Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Marcos{P}
A while back I posted a question about the chipping of diesel engines and had loads of very good links and advice from you lot but now it's crunch time.
I have been waiting for these chipping companys to design a chip for the new W211 E320 CDI and a couple have finally done it.
Power increases seem quite good, 204bhp raised to 265bhp and torque up 100 to 600Nm.
Now everyone seemed to say that mpg got better and the flexibility of the engine got a lot better.
My question before I order is are these upgrades safe. Do you think the power upgrade could damage the engine in any way and how would the warranty be affected. The car will be a year old in November so I really dont want to affect the warranty but my dealer seems to think that if I went ahead and had it upgraded it would affect the warranty.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - SteveH42
It'll certainly invalidate the warranty on the engine as you are modifiying it and operating it outside it's design parameters. It may also invalidate warranties on driveline components as they will be subject to higher stress than they were intended to cope with on the unmodified car.

However, the rest of the warranty shouldn't be affected as the other parts of the car aren't affected. It all depends on the wording of the warranty but I think you'd be able to claim warranty on all unaffected parts although the dealer may claim that any modification will invalidate the warranty.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Altea Ego
You can argue all you like, but any modification will invalidate the warranty for the ENTIRE car unless it is approved by the manufacturer.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - DL
............not always true....

How would an M-B Dealership know the car has been chipped?
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Billy Whizz
Do you not ever wonder why M-B themselves do not produce an after-market chip? Or why doesn't the car have these power and torque improvements fitted as standard? Surely with the massive technical resourses and R&D that is available to Mercedes they should be able to come up with a better chip than some bloke with a laptop and rolling road on a small town industrial estate?

There are two main reasons - one, legislation and two, their own quality standards.

New cars have to pass certain emissions and noise regulations which after-market chips may fail. M-B (and all other manufacturers for that matter) design and test their products to conform to their own reliability, durability and longevity criteria amongst others. They put the best chip in the ECU that meets the drivers' needs (e.g. acceleration and fuel economy under many varied conditions) as well as testing the engine to ensure that it will last the course. If they could get more power out of the engine by fitting an improved chip and have the engine last as long - they would have done it by now. It would look great in the brochure and in the tables in the back of What Car?

Aftermarket chips bring power and torque increases at the certain cost of durability and reliability (as well as higher emissions, probably). This is why you will invalidate your new vehicle warranty (and rightly so).

But you probably already knew that...
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Altea Ego
............not always true....
How would an M-B Dealership know the car has been chipped?


Yes always true. The manufacturer has the right to declare the warranty null and void if any part is changed. This does not however take away your statutary right under the sale of goods act, but the onus would be on YOU to prove the changed part was not responsible.

Because the checksum of the ECU chip will change.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - DavidHM
Billy, I think you're being a bit harsh on aftermarket chips here.

Yes, there could be cases in which the safe specifications were exceeded, but I think they are the exception. Most engines will last to 200k+, even if the rest of the car doesn't.

Also, look at engines such as the VAG 1.8t. It runs very happily at 180-200bhp but it was launched at 150 because otherwise it would have been more powerful than the high end 2.8 V6 of the time.

Also, with the warranty in force, there are some very finely balanced cost/benefit equations. If you are broadly in line with the competition, why be cheaper/more powerful, etc.? Any exposure to increased warranty claims will only reinforce this position - which doesn't mean that the individual owner who wants more power wouldn't be better off, overall, with a slightly less reliable car.

These all explain why there is no manufacturer's chipped option, while not making a chip a bad buy.

As for SOGA and UCTA and all kinds of statutes, regulations and statutory instruments - well they're all very well in theory, but very few lawyers are employed as customer service advisors for motor manufacturers. CSAs are there to fob you off while making you feel like the manufacturer is on your side.

If you have the time and energy, you would be very likely be able to enforce your warranty, but I suspect you have more profitable things to do with your time. Therefore, while the car is under warranty, unless MB will say, in writing, that they will honour the warranty.

Having said that, I would not chip this car. It is one of the most powerful and desirable diesels on the market, and with all that torque, I seriously doubt that you will encounter many situations (if any) where you would actually benefit from having a chipped car. Of course, if the car were out of warranty, I might see it differently, but as it is, I don't think the benefits justify the potential hassle if anything does go worng.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - 330d
There probably is a M-B approved mod. ACS do one for the BMW 330D which is approved by BMW.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - DavidHM
Try Brabus maybe then?
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Marcos{P}
Thanks for the advice guys,
I'm going to hold off for a while as I'm a little worried about reliability etc.
The one thing that strikes me as a bit wierd is why do some manufacturers approve of these chips? My freind had his rover chipped at the dealership whick struck me as strange, Why don't the manufacturers just install these upgraded and supposedly better chips as standard?
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - DavidHM
If it's Rover, I imagine they've got a contract to take the 115hp version of the 320d's engine from BMW. (Obviously BMW didn't want the 75 threatening the three's 'superiority' although I think this engine is found in the 318d in other countries). Putting a chip in (with a modest hp increase) makes the car more desirable in the absence of a higher power version in the range while complying with the letter, if not the spirit, of the contract.

As for approved chips - well firstly it gives them something in reserve if they want to improve the car's specs at the next facelift without doing any real work - and hopefully stops them from making a car that completely canes the petrols in every aspect. Secondly there might be reliability issues but if you can make a chip for £100 and sell it for £600 that profit margin would buy a very good warranty.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Sooty Tailpipes
It isn't true to say that just because a manufacturer doesn't make their chip to a certain spec, no-one else should.

Car makers introduce cars with the hope they will last 7 or so years, so when they are first released, they make a chip to 'hold them back', and when the model needs freshening up, they'll say "Engines are revised with an additional 33BHP" or whatever, just like computers really, they have slow clock speeds when they first produce them, and just boosted the cycle speed, which they could have done from the word go, but they always need an ace up their sleeve, for say if a rival gets a few more BHP.

Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - bananaman
I am in the same situation as Marcos with my Audi A4. I am finding it impossible to make a decision because I don't want to break the car and/or warranty.

As to the question of why the manufacturers don't release engines to their full potential I can think of a number of reasons:
1) Preserve their place in the range. If the Audi 1.9 130 PS TD engine was released as a chipped up 165 PS by Audi then this would pretty much make any of the 2.0L petrols and below redundant.
2) Marketing - as part of the planned obsolecence of the car the engine can be upgraded over time.
3) Variety of conditions. The manufacturer will release a car which will have to operate in a variety of circumstances. Not all owners will service the car to the desired standard, with longer intervals or use of poorer quality oils. Some owners will trash the car from day one. Others will be more careful.

What I've been trying to find out is how does chipping a car change its reliability.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Sooty Tailpipes
Quite right siteccode, and the cars also have to be operated in everything from desert heat towing a trailer to high altitude snowy mountains, and operate flawlessley in all markets they are sold, so maybe the factory chipping is a compromise of all these factors.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Billy Whizz
So don't drive your chipped car in Spain in the summer (desert heat) or to the Alps in winter (high altitude snowy mountains)...
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - CMark {P}
Actually some (most?) cars have different ECUs for different markets.

The 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee has one Transmission Control Module (the ECU controlling the automatic gearbox) for the USA market and a different part number for the Middle East. Work that one out.

My Middle East TCM packed up and I have fitted a second-hand USA one. I could detect no difference. But there must be a difference, otherwise they wouldn't make a distinction. I reckon it is either "driveability" or emissions.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Billy Whizz
I am not against chipping. I have made many modifications to my various cars which have improved performance in one way or other.

All I am saying is that you need to understand the consequenses of any modification, of any departure from manufacturer spec. You need to weigh up the benefits and the risks. You need to take responsibility for your action. Do not chip an engine and expect the manufacturer to honour the warranty when the engine suffers premature wear or failure due to an un-approved modification.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - mark999
Brabus do chips for mercedes that are factory approved and appear to give very similar figures to superchips,upsolute etc.
Rover also offer an upgraded chip for some of their models.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Marcos{P}
I did a search on the Brabus chips but they dont appear to do a chip upgrade for the 320 CDI. Typical.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - blank
Brabus ... but they dont
appear to do a chip upgrade for the 320 CDI. Typical.


Marcos:

I think they do!

see www.brabus-online.de/prog06e.htm

Andy
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - Marcos{P}
I'm sure that wasnt there the other day.

Anyway thanks Andy.
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - andymc {P}
I've occasionally wondered about chipping my cars - the Leon for sheer performance, or the Passat to just lift it out of blandness. Unfortunately, it would hike my insurance premiums too high at the moment, even with 3 years no claims, plus the Leon is still under warranty. In the way that Brabus does manufacturer-approved chip upgrades, is there any VW/VAG-approved chip specialist?
andymc
Diesel Chipping-Decision Time - oldtoffee
andymc

My insurance company wouldn't insure me if I had a Power Box fitted to my Picasso HDi taking it from 90 to 110 bhp. My premium is £370. I found Adrian Flux would cover me for £570. Thats £200 a year for the next 3 to 4 years. Liverpool and Victoria quoted £360 with the Power Box fitted.
 

Value my car