Performance chips can be daunting to deal with for first-time users, simply because they involve computerized parts, and that scares people. In reality, there’s nothing to be afraid of, and performance chips can actually be invaluable additions that are quite easy to install, especially compared with other performance-enhancing parts. Below, we’ll go over several factors to consider when deciding to use a performance computer chip on your car, so you can make an educated decision on whether or not to go ahead with the installation.
The Installation Itself
When someone mentions installing a performance chip, it sounds like something that involves a lot of work, a plethora of technological know-how, and keen automotive upgrading skills. Those fears should be eased after you learn that an average performance chip installation can take less than a half an hour. Most models nowadays are plug-and-play, and at most you’ll have to make some simple wire adaptations to make it work. Modern performance chips don’t even require a hard reset of the vehicle’s ECU these days, making it even less time consuming than you would think.
If you’re looking to match the 400 horsepower gain provided by many high-end turbochargers, you’re out of luck. Performance chips can provided a smaller, but substantial horsepower boost of around 60HP. Again, it’s all relative. A performance chip is considerably less expensive than a turbo kit, and also takes a lot less time to install. If you’re looking for slight adjustments to push your car to the next level, a performance chip will suit you just fine. And with around 4-7mpg in fuel savings, your vehicle’s fuel efficiency will improve to boot.
Though a performance chip may sound prohibitively expensive, don’t be fooled. Unlike the thousands you’d spend on a new turbo kit or the hundreds of dollars that many other performance boosters cost, you can get a high-performing chip for around $50 or so. Plus, since you don’t need any complex tools to complete the installation, you’re saving on that cost. And the easy installation means not having to worry about paying a professional if something goes wrong during the install process, something that could easily happen with a more complex component installation. Though certainly the most money-saving thing you could do is not upgrade your car at all, if you’re looking for an improvement that’s cheap and effective, a performance chip is a solid bet to place in most circumstances.