Read these 7 Performance Chips & Programmers Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Auto Accessories tips and hundreds of other topics.
Modifying the ECU ( Elctronic/ Engine Control Unit) or adding a chip to the ECU is generally for performance purposes. However, doing so may not always help the performance of your vehicle. Normally, other modifications have already been made or are in the works. ECU chips can increase your power by up to 40 percent overall, depending on the vehicle and its fuel type. You can use an ECU chip to gain more horsepower and/or torque, better fuel efficiency and quicker responses to the power with less gear changing. ECU chips remap the timing of the ignition to give greater throttle response. But not all vehicles can handle the modifications made by the ECU chips. Where other problems exist, an ECU upgrade or ECU programming may cause damage to other parts of the vehicle. Making sure your vehicle is ready for this kind of upgrade is crucial to the ECU chips ability to help your vehicle perform. Always be knowledgeable when installing any part that may modify your vehicle. This may save you time and money when it's time to do the ECU upgrade.
When installing a programmer, take your time, be patient and follow the instructions. Not following the installation instructions will cause poor performance, inability to install the programmer and void your warranty.
Here are the instructions for installing your programmer for 96 and 97 General Motors V-8s with Hypertech Powere Programmer 3.
-Always make sure your battery is fully charged before starting the installation.
-Make sure you have time to start and finish the installation, once you have started the installation, never leave the vehicle for any reason.
-With your vehicle turned off, find and remove any bolts holding the computer to the firewall, find and remove the clamp, turn the computer over and find the connector the has red writing. Or, look on the computer where the connector is connected, a red retainer clip holding the connector should be there. Gently remove the clip and now you can remove the connector.
-Insert the wiring harness into the PTM connector. Insert the PTM wiring harness connector to the computer. Make sure you re-install the retainer clip removed earlier.
-Turn the computer back over and reinstall it. Now find a suitable place under the hood to mount the PTM, closest to the rear firewall, near the brake booster or ABS system, always away from any heated areas.
-Now, you will want to remove the fuse panel cover, and plug the PTM into the fuse block. Turn the key to the ON position, but do not crank the vehicle. Now check the PTM's light to make sure they are working properly, turn the vehicle off, and check again.
For best results, contact your programmer manufacturer. Alway perform any installation to specifications.
You would think that improving the car's performance would take miles of a car's life, but in fact, your engine's life expectancy is not affected by chip tuning. What's more, you'll use less fuel. Because? The tune up can be done much more accurately because all necessary power fields in the EEEPROM (short for electrically erasable programmable read-only memory. A special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge) are adapted, at all numbers of revs and/or accelerations. (This is very important for automatic cars). Last, and probably least, unlike that chrome air scoop your uncle put in last week, chip tuning is invisible from the outside.
Now that computer chips are part of a car's standard equipment, tuning a car isn't as do-it-yourself able as it once was. But there are still plenty of things you can do to keep your vehicle in top running condition. As a rule, a tune-up (often or “major service") should be done every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. Here's a list of what you can do:
1. Replace the fuel filter. Fuel-injection systems don't require regular cleaning unless your injectors are clogged.
2. Change the spark plugs (unless they're platinum. They can go 60,000 miles.). Also examine the spark plug wires and replace as needed. A new set of high-quality wires is worth the cost. They may be permanently attached to the distributor cap, so it will have to be changed as well.
3. Replace the distributor cap and rotor if your car has them (some newer models with distributor-less ignition don't).
4. If you have an older car (roughly pre-1978) change the points and condenser. Points should be changed, or at least adjusted, every six months or so. When you change them, you'll need to check the ignition timing as well.
5. Check the ignition timing and adjust as needed, if possible. Probably won't need to if your car has electronic ignition (post-1980).
6. Adjust the valves as needed (unless your car has hydraulic valves). Also, you see oil on top of your engine; replace the valve-cover gasket as well.
7. Check the belts. Replace if worn.
8. Check the fluids under the hood and replenish as necessary. Change the oil and oil filter if it's been 3,000 miles since the last oil change.
9. Replace the air filter, which should be changed between major services - every 15,000 miles - as well.
10. Adjust the clutch, if you have a manual transmission (although some cars now sport self-adjusting clutches).
11. Service the battery, adding distilled water (if required), cleaning terminals and cable ends.
12. Replace the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve.
When clogged, it can make your car run rough or stall. Replacing it is easy and inexpensive.
As you probably know by now, the carburetor, which fascinated backyard motorheads for so long has gone the way of the Yugo. Fuel injectors now reign. And that is where chip tuning comes in. Each injection engine comes off the line with a built-in computer-ECU (Electronic Control Unit) that regulates the ignition, the injection and the air – fuel proportion. This ECU contains a chip with the engine parameters necessary to operate the engine. In order to give the engine a new operating program, the chip can be reprogrammed. These chips can be obtained from manufacturers like Bulldog and Superchips and installed by the lay mechanic who is not a rocket scientist or mechanical engineer. Really.
Believe it or not, folks, auto experts now claim that there is more computer technology in most cars than exists on the space shuttle. From the time a dealership receptionist greets the consumer to completion of a vehicle service appointment, computers and programmers, like the Hypertech programmer, are an essential component in the entire repair and maintenance process. In fact, something as basic as adjusting the car's idle speed is now done by software. The mouse has replaced a wrench as the mechanic's primary tune-up tool. Using a computer terminal in contact with the manufacturer, the mechanic downloads the software into a handheld device and the information, in turn, is transferred into the vehicle. Talk about a “hands-off” approach to a tune-up.
Your vehicle is an awesome machine, with the capabilities of producing huge amounts of power. But, the auto manufacturer limits your vehicles abilities due to the laws that govern the automotive industry. Safety, fuel economy and emissions are the top concerns. Getting into the untapped power your vehicle can produce can be as easy as plugging in a cord. A lot of people are apprehensive when it comes to their vehicle's complex electrical and computer system and will ignore the simplicity of gaining better performance and power.
But with the new advances made in the automotive industry, performance is but a few minutes away. Bullydog is the world leader in high performance products and electronics. With little experience, you can add up to 230 horsepower and 450 lbs. of torque. Talk about a lot of power. Bullydog is known for getting the most power out of any diesel truck by giving it better transmission protection, engine protection and a quicker reaction to horsepower. Added horsepower and torque means better performance and towing capabilities. Better performance means better fuel efficiency and emissions.