Tag Archives: gas saving chips

AutoAnything Weekly Product Review: New Gas Saving Chips!


After a couple of late nights and countless pots of coffee, we’ve secured four new gas saving chips and power programmers that’ll plaster a smile on your face like a bug hitting a windshield.

First up is the SuperChips Mileage XS Fuel Economy Programmer: This bad boy tunes your vehicle for optimum fuel economy while giving you a modest boost in power.  It’ll even tune certain vehicles to run on lower-octane fuels to save you extra money at the pumps.  Extra features include speedometer calibration for larger tires, it clears engine codes and it can be upgraded to a Superchips Flashpaq by updating the firmware.  Superchips Mileage XS Programmers are backed by a 1-year warranty.

Then we got the Bully Dog E3 Diesel Downloader and the Bully Dog E3 Gas Downloader: These guys offer 1 engine tune to simplify user experience and improve fuel economy.  Modest power gains of 50hp and 100 ft-lbs of torque can be expected, along with up to 5 more miles per gallon!  These Bully Dog tuners will also clear trouble codes, perform DPF Burn-off/ Mobile Desoot (GM Duramax LMM and Dodge 6.7L Cummins only) and recalibrate speedometers for larger tires, while on-the-fly tuning gives you the freedom to toggle between stock and tuned settings.  Bully Dog E3 Downloaders are backed by a 1-year warranty.

Last up is the Jet V-Force Plus Power Control Module: This is one gnarly hand held tuner.  You can improve horsepower, torque, throttle response and fuel economy with just the touch of a button.  Once you’ve gotten your ride setup, there are 14 different monitoring screens so you can keep your eyes on anything from fuel economy to the manifold pressure to the air/fuel ratio (O2 sensor sold seperately).  The Jet V-Force Plus PCM is backed by a lifetime warranty.

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Performance Programmers Increase Horsepower: Edge Evolution & SCT Livewire


California has a unique freeway system.  Drivers have to stop at a traffic light before entering the freeway.  I drive a Toyota Corolla, which means every trip is a near death experience as I merge into a line of speeding trucks.  I bought a performance chip and now I don’t need to bring a change of underwear on my morning commute.
I recently moved to California from the east coast.  Although I love the climate change and abundance of beautiful beach babes, I’m not too thrilled about California’s unique freeway system.  I can still remember my first experience like it was yesterday; actually it was last week.  I had just gotten to California and was headed to the beach to go surfing.  So I’m cruising on the 8, about to get onto the 15. I look down at my map to check what exit I want to get off at. I glance back up to see red; the brake lights of cars stopped in front of me.  Thank god for ABS.  I slammed my brakes and stopped just in time to avoid crashing into a Ford F150.  “Great, now I’m going to sit in traffic all day,” I thought.  As the line of cars slowly crept forward I could see a light in the distance.  Is that a police car? Maybe, it’s an ambulance? When I got closer I could see that the light was actually a traffic light.  This was the first time I have ever seen a traffic light on a freeway entrance.  I finally reached the light, which turned green for two seconds, and hit the gas.  I was giving my Corolla full throttle, but it wasn’t speeding up quick enough.  Looking in my rear view mirror, I could see the driver of the BMW behind me mouthing curses.  The lane started to approach the highway and I wasn’t going nearly as fast as the flow of traffic.  Apparently, California drivers have lead-foot syndrome.  My lane was merging and truck in the lane next to me that was going at least 30mphs faster than me had to slam on his brakes.  The driver thought it wouldn’t be enough to just curse, so I had a great view of his middle finger when he switched lanes and blew past me.  Now I’m not a slow driver, but let’s face it, a Corolla isn’t a race car.  I ended up making it to the beach in one piece, but I needed to find a solution if I was going to be taking the freeway to work everyday.

I talked to my brother-in-law, who is a mechanic, about my problem.  Basically, he gave me two options.  I could either buy a new car or make my car faster.  I definitely was not ready to buy a new car, especially with all my moving bills.  And the last thing I wanted was to be driving around a “rice rocket” or anything that looked like it came from the Fast and the Furious. He suggested adding a performance chip.  He had installed a few recently and said that they fine-tune your engine to increase performance.  The result is a boost in horsepower, which means some lickety-split acceleration for me.

My brother-in-law suggested getting an Edge Evolution or SCT livewire performance programmer.  I ending up going with the Edge Evolution and have seen a big improvement in my car’s pick up.  Phew!  Eat my dust trucks…Or at least don’t run me over.

Hype vs. Production: is the Hypertech Max Energy Programmer worth it?


The TV commercials, radio ads, and even magazine pages about Hypertech’s new Max Energy programmer are coming at auto enthusiasts in waves. Among the claims of huge horsepower gains and other handy adjustments, there are also big promises of gas savings. Does the hype measure up to the real-world results? Read on to find out.

Programmers have become all the rage in automotive performance upgrades. Thanks to the nature of computer-controlled engines, a little box is the best and fastest way to tune. Naturally, when the latest and greatest is released by one of the major programming companies, the ad blitz begins.

This time, it’s Hypertech and the new Max Energy programmer. The expectations have been ratcheted up this time, with big and bold claims of huge gas mileage savings, 50+ horsepower for gas vehicles and 120+ for diesels, plus the alleged ability to get big gains on low-octane gas. Enthusiasts who know less about cars and performance have been sent off drooling; gearheads remain quite skeptical.

Let’s look at the horsepower gains first, starting with the claimed 50+ boost to gas vehicles. Of course, you can’t get this with every vehicle the Max Energy fits. This dyno-proven gain belongs to the Ford Shelby GT. Vehicles with less displacement and considerably less performance equipment can’t expect to get even half that much of a gain. Most of the gas trucks will be in the 20 range. Only the Hemi-powered DC cars can get up to that mid-20s range too; smaller V6s won’t even get close. Because of the massive compression, diesels can see some unruly gains from this type of programming. The Max Energy also claims to keep these diesels from suffering high EGT damage, thanks to tuning that keeps power high without over-fueling, even when towing. And, it claims to not de-fuel and kill your momentum.

The big problem with the big power gain claim is this: huge, noticeable HP boosts only happen at RPMs most drivers won’t reach—especially if they have an automatic. Peak horsepower usually happens around 4500-5500 RPM. That’s not to say the smaller gains at lower RPMs won’t be noticeable, but the impressive power only happens when you’re really gunning it.

On to the gas savings claims. This feature is one of the main reasons programmers have become so popular in the two years since $3/gallon became the societal norm. Programmers didn’t previously sell themselves on mileage, but began doing so once the big pinch at the pump began. Hypertech reports test vehicles gaining up to 6 MPG, with others settling in the 1-2 MPG gain range. In terms of real-world experience with programmers and mileage, the gains are almost always more modest than the ad claims. A boost of 1-2 MPGs—if any gain is achieved—is the most common scenario. Many drivers see no mileage gains because they simply can’t keep their foot far enough out of the gas pedal.

Some features of the Max Energy are undisputable. The ability on most vehicles to change tire size for odometer and speedometer corrections is great. Reading engine trouble codes is a mainstay of programmers; it’s present here too. Fuel octane settings are also available for some models to help save some coin at the pump. But, it’s not available for performance cars, and as you adjust the octane down, the power also goes down.

The bottom line on the Max Energy: set realistic expectations before you buy. The massive horsepower gains in the ads are probably far from what you’ll actually get, but you will get enough of a gain in power to notice it everywhere you drive. For gas mileage, don’t expect this programmer to save you from all of your petrol peril. Gaining 1-2 MPG is realistic if you’re not racing; anything more is gravy. If you can also make use of the other cool features, this new programmer is a solid buy. If you were hoping to get 50 hp more, save 6 MPG and run all on ethanol, you may want to pass until a programmer that can do all of those things exists.

Performance chips like the Hypertech Max Energy Programmer, the latest Hypertech programmer, comes with much hype. Do your homework first.

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max energy
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