When you hear the word Superchips, what does it make you think of?
For most, hearing the word Superchips makes you think of some high tech scientifically advanced processor chip that could compute trillions of bits of information per second, probably used in some pretty advanced space technology. Well think again.
Superchip is actually a company based out of Sanford, Florida, who origins come from across the globe. This company was first established in 1977 by Peter Wale in Buckingham, England. Mrs. Wale Initially focused at developing performance chips for the British racing community. Eventually the company started to offer tuning solutions to the enthusiasts and the ones seeking a new driving experience. This expansion allowed car owners and performance fanatics to experience the power of owning a new car without buying the latest, more powerful model.
For those that are new to the subject a performance chip is software that is loaded onto the ECU (Engine Control Unit) of the car to improve its engine performance or fuel efficiency. The ECU is responsible in controlling the air to fuel ratio, the ignition timing, the amount of fuel injected and a thousand other factors that ensure your engine is operating optimally and safely. The ECU gets all this information from sensors properly positioned in and around the engine. Finally the ECU takes this massive data input, then computes in real-time, and selects the most appropriate preset operation for your engine.
Most car manufacturers have developed an adaptive function in the ECU, where it learns how your car behaves in various conditions and adapts it to the best possible option. These ECU functions are always there to ensure optimal fuel efficiency and prolong your engine life while letting you know once there is a problem with your car.
When MSD performance acquired Superchips USA subsidiary in 2005, it enabled the necessary resources for Superchip to spread its wings and expand extensively in the United-States. Superchips then focused their energy in developing performance chips for the American trucks and some imports such as Infiniti, Isuzu, Mazda, Mercury and Nissan specifically for the North American market. For some reason, that I am not aware of, Superchip USA subsidiaries have decided to move away from European cars such as Audi, Volkswagen, and Porsche which initially, back in UK, was their bread and butter. We are aware that Superchips USA and Superchips UK are both in operation, where the UK division seems to have continued the development of the European performance software platforms and the USA subsidiary primarily puts their efforts into American trucks and a few imports.
Having a performance chip in your car is all nice and fun but at the same time you’ve got to be careful who you’re dealing with. There are many tuners out there that claim to understand the INS and OUTS of the ECU and its functions. They promise the moon with super dubber results but in the end they don’t even have the proper equipments and technology to develop a safe and compromise free product. One that will provide you with years of driving fun and excitement while ensuring you’re engine is completely safety. There are some tuners that pride themselves with the equipments they own, hiding behind them as proof of their quality, but in the end they don’t really know how to use this equipment properly.
It has always boggled my mind, how can you develop performance software without a dynamometer or an engine dynamometer? How can you not use engine monitoring tools to provide real-time engine information and feedback to properly develop? You just can’t, these are essential tools that allow the tuner to see how the engine will react in different road scenarios and conditions thus ensuring the most amazing driving experience and longtime reliability.
A word to the wise, before installing a performance chip that you got from eBay or some guy selling one on Craigslist, please consider the following. Not all performance chips are the same and they are not all developed the same way. Some companies have expensive research facilities that focus on providing the best and safest product for their customers while others are there to make a quick buck!
You see, car manufacturers invests massive amounts of money in engineering, technology and tools to always improve the functionality of the ECU thus providing you with the best performance, fuel efficiency and driving experience. They don’t exploit all the available power out of the engine for multiple reasons. Some are strictly for warranty purposes and others are marketing oriented. You see, most car manufacturers leave a good amount of unused power in the cars because their standards for engine safety and reliability are established by their engineers, and they are pretty high standards. Some manufacturers leave more than 40% of unused power, running the engine at only 60% load to ensure a prolonged engine life thus avoiding costly warranty claims.
One other factor to consider is that German cars for example are not driven under the same driving conditions as here in North America. In Germany people drive 120mph for hours at a time. Your engine could not maintain longtime durability if it didn’t have this extra reserve. In America we don’t have this problem and we can in fact safely use some of that power that is waiting to make your car almost unrecognizable.
After all, having a reserve safety of 20% is quite respectful and allows for 20% to be unleashed while maintaining engine reliability. This is the reason why tuning companies such as Superchips exists and provide such products. They have a team of engineers to ensure that the product they release will be safe for your engine and provide you with a smile on your face every time you drive. I have been in the performance industry for many years and I have seen what poor tuning can do to engines. This is why it is important to choose reliable companies with a solid track record.
One other thing to consider is the installation process. How does it get installed? Do I have to remove my ECU and send it out? How long will it take? These are all questions you have to have answered before chipping your car.
Some companies require you to remove and send out your ECU while your car is sleeping in the driveway. Bummer! Others require you to go visit an authorized distributor for installation where they usually charge extra installation fees. Surprisingly others have understood the needs of consumers and have developed some innovative solution.
For Instance, Superchips have developed a neat little device called the Superchips Flashpaq. This handheld unit is quite the tool. Not only is it well designed and looks pretty sexy it is also filled with interesting functionalities. It allows you to install the performance chip and do your own ECU tuning onto your car, select different modes of power or fuel efficiency and even reload your stock software. That’s not all; The Superchips Flashpaq enables you to do engine scans and diagnostics, clear check engines lights or trouble codes and do vehicle performance tests. It is really a complete little tool.
Considering the price of about 350$USD, the Superchips Flashpaq is a steel! Why do I say that? Being in the industry for so many years, I truly understand and respect the amount of research and development that has gone into developing the performance softwares and the tool itself.
We are talking about endless nights of hard work, months and years of research, testing and development. You have yet to imagine the intensity of the work behind it all. I give thumbs up to Superchips and there Superchips Flashpaq unit. Good job guy, keep it coming!