frequently asked questions
Fortunately, most cars can be tuned.
There are always exceptions where there is no gain. These expections usually apply to vehicles or models of which the ECU (engine computer) security has not yet been cracked and/or where there is no tuning software available (yet).
Check out all the possibilities for your vehicle here.
It is important that the car is in good condition when you want it tuned. Before making an appointment, the chiptuner will always check if your specific vehicle engine is suitable for tuning. When it is determined that your vehicle is suitable for chiptuning, an appointment can be scheduled.
When you come by with your vehicle, the chiptuner will always, perhaps without you realizing it, quickly check to see if the vehicle is in good condition. Does the vehicle start normally, are there any hiccups, has the current software been adjusted before, are there any abnormalities that could affect the tuning?
When it is determined that the vehicle is in good condition and can be tuned on paper, they get to work. That is when they check to see if the manufacturer has not installed tuning protection. If it has and the tuner can’t get around it, the tuning unfortunately won’t go through. However, this does not happen too often and the tuning can be performed as usual.
When the tuning is installed, we will make a test drive with it. With our experience we will know soon enough if everything works as it should.
Tuning your car takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
In the case of a custom tuning it can take from a few hours up to 1 day.
Virtually all vehicles can be tested on a roller dyno. Of course, there are always exceptions. This may be due to the type of roller dynamometer, the vehicle, etc. Always check with the dealer what the conditions are for a test on a roller dyno.
The roller dyno test shows exactly the power measurement of your vehicle. In an extremely precise measurement, the power and tractive force are calculated. This is possible in combination with a chiptuning, which ensures an exact tuning for your vehicle, a custom tuning.
Another function of a roller dyno in chiptuning is when writing chiptuning software yourself, as chiptuner Rica Engineering has been doing for over 30 years, the developed software can be measured and tested extremely precisely, before it is put on the market.
In engines without turbo, the gain after chiptuning is usually small (a few percent) and therefore it is not often performed. However, it is also possible that the power is reduced at the factory, in that case chiptuning can pay off.
The car can be tuned right away, you do not have to wait. A new engine is run-in after about 1500-2000 km. After this it can be chiptuned.
It does not matter if the car is an automatic or manual transmission.
Nowadays, many automatic gearboxes can also be tuned, which only increases the performance of the car.
Stage 1, 2, 3…The higher the stage, the more power and torque you get in return.
For one car the stages consist only of adjusting the software, for another there may be hardware modifications needed, such as an exhaust, intercooler or turbo.
Any engine that is computer controlled is theoretically tunable. So the possibility is certainly there. However, not every chiptuner will have the ability to accommodate chiptuning of a bus or truck.
Keep this in mind when looking for your chiptuner.
The automatic transmission is not adjusted automatically when chiptuning a vehicle.
In some models, the maximum torque is also limited in the gearbox, in addition to the limitation in the software. In this case, the software of the gearbox is also adjusted.
There are also other reasons to adjust the gearbox software, apart from chiptuning. When carefully “remapping” or adjusting this software, the shifting moments can be adjusted as desired. For better acceleration, faster paddle response time, higher torque in all gears and optimized shift speeds and shift speeds.
Car models with a little less power than actually desired are more often leasable for a more favorable amount than models with a lot of power. So it is not surprising that more and more lease cars are driving around. It’s good to know that it is indeed possible to chiptune a lease car.
Since a chiptuning can always be reversed and the standard software can always be put back, before turning in your lease car you can visit your chiptuner to put back the standard software.
Your vehicle’s original software can always be reprogrammed. Your vehicle will be completely original again.
Software & Engineering
A power gain between 20% and 30% is almost always achievable with chiptuning.
If you have found a chiptuner that deviates significantly from this standard, be alert. Nowadays it is very easy to buy cheap tuning software that is totally not safe for your car.
Make sure you always choose a recognized chiptuner that uses high quality software.
Through chiptuning you will get more power from the engine.
This means that your engine has to work less hard for the same result.
For diesel engines a saving between 5 and 15% is feasible. For gasoline engines this is a bit lower and up to 5% is achievable.
Please note, however, that these figures are never guaranteed, since there are several factors that influence this margin. Think of driving behavior, whether you mainly drive on highways or in built-up areas, how heavily loaded the car is, etc.
The power and torque indicated by your chiptuner, is usually the maximum they consider responsible for your vehicle and engine.
If you prefer less power and/or torque than what is indicated, that is always possible. For other wishes or custom requests, we recommend to ask your chiptuner what the possibilities are.
We realize that your car is important, if something goes wrong it can be very costly. The “ready-made” chiptuning software that can be bought for €150,- might be a bit cheaper, but you have absolutely no idea about the quality and accuracy with which it has been developed.
A wrong file or a file of low quality can cause major damage to your vehicle. These files are often not tested on real cars, the files are modified without knowing if the modification will work and it is developed with minimal chiptuning and car knowledge.
However, you will not know what you have until your car is chiptuned and then, unfortunately, it may be too late. The software can affect your engine management system and cause other irreversible damage to your car.
When choosing a chiptuner, always ask where they got their software from and if it has been extensively tested. This way, you can be sure of a quality tuning without any danger to your car.
Chiptuners like Rica Engineering, for example, develop their own chiptuning software from start to finish and test it extensively on real cars before putting it on the market. You are 100% sure that you are dealing with very high quality chiptuning software and of course a lifetime warranty.
When you go to an authorized chiptuner, they will always keep your original software.
For example in case your vehicle has to go to the manufacturer and you want the software back to standard before you visit them. The chiptuning software can then be reloaded again.
With most chiptuners this is a free service. Always ask if there are any costs involved to avoid surprises.
When you take your car to the garage for a service for example, they will of course perform standard tests to check that everything is working properly. They may also perform a software update to make sure your car is completely up to date.
However, with this software update, any tuning or other software modification(s), will be overwritten. This can be very annoying, however not irreversible.
Contact the company where you had your chiptuning performed for their conditions, but almost every professional chiptuner offers the service of reloading the chiptuning software free of charge in such cases, so you can get back on the road again!
Anything that contains software is customizable. However, this does not mean that all modifications are suitable for every vehicle. Every engine has different options, so always check out the possibilities first before making an appointment. You can view all the options for your vehicle here.
Other options, besides more power and torque through chiptuning, are:
- EGR delete
- DPF delete
- Pop & Bangs
- Start/Stop delete
- Transmission tuning
- AdBlue delete
- Cylinder deactivate
For detailed information on each of these options, check out ‘other modifications’.
If you feel that the car does not perform as expected after performing a chiptuning, contact your tuner. You should have full power available immediately after a chiptuning.
It is possible that there is a defective sensor or turbo pressure leak. Your tuner can check this and possibly test it on the roller bench.
Safety & Warranty
A car that has been chiptuned will pass the M.O.T. without any problems. Even if you have the EGR valve removed, this will not be a problem.
However, it is possible that the software of your vehicle is updated during the M.O.T. This will overwrite the chiptuning and your vehicle will be set back to standard.
Contact the company where you had your chiptuning done for their conditions, but almost every professional chiptuner offers the service to reload the chiptuning software free of charge in these cases, so you can be on the road again soon!
With a good chiptuner there are no disadvantages, only advantages.
The most important thing when it comes to chiptuning and driving, is how you treat the engine. Quietly warming up and letting it cool down and timely maintenance are the most important factors to keep the engine in a good condition.
There is no reason to be concerned about a reduced life span of your vehicle.
Yes and no. Software modifications are not immediately visible. A dealer cannot tell, during regular maintenance, that the software has been modified.
If you have a problem with the car and need to return it to the importer or manufacturer, keep in mind that they can see the software modification.
It is recommended that you first revert the software to the standard software. The chiptuning software can be loaded again after your visit to the manufacturer. With most chiptuners this is a free service. Always ask if there are any costs involved to avoid surprises.
Every chiptuner has their own terms and conditions. Before chiptuning your vehicle, always ask what their conditions are and what kind of service they offer AFTER chiptuning.
For example, with chiptuner Rica Engineering, you will receive a lifetime warranty on the tuning software. You can always go to them to set the tuning software to standard or just to reload the chiptuning software etc.
According to Dutch law, a car can have 20% more power than is registered on the license plate. Most insurers agree with this, but ALWAYS check the laws that apply to your country and the terms of your insurer.
To be sure what your insurer will cover and what the maximum extra power is that they will agree to, please contact your insurance company. We obviously do not want you to be faced with any surprises.
No, chiptuning does not affect your road tax.