Enquiry: Racechip – a danger for the engine?

RaceChip is chip tuning using an additional control unit that is plugged in between the engine’s most important sensors, so to speak. In contrast to classic performance increases, the tuning can simply be “unplugged” and reversed at any time, in the latest generation even via app. We were recently able to test the latest RaceChip, the RaceChip Ultimate, in the Audi RS3. From the standard 365 hp it makes a total of 410 hp in the RS3.

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racechip rs3

Racechip show car: Audi RS3 with 410 hp

Again and again we see in the statistics of motoreport.de that visitors via search queries like “RaceChip danger damage”, “RaceChip engine damage” and the like to get to our site. RaceChip states that the tuning modules make full use of the engine’s power reserves, but do not endanger them with too much power. Some positive experiences with endurance tests can also be found in the comments to our article from 2012. We wanted to know more about it for our readers and asked Alexander Zengler, development engineer at RaceChip, a few questions:

1) We treat new cars with extreme care. Warm up, even if there’s only a rock-solid 1.6 TDI under the hood like we do. You can get a few more horsepower out of that with your modules. Do I have to be afraid that the RaceChip will overwhelm my downsized diesel and that might lead to engine damage?

“Even if the vehicle manufacturers generate more power from ever smaller displacements, this does not mean that the stability of the engines suffers as a result. The individual engine components are adapted to the increased stress and still offer sufficient scope for an increase in performance. Even the engines with a smaller displacement have ample power reserves. So we still have an ideal starting point for our performance improvements.”

racechip ultimate app

2) Again to the relevant TDIs and TSIs from VW. Such a 2.0 turbo petrol engine is already quite sophisticated with 290 hp in the Seat Leon Cupra. Is it safe to get more out of this?

“For particularly sophisticated engine variants, the manufacturers use components with specifications that can withstand the increased mechanical and thermal loads over the long term. Turbocharger, crankshaft, clutch, transmission, exhaust system, etc. have nothing in common with the weaker basic engine. Here, too, we are talking about independent units that offer us enough scope for an increase in performance.”

3) In the RS3 and other sports cars, the S tronic works, or a double-clutch transmission. That seemed to us to be very close to the limit in the production RS3. Don’t I have to worry that the increased torque is too much for the DSG? After all, converter transmissions are usually found in the really high-torque drives.

“The DSG transmissions were indeed a major challenge for our engineers. We use intelligent software to avoid short, strong torque peaks. In this way, the gearbox and clutch remain undamaged.”

Simple installation of the Racechip Ultimate

Simple installation of the Racechip Ultimate

4) Let’s assume the worst case scenario: engine damage in a Golf that is, say, 1.5 years old and still has the manufacturer’s warranty. A RaceChip was installed. What would be the procedure here? Even if the RaceChip was not to blame for an engine failure: After removing the RaceChip, can the VW workshop still understand that more power was required here than usual?

“First of all, it has to be said that the vehicle is back to its original state after removing the RaceChip. Our product has not made any permanent changes to the manufacturer’s software or hardware. In addition to other advantages, this is also a decisive advantage compared to measures to increase performance that start with the manufacturer’s engine control unit.

If you carry out this dismantling, the diagnostic software of the workshop also determines a vehicle in series condition. Recorded data from the engine control unit may show anomalies in the data, but these can also occur in a vehicle without an auxiliary control unit.

But we don’t want to position our products in such a way that we want to encourage our customers to outsmart the workshop or the manufacturer with an upgrade. That’s why we don’t really like talking about the topic “Can you prove it to me?”, but prefer to point out that in the event of engine damage caused by our product, we are available for our customers with our own directly at Racechip.

At the same time, it should be noted that manufacturers are still subject to the statutory warranty obligation, even in cases in which they do not want to be liable with their engine guarantee. This means that if the engine damage is caused by an error on the part of the manufacturer, the manufacturer may still have to pay for the damage, even if he does not want to do this as part of his engine guarantee. This distinction between guarantee and warranty is a bit very legally dry, but it is still relevant at this point, as customers often mistakenly assume that if the manufacturer’s engine warranty is void, they will always have to pay for themselves in the event that no other engine warranty, like something by RaceChip.”

The RaceChip Ultimate is currently available from 479 EUR. Ordering directly from RaceChip is worthwhile because of the free delivery and the option to use the RaceChip Try it free for 30 days to be able to

Thank you for the interview!

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