Before reading further, if you have not already seen the writeup on IAT chips by sequentialtaillights.com, check it out here: http://www.sequentialtaillights.com/dodge/Performance%20chips%20scams.htm
We point you in this direction because these ‘IAT performance chips’ have been proliferating on the market for several years, with varying sizes, shapes, colors and logos, but they all are essentially the same thing. From the above sequentialtaillights.com website:
“What it is: 10 cent resistor. Newer models now use a “variable” rheostat (looks like a knob) to trick individuals into thinking it is a different product.
What its supposed to do:
Increase power by fooling the stock ECU/PCM into thinking the incoming air is colder than it actually is.
What it actually does:
Changes the reading of the IAT sensor (intake air temp) to show cooler air then is actually entering the engine. The engine adapts by adding additional fuel to compensate for the supposedly incoming denser and cooler air. This would normally add power, IF the car ran a relatively lean fuel mixture.
Unfortunately this is not the case with new cars. Due to EPA2 regulations, manufacturers now setup the A/F ratios to be extremely rich, especially in the upper rpm’s. Adding more fuel to these mixtures DECREASES POWER and DECREASES MILEAGE. The exact opposite effect of these eBay ads.
In closing this post, it is very important that you do not tamper with the IAT or any other sensors on your HEMI engine in hopes of getting “free horsepower”. There is no such thing.
If you run your engine lean you run the high possibility of causing permanent engine damage.
This and other similar scams will continue to draw in the novice and uneducated and these scammers must be making a lot of money from this ruse as its been around for many years.”
To sum this up, the IAT scam is basically a resistor placed across your engine sensor (typically the temperature sensor), which fools your vehicle into thinking the temperature is different than it really is, causing it to dump more fuel into the mixture and resulting in an altered air / fuel ratio. Anytime you have to disconnect a sensor / or place a resistor across it, it is not good for your vehicle. A sensor is designed to send a varying output signal, whereas a resistor only generates a set signal – it’s value does not change.
Once unscrupulous sellers discovered they could sell these ‘resistors in a box’ as ‘tuners’ at a high price, the market has been overwhelmed with them. We provide our analysis below of the PCR (Performance Chip Revamp) chip and reveal what is inside this product.
Reverse Engineering the PCR Performance Chip Revamp IAT Performance Chip Tuner
Tags: Performance Chip Vehicle Tuning Scams Analysis Reverse Engineering PCR Performance Chip Revamp Performance Chip Tuner Scam
This article involves reverse engineering and analyzing the “PCR Performance Chip Revamp” Performance Chip in order to identify if it truly works as advertised or not.
The PCR Performance Chip Revamp Chip comes in a unique looking black plastic case with mounting holes on either side. It is compact and sleek looking, but as we have seen in the past, what is inside is what counts – does it work?
A look at the claims of the product on the website performancechiprevamp.com immediately fuels our suspicions:
A common thread with these scam products are OUTRAGEOUS HP / Fuel Economy gains. This is exactly what we see here – 60HP / 8 MPG gains? Really? This is an extreme claim. As we have seen before, looks can be deceiving!
CASE / PACKAGING
PCR Performance Chip Revamp Case
The kit included the above PCR chip, two wire splices and an instruction sheet. The black plastic case looks solid, but we see two wires coming from the case, so we have a good idea what is inside. Perhaps we are wrong?
What does the PCR website claim about this ‘chip’? Plenty! Here is a screen grab of their claims:
The website claims “each module is programmed to only be compatible for the vehicle it is listed for”. This suggests the PCR chip is programmed for a specific vehicle. While this is extremely doubtful (as a resistor is a resistor and can not be custom programmed for any specific vehicle), perhaps we will be proven wrong when the inside of the module is inspected. The website also claims “if your engine is 100% stock, you should expect to see an increase of 30-35 horsepower using our product. If you have modifications such as a cold air intake system, throttle body upgrades, exhaust upgrades, and so on, you could gain up to 75 horsepower”. These claims are ridiculously high for such a simple upgrade. The truth will soon come out!
The PCR Performance Chip Revamp Chip is listed for $59.99 on the performancechiprevamp.com website. Wow, +60HP power gains for only $60? What a steal!!
In addition to the cost, you can also see the claim repeated of gains in BOTH horsepower AND fuel economy. This is not possible with most simple performance chips. To improve both is usually impossible without the use of advanced vehicle modifications. Either the PCR Performance Chip Revamp chip is a new, advanced circuit which can deliver these seemingly impossible gains, or it is just another IAT scam. The hints we have uncovered up until now lead us to believe this product is just another IAT scam box, but what is actually inside the PCR Performance Chip Revamp Chip?
We ordered a PCR Performance Chip Revamp chip and removed the foil label:
Immediately upon opening the case, we saw what looks like a ‘too good to be true’ design – a seemingly empty circuit board with a single integrated circuit on it?
A closer comparison of the integrated circuit ‘chip’ in the above photo proves what we already suspected – this is nothing but a resistor pack in an integrated circuit case:
This is no ‘CHIP’ or microprocessor, it is just a resistor pack which contains qty 8 5.6K ohm resistors! The price above at digikey for qty 2000 of these resistor packs is .60 each!
To confirm, there are only two connections made to this ‘chip’ on the reverse side of the circuit board, which is GLUE GUNNED onto the circuit board with hot glue – how professional!
So we basically have two wires, a black case, a circuit board and a 5.6K OHM resistor. This is the classic IAT tuning chip scam! To prove this, we tested the resistance across the two wires with an ohmmeter:
We were correct. The resistance measured across the PCR chip was 5.57K ohms. This is indeed just a 5.6K ohm resistor! Here is a visual equivalent of what the PCR chip truly is:
The PCR Performance Chip Revamp is LITERALLY the same as a 50 cent 5.6K ohm resistor with two wires and a black box! Nothing more. How about those claims we saw earlier on the PCR Performance Chip Revamp Website? The website claims “each module is programmed to only be compatible for the vehicle it is listed for”. This is now known to be an outright lie, as one cannot ‘program’ a 5.6K ohm resistor for a specific vehicle! It will have the same 5.6K ohm resistance regardless of the vehicle it is installed in!
From these facts, we can clearly see that the PCR Performance Chip Revamp Performance ‘chip’ is just another IAT chip scam and is not what it claims to be. Our first suspicions were correct. We didn’t even connect this to our test vehicle as connecting a resistor across engine sensors is not smart for the long term health of your vehicle. While in some cases it may provide more power gains in the short term (because it fools the vehicle into dumping more fuel into the engine), it can cause long term issues such as vehicle computer damage, sensor issues, check engine lights, etc. Each vehicle reacts differently to this resistor hack, so some users may feel improved power but will have issues down the road – LITERALLY! Some users get instant error codes and check engine lights. We weren’t about to see what we would get. Looking at the BBB page for Performance Chip Revamp yields 19 complaints which the company has not responded to – not a good sign. The BBB assigns the company with a grade of ‘F’!
From our research as well as testing we find that the PCR Performance Chip Revamp performance ‘chip’ is just another of the many IAT resistor ‘chip’ scams on the market today. Our instincts early on were correct. Don’t CHIP in your hard earned money for this – you’re better off to buy a BAG OF POTATO CHIPS!
If after all this, you STILL are considering purchasing this product, here is our response:
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