Chip tuning – So what is it?
A lot of people have heard of ‘Chipping’ a car, but on most modern vehicles there’s simply no need as the flash memory can be reprogrammed via the diagnostic port, or by connecting to the ECU on the bench in boot mode.
Chiptuning is the process of directly tuning the memory chip on the ECU. We de-solder the chip from the ECU that stores all the map data, then reprogram the chip directly before re-fitting to the board. Here’s how we did it step by step on a Smart Brabus Roadster.
Firstly we disassemble the ECU and remove the circuit board from the casing;
We then identify, and de-solder the flash memory chip. In this case, it’s a 44pin AMD chip;
The chip is then inserted into our reading and programming tool, with the correct adaptor;
This allows us to extract the data from the chip in binary format;
The data is then uploaded into our tuning software. We’ll then be able to customise the mapping on the car…various parameters are altered, turbo boost pressure, air fuel ratio, ignition timing and many more factors are altered to get the perfect tune for the vehicle.
We then fit a socket to the ECU, this makes it easy for us to remove the chip to reprogram when the car is on the dyno and easy to revert to the standard software at any point;
The final product;
This is a very unusual way of tuning a car nowadays, but still something we can take on if required.
Over the next few weeks we’ll write up a few articles on the other more common methods of tuning.