This is a refreshing change from the previous reviews, all of which were OBD devices having the same physical appearance of the now-infamous NitroOBD2 scam. We have heard mixed things about Strong Booster as well as other accelerator enhancement clones, and how the cost was MUCH less than the American competitor, Sprint Booster, so we wanted to evaluate it. This does not connect to the vehicle via the OBD port, but rather ties to the accelerator pedal wiring. It’s goal, like Sprint Booster, is to amplify the electrical signal of the accelerator pedal before it is fed to the vehicle computer making it more sensitive. It is simply a signal modification device and has no effect on improving horsepower or torque – it just makes you feel like you’re in a race car because the throttle is soooo sensitive! There have been several companies releasing ‘Throttle Accelerators’ or ‘Accelerator Enhancers’ as of late.
Reverse Engineering the Strong Booster Accelerator Throttle Controller Booster Device
Tags: Accelerator Performance Chip Vehicle Tuning Analysis Reverse Engineering Strong Booster
This article involves reverse engineering and analyzing the “Strong Booster” throttle enhancement device in order to determine if it functions as advertised or not.
Running a search for the Strong Booster, an obvious play on the original Sprint Booster, shows results overseas, mainly on the ecommerce site aliexpress as well as on ebay and a few other sites. The manufacturer, Shenzhen Strong Booster Technology Co., Ltd, has a website at http://strongbooster.com. As the name implies, “Shenzhen”, is a well known city in China, so we obviously know where this product is fabricated:
A funny snippet from the above screen grab reads: “Pride of our own young and passionate R&D team”. We have not had good luck so far on the previous devices we reviewed, all of which have been made in China. Perhaps this can be the exception? We shall see!
The price for the Strong Booster Accelerator device as we tested (without a screen), is $54.40 on the aliexpress ecommerce site. MUCH less than the genuine Sprint Booster which comes in at $259.99 at ECS Tuning:
Wow – that’s over a $200 difference in the cost! Although the Strong Booster does not have multiple modes as the official Sprint Booster, for someone looking for a basic device to boost throttle sensitivity without needing custom modes, it may be tempting. Or not – we will see. Here is a basic comparison between the two similar devices:
CASE / PACKAGING
As with many unknown companies, you always run the risk of not getting exactly what you bargained for. With some companies, you may get nothing at all! Sadly, the product we saw on the website was not exactly what we actually received.
The attractive product as it appeared on the website:
The actual product we received:
This actually resembled a toy cellphone case more than anything – hopefully it isn’t! This, along with some cable ties, a manual sheet and this shiny case completed the package:
To summarize, we have what looks like a toy cellphone, attached to a wire harness to fit the accelerator pedal, all in a shiny white box. While this is nice looking, we really would like to see some results at the throttle.
We disassembled the case which looked like a toy cellphone and separated it from the accelerator pedal wiring harness:
The circuit board appears to be substantial, with several surface mount components, two of which are integrated circuits, and several resistors and capacitors:
A few components are missing on the left side of the circuit board, perhaps they are not needed for this version as it has no screen or display? The greatest interest however, is the main MCU chip, which turns out to be an STC15W4K48S4. As we saw before, STC is a Chinese chip manufacturer and these ic’s can only be made in one place – China. There have been rumors of Chinese companies stealing designs from abroad by reverse engineering them, then using their own proprietary chips (made by STC), to manufacture them. While many countries copy and modify designs from other sources, it is interesting that we are seeing more and more STC chips in products imported from China. Some say it is because the STC chips are cheaper, some say because they are harder to attack – the truth is anyone’s guess. As for having the capability to modify accelerator pedal signals, the circuit may actually be able to accomplish it, but will it?
To test this, we followed the install steps provided to connect the device to our 2020 Toyota Tacoma:
All went smoothly connecting the harness between the accelerator pedal connector and the vehicle harness as shown in the included install sheet. The connectors fit snugly although they did not appear to be original connectors (we didn’t expect them to be at this price!):
Turning on the engine was uneventful as far as errors go, but as soon as we pressed the gas pedal, the dreaded check engine light appeared on the dash (although the engine did respond). We then turned off the key, checked our connections and tried again. The fault light remained. We decided to remove the Strong Booster from the cable and connect the accelerator back directly as it was before. After doing this and turning on the vehicle the error was still there greeting us! The most likely reason for the error is the signal received by the vehicle computer was out of range, and we were now in limp mode. Not good. So obviously the module did not process the signal correctly somewhere down the line. We connected an OBD code reader to check for error / fault codes, but it could not find any:
As a last resort to clear the error, we turned off the key and unplugged the negative battery cable from the battery for about ten minutes, then reconnected it. This time, after turning the key, the check engine error went out and pressing the gas pedal did not make it appear again. Wow, this $50 could have gone to a nice dinner instead!
From our research and experience testing it on a vehicle, although it is reported to work for others on different vehicles, we find that the Strong Booster Accelerator Pedal Booster module is not a reliable accelerator pedal booster as it did not perform as claimed on our test vehicle. I guess the old saying is true: You get what you pay for! In all fairness, we did contact the company about this issue and they responded a few days later offering things to try, but nothing helped resolve the issue. Is it possible that the test vehicle being year 2020 was too new for the module, or was something else wrong? Either way, it is supposed to work out of the box – it did not. Going the cheap route did not pay off for us!! Perhaps it is best to go with a well known device rather than save a few dollars. Our suspicions were correct again, as the source of this device does not have a good track record on quality control!
If after all this, you STILL are considering purchasing this product, here is our response:
Strong Booster Review
Strong Booster Throttle Accelerator Booster
Strong Booster Product Analysis
Strong Booster Accelerator Pedal Throttle Enhancer
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