Cash In Your Chips
by Pat Goss
It used to be the person in the repair shop that was best equipped to do tuning work was the one that was best equipped to handle tools, but not anymore. Usually it is the person who is best equipped to handle a laptop computer. Well, how so?
Well, because everything on the automobile is computerized these days, we have to deal with the onboard computers, and they’ve changed dramatically over the years. You look at a computer like this one. This is an OBD-I computer. This is an OBD-II computer. Now some of these have replaceable chips in them, so you buy a chip and you install it in the computer and that’s how you get better performance.
But most of the OBD-II computers are going to be like this one. This one does not have a replaceable chip. You hook up to this with the laptop and it’s flash programmed. But you’re limited as far as what you can accomplish with this particular unit. So how do you get around that?
Well, with something like this electromotive engine controller. Now this has a lot to offer when you want the most performance and driveability from your vehicle. We have one installed on a project Golf from our friends at EIP Tuning, and they tell us that what we can do is almost anything that we want. You see this particular computer, it replaces the stock one. It’s a stand alone unit. It stores data so that the tuner can hook up the laptop to it. They can in real time program the computer for the best performance and the best driveability.
You see lots of times you bolt all of this stuff on to the engine and it runs great at full throttle, but it isn’t driveable. Well, this is the way you overcome those problems. Now if you’re into high performance, you want to look for a repair shop, a tuning shop that has the ability to supply parts like this and to do the programming for you.
If you have a question or comment, write to me. The address is MotorWeek, Owings Mills, MD, 21117.