Chiptuning: You should know that!

Motor tuning is becoming increasingly popular. Many car lovers like to tinker with their own vehicle to increase its performance. But there are a few legal things to consider. If certain requirements are not complied with and the vehicle is still on the road, fines may be imposed. Therefore, professional car tuning is in some cases the better option. In addition to improved engine performance, fuel consumption can often be reduced, saving money at the same time.

What is chip tuning?

Chiptuning originally means replacing a vehicle’s control chip. Nowadays, however, this term rather summarizes the general increase in performance of a car.

As a rule, no structural change takes place on the motor itself, but the improved performance is achieved by a software optimization of the motor electronics. The aim is to make more efficient use of the thermal and mechanical reserves, which can then even save gasoline.

Beware of additional wear and tear

In many cases, the chip tuning can be done by yourself. So-called tuning chips increase horsepower by up to 30 percent, so that if driving is consistent, fuel consumption is reduced and even torque is increased. The latter ensures a reduced mechanical load on the engine and thus an extended service life.

However, it is not always sensible to carry out this procedure. Although it is theoretically possible to increase the performance of diesel and gasoline engines, this can also lead to a reduction in the durability and service life of the engine under certain conditions.

This can be influenced above all by the driving style of the holder. If someone drives in a sporty style – full exit of the gears, late switching up – the emission of pollutants can be increased to such an extent that the exhaust gas test may not have been passed. These advantages arise only with a gentle driving style. If the gained power is used permanently, there may instead be much greater disadvantages. As a result, vehicle owners should reflect their own driving style before chip tuning and consider whether tuning is suitable for them.

Professional advice makes sense

Even if a chip tuning can be done by yourself, it is advisable to inform yourself in advance about the individual changes on the vehicle and whether advantages or disadvantages would prevail.

Furthermore, there are some restrictions on tuning, because as soon as modifications or changes are made to the presets of the installed programs, the operating license expires and the vehicle is no longer on public road. Allowed. If, on the other hand, the modifications are carried out by the professional from the beginning, it can be ensured that it is TÜV-compliant tuning.

Penalties for unauthorised tuning

All performance increases of an engine that exceed five percent must be reduced in principle. Changes with a tuning chip or illegal software that is not approved in Germany are not permitted.

After a successful acceptance, the holder receives a test certificate, which must be presented to the registration authority in order to have it entered in the vehicle certificate. If the car is on German roads without such an entry, fines starting at 25 euros are threatened. Driving a vehicle with an expired operating licence already entails a fine of 50 euros. If an unacceptable change has affected the environment or endangered road safety, 90 euros are due. The latter also increases the Flensburg account by one point.

It should also be borne in mind that in the event of inappropriate modifications, the insurance cover and the manufacturer’s warranty of new vehicles may also be eliminated.

For more information on the various tuning options, see Read.

What you should know about chip tuning