Performance ECU Chips
This post comes from Autoblog Open Road, our contributor network. The author is solely responsible for the content, and any opinions do not necessarily reflect those of Autoblog and its editors.So from my last post about my 2013 Dodge Dart I talked about the limited capability to get more performance out the factory ECU due to manufacturer constraints on modifications. Unfortunately there are no companies creating handheld performance tuners or desktop flashing software that will do the same either. So for the many individuals with normal aspirated 2.0/2.4 Tigershark engines, the search for engine performance will continue.
However with a lot of online research, YouTube videos, and forum feedback, OBD chip tunes look like an alternative to this crisis. There is a lot of skepticism as to "so called" chip tunes and what they actually do. They usually come in the form of a resister that is wired into the MAF sensor in the intake system right before the throttle body. Something has changed though. There is a new school way to introduce a universal chip tune to the ECU through the OBD II port inside the car. Could this actually work? As a skeptic myself I am budget modder looking for the cheapest way to add performance to a car that is really limited do computer governance.
One such chip tuner that has had an evolution from the MAF sensor splice to a plug-n-play OBD module is the GTE Stage 1 Performance Chip. There are few online sources to purchase this chip tuner but primarily can be found on ebay.yes on good ole' ebay. The performance chip boasts and claims many different benefits such as:
- Faster Acceleration / 0-60 Times
- Up to 4 mpg increase
- Up to 35+ Horsepower increase
- 50% Better throttle response
- Easy to install
- Up to 30% added torque
- Reduced emissions with 91+ Gas
- Better 1/4 mile times
- Prolongs engine life
- Made in the USA
- Smoother idle
- Saves you money!
- Better towing power & improved passing ability
It took only three days to receive which was very fast and very easy to install with directions that easily illustrate that it plugs right into the OBD II port and is ready to go. The directions state it could take up to two weeks before seeing results because of the learning process. As you can see in the following picture the internals of the performance chip are merely not a resister with LEDs but an actually memory chip with the stored information. I installed the performance chip that same day.
Well it is now a little over two weeks of having the performance chip tuner installed. Here is my feedback:
- Acceleration has improved in low/mid/high RPM range
- Approximately 2 MPG increase (25.4 MPG to 27.2 Combined City/Highway)
- Increased HP & Torque (125 WHP to 131 WHP/112 FT LBS to 119 FT LBS)
- Smoother shifting between gear
Now these claims usually take place usually on a traditional dyno-meter but unfortunately I do not have the funds to test my findings. These are just my personal results and they do very with different makes, models, and many other variables. Living in Arizona the tests were conducted during the hottest part of the year around 110 degrees.
Personally the GTE Stage 1 Performance Chip tuner works. This was not a placebo affect. My results although slight validate that the performance chip works and is legit. I have had no issues with either the chip itself or my vehicle. Again this is personal feedback about chip tuners and the affects it had for me. Until they make a hand-held performance tuner for my specific make, model, and engine configuration I will be limited to finding performance where I can, especially on a budget.
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