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About tuning

The desire for more horse power is as old as engines are. In the early days it required mechanical modifications by highly skilled and passionate engineers and craftsmen.

Nowadays tuning is more associated with ECU software modifications. There are different ways to do this.

The early method was to replace the EEPROM on the ECU board. Hence the name “Chip Tuning“. This method requires the ECU to be opened and needs quite some soldering skills form an electronics point of view an undesirable method.

On board diagnostics (OBD) opened the opportunity to modify the ECU software through the ODB port. Alternatively the ports on the ECU it self can be used to upload revised software. With the increase of processor capacity manufacturers were able to improve the ECU software security over the years using sophisticated encryption methods and implementing integrity test during maintenance. A common factory software update during maintenance is enough to undo the modification.

Another method is to add a second ECU that will alter the signals from and to the ECU. This method is also referred to as a “piggy back” ECU, power box or intercept system. Although this approach seems more elaborate than changing the software, there are significant benefits to it: the engine as such remains original; it is insensitive to manufacturer updates and it is easy to install and remove.

The EngineTronic is based on the principle of a secondary ECU. The sophisticated embedded functions and features are however closer to an original ECU than to any piggy back ECU or power box available on the market.