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Performance poser

Asked by Ivan Tiltins

I HAVE a 2002 Mazda MX5 SP that I am more than happy with, but recently I saw an advertisement showing how one can increase the power and torque by replacing the engine management module. If I change the chip to increase my car's power from 158kW to 180kW, can it do damage in the long term to the engine and turbo?

Answered by CarsGuide

16 Jun 2005 Graham Smith

I CAN'T give you an absolute answer without knowing what the maker of this chip has done and how much testing backs up his claims. In general, car companies tread a careful line and use fairly conservative settings. They reason that they have to cover all bases and make the car stand up under all sorts of driving situations. An aftermarket company doesn't usually worry about these things, and will often take settings to the limit to achieve power and torque gains. You may not experience any problems by fitting the chip, but you are taking a gamble by doing so. Before fitting a new chip ask the manufacturer for evidence of his claims, his warranty if things go wrong, and for the names of other owners who have fitted the chip.

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