Superchips 'Max MicroTuner,' 50ยข.

Superchips... Engine Performance Chip... Jet Performance Products... Hypertech Performance Chips... Venom Performance Chip... Boss Performance Chip.... They're all over the place! This Superchips Max MicroTuner is just one example from the many companies currently making equipment to increase a vehicle's performance by modifying the computerized engine controls.

As anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past two decades should know, most of the engine functions on a modern vehicle are computer controlled, which includes everything related to fuel delivery, ignition, the shift settings of the transmission, and more. A vehicle's computer is factory programmed to operate within certain parameters, so that the engine produces a certain amount of horsepower and torque, so the transmission shifts at certain rpm's, etc.

Now, since an engine's functions are controlled by the vehicle's computer, it just stands to reason that its performance could be improved if certain of those programmable parameters were modified, which is precisely what these little gadgets do. 'Back in the day,' you had to actually get under the hood and get dirty changing parts and spending lots of time and money, but today, you just punch a few keys... and there's your extra horsepower!

This unit is intended to plug into the vehicle's computer and literally 'reprogram' the settings in the computer, increasing the vehicle's horsepower, torque and overall performance. As you should already be aware, when it comes to equipment related to increasing a vehicle's performance, the enthusiasts out there will be all over it!

The important thing to take away from this example is not only how these pieces of equipment work, but what they do. These little electronic gizmos can add lots of power and increase a vehicle's performance dramatically, and they're available for many makes, models and years of cars and trucks.

One trick to identifying these units is to spot the reference to a particular make and model of vehicle or engine.

Now for the next concern.... Whenever I'm faced with any piece of contemporary (by 'contemporary,' I mean something that the buyer will be depending on to actually performing electronically as it did when new,) I'm very concerned. And this brings us to the rub.

All of these units that I'm familiar with are are intended to modify only one vehicle at a time. In other words, they're VIN locked, in that they work with only one vehicle. This is entirely understandable, because if that weren't the case, a single unit could be used to modify countless vehicles, which would naturally put the company out of business!

So, I find one of these units at a yard sale, and I know it has been used, but nobody can tell me anything at all about it. What do I do? Wait a second before we jump to conclusions... let's place ourselves in the position of the company that made this particular product. Thes guys know all to well that their products will be popping up up on the used market, and in perfect physical shape, except for the fact that they don't work because they're locked to the VIN of another vehicle.

Now let's think for a second... if you were in charge of the company making this particular piece of equipment, what plan would you have in place for then your products ended up on the used market? Would you flush away the opportunity for a back-end profit, or would you take the opportunity to offer a discount to the person who ended up with a used example of your product? Hmm.... After all, half of a deal is better than no deal. So, you buy the used unit, and then contact the company, and they reset it for you so that it will work on your vehicle! And they do it for a fraction of what the new piece sells for. Half a deal is better than no deal! Never forget this. 

So, how do I sell this piece? Right - used, with no warranty. The built-in money is the fact that you possess the physical item that your buyers can use to contact the company and get another code and save several hundred dollars.    

See how it works? Of course, always check with the manufacturer!

This Superchips Max MicroTuner sold on eBay for $55

Photo of Superchips Max Microtuner for Ford diesel truck