Diesel Chipping - Marcos{P}
I currently own an M.B. E320 Cdi and love it to bits but I keep reading about how chipping a diesel engine produces so much more driveability.
My car is fantastic to drive, leaves most cars in its wake, loads of torque for relaxed driving and is fairly economical. My point is that if a designed using millions and millions why would an aftermarket chip be any better than what is already fitted?
Diesel Chipping - Ben79
The March 2003 issue of Diesel Car has an article about a C270CDI that was chipped 36,000 miles ago. They are in favour of chipping.

Diesel Chipping - Gen
Thing I've always wondered is whether there is any chipped cars around that make a couple hundred thou on the clock or is the engine destroyed by 80 even on a MB??
Diesel Chipping - vectra di
i have been modifying cars for a few years now and chipping has been on the modified scene for a while.
it is only more recently that chipping has became more known to the average car driver. there is a lot of development goes into these chips and without a doubt they offer a improvement over the factory settings. chipping a car will only shorten the life of the engine if you don't look after it properly. after all we are only talking about 15-20bhp for most cases, it won't set the world alight but on a diesel the torque increase is well worth the cost of the chip. if the engine is looked after properly you should have trouble free motoring. well as trouble free as any car can be.

bear in mind that when purchasing this chip you are then modifying the car, you must tell your insurance and your premium will be adjusted accordinly, up the way of course or even cancelled as a lot of companies won't touch modified car.

altough it would take a switched on insurance inspector to spot a chipped engine should they want to check the ecu, which i admit is doubtful, but it might just be you they check.

it's up to you.

Diesel Chipping - Cardew
There surely must be a downside of chipping or manufacturers would use those settings. Requirement to use more revs?


Diesel Chipping - Ben79
Look on www.superchips.co.uk and you will see that in many cases the max torque and max power revs/min actually fall.

As most other people on the forum agree, I would change the engine oil twice as often as recommended and always wait for the engine to warm fully before any enthusiastic driving.

Diesel Chipping - vectra di
the reason manufacturers won't do this is because of a few reasons. obviously reliability is the main one in the manufacturers thoughts. it is plainly obvious that if you put more power to the wheels then the internal components are more stressed. hence look after the engine a bit more as i said earlier and it will be fine.

as for the power gains, most drivers won't need more bhp top end as they never take the revs to the red line on every gear change. where i am talking about the extra bhp and tourqe these chips give is what i would call "useful power" i.e at about 1500-3000rpm's. most people look for more power at these revs if it's a diesel and obviously a tad more if a petrol with 16 valves or more.

as for the chip power and revs figures falling of at the top, that is not true in a sense. of course power falls off at the top end. it will do this on any car from a mini to a f1 car. thats the way bhp and torque works. but the end power will be more than a standard setup. remeber these chips can be programed to do anything that suits your needs. they are normally a custom made item. altough of the shelf chips are available, but these are no where near as good as the car having a chip put in that you have had customised to suit your needs and indeed the car. car engine power figures and characteristics can differ by a lot from car to car.

for example if you want more power at the bottom then the chip can be programmed to up the boost and fuel pressure at lower revs.

Diesel Chipping - smokie
Vectra Di has a point here. Most manufacturers of anything will make sure that the components have a tolerance above their usual expected usage. (Or, from a different view, the power unit or whatever will not produce enough oomph to stress components). I.e. they err on the side of caution.

If they didn't, the item often would be running at the top of it's design spec and therefore more susceptible to failure (and claims).

I can think of many car related examples - ZR rated tyres - when do I drive my car at 140? Speedos. 200w steros (OK SOME people have it that loud). Even fuel - unleaded in the US appears to be 85 octane (maybe another reason here).

Diesel Chipping - GGH
I think US petrol is measured differently to the UK. RON plus MON divided by 2. Although it is a better method, it is still not perfect for modern cars.

Diesel Chipping - Ben {P}
My comments particularly relate to normal aspirated engines. these are of course just my own opinions.

Rubbish. If you look at the superchips web page , particularly the graphs you will see that these do not make sense. Supperchips in some cases just plagarise the manufacturers engine maps (allegedly) . the owner of this company was thrown out of the autobahn stormers club (alegedly).

there is a stoichiometric ratio for optimum fuel air-mixture. If you were to fit a fully mapable engine management system to a seriously modified car, most units will automatically set air-fuel ratio as close to theoretical ideal. Final adjustments would then be made on the rolling road. I cannot believe a bloke wiht a lap top and a rolling road can make significant improvements on a standard modern mass production engine with a chip. In some instances a manufacturer will lean back the mixture at a particular engine speed & throttle setting to improve fuel economy where the extra fuel makes neglidgeable difference to power out put. When i had my old Jetta 16v i compared my engine power output measured at the wheels against an identical car that had mapped fuel and ignition. The difference in peak power was less than 5bhp. Barin mind my car had no mapped fueling or ignition at all.

Also i must say i find the prices charged by these chipping companies excessive. In some cases i have seen chips that cost more than a fully ported head!

I cannot see how chipping a car will make the oil become contaminated twice as quickly so i do not see the logic in changing the oil twice as often as you would of done previously.

Diesel Chipping - RichardW

I agree that there is little point in re-mapping a normally aspirated engine.

However, this thread is about remapping turbo diesel engines - which are a completely different kettle of fish. On a turbo engine you can keep upping the boost and adding more fuel untill you bust the head / con rod / crank shaft etc. This is even better on a diesel engine as the mixture doesn't matter - diesels do not have a throttled intake and run as lean 200:1 at idle hence to get more power you up the boost as far as you dare, then increase the fuelling until it starts to smoke, back off slightly and you're there. There's typically a margin of about 20% on the boost pressure on most modern engines to give them long life if abused. Most people who would chip their engines would also get them regularly serviced so there wouldn't be an issue most of the time. The headgasket is normally the first casualty if you go too far! The other interesting thing about chipping a TD is that as the boost pressure rises so does the thermal efficiency, so you can get more ooomph at top end, but this does not hurt normal MPG - in fact in many cases fuel consumption is lower overall.....

FWIW the VAG 1.9 TDI 150 is a completely different animal to the 90 or 110 versions. I think it has revised crank, con rods, pistons, much uprated head gasket, probably different port configuration and valve timing. IIRC it runs 1.3 bar gauge boost pressure - most TD's run around 0.8 barg.

I hope to get an HDi 110 some time next year and take it for a trip to the 'chippers' for about 135 BHP.

Diesel Chipping - Ben {P}
Your right, i missed the plot. Went off on one a bit. Thanks for taking the trouble to explain all that. I fancy buying one of these HDi things next. Had a 98S Golf TDi GT for about 5 weeks, but i didnt care for it much.

But I do have a few comments. I still think many prices charged for such work are excessive.

Do you not think that the turbo charger in question is very important. The efficiency of the charger varies according to speed. Trying to run the charger too hard will just wear it out and not neccesarily produce more power. A friend of mine tried to develop a management system to manage the boost on his petrol turbo car. This involved a wide band lambda probe a various bits of circuitrytp enable him to run his turbo at the top of the effieciency curve. I think such a device would be better than just a chip. Maybe these tuners reaserch effieciency curves of turbos etc. I doubt many do. I cant believe there is not a optimum fuel air-ratio that produces max power on a diesel. How do you know the fuel system of your car is capable of the extra fuelling you will require? Surely the injectors also will have set efficiency ranges. A friend of mine got crap peformance on his 16v turbo mark 2 with only 7 psi boost untill he changed to VR6 size injectors.

I havent managed to get near a VAG 150 TDi, so i take your word for it. but the 90bhp and 110bhp VAG engines feature different turbo chargers. I believe the 110bhp version has a variable vane turbo charger.

If people want to increase the power output of these engines, would the money not be better spent on a bigger turbo charger which would be more efficient at these higher boost pressures and last considerably longer. Whether the car is serviced all the time ro not, i cant see the turbo bearing lasting at 20% more boost than standard. Does anyone have before and after plots of wheel bhp that they witnessed, or does anyone on here have a car that has been chipped and covered more than 100k after being chipped on the original turbo?

I dont think i know as much about this as i like. i think i will have to ask my friend for some reading suggestions on turbos!

Diesel Chipping - Pete F
Another reason not mentioned is that manufactures have to meet legal emission requirements. After chipping, it may well not do this.
Diesel Chipping - CM
I have a 184bhp 530d. The current one on sale is 193bhp and the forthcoming one is 214bhp.

Is this just BMW using different chips/mapping for the same(?) 3 litre engine or do they use other parts? Also is it (or will it) be possible to modify existing engine specs to the newer ones?
Diesel Chipping - oldtoffee
My Passat had done 50K since being chipped and has just passed it's first MOT no problem with low smoke levels. I change the oil and filter every 5K and the car is running better than ever.

The engineers where it was chipped spoke about how manufacturers have to build in allowances for operating conditions ie dusty, high altitude and varying quality of fuel to ensure the engine works. So, our "normal" environment here in the UK and decent quality fuel means there is scope to improve the fuel/air mixture to get more power. Can't say I completely understand it but it works for me!
Diesel Chipping - doug_523i
I think CM has hit the nail on the head. A manufacturer keeps some power back so later models can have 'enhanced' performance. A cheap way of creating demand throughout the life of that model.
Diesel Chipping - CM
Seems to be the case with the current 3.0l. Range Rover is quoted at having 174bhp, 3 series & X5 184bhp, 5 series 193bhp, presumably from the same engine.

I have asked the service people whether the car can be remapped to curret spec and they are always too vague to get a straight answer.
Diesel Chipping - 330d
Have a look at www.tuningbox.com marcos.
Diesel Chipping - vectra di
can I just remind people who are saying that these chips are of poor quality. I personally would not buy an off the shelf chip, never. Every car is different, every engine is different and therefore need different chips. if I wanted this for my car I would buy a variable pressure device from alpina I think they\'re called. they offer a vaiable fuel and boost control unit for inside the cab. This means you can adjust the boost if and when you need it.

Make no bones about it, these custom chips make a difference in turbo or non turbo cars. Obviously there is more power gains available though because of boost.

Diesel Chipping - glowplug
Nice thread. I can see both sides of this one but why is it buyers look for cars that say unmodified when buying used? I'd be very wary buying a chipped car.

Diesel Chipping - 330d
the tuningbox doesn't alter turbo pressure, only change is to the amount of fuel delivered. AC Schnitzer do a very similar plug-in module which is authorised by BMW, but for some reason BMW GB won't accept it. On the emissions front, I think that manufacturers are tuning turbo diesel engines for minimum CO2 output, and therefore less tax for the business user.
Diesel Chipping - vectra di
the alpina one i\'m talking about does alter the boost, a mate of a mate has one on his 150bhp golf td. it makes a big difference he says. chips don\'t alter boost pressure alon though. thats why it is imperitive that the car has a custom chip made and the boost and fueling pressure adjusted on a rolling road to suit.

btw the alpina costs a heck of a lot more than a superchips but it\'s a heck of a lot better

Diesel Chipping - vectra di
i forgot to add that along with the alpina a suitable dump valve where applicable would be needed to alter the boost on most cars. the dump valve keeps the turbo spinning, this is why rallye cars make a woosh noise and spit out flames. the dump valve dumps fuel and this kids the turbo into thinking that the car still needs boost and therefor stays spinning, i.e on boost constant.

Diesel Chipping - RichardW
Not exactly... A dump valve opens when the throttle is shut so the turbo spins against open air instead of the closed throttle (on a petrol engine) this prevents it stalling so it runs down more slowly, thus reducing the turbo lag when you rev the engine again. Rally cars are fitted with 'bang-bang' which injects fuel into the exhaust (drive) side of the turbo to keep it spinning right up, which accounts for the pops during lift off. I imagine this virtually eliminates any turbo lag.

The level of boost is controlled by a wastegate the bypasses exhaust gasses round the drive side when the boost pressure reaches a predetermined level. On older turbos this was a mechanical link on the unit itself that needed a spanner to adjust it. On modern cars it is controlled electronically by the ECU, so can be adjusted by changing the program in the ECU.

Diesel Chipping - vectra di
with the greatest of repect, i know exactly how it works. i am mearly trying to keep things jargon free for the people on this thread who don\'t realise what all this fancy stuff is and does.
you rightly talkabout the wastegate etc and there you go, there are another couple of things people haven\'t a clue about. but anyway you have explained it better than i could and it makes perfect sense to me.

since you seem to know a bit about turbos, have you came across any cars with the new 360 roller bearings turbo upgrade?. i\'m intersted on any views on these. are they worth the money?

Diesel Chipping - Ben {P}
But if the whole fuel and ignition map is to be done from scratch on a rolling road this will take many many hours, meaning it will cost a fortune. Have you even seen a car being mapped from scratch. With modern ecu huge amounts of data will have to be entered. These things must self opimise to some extent. If a car were done from scratch the bill would run into the thousands for the rolling road time alone. Just optimising one load site at any particular rpm could take 30mins easily. Most of these guys just throw a load of extra boost in on full throtle. Cant you just bleed the turbo for 10%, that would only cost a fiver plus the road time to check the fueling etc.

Diesel Chipping - vectra di
you are missing the point here. yes i have seen a car done from scratch as you call it. what is meant by this is that the car will be put on the rollers while plugged into a laptop or similar. the laptop will record the data and when it has collected the data, the operator will then input the data from the rollers into a computer and then it will inturn burn a suitable chip for any given car, hence a custom chip. there is no way it will cost "thousands". are you thinking of aftermarket ecu?. now that is the buisness, but a whole different ball game. probably not much dearer than a chip but a whole lot better.
have you ever been on rollers?. it costs about 50 quid an hour and i've seen a mates car get done from start to finish in a afternoon at a very reputible performance tuner. (not superchips).

drove in, half an hour on the rollers, an hour adjusting the settings on the computer and then burn the chip, 15mins to fit and another hour or so adjusting the finished setup back on the rollers. i must stress that the above i mentioned applies to a petrol car. (very highly moddified) thats why i said "where applicable" above in another post. it may well apply and as far as i know it does to a diesel. but i'm not 100%.

Diesel Chipping - vectra di
i've just read this thread and we seem to have digressed slightly. i think we should get back to the originl point.

has anybody got any experience good or bad on a chip they've had fitted. also what make was it.

Diesel Chipping - Ben {P}
You say: "the car will be put on the rollers while plugged into a laptop or similar. the laptop will record the data and when it has collected the data, the operator will then input the data from the rollers into a computer and then it will inturn burn a suitable chip for any given car, hence a custom chip. there is no way it will cost "thousands"."

Now when the car is on the rollers, and they drive the car at full throttle throughout the rev range, how will the lap top receive information about the fuel and ignition setting required at each and every throttle position all the way through the rev range? The answer it wont. Only by targetting specific load sites can a fully custom map be created. This will take ages.

Diesel Chipping - vectra di
of course it does know, modern cars can tell the correct software anything and i mean anything to do with fueling etc.
but your entitled to your own opinion on this but i'm also entitled to mine.

do you not realise that with even simple checks on the rolling road like, co2 readings for example can tell a good rolling road operator exactly whats wrong with a car. for example when i took my last car in it was pinking at about 3000rmp. you couldn't hear it but the readings of a few things the laptop and various sensors placed on the engine monitors showed a fueling fault. he adjusted the fueling to suit and yeha, an instant 10bhp.

i've seen it done before so i know it can be done. btw not once did i say it was cheap but i can assure you it isn't thousands.


Diesel Chipping - Ben {P}
But what i dont understand is how a computer program on a lap-top can create a full 3-d map that is better than the manufacturers with one full throttle run. If these program are that good, why do manufactureres spend thousands developing and perfecting their ECU maps? Makes you wonder.

What could happen is that the ECu is set to optimise at a different fuel air-ratio etc. But if that is the case, why didnt the manufacturers spec this in the first place.

I still think a bigger turbo is a much better way to go. When this is fitted the fuel and ignition system etc can be reoptimised etc. All these chips are allegedly based on the manufacturers maps then fiddled around a bit, which means they should not cost hundreds.

Diesel Chipping - vectra di
i can\'t comment ben on why manufacturers don\'t do this but i know that these chips can make a difference.

i agree that a bigger turbo would be better but this will cost a heck of a lot more than a chip to buy and fit. plus normally when changing to a bigger turbo you will need to get bigger injectors or install a fifth on the rail if it can be done that way. that little lot would bring good benefits but a also a big hole in the wallet. but i agree i personally would go down this route with a chip.

i have found a article in one of my mags on a guy who took his car to a company in this country that will supply a tuning box for a diesel that works with the standard ecu, but works better with a chiped version. basically the box interupts the signals sent from to the ecu and sends its own telling the brain to advance the timing and up the fuelling. the turbo is not touched with this system so the boost is standard. i have genuine figures on this quoting an increase of 21bhp and 30lb/ft at 3000rmp on a golf tdi. this box costs £470.

btw it also gives an extra 7mpg on average. please note that this report in the mag of this company is completely idependant as it was written by the bloke who owned the car.

Diesel Chipping - glowplug
I know this isn't quite what's being debated but I found this article interesting on the way certain diesel engines respond to various modifications such altering the timing. Have a quick look maybe useful maybe not -


Diesel Chipping - Marcos{P}
Seems quite a usefull link and seems to explain most things that have been discussed here. I presume that most of what is talked about on this site is relevant to all turbo diesel engines, not just V.A.G. engines but V.A.G. engines do not have common rail injection so some of the stuff wont apply to all.

I didn't think that there would be such interest in a post about diesel chipping but I suppose as diesel engines become more and more popular people will always look at ways of going faster and with a diesel turbo engine this seems fairly easy but I'm not convinced about reliability etc.

Thanks to everyone who has helped.

Diesel Chipping - Tony N
Basically I think Ben has hit the nail on the head here - Turbos are obtimised to work in a certain rev-range with a specific engine. It is possible to up the boost but this really is at the expense of the long-term durability of the turbo, and in many cases the engine.

Performance is always high on the criteria list for OEMs so don't be fooled by the 'plenty in reserve' lines these people give. If you up the boost, you significantly reduce the lifetime of the engine, which is great if you ditch the motor at 60-70k, not so great if you pick up aforementioned motor afterwards. OEMS spend serious amounts of cash and time on vehicle development, theres no such thing as an easy power upgrade - its always at the expense of something always.

Basically if you want to chip the car, then go for it as long as you A. ditch the car before it goes Bang or B. Be Prepared to fork out for new turbo/engine somewhere down the line.
Diesel Chipping - rogerb
My own experience of Superchips, in Buckingham, was that I received excellent, personal, service, a rolling-road printout, and a car which is much more tractable, due mainly to the huge increase in mid-range torque. They had the car back in a couple of times, to tweak the settings, and reduce the smoke output
I probably (no, definitely) drive a bit quicker now, but am usually in one gear higher than I would previously have been.
I do 'nurture' the engine - no cold starts, thanks to Kenlowe Hot-Start, and synth oil changes every 5k. It's done 47.5k now and still seems to be running as noisily as it always did (but no worse) ;-)
Fuel consumption is not noticeably different (so is probably a bit better, allowing for rather more rapid progress!)
Diesel Chipping - OldOiler
I have had 3 cars remapped - with no ill effects, providing oil/filter changes are GREATER than the recommended miles - last car did 120k and is still running OK
Diesel Chipping - mark999
Had My Merc 220Cdi chipped by upsolute. I was very impressed by the improvement. I no longer have to change down when overtaking.
Fuel consumption is also 2mpg better.
Diesel Chipping - muddyboots
I had my new Seat Ibiza TDI Sport (fitted with VAG TDI 130 engine) chipped by the manufacturer up to about 160bhp.

Performance is incredible, overtaking is so easy and my fuel consumption is around the same as figures quoted for standard models. With my "enthusiastic" driving I generally average around 50mpg, it's never dropped below mid-40s and often exceeds 60mpg when stuck in 40mph convoys...

The fact that the manufacturer offers a chip, which still retains the car's warranty, does suggest that there's plenty of room for improvement without causing any long term damage.
I think other manufacturers offer chips too (I seem to recall Rover offering upgrades on petrol models?).

I know quite a few other Ibiza TDI 130 owners who have had their cars chipped, and covered plenty of miles without a problem - most of these were chipped by an aftermarket tuning firm (Revo) up to the 180bhp/300lbft mark.
Goto www.seatcupra.net/forums and visit the TDI forums if you're interested...


Value my car