Performance Tuning Methods
Not every engine management system is programmable, so we developed three options to ensure that all engines have the best results possible. All three methods guarantee top quality performance.
1. Remapping the Original Engine Management
The original engine management is analyzed or read directly from the ECU (debugging mode) in order to best diagnose your cars needs. Next we rewrite the software and reinstall it in your car. The advantage of this method is that we can control all values--even if those values are not essential for performance chips.
2. Remapping of a Programmable External ECU
We proudly present our external ECU, a truly innovative product. With the remapping method an external engine management system is placed next to the original system. The added ECU is connected to the original ECU and is able to communicate with the engine. The external ECU reads essential values for the performance chips and can be programmed by our team. Values that dictate injection control, turbo control, and throttle response are copied from the original engine management system. All other functions stay intact. For most engines this method of tuning produces the same result as a re-programming.
The freestanding programmable external ECU is not to be confused with a power box.
A power box doesn’t adjust the injection control but instead manipulates only the fuel pressure sensor of the common rail or the airflow sensor. Thus, the fuel mixture will not be optimized and the rail pressure will be too high. This will shorten the lifecycle and increase emissions from an engine. Power boxes can give the impression of better performance, but will never generate a perfect air/fuel ratio. They often cause malfunctions and are simply inferior to our external ECU.
Our external ECU is so advanced, it can even control an aftermarket turbocharger kit such as those used on the Land Rover Defender, Audi R8 V10, and Lamborghini Gallardo. Unlike a power box, an external ECU is fully compatible with factory-installed electronics.
3. Remapping of a Free Programmable ECU
With this approach, the original engine management system is replaced by a free programmable ECU. This allows us to adjust the performance of your car to your exact specifications.
A freestanding programmable ECU provides many options for the installation of different turbochargers or bigger injectors. We use engine management systems by AEM, Vipec, Autronic, Hondata and Haltech. The Nissan 350Z, Hyundai Genesis and Mitsubishi EVO IX are just some examples of cars that can be tuned this way. This method is mainly used for race and rally purposes, though for certain cars, this is the only tuning option.
In some newer models, manufacturers have added tuning detection to their engine management systems. If a reprogrammed car is being serviced by a certified dealer, it is hooked up to a diagnostic computer. This alerts the manufacturer that a re-tuning has occurred and results in the loss of any warranty. Tuning conducted with an external ECU, however, will not affect the warranty, as no adjustments have been made to the original engine management system.
The ZIPtuning method
Developing a performance chip for a new engine can take a few weeks. However, a readjustment to your car can be completed in 1.5 to 3 hours. Here’s what we do so you can get back to enjoying your car again as quickly as possible.
Phase 1: Development:
Whenever a new make or model is released, our team carefully researches all pertinent information about the engine and the driveline. For us it is crucial that we understand the characteristics of the turbocharger and fuel injection systems. The engine control unit is read in order to ascertain how to best bypass the security settings. The original software is then studied and fully analyzed. Finally, we identify the main settings that will need to be adjusted. This lets us know how turbo pressure, torque limitation, speed limitation and injection control is determined. For some engines, tuning is not worth the effort or the money. If this is the case, rest assured we will be honest with you so you can make the best decision.
As soon as we lay our hands on the latest car with a new engine, we test it in its original state using diagnostic equipment and a dyno bench. The required values of the ECU are then compared to the specified values.
Our team gets to work and adjusts the car for optimum performance. The settings are calibrated using diagnostic equipment to guarantee the best ratio of air and fuel (in the case of gasoline engines we use the term lambda value). The performance chip developed by our team is adjusted for daily and safe use the engine will never be overloaded. The total development process can take up to a few weeks.
Research & Development
ZIPtuning does more than just chip tuning. In cooperation with Injen, we are developing air intake systems. We also manufacture tailor-made intercoolers and superchargers for a range of makes and models.
Phase 2: Production Phase:
Tuning on the Dyno Bench
Your car’s software is developed by our engineers using a Superflow four-wheel dyno bench. For accurate measurement, all four wheels must be spinning. Engine temperature is regulated for a realistic result. The diagnostic equipment is used to calibrate the required and resultant values of the turbocharger and the fuel injection system. While our engineers maximize the settings, turbo pressure, and intake and exhaust temperatures, fuel injection quantity, and mixture ratio are all being closely monitored on the dyno bench.
Once you make an appointment, preparations are underway so there is no unnecessary waiting. The moment your car is in the shop, we attach it to our diagnostic equipment. We check your car for fault codes, and in the case of older engines, we determine the current state of the engine. If necessary, we will perform a test drive to examine the how your car runs. The next step is to read the ECU. The software is fine-tuned using our specialized programming.
You then have the option to have the power output tested on the dyno bench. Next we conduct a test drive to ensure that the air/fuel mixture ratio is perfectly adjusted. The tuning process takes from 1.5 to 3 hours. Our engineers are happy to make specialized modifications, such as those required for racing cars. However, in some cases, different pricing applies and warranties may be modified or voided.
A Passion for Tuning
At ZIPtuning, we offer you reliable, long-lasting service due to our professional approach and dedication to tuning. To demonstrate our confidence in our quality work, we offer a warranty at no charge.
After the tuning you don’t have to give it time for your newly tuned car to settle. This is myth that some mechanics tell customers to prevent disappointment. We strive to give you 100% satisfaction. Of course, it’s always recommended that you warm up your engine and then let it cool down after a fast ride.
If you are not satisfied with your performance chip for any reason, you can contact us at our ZIPtuning customer care department. We will promptly set up an appointment to readjust your car to your exact wishes. Ask for an appointment today to discover how your car should really perform!