Sunday, October 24, 2010


Powerchip - Chip Tuning Software Features

Same Day Tuning - no removal of the ECU.
Powerchip's Performance Chip Tuning Software Upgrades result in a very noticeable increase in performance and acceleration, as well as better fuel economy and smoother throttle transitions.

Modifications Made to the Software Include:

Ignition Timing
In the old days the ignition coil(s) and distributor controlled engine ignition spark timing.  Changes to the position of the distributor would result in changed ignition settings, and often was a good method of vehicle ‘tune-up’.   The modern engine ignition is controlled through the ECU Software within a series of tables or maps. These maps give the engine any instructions required to operate, under all load and rev per minute points.

Similar to the older systems, advancing the point of ignition within a cylinder will result in increased horsepower and toque. It is important not to advance the timing beyond the capabilities of the fuel used, or else detonation can occur. Peak horsepower is achieved when ignition timing is set as close to the point of detonation as possible. This is the primary purpose for tuning the octane rating of each client, so that the software is set to the correct level of ignition advance for the gasoline used.

The end result of ignition advance changes is increased horsepower and torque, resulting in better acceleration.  Some vehicles also result in a slight change in engine note, giving a more aggressive sound.

Fuel Mixtures
Most fuel injected vehicles also look to a set of tables or maps for information on fuel delivery.  Often, the vehicle will access fuel and timing information simultaneously.  Fuel settings are an area that Powerchip achieves excellent improvements in power and torque.

Since the introduction of strict emission laws in North America, vehicles are required to trim fuel in 2 different modes, known as Closed-loop and Open-loop. Closed-loop is designed for when the car is under constant part throttle openings or cruising.  The fuel mixture setting for this mode is generally 14.7:1, or 14.7 parts of air to every 1 part of fuel.

When the throttle reaches certain positions (generally above 70% throttle opening), the vehicle switches to Open-loop operation. Most standard vehicles run overly rich in this mode, and correcting these mixtures can enhance performance.  Generally, when in Open-loop, a vehicle will run between 9:1 and 11:1, with the optimal performance setting between 11:1 and 13:1.

As a side benefit, most Powerchip equipped vehicles will use less gasoline after install.

Part Throttle Tuning
Besides the gains achieved when under hard acceleration, with Wide Open Throttle, Powerchip spends a lot of time developing the part throttle fuel and timing curves.  The result of this attention to detail is a smoother and easier to drive vehicle.  The Powerchip equipped vehicle will respond instantly and effortlessly at any point in the rev range and at any throttle position.

Throttle Response
Since the introduction of drive-by-wire technology, vehicles look to a third series of tables or maps for information on throttle responsiveness.  By changing the values contained in these tables, the vehicle becomes far livelier.  The vehicle becomes easier to drive and responds to throttle inputs immediately.  Rather than the vehicle having a slightly ‘flat’ feeling, the throttle response changes give the driver excellent feedback through the throttle pedal.

Raised Rev Limit
All engines are limited to the number of engine revolutions predetermined by the engine designer.  This ‘rev limit’ is preset within the engine software code, and can be adjusted (up or down) to achieve higher maximum engine revolutions.  Powerchip will raise the rev-limit to approximately 200-500rpm above standard.  A raised rev limit is only available on certain vehicles.

Fuel economy and drivability
Powerchip will not increase fuel consumption dramatically – only when peak performance is demanded.  Under normal conditions, fuel economy can actually improve.  Powerchip retunes the engine management under all throttle positions, and will improve the power wherever available (rather than at full-throttle only).  Smoothness and drivability are maintained and even enhanced. 

Removed Top Speed Limit
Similar to the rev limit, the engine management system on certain vehicles is preset to not exceed certain speeds.  Powerchip is able to modify the parameters relating to vehicle top speed, and raises the setting to come in above the natural top speed of the vehicle (according to power Vs drag co-efficient).  By raising this value in the code, the vehicle is able to achieve its natural top speed.

Modified Turbo Boost Pressure
Boost pressure on late model vehicles is controlled within the engine management program on a set of tables, similarly to the ignition and fuel tables as discussed above.  By changing the values inside these maps, the vehicle is instructed to run a higher level of boost pressure.

When a turbocharged vehicle runs higher levels of boost, performance is improved.  It is important that when boost is raised, other programming for fuel and ignition is adjusted to suit.