I’m not sure about this thing at all. The idea is that you plug it into your cars OBD2 diagnostics connector and it analyses your driving and engine performance, and then remaps your engines control parameters to make it more efficient.
The OBD port is fitted near the drivers position in all modern cars. It’s an industry-standard communication port that allows mechanics and technically minded owners to access their vehicles diagnostic log and check the output of various sensors. Up to this point I was under the impression that it does not allow you to modify engine settings other than to reset warnings. The only possibility of this is where a manufacturer might use the OBD port to upload software into the cars computer, and it does appear that some models do allow that.
However, from what I’ve found online, the OBD port is not really suited to re-mapping engine characteristics.
Then comes the awkward situation of whether you should plug ANY device that claims to alter engine settings into your car. There are so many different makes and models of car that the software would have to identify the make and model, type of engine and the parameters it could safely change. You would then be relying on a bit of software of unknown origin that was basically messing around with settings in a vehicle that could damage it, cause it to malfunction suddenly while being driven, or even just brick the cars control computer completely. All these scenarios could result in thousands of pounds worth of damage.
So it’s a surprise that the unit does have more than just some blinking LEDs, but also has all three main communication networks brought up to the PCB that has a processor and crystal on it. It does allude to the possibility that it is communicating with the cars computer. Whether that’s to actually do functional things or just put on a show by activating various lights on the dashboard for show is hard to determine.
I’m not sure what to make of this. I certainly would NOT plug this into my own car in case it did cause irreversible misconfiguration of random settings. There’s even a possibility that a very naughty bit of software could program in an extra key code to the security system as is possible on some BMW models. That could give thieves access to your vehicle with a “universal” key.
During my research on the availability of OBD based tuning software the sites I found were very much the hard-sell quack sites that keep pounding their message for a long time before finally getting round to indicating the price (usually at an amazing discount) and then try to stop you navigating away from their site by using suspicious pop-ups to block your exit and imply that a sales advisor is wanting to talk to you. Just the wrong type of site completely.
The only way to test this unit properly would be to use it with an engine simulator, and as that is very specialised I’m just going to have to go with a gut instinct on this one and say I wouldn’t actually trust it.