Are tuning chips real?

Old 03-11-24, 03:02 PM
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Are tuning chips real?

New Santa Cruz that has a 2.5l Turbo and I am curious if I can make it run better with a "tuning chip". Many companies out there that will mail me an OBD2 device with a preinstalled "map" of new settings. Supposedly it can increase fuel economy as well as boost your HP. My first thought was that its too good to be true because why wouldnt it come from the factory with that already done? Second thought is if its real. Will it actually do what it says and make my car run better? Has anyone done anything like this? I know there are ricers out there that modify the computer on a car to change settings and what not but how much exactly can you change without replacing engine parts as well?
Old 03-11-24, 03:20 PM
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I have mildly chipped two vehicles. The new programming did work as advertised.

How old is your vehicle? Is it still under warranty? If so check to see if modifying the programming could void your warranty. I don't think chipping your car will make it run "better". You could get more horsepower and maybe better mileage under some circumstances but you don't get something for nothing. You might not pass an emission test and other parts of the engine & drivetrain may have a shortened life or need extra maintenance.

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Old 03-11-24, 03:25 PM
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As the performance goes up... so do the emissions.
Old 03-11-24, 04:18 PM
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2023 Santa Cruz. Has 1500 miles on it. 5 year 50k miles on almost everything. 10 year 100k mile on drivetrain.
Old 03-11-24, 06:45 PM
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I can't tell you anything specific but in general.
I first learned of the existence of chips with diesel pickup trucks & "the good ole boys" "country boys" & their toys.
Its popular down here in the south. I am sure it is throughout the country but its very popular here with kids & their diesel pickup trucks.

Then I began to learn from a friend of mine who has been in the drag racing sport for many years. He has been doing this since he was a young man & is a regular sport with him. He usually runs Chevy Nova's. However, his wife drives sports cars for her daily driver & at one time had a Camaro. He chipped it from stock. It could run in the 150 - 160 mph range.

Again, I am inexperienced, but I think you buy chips depending on what you're looking to get out of it. Fuel milage, horsepower or torque etc. So, in essence, you can make it perform in various capacities.
You can make your Santa Cruz perform differently than it does stock... much differently if you choose. My understanding is that you need to understand not only the mechanics of it, but how to use it & how to install it.
I do know that some of these diesel trucks have a control in the cab so you can adjust the performance as needed. In general daily driving to work... or if someone suddenly challenges you at a traffic light. You gotta kinda know how far you can go with it etc. Generally, I wouldn't let Jim Bob install/replace a chip & I certainly wouldn't let him tune it. You really kinda need to know what you're doing or you can seriously mess things up.... as in blowing an engine.

Speaking of the emissions... "Rolling Coal" I'm pretty sure has now become illegal. Kids were doing this for fun. They'd pass someone, intentionally to get beside them & step on the fuel & smoke so bad it would totally consume a vehicle they were passing so bad, that it would take several seconds for the driver of the car being passed to see where he was going. It would literally pour out so much smoke, it would totally consume a vehicle for several seconds.
In conjunction to the unsafe situation like this, it was an environmental issue. I'm pretty sure this is illegal now.

Chipped diesels...
Here's a video of a news story.......

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