Customers asking if chip tuning is going to break their engine or gearbox has to be the most common question we are asked. (Street & Circuit is a factory approved dealer for RaceChip so the answer is going to be based on this specific product.) The answer is a 100% no. RaceChip products do not change any factory software settings. RaceChip chip tuning products do not change the target AFR (Air Fuel Ratio), RaceChip products do not change the knock safety limit built into the factory software, basically RaceChip leave all the factory fail safe measures and limits as they were set from the factory. This means it is impossible for the engine to work outside of it’s design parameters. On a petrol engine, knock or pre-ignition is probably the most destructive conditions it is possible for it to experience. Excessive knock for even a fraction of a second can destroy an engine. The car manufacturer will build in a certain level of knock volume and when the knock sensor hears this volume of knock (or more) it will retard the ignition timing or cut ignition altogether. This is just one example of the fail safe measures/strategies a car manufacturer will build into its ECU to protect the engine and a RaceChip will not alter these settings in anyway. However, if a car is abused, for example revving the engine high and dropping the clutch violently, this may well damage the gearbox, parts of the transmission and maybe even the engine. This is true on a standard car and it is true on a car with a RaceChip fitted. If a gear is changed into third instead of fifth, this can also damage the gearbox and engine on a standard car, it can also damage a car fitted with a RaceChip. The point I am making is that an engine and gearbox can be damaged with or without a RaceChip. Just because a car is fitted with a RaceChip does not make in immune to the damage that can be caused when the engine was not tuned. A RaceChip will deliver a lot more power and this power must be respected, If you are performing drag racing standing starts you can not expect the clutch to perform as well with a RaceChip as it does without a RaceChip because it has to contain more power. As with everything you have to compromise. If you taking your standard car to the limit then you will need to back off if you are using a RaceChip because there is even more power for your engine and gearbox to deal with. On the other hand, if you drive with mechanical sympathy then a RaceChip is not going to noticeably reduce the service life of your engine or gearbox. When you engine is making more power and you are using more power then obviously there is more stress going through the engine and the gearbox, however if you drive the car in a normal way the extra stress will not have a noticeable effect of the life of your engine or gearbox. In summary, a RaceChip will not give your car immunity to mechanical problems, if you drive in a way that will break a standard engine you will also break an engine with a RaceChip.
Sat May 2 , 2015