Yes I may have simplified RS Chip to a box with 4 wires. However RS Chip promises so much with just 4 wires. Hard to believe it actually works. Also RS Chip is generic and can be used on various cars. This means that the changes that RS Chip makes to my car may not bring out the full potential compared to what a proper reflash can do.
Is it generic though? Don't you have to put in your car make and model before they take you to the right page? If it's generic, I share your concerns. The RaceChip is anything but generic - the module you get is highly specific to your make and model. The module for my F10 M5 is worlds apart in configuration from the one I used for my F20 M135i.
So, having no experience with the RS chip in particular, I cannot speak for or against it. But my point was that at least some piggybacks can work well and increase HP/torque, they're not snake oil.
While reflashing the ECU might seem risky as your dependent on the person tuning the car, it does give you more power in the long run. I rather go with something that is guaranteed to give me extra power instead of relying on the butt dyno. I'm not sure why you have the impression that people go to the dyno to brag about how much power their car has but that certainly wasn't the point I was trying to make. It's more about how much more power the car has made through the reflash or adding one of those chips and whether the difference was significant enough to be felt.
The thing about "guaranteed power" is this: piggybacks from a reputable manufacturer, with good reviews in the enthusiast community are just as "guaranteed" as a reflash. Think about it: a reflash is just a stock program you upload into your ECU
EPROM. That program has been QC tested by the makers to work for your particular car taking into account make, model, year of manufacture and variant. They've tested car(s) very much like yours on their own dynos and put up the advertised power and torque gains from the car(s) they've tested. But that's exactly what the reputable piggyback chip manufacturers do as well. They put their gizmos (which may be model-specific, like the Race Chip) on various cars and assess the gains on each model. So the advertised figures are no less "guaranteed" than those of an off-the-shelf reflash.
Now, if you're going the full custom tune route, that's a different story. Usually the tuner will start with a baseline remap, then tweak parameters until the engine cannot "tahan" anymore (high EGTs, knock etc.) then dial in an extra safety margin. Yes, this way, you can really see the extra power and torque the car is making over its stock condition, at least as measured by that dyno with those parameters.
So if you're talking about a custom tune, then I fully agree that a dyno is not only beneficial, it is essential (without it, you can be oblivious to flat spots and dips in the power/torque curve). But that was a point I already made in a much earlier post. If, on the other hand, you're getting an off-the-shelf map (including the COBB AP), there's no benefit to a dyno other than self-satisfaction or possibly impressing others (the "bragging rights" I was alluding to). Ditto with a piggyback.
Regarding warranty, I remember that COBB Accessport allows you to keep a copy of the stock map while running a custom map on the car. This means being able to switch back and forth when you send the car back to the dealership. Furthermore, unless I have a full parts and labour warranty like the one you mentioned, I wouldn't bother with it. Most of the time, a brand new car hardly gives problems. So I don't mind risking it. Servicing and changing of brake pads can be done cheaply outside. How fast the parts on your car wear depends on how you drive it. If I'm like one of those jackasses that revs their car super hard only to slam on the brakes 100m later, I'm pretty sure my car will go off really quickly.
I have a passing familiarity with the COBB AP because when I was into the Subaru scene many years back, they were all the rage in the US. I don't think they were available in Singapore then - I think the ECUTek was just being introduced here (and that involves both a reflash and a custom tune). As far as I am aware (no personal experience so correct me if I'm wrong), the COBB AP is a device that allows you (once paired to the ECU) to flash one of a number of off-the-shelf maps into the ECU
, but no custom tuning
is involved (so no need a dyno, as I said). But yes, you can reflash the stock map back into the ECU
anytime you want.
I have read somewhere that the ECU
keeps a count of the number of times it's had a ROM flashed to it. I am not sure if the COBB AP can overwrite this value. So caveat emptor, because if they are determined on denying your warranty by proving modification (and they will be very determined if you're trying to claim warranty for a blown engine), this will be a smoking gun.
Edited by Turboflat4, 28 April 2015 - 05:23 PM.