Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Piggyback Systems/Handheld Programmers/Flux Capacitors

Singh Autosport receives a lot of inquiries regarding piggyback systems/handheld devices; so I will gladly address that topic.

First of all, I would like to state that any self-respecting European car owner would never use a piggyback/handheld programming device.

To use such a contraption is the equivalent to taking a “stab in the dark”. More often than not, they can be found and purchased on eBay, an online car forum or your local flea market. These piggyback units only trick the sensors in the car. Companies that manufacture such devices have very limited or next to no knowledge of what tuning really entails. Owners of such units will scream and shout that they can take their car to a dealership, and by removing the device; no one will know it was ever installed; wrong! Normal telltale signs are blown engines, injectors and turbo’s. Companies like BMW are now fully aware, and are able to check the vehicles shadow memory.

The suppliers of such boxes blame the manufacture’s components. A typical response is: “BMW parts are poorly made, blah blah blah”. No, perhaps it’s the contraption that you installed. Why do the manufactures of these units include OBD2 readers so you can delete engine codes? Owners of such contraptions will argue that if BMW updated the vehicle, the tuned file would be overwritten. Having updated software in your BMW isn’t a bad thing, and if the tuner can make the car run better after the update --then why not?

When tuning a car the “proper” way, you can raise the RPM, remove the speed limiter/hesitation/flat spots, adjust shifting, switch off the 02 sensors and much more. Someone who can tune the car correctly can offer these options to a customer.

Do you ever stop and wonder why the best tuners in world don’t offer these units? In fact, why don’t dealerships sell such units? If gaining power from a car was as easy as plugging in a little device, then life would be much easier… or maybe… just maybe some of the best engineers in the world know more than the boys at the car meets or forums.

Some boxes have something like 100 different files inside (relax I’m exaggerating); in this industry we refer to that as guess work, and as I mentioned earlier, “a stab in the dark”.

Tuning the car via OBD2 or bench flashing the ECU is the safest way. How safe is it? We do it for most dealerships. Singh Autosport works very closely with a lot of dealerships, ranging from Aston Martin, Bugatti, and Lamborghini. Having been in this industry for nearly twenty years, I think we can say we know what we're talking about.

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