It’s a Matter of Balance



Balance. We are all looking for a sense of balance. This is especially true of the cars we drive every day. It may not seem like it but, when a car is designed, all manner of conflicting requirements have to be balanced to create a vehicle that will do most things well and nothing badly. Engines, for example, are designed to offer a balance of power, economy, longevity, and refinement. After a certain point is reached, you improve one to the detriment of one of the others. The manufacturers should therefore reach a perfect balance between power and economy for every engine leaving their factory. But do they? More often than not, no.

In theory, how difficult can it be to write the software that controls the car’s electronic control unit (ECU) to give the best compromise between power and economy? As it turns out, this is the easy part, but there is a fly in the ointment. Not all engines are the same. Try as they might, manufacturers cannot economically mass-produce millions of engines to the exact same tolerances. There will always be small differences in the clearances, the way the components work together, and the resultant power and economy of each engine.

Therefore, one “perfect” set of ECU instructions cannot be written, because that set will only work “perfectly” on a few engines and less optimally on the others. These software programs are therefore also a compromise. They are written in such a way to make allowance for the small differences between the engines coming off the production line – a one-size-fits-all compromise, if you like. In this way, the manufacture is assured that all the engines they manufacture will produce more or less the right amount of power within an acceptable range of fuel consumption. It makes sense that your car’s ECU settings can therefore be improved for your specific engine.

But, how on earth does one do that afterwards, once the car has been sold and you are the owner? There are service providers out there who can reprogramme your car’s ECU, but you run the risk of all the good work being undone when you take the car for a service at the agents and the customised program is overwritten by the manufacturer’s software update.

The only solution is a piggyback computer that cannot be erased or modified, and does not alter your car’s ECU at all. The Unichip is such a piggyback computer, and when we programme it with a customised set of maps, your car will be optimally economical on part throttle and optimally powerful on full throttle. Even better, it cannot be erased during software updates of your car’s ECU and it does not change your car’s ECU programming – it merely intercepts and optimises it. Unichip is the balance you have been looking for.

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South Africa