performance mode be better for milage? please help! thanks.
  • hi i have a 2002 ram 1500 w a 4.7 and am looking for anything to get better fuel mileage and would like to do it for as little as possible as i don't have much money. an help would be appreciated.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,307
    There is nothing that will improve your mileage except changing your driving habits.

    Even if, by some grace of the car gods, you eeked out slightly better mileage with something like a better breathing intake (very unlikely, regardless of what the manufacturers of these products would have you believe), it would probably take 10s of thousands of miles of driving to recoup the cost of the add-on in gas savings.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have been researching some Hydrogen-producing bolt on modifications that are supposed to yield 35% better milage for about $600. I am not convinced they work yet but will report back when/if I test one out.

  • I have a ''99 F250, 7.3 liter Powerstroke. I bought a superchips power programmer, K&N air filter and cut the muffler off. The truck had 30,000 miles on it. I have ran it on the performace tow setting for 99,000. It increased my mileage 3-5 mpg and a very noticeable power increase
  • inguanoinguano Posts: 3
    edited February 2015
    "I have a ''99 F250, 7.3 liter Powerstroke. I bought a superchips power programmer, K&N air filter and cut the muffler off. The truck had 30,000 miles on it. I have ran it on the performace tow setting for 99,000. It increased my mileage 3-5 mpg and a very noticeable power"

    Was the Superchips you got the flashpaq model or one of the others? 3-5mpg increase is good but may have been due to the k&n air filter or the muffler mod you did. Jury's still out for me on whether to Superchips my mustang....
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    Do not EVER believe a manufacturers claim about HP improvement with a chip. On an n/a, street car, a mail order tune on a chip will have extremely marginal improvement. Anyone who says that they can feel the difference with the bott-o-meter, is only only noticing the fact that their wallet is thinner.

    I have seen many a car on a dyno with a mail-order tune where the car actually made less power, yet the owner swore it was faster.

    On a 300 hp car, expect to see about 5-8 rwhp improvement at most, UNLESS, the original tune was pig-rich to begin with. Chips should pretty much never be used unless you are getting a custom dyno-tune. And on a stock car, even a custom tune makes only a small difference. If you see larger gains, then something was wrong with the car to begin with.

    Things change a bit on a turbo car, because the tune can adjust the waste gate setting and you might be able to make more boost. With an s/c, you can also make improvements presuming the original tune left some power on the table.

    Chips basically make power by advancing timing a bit, and leaning the a/f. This is why you generally need to run higher octane.

    If you have an automatic, you will benefit by having a tune/chip because you can adjust the way the car shifts. This makes the car shift faster and firmer.

    On a deisel, a chip can make measurable power even with a mail-order tune, but that is the exception.

    There are some cases with certain cars, where adding a chip in conjunction with a CIA can add pretty good power so long as the tune on the chip is a dyno proven match for the CIA.

    Chips void all warranties! If you use a chip and get caught, you are hosed. This si why using a flash tuner is much better. This way the tune can be installed and removed w/o using a physical chip and no one will ever know the tune was there.

    I have used chips, hand-held programmers and multi-position chips. I currently use an SCT 4 Position Switch Chip with 4 custom tunes on an after-market supercharged application. The car is dyno-tuned.

    A dyno tune WITH a chip will typically cost around $500 on a stock or near-stock application.

    If you are really interested, find a local tuner in the area who uses either SCT or Diablo and get it on the dyno if you really care. Otherwise, don't waste your money on a mail-order tune. Make sure the tuner has experience with your car.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Great post, and very informative. I agree, with the exception that a lot of the newer ECUs can detect even if it's been re-flashed.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • Good information. I have had a little experience which pretty well supports everything you are saying.
    One change I made, for $300, did only 1 thing, it removed the knock/ping detector input. This let the ignition advance up to 50 deg.
    Unless I ran two cans of octane booster on top of Premium gas, the engine would ping like mad. Note that most "Octane Boosters" are just kerosene and some detergent to clean your fuel system. I won't name the one I used, but it was made for "Off Road Use Only" and wasn't for use on cat equipped cars. The real downside was that, at that time a gallon of gas cost about $2.25.9 and the cost of a can of booster was $5.00. So 15 Gal of gas cost about $44. I got 10MPG in that truck with the computer on performance mode.
    Point is, be careful what you put on/in your car, the long term cost might shock you.
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    That could be true....I don't know enough about all cars so I can't say for sure. Generally, though, you can flash an ECU and then pull it it right off w/o anyone knowing it was ever there. Before doing so, I would consult with a qualified tuner who knows the platform.
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    That is what you call, getting carried away. Generally speaking it is a pretty bad idea to remove a knock detector....they are there for a reason.

    Octane boosters are all the same. Actually, there are two types. One that works and one that does not. The cheap crap is nothing more then cleaners and essentially alcohol. You get a small amount of octane increase....usually something like 0.1 to 0.2 octane points.

    The good stuff has MMT. There is no other way to do it. I have a sneaky suspicion that I know what you used - lol - and it has a lot of MMT in it, though, they won't tell you and it is not listed on the MSDS.

    MMT works VERY well. BUT, it will wreck your O2 sensors and it coats the spark plugs. It is unlcear if the reddish dirt that forms on the plugs hampers performance, but it makes reading the plugs impossible which sucks if you are racing.

    I always keep a bottle of it in my trunk and use it if I have no other choice. My car was tuned for 93 Octane. It runs fine on 92, but if I am stuck with 91, a half bottle goes in the tank. I am going to get a 91 Octane tune this spring to suppliment the 93 to avoid these situations. I also have an 89 octane tune. I would never use 89, but most of time, I drive with this tune. It keeps the cyclinders running a bit cooler and is less harsh on the car. I really don't notice the 30 hp loss certainly for normal driving.

    What REALLY aggrevates me, is when people make rediculous comments about the amount of HP some cheap, bolt-on mod will make. I hate to stereotype, but it seems like the younger the driver, and the fewer the cyclinders, the more hp a CIA seems to make - lol

    I do not believe any claims w/o a dyno unless someone is using the same configuration that has been dyno proven and is posted. As car guys, we work hard for our money and when people post silly claims, less suspecting people believe it and then spend their hard, earned money expecting something that will never happen.

    BTW, there is a lot of evidence that adding octane booster to 87 octane fuel works a tiny bit, but does nothing, in fact, lowers hp output when added to slightly higher grades of fuel. I have seen a few tests that concluded this.
  • It was the Superchip MAX Micro tuner 1705 for '99 to '03 Ford Powerstroke
  • hi i just bought a diablo sport predator tuner for my 7.3 diesel is their anything i should be worried about or know before i install it. any info thanks
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    As long as it is the correect tune for the truck, you should be fine. Is it under warranty still?
  • getzy2323getzy2323 Posts: 1
    Hey i have a 2001 chevy HD and i wan to make it faster and have more power with pulling so i was woundering which performance chip would be the best.
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    A chip will probably have minor impact on your '01 Chevy 1500 HD. --Unless it has a turbo diesel, I'll certainly admit to not knowing much about your truck. If you are towing very frequently, I'd look at changing the rear end gears. That will make a much bigger difference than a chip. Or you can get a different truck that is just plain better at towing-- trucks are real cheap now, although that means your current truck is low value, too.

    Chips have modest gains, at best, and as previous posters have said there are alternatives now as many cars support various types of reprogamming of the stock computer (ECU).

    Turbocharged cars generally respond the best to chips and/or ECU reprogramming but this generally voids the warranty and can be risky. It can also be easy, reliable horsepower. :)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    "Authorities are searching for other possible victims of an Irvine-based company accused of selling a bogus car-performance chip nationwide.

    GForce Chips, which is owned and operated by 31-year-old Ravi Ghataode, is accused of selling fake car-performance chips to hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide at $69 each, generating more than $15 million in profits, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office."

    District attorney seeks victims of company accused of selling bogus car-performance chips (Orange County Register)
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