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Discussion Starter #1
This might be a dumb question but I will ask anyway...

I currently have the Dinan stage 2 software (Dinan S1 Pkg) and seems to be ok. I am thinking of changing over to the POWERCHIP software since it seems to get such great reviews and also because I will be adding headers and want the car tuned for that system so it is not running too lean.

My question is this... Are there any long term issues to watch out for with the POWERCHIP? Meaning will it really stress the engine or is it a solid modification with no real downside. Seems like whenever you push more power out of something it always comes at an expense.

The root of this questions comes from another bad idea I had with my Chevy Tahoe. I bought one of those software upload units from Tognotti's in Sacramento. I made the upload to the system and it really sparked some more life into the that fat tank. However, it ran strong for a while and then I noticed some pinging and got nervous so I immediately took it back to the dealer and they put it back to the stock programming (whatever that is). Pinging seemed to go away after that, but it seems like the short period of great power really prematurally aged the thing. It runs great but more like a neutered version of what it was. Seems to have zapped a little life from it.

This may be a bad comparison but obviously I dont want a similar situation to occur with the M5. Now this could merely be a result of feeling power and then detuning a bit and feeling a diffrence. I dont know. But stock now seems worse than the original stock I was used to.

Any fears of a similar situation with the use of Powerchip and the M5? Also, anybody run into any warranty issues. I believe that BMW is not able to see any software upload information, just more so if you blew the engine up and it was at 8000rpm's they could see things like that. Correct?

I have done quite a few searches but never really found anything pertaining to this exactly. Just thoguht I would ask. Thanks in advance.
 

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probably a bad comparison, were you using premium fuel in your tahoe? was the software designed for 91 octane california gas? Software upgrades make more power by increasing ignition timing and altering fuel curves, so proper gas is important (as is software designed for 91 octane, not the 93 available in the rest of the country). Powerchip does have a 91 octane version.

As far is your tahoe feeling weaker now, you may have yet a different version of software than it had before, so perhaps it is weaker. Lots of variables.

I have yet to hear any downsides to powerchip. They also have a version made for headers when you go that route, and don't seem to charge for upgrades.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Motatti thanks for the info.

I always run premium in the Tahoe and the M5. So basically the consensus is that if you get software made for 91 octane (CA) and run 91 octane you should not have any problems? No extra wear and tear on the engine (assuming the same driving style)?

Hypothetically... With the 91 octane Powerchip, if you ran 87-89 octane, wouldnt the car just make the adjustment to the timing and still run fine but perhaps at a lower performance level? Or would it damage something?
 

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Yes, i don't think you'd encounter any additional wear and tear. we're only talking about an extra 5-8 hp, mostly the improvement is in the drivability.

Yes, if you run lower octane fuel, the m5's knock sensors will cut back on timing and you'd loose power.
Mike

SACM5 said:
Motatti thanks for the info.

I always run premium in the Tahoe and the M5. So basically the consensus is that if you get software made for 91 octane (CA) and run 91 octane you should not have any problems? No extra wear and tear on the engine (assuming the same driving style)?

Hypothetically... With the 91 octane Powerchip, if you ran 87-89 octane, wouldnt the car just make the adjustment to the timing and still run fine but perhaps at a lower performance level? Or would it damage something?
 

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My Powerchip Gold 94 software is great, I have no complaints. I purchased the 94 octane version when Sunoco 94 octane was available here in Virginia. That is no longer the case and I now use Shell or Chevron 93 octane fuel. I have not noticed any difference in performance.
 

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SACM5 said:
Hypothetically... With the 91 octane Powerchip, if you ran 87-89 octane, wouldnt the car just make the adjustment to the timing and still run fine but perhaps at a lower performance level? Or would it damage something?
I do not believe this to be so. The point of a Powerchip is that is assumes you will be supplying a minimum octane to your engine, therefore it can ignore the knock sensor, giving more power. Otherwise, why would it come in different octane versions?
 

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jjc1843 said:
I do not believe this to be so. The point of a Powerchip is that is assumes you will be supplying a minimum octane to your engine, therefore it can ignore the knock sensor, giving more power. Otherwise, why would it come in different octane versions?
It comes in different octane versions to allow for More timing if there's higher octane available. Powerchip does not ignore knock sensor input. I was asking wayne about this when i was deciding about what to use for my car. He had said i could use their 93 if i could use octane booster most of the time. He went on to say if i did occasionally use a tankful of 91, the knock sensors would back down the timing to protect the engine.
Mike
 

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So, SACM5, the first thing you should do is check into what type of engine management system is in your Tahoe (I don't know much about GM). But if your engine is not set up with a knock sensor, it is certainly possible to do some damage to your engine with changes to the map. If the software you bought was set up assuming high octane fuel and you ran low octane fuel, and there is no knock sensor to retard the timing, then you likely ran at least some time with detonation going on. If brief then probably no big deal, but it is possible to do damage to your engine with extended serious detonation. More likely is that you just notice now the effect of the retarded timing on peformance versus what you had before. You could do a compression and leakdown test and if someone can give you what it should be, you could tell if there is anything really wrong.

As for the M5, it has knock sensing and will retard the timing according to whatever map you are using, certainly the OEM map is safe (they assume you will use bad gas now and then) and most of the good aftermarket suppliers will also give a good safety margin unless there is a specific agreement otherwise. But I'd stick with suppliers recommended on this site, I'm sure Dinan are safe, and I haven't used Powerchip but they seem to know their business.
 

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Hey Sacm5,

I have had my Beast Powerchipped for just under 2 Years.

Its all good. I have had quite a few Powerchips, on quite a few different vehicles. I keep going back. Never ever had an issue.

(Only a BIG smile).

MJ
 

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I had Dinan when I bought the car. Installed Powerchip and a noticable difference, especially on part throttle. Then I had Powerchip do the upgrade for headers. The car really feels quick and smooth. I believe Powerchip gives a 30 trial period, so you can compare back to back and you have nothing to lose.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all for the replies. They are much appreciated.

-Chad
 

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mottati said:
It comes in different octane versions to allow for More timing if there's higher octane available. Powerchip does not ignore knock sensor input. I was asking wayne about this when i was deciding about what to use for my car. He had said i could use their 93 if i could use octane booster most of the time. He went on to say if i did occasionally use a tankful of 91, the knock sensors would back down the timing to protect the engine.
Mike
Do you have problems passing smog check? Powerchip's website states it isnt CARB legal yet.
 

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lwebb12 said:
Do you have problems passing smog check? Powerchip's website states it isnt CARB legal yet.
I don't see any responses to this question. Anybody in California having problems passing their SMOG checks with the Powerchip? (Having to back out the software to take the test would be a "Mickey Mouse" solution.)
 

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Ag02M5 said:
Has anyone had warranty work done WITH the Powerchip?

Can it be removed and put back to stock? Is there a trace? Can Powerchip be reloaded without additional fee if taken off for a short period?

Thanks.

Ryan
I have, but nothing "motor" related. Had valve cover gaskets replaced, oil pan gasket, beadlights replaced, CPS (2x), rear main seal, etc. Never was told that they could "read" the software and if they could, no issue. I think Wayne said they could not read the software, but you should check with the company.
The only thing that shows up on my printout is Dinan CAI. Since they are a Dinan authorized facility, I don't think my higher PC redline would faze them. They have been great about doing warranty work.
I assume the program can be uninstalled then reinstalled, but you will need the cables to do that. Check with PC/Wayne about any charges for that
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Stickman said:
I don't see any responses to this question. Anybody in California having problems passing their SMOG checks with the Powerchip? (Having to back out the software to take the test would be a "Mickey Mouse" solution.)
I cannot speak specifically to PC, but I have chipped other cars and never had a smog problem. Typically, the car runs about as clean as stock. It may be because the mixture is better optimized. I would be very surprised if any well known tuner doing basic chip/ECU upgrades had any problem passing on the newer cars with OBD II and minimal mods.
Regards,
Jerry
 

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lwebb12 said:
Do you have problems passing smog check? Powerchip's website states it isnt CARB legal yet.
I don't think there would be any issues. You should probably email them and ask wayne to be sure. I've yet to have a smog test in my car, i'll let you know next year!
Mike
 

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mottati said:
I don't think there would be any issues. You should probably email them and ask wayne to be sure. I've yet to have a smog test in my car, i'll let you know next year!
Mike
Thanks Mike.
 

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Stickman said:
I don't see any responses to this question. Anybody in California having problems passing their SMOG checks with the Powerchip? (Having to back out the software to take the test would be a "Mickey Mouse" solution.)
The DMV laws have changed. SMOG checks are no longer required for late model cars. For more information, check Discovery Automotive's website.
 

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I'm happy with my PowerChip too. Had it about 6 months.
 
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