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Author Topic: performance chip?  (Read 14058 times)
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ldr04
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« on: January 27, 2010, 11:41:54 AM »

In anticipation of getting my new terrain soon (ordered in Nov and supposed to be delivered to dealer this weekend, Yea!) I was looking at the available accessories on Ebay and saw a "performance chip" for sale. Supposed to improve hp and gas mileage. Has anyone ever installed something like this before or have you done it for your terrain? Is it worth it? Says it doesn't harm the car in any way and doesn't void the warranty but I'm skeptical.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/PERFORMANCE-CHIP-GMC-TERRAIN-2010_W0QQitemZ110486591866QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item19b983997a
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redlight_005
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2010, 06:42:51 PM »

Probably just a resistor in a box mod, dont do it.
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2010, 11:56:59 PM »

$9 for the mod, $6 for shipping.
Up to 50HP and 15MPG gain?
Highly unlikely, IMO and why mess with a brand new vehicle?
The old axiom "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" most likely applies in this case.
I'd wait for the engine to be tested/tweaked by some pros before attempting anything "performance enhancing", however minor, on my own vehicle.

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scottyyyc
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 08:58:44 AM »

Given how competitive the vehicle market is nowadays, you can bet that GM has programmed the ECU about as good as can be expected, without starting to make big sacrifices elsewhere. If GM could have magically gotten another couple MPG they would have already. Why would they release an engine that does 180HP and gets 32MPG when they could easily release an the same engine with 200HP and 37MPG? Like gearhead says, if it sounds too good to be true...

I do a lot of aftermarket ECU tuning on sportbikes, and by itself, reprogramming the ECU doesn't do very much. On an high-performance 1L engine you get 2 or 3 more horses at the rear wheel. Last bike I put a power-commander on it went from 158rwhp to 160rwhp. Whoopie-do. Only if you replace the whole exhaust system and intake do you start to see double-digit gains.

I'd wait until a more reputable tuning shop releases a product, and/or until you're ready to say goodbye to your warranty.
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cheddar11
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2010, 10:46:11 AM »

Remember, if you do end up "Chipping" your vehicle with a legitimate computer controlled module (not the transistor in a box scam) you'll end up voiding your 5 year powertrain warranty.
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ldr04
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010, 12:25:13 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Definitely think that the $9 version sounds fishy and agree that there probably isn't that much to gain from what GMC has already tweaked to get marketable numbers. If I add any accessories, will stick those that enhance visually and not worry about performance (since I'll already be gaining 5-7 mpg  over my last SUV  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010, 06:58:27 PM »

Given how competitive the vehicle market is nowadays, you can bet that GM has programmed the ECU about as good as can be expected, without starting to make big sacrifices elsewhere. If GM could have magically gotten another couple MPG they would have already. Why would they release an engine that does 180HP and gets 32MPG when they could easily release an the same engine with 200HP and 37MPG? Like gearhead says, if it sounds too good to be true...

I do a lot of aftermarket ECU tuning on sportbikes, and by itself, reprogramming the ECU doesn't do very much. On an high-performance 1L engine you get 2 or 3 more horses at the rear wheel. Last bike I put a power-commander on it went from 158rwhp to 160rwhp. Whoopie-do. Only if you replace the whole exhaust system and intake do you start to see double-digit gains.

I'd wait until a more reputable tuning shop releases a product, and/or until you're ready to say goodbye to your warranty.
Very good points, scottyyyc.
The engine has been dialed in by GM engineers for maximum performance and drivability over a wide range of conditions and temperatures.
Modifying factory timing/airflow/fuel control settings without changing the intake or exhaust would probably cause more harm than good from a drivability standpoint, IMO.
Remember, with the Direct Injection system, a precise amount of fuel is delivered to the combustion chamber at exactly the correct time for maximum power, lower fuel consumption and cleaner burn.
You'd have to know the software/hardware timing extremely well to make beneficial adjustments.
It's highly unlikely that anyone without some inside help is privy to that type of info right now to be able to release it to the public, especially not for 9 bucks IMHO.
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010, 07:19:35 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Definitely think that the $9 version sounds fishy and agree that there probably isn't that much to gain from what GMC has already tweaked to get marketable numbers. If I add any accessories, will stick those that enhance visually and not worry about performance (since I'll already be gaining 5-7 mpg  over my last SUV  Smiley
Indeed, probably best to play it safe and run with what GM has offered up for now.
Maybe in the near future (a few years, perhaps?) someone will come out with some tweaks that may offer advantages over what's come out of the factory, performance wise.
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2010 Terrain SLT-2 (rec'd Sep/09)
AWD V6 Carbon Black Metallic w/ Jet Black Int.
All available options
19" Chrome Rims
Window Weather Deflectors
Roof Rack Cross Rails
Cargo Cover, Liner, Net, Organizer
Front & Rear Splash Guards
Weathertech Floor Mats
TerrainGirl
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 07:50:37 AM »

In anticipation of getting my new terrain soon (ordered in Nov and supposed to be delivered to dealer this weekend, Yea!) I was looking at the available accessories on Ebay and saw a "performance chip" for sale. Supposed to improve hp and gas mileage. Has anyone ever installed something like this before or have you done it for your terrain? Is it worth it? Says it doesn't harm the car in any way and doesn't void the warranty but I'm skeptical.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/PERFORMANCE-CHIP-GMC-TERRAIN-2010_W0QQitemZ110486591866QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories?hash=item19b983997a


I am not sure how much "car knowledge" you have, so I will say this gently. But those things are truly a scam, it's best to stick with "if it seems to be good to be true, it probably is."

There are a lot of car forums (similar to this one) on the internet, do some checking on the Pontiac Grand Prix, Chevrolet Corvette, I am sure you will find some forums like this. There is a wealth of knowledge on these forums and some of the are "real car guys".

These chips really are a scam, and I would strongly discourage anyone from buying them, as they simply don't work.

Great thing that you asked here and I am certain you feel better about keeping the $9 in your pocket.

Cheers
TG
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ldr04
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 09:10:36 AM »

Not much car knowledge when it comes to engine-type of stuff so it's defininately worth asking people with more experience and knowledge. It's nice to have forums like this to do that Smiley .  Was mostly wondering about performance chips in general and warranty issues but these days, it's nice to keep the 9 bucks in the pocket too wink.
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TerrainGirl
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 08:57:08 AM »

Not much car knowledge when it comes to engine-type of stuff so it's defininately worth asking people with more experience and knowledge. It's nice to have forums like this to do that Smiley .  Was mostly wondering about performance chips in general and warranty issues but these days, it's nice to keep the 9 bucks in the pocket too wink.

Glad we could help. Most of the time you will find that performance chips generally are a scam. To get true performance tuning it usually requires removing the CPU within the vehicle, reprogramming it and than reinstalling it. Typically owners will buy two CPU's one that is setup stock, and the other that can "flashed" or "reprogrammed".

I am sure you will see in time some attempt to reprogram it to get more out of the Terrain. I know this has been done ALOT with the 3800 series engines. A lot more horsepower can be found by doing this, but it does also put the vehicle and it's parts under a lot more stress, thus promoting early failure.

Cheers,
TG
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Narg
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2010, 09:29:49 AM »

I'd think that re-programming the on board computer would be more beneficial to power than an add-in.  Of course at the loss of economy or something...

What I'd like to see is a turbo version of the 2.4L I4.  Like what they put in the Cobalt and HHR.  Smiley
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carguy332000
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2010, 03:21:32 PM »

What the majority of these chips are  are just resistors that go inline with your engine coolant temperature sensor. It tricks the ECU into thinking that the engine is running cooler than it is and then the ECU dumps in more fuel. They can really hurt the Catalytic converters as well with all the extra fuel.
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Fwapsk
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2010, 08:08:57 PM »

I'd agree that the $9 chip upgrade sounds like a scam. But I have personally replaced the electronic chip in my atv and saw an enormous change in performance. I was not the guinea pig, many other users had one before me, so I felt confident. And it was not a brand new atv. I also paid over $100 for it and it may have been closer to $200...cant really remember. I know, atv's and cars are different, but still. So I'd like to think there are chip upgrades you can get for these vehicles, but get it from a reputable dealer, dont be first in line, and wait for your warranty to expire.
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TerrainGirl
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2010, 02:36:19 PM »

I'd agree that the $9 chip upgrade sounds like a scam. But I have personally replaced the electronic chip in my atv and saw an enormous change in performance. I was not the guinea pig, many other users had one before me, so I felt confident. And it was not a brand new atv. I also paid over $100 for it and it may have been closer to $200...cant really remember. I know, atv's and cars are different, but still. So I'd like to think there are chip upgrades you can get for these vehicles, but get it from a reputable dealer, dont be first in line, and wait for your warranty to expire.

Fwapsk - You are correct, however the "chip" upgrade in a car is the CPU within the vehicle, there are no "free floating" chips within an automobile, the only real way as mentioned in an earlier post is to reprogram the CPU, I suspect and am not familiar with ATV's but due to their size, the chip you replaced was / is the CPU for the ATV, thus being the same thing in a car, except smaller.

You will find most likely that a dealer will NOT sell these types of products for a car, typically they are a big no no, however there are plenty of tuners out there that can help you get more, just remember though the parts typically are not made for the stress load the tuning puts on them, so not only do you have to pay for the tuning, expect to pay for new parts, and replacement parts.

Cheers,
TG
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street-terrain
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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2010, 05:22:49 PM »

There are legitimate 'chip' makers out there that do help improve power, gas mileage, tweak speedometer if you are changing tire size, etc. These units cost up in the $200-400 range. I've had many Mustangs in my time and these power-adders do provide value. In the case of the Terrain, i think it can best be used to modify the power band & shift points on the transmission. The Terrain seems to be in love with the top gears and wants to constantly move up to them. This definitely helps with gas, but at the cost of torque/power.

I, for one, will be looking at getting a chip once a viable manufacturer comes out with one. In the past I have used SuperChips and they work great.
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noncon
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2010, 07:24:53 PM »

It is a trade off, improved power usually comes at the expense of gas mileage and in some cases worse (but still legal) emissions. The modified chip alone won't yield a large increase in HP,  maybe 7-12 hp increase on a normally aspirated engine.  Drop a K&N filter modified filter box and hi-flow exhaust, maybe 20-22 hp at the rear wheels.   Superchips is okay, I had one of their chips once, and like most tuners they try to maximize midrange torque, in the range between 30-60 mph, for better drive-ability.

KJ
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street-terrain
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2010, 05:47:55 AM »

It is a trade off, improved power usually comes at the expense of gas mileage and in some cases worse (but still legal) emissions. The modified chip alone won't yield a large increase in HP,  maybe 7-12 hp increase on a normally aspirated engine.  Drop a K&N filter modified filter box and hi-flow exhaust, maybe 20-22 hp at the rear wheels.   Superchips is okay, I had one of their chips once, and like most tuners they try to maximize midrange torque, in the range between 30-60 mph, for better drive-ability.

KJ

Agreed. However, some ppl - like myself - are okay trading off 2-3 mpg for more power. I plan to install a K&N air kit when it comes out for the Terrain and I will most probably look into a Superchips-like solution to change the shift points and provide a better acceleration/torque feel.
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bballr4567
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« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2010, 04:39:01 PM »

All those chips do is trick the PCM into thinking the car is running in cold air all the time. Therefor, the car runs rich. That is all these cheap "chips" do.
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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2010, 06:57:40 PM »

All those chips do is trick the PCM into thinking the car is running in cold air all the time. Therefor, the car runs rich. That is all these cheap "chips" do.

That would mean cars would run rich all winter long. Smiley   But your advice about staying away from the cheap chip mfg is good advice. 

KJ
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