So I have heard that I can buy a chip online that will increase power and/or increase fuel economy. Please explain if you know anything about it. Preferably if you have one and what is the damage to buy one?
A chip is a deep fried potato! LOL!
I had the Superchip Programer for my old dodge truck and It was a plug n play processor that could change all sorts of stuff inside the computer of the vehicle. The minus of the superchip was that I had to run Premium fuel and at the price of Premium I am not sure if it was worth it. But I could feel a bit of a difference with it. Not much... But a little....I think the price of that was $299 out the door plus $.20 a gallon.
I haven't bought a "performance enhancing chip" and don't think I would. From what I've read on the Internet and threads on this forum invoking chips like that, they work by tricking your engine which can cause immediate damage or damage down the road. Some of those chips might void your warranty too. If your looking for more power or better performance, I'd say some good mods would be upgrading the air filter, CAI or snorkel, better exhaust or a super charger.
A 'chip' is a program you download into your ECU to rewrite the OEM instructions.
Some manufacturers purposely reduce throttle, torque etc to meet MPG guidelines.
Chip programmers use dyno machines to find the optimum set of parameters for your particular vehicle and setup.
I wouldnt spend money on one for an FJ. When I had a Mustang I did it. It added 40+ HP and increased torque. You could load one of several programs if you wanted. One for fast start. One for high rpm performance. You get the idea.
2011 NSSE - Icon coilover - TotalChaos UCA - SAW rear coils - OME 895 rear medium shocks - Metal Tech slider - Metal Tech tube bumper - Viper Elite 10k Winch - PIAA 520 ATP - Midland 75-822 CB - Boztec antenna mount - Duratrac 285/70x17 - Scuba Mod - Ricochet skids - PIAA dual horn 400/500 - sPOD - Ellis Stealth Shift Knobs - MPAC rear/side rack - PLX Kiwi Bluetooth OBDII - Nestah Edition Firestik Radio Antenna - National Luna Single Battery Monitor - Tantrum Rock Lights - Outrider Shock Armor - Toy Outfitter LCA - Switched DRL's - Front rock cameras - Custom Rear Cargo Storage - Platinum PM-1 Battery
If you're looking at ebay "chips" stay well away... They just change the engine parameters and most time you will be sacrificing reliability and MPG. But like most everyone has described programmers which arn't so bad. Atleast those companies spend money for R&D. Meanwhile sweatshops in china couldn't care less if you blow your engine using one of their "chips".
Think of the automotive world in 3 parts; cheap, fast, reliable. But 9 times out of 10 you can only have 2 of the 3. Which one are you willing to sacrifice?
Chip's are not the solution to better mileage. If you had an open source tuner that could flash your ECU and subsequently tune the vehicle properly, then you would most likely make gains in your MPG. Not something I would jump in to though.
Here's my attempt at getting better mileage. Changing the oil today, and adding the following in series.
Militec - Synthetic metal conditioner that decreases friction and allows for better coasting/cruising. Also reduces engine wear significantly. Tried and tested by NASA.
RSR Ran-up - Micro ceramic nano-bead technology with proven gains from 3-15WHP on the dyno. Reduces friction, makes power easier to obtain at lower RPM's; and each treatment can last up to 10K miles.
Unfortunately, the FJ wasn't designed with the nearly broke road-tripper demographic in mind.
Stay far away from chips. These are basically nothing more than a bandaid that I've seen turn into more of a problem than anything.
Let's say you go for a supercharger. I've seen them go for around $5,800 on some sites. Then you factor in the cost of having it installed by a Toyota dealership if you want the warranty. Factor in the costs of labor plus a proper tune if Toyota doesn't include that in the cost. I think $7,000 is a good price point to look at in terms of practicality.
If I saved $4.00 per fillup, it would take me roughly 11 years to make up the cost for a supercharger just for the purpose of saving money on gas. That's 156 stops at the pump per year, which is about normal for the driving I do. If I did it for the other obvious gains, then it might be worth it. But that's if the gains are truely useful. In this game, pretty much everything you put into it is disposable. The only non-disposable items are those that will maintain the appearance and increase longevity. And that's if you plan on keeping it for a really long time or wish to keep the value up for a trade-in. And in that case, driving it as little as possible to keep the mileage down is one of your best options.
One thing I've learned over the years when it comes to modifications is that in the longrun, you rarely get your money back. And if you do, it's less than what you put into it.
The absolute cheapest route you can go is to properly maintain your FJ.
From my experience, limited as it is, the chips (actually a hand held programmer that you plug in and modify vehicle settings then unplug and store) works better on diesel pickups and sports cars. Like others have said, it basically reprograms the onboard computer. The EPA has gotten more involved with the companies that manufacture them over the past few years and they are not what they used to be.
You would have to burn A LOT of gas (plus possibly void your warranty) to counter act any savings you would get from the money wasted on one...and that is not even guaranteed you will benefit from it.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.