How do you recognize chip tuning? without an entry in the vehicle documents? If you buy a used car, you may not be able to assess whether the existing performance corresponds to the series, or whether the previous owner may have carried out chip tuning. But how do you find out whether the vehicle is still series production or has been chipped? Anomalies may arise in the analysis of the air mass and the boost pressure. If the conventional values are exceeded, a change in the software cannot be ruled out. And some tuners also perpetuate themselves in the control unit. And then you can select!
not possible without software analysis
Example of an ABT Sportsline software: Changed software version: 8428> A428, changed part number: 03G-906-018-CR> 03G-ABT-018-CR Code: Address 01: Engine part number: 03G ABT 018 CR, component: R4 2.0l PPD1.5 G A428). This example shows the changed software. Unfortunately, this procedure is not a standard. Beginners and inexperienced tuners find it difficult to recognize the process afterwards. The only option for the layperson would be to assume, based on the "felt high" PS number, that there is chip tuning. For example, if the acceleration does not match the values entered for the vehicle. For example, if the vehicle is at V.-Max. 200 km / h in the light and runs +230 without problems, then an increase in performance is not unlikely.
Scatter should be considered!
In the above example with the maximum speed, however, the so-called "scatter" from the engine should also be noted. It can ensure that the actual performance differs by a few percent from that in the vehicle registration document. For a vehicle with 600 HP, a spread of only 5% upwards results in an additional power of 30 HP. You can definitely feel it. By the way, experts have it easier because they check any changes with special devices and, for example, use the checksum to determine whether tuning has taken place or not. Reading out the complete data set is also an option if the control unit does not display any checksum. Not every engine control unit can do that.
How do you check whether the software has been changed?
Ideally, vehicle owners analyze this directly at the dealership with a suitable diagnostic device. The diagnostic devices carry out certain routines that query specific values in the vehicle and thus recognize whether chip tuning has taken place. Even if the original was re-imported correctly, a previously existing tuning can be analyzed. The control units normally save the Maximum values from. And the maximum values are significantly different in a tuning than in the series data status. You can perhaps neutralize this storage with an “eeprom first init”, but only very few are able to do so. It is the same with VAG models (and a few other vehicles) often possible over VCDS to recognize whether an intervention has been carried out. To do this, the engine control unit is selected and then the extended ID. Professionals see here immediately if flash attempts have been made that led to the desired success. Another way can be done via the diagnostic interface, because ODIS, for example, shows immediately whether a tuning attempt has been started or not.
connect another engine control unit
Another, not very practical option for the layperson is to install one standard Engine control unit. If you happen to have an identical vehicle available, the engine control units can perhaps be swapped with one another. In older vehicles this still works relatively problem-free and so the difference in power from the engine can be determined in a subsequent test drive.
Tuning box almost undetectable
Incidentally, a so-called tuning box can be rather difficult to determine afterwards. It is clamped in front of the engine control unit and is difficult to prove after removal. Although the vehicle manufacturers can read the data from the engine control unit and recognize any changes that were caused by the box, in reality this is not always possible without a doubt, even with current vehicles. Many local car dealerships and their mechanics simply do not have the experience of how such a process works. It is even more difficult with older vehicles that have less complex electronics. For example, with an older 1.9tdi from the VW shelf. If a tuning box was connected and then removed again, proof is hardly possible. However, if a current vehicle has dubious engine damage, it can be assumed that the commissioned workshop will send the engine control unit directly to the manufacturer for analysis or carry out a readout on site with an existing online connection to the manufacturer. So it is then possible in any case to be able to prove that a tuning box has already been removed. PS: For the layman, such a box is easy to recognize when installed, as it has to be somewhere in the engine compartment.
Conclusion: possible YES, but difficult for the layman!
General information on the topic: The fluctuation of used vehicles in the Federal Republic is high, but so is the career she has already experienced as a car among various owners. However, all ownership transfers can usually be found out exactly and transparently, so that it becomes clear which conversions or repairs a car has already received. The tuning of the vehicle also counts in this category, because not only real professionals put their hands on their cars, more and more hobbyists and beginners are also trying their hand at the field. In direct tuning, however, inexperienced users often see that a number of measures require experience and are more complex than initially thought. But successful tuning operations can also be a problem, because screwdrivers are often barely familiar with legal principles or do not worry about the future if the vehicle is to be resold. Nevertheless, buyers and buyers have to expect complications at this point in the worst case.
What can you do with autotuning?
Looking back, the history of tuning vehicles of all kinds is long. But nowadays, auto tuning can be quickly explained with two main aspects. First and foremost, the car should look individual in the end and look different than conventional vehicles on the road; on the other hand, it is almost always about increasing performance. The latter requires the modification of components in the drive. Targeted manipulation of the engine control is also possible, experts then speak of chip tuning. Optical designs for designing the car go in a different direction revolve around changing the chassis, replacing the rims, integrating new light sources or modifying body elements.
Where do hobbyists enter the auto-tuning carried out?
While autotuning is fun, it also has a hurdle. Where the legality of the road traffic regulations begins, some tuners' visions have a hard time. The rules must be followed at the end of the construction, otherwise there will be high penalties. The analysis by the TÜV therefore provides an ideal basis for finding out whether a vehicle can still be approved for road traffic after the conversion work. Specifically, it is necessary for parts of the car with a so-called general operating permit (ABE) and the general type approval (ABG) to receive the "OK" from an official body. And vehicle parts with seals such as ECE or EG do not require subsequent acceptance. Nevertheless, it is advisable to always have the appropriate papers with you.
Buyers of tuning vehicles should consider this:
If you don't feel like investing time in car tuning yourself and still favors the converted models, you can purchase a vehicle with an already completed tuning procedure. The large platforms are a suitable first point of contact for this. Nevertheless, it is important to be careful, because, as already mentioned, optics is not everything and the legalities should also be observed when buying a used car. Otherwise the buyer will end up in trouble. However, in the worst case, the seller can also be held accountable if, for example, he does not precisely explain his tuning measures and does not state them when buying and perhaps disguises them for good reason. Then a buyer may withdraw from the purchase, because from a purely legal point of view there is a material defect that did not exist in this form when the actual purchase was made.
Buyers pay close attention to which tuning aspects have been entered and whether these versions are legally valid. It is therefore imperative to check the vehicle documents, the possible test report and the component documentation. Only then will nothing stand in the way of a successful purchase. Especially with tuned cars, it is better to look twice in order to ultimately be spared problems and legal issues.
Conclusion on buying tuning cars
Well over seven million descriptions of vehicles of all kinds are carried out in the Federal Republic every year, according to the figures for the used car market in Germany. Not all of these transfer of ownership went off without a hitch, because, especially with used cars, there are always uncertainties, misunderstandings, general annoyances and legal problems. In the case of car tuning, this is particularly relevant, because this is not just a used vehicle, but one that was subsequently modified and accordingly still has to have the necessary approval and permission to use the components or specifications. Discreet tuning measures often lead to the end of a sales deal, every salesperson should be aware of this. If you consciously purchase a vehicle with tuning measures, the situation changes, because in case of doubt the buyer must subsequently ensure that all changes are properly entered. Long, professional communication with the seller is required to avoid difficulties. If you are uncertain, you should also seek the advice of a professional. If you have any doubts -> hands off!
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