Top Challenger Tips and Tricks


Performance "Chip" Scams and Consumer Fraud

Please look at the following user documentaries, technical write up and warnings on this ongoing scam.


Performance Chip Scams and Consumer Fraud

Doing a simple GOOGLE search will show up dozens and dozens of folks who were or have been a victim of this type of consumer scam.

Below are just a few eBay reviewers who fell for this outright fraud.

Redline Performance Chip Fraud

by: drecan369

This is not a chip of any kind, it is a single component (resistor) in a box. I purchased two of these "chips" before doing my research, boy am I sorry. I had to email the Redline guy for help on installation, he was quick to respond to that email. After I installed the "chip" using his instructions my check engine light activated. I took my van to a mechanic to find out that the chip triggered a low voltage to MAS on my intake as well as false readings to my ECM.  Now the fellow won't return any emails.

So here I am $95 in the hole and nothing to show but a headache caused by this scam artist that says "5000 people can't be wrong". Well if you read the positive feedbacks you must realize that at least 1000 of the people left them before even installing the box, another 1000 left them within 12 hours of installation, and the rest were just trying to get their money back by leaving a "creative feedback" as stated by the seller on the piece of paper shipped with the chip".

For the feedbacks that actually state that they "feel the difference", that is due to 2 reasons:

1. They are pressing on the gas harder in hoping that the chip really works.

2. The "chip" tricks the ECM/ECU into thinking it's cold thus dumping more gas into the motor.  This will mess up your engine, throttle body, and injectors over time.

I hope that eBay will ban this guy for fraud, simply because a "resistor" is not in any way a "performance chip" but simply a resistor.

Performance Chips are Scams!!


by: oliver42689

Item: “Power Chip“
Alias’s: Xtreme Power, IAT Mod, Racing Chip, Racing-X, X-power, +20 hp!, Super Box, Varipower.
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.

Simply GOOGLE the chip or programmer name and see what is out there. Below is a good start for looking up a “performance” chip to see what has been reviewed.


Independent Performance Review – Note the difference between
a “chip” and an actual “programmer”.

Many if not most of the so called “Chips” are nothing but complete and utter scams.

As you noticed, there are many performance chips on the market that do nothing as they claim.
We have also learned to stay away from adjustable performance chips that cost less than $300.

Look at the following chips and their negative effects.

Performance Chips Direct PCD Chip Version 3.0 Reviews

Average HP and Torque Gain: 1/5 (Every Vehicle Tested actually lost 5-10 horsepower)
Average MPG Gain: 1/5 (Every Vehicle Tested lost 2-3 MPG)
Cost of product: $69.99

Engine Performance Chip Power Chip X2 and O2 Sensor chip Reviews

Average HP and Torque Gain: 1/5 (Both chips tested actually lost 1-12 horsepower)
Average MPG Gain: 1/5 (Every Vehicle Tested lost 1-4 MPG)
Cost of product: $69.99 for Power chip X2
Cost of product: $39.00 for Oxygen Sensor Chip

Horsepower Chips HPC Performance Chip Stage 1(New Flash) Reviews

Average HP and Torque Gain: 1/5 (Every Vehicle Tested actually lost 2-13 horsepower)
Average MPG Gain: 1/5 (Every Vehicle Tested lost 2-6 MPG)
Cost of product: $69.00

G-Force Performance Chip - GforceChips, Reviews

Average HP and Torque Gain: 1/5 (For each vehicle tested we noticed a loss of 8-15 HP)
Average MPG Gain: 1/5 (We notice huge losses in MPG. These varied from 3-10 MPG.)
Cost of product: $69.00

NOTE: We did notice an engine knock after using this chip. We do not recommend this chip.

Volo Performance Chip VP12 Reviews

Average HP and Torque Gain: 1/5 (For each vehicle tested we noticed a loss of 6-9 HP)
Average MPG Gain: 1/5 (We notice huge losses in MPG. These varied from 2-7 MPG.)
Cost of product: $89.95

This chip uses circuitry that doesn't work, inside is a resistor. We do NOT recommend this chip.

In short, unless you are using an actual “programmer” that has pre-loaded canned tunes, you must understand that any manipulation of IAT or MASS AIR sensors is nothing but a pure scam and can possibly or even actually damage your engine. Do your homework and research the item you are interested in thoroughly.  You will be glad you did in the end.


Some technical information below;

What is an electrical resistor?

A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element.

Two of the main types are carbon film or carbon composition and wire-wound.  A simple 1/2 watt carbon film resistor used in the Jet Performance "module" runs typically .05-.08 cents in quantities of 100 or more.  Typical ratings are silver or gold identification band for 5-10% value accuracy.  The other colored bands are color coded for a specific resistance value.


So you purchase a plastic box with a resistor (less < 10 cents) for anywhere from $59 to $89 and this is what you find when you open the "module" up...


Chip internals.jpg

As shown, the "performance chip module" is nothing more than an empty box with a cheap carbon composition resistor (about 5-8 cents each) across the sensor signal line (either MAF or IAT) and this doctors up (changes) the actual sensor signal voltages.  Essentially making the sensor signal "lie" to the ECM or PCM (controller).  Note that in the unit above, the person who assembled this did not even bother to soldier the wires and resistor, they just wrapped them around the bare copper conductors.  Again, showing another example of a very low level of expertise.

These scammers have made a LOT of money off those folks who do know the difference or are just technically ignorant. These lowlifes know this and are taking full advantage of general lack of technical knowledge.

Anyone remember seeing the old black and white movies with the Carnival barkers promoting their "Magic Elixir" that would cure baldness, incontinence, arthritis and a whole host of other medical issues.  This is the modern day equivalent of such products.   Simply snake-oil here.

Even if it did work, another rub comes along.

Finally in closing, here is something else to consider.  All modern OBD-I and OBD-II fuel injection computer controllers do have some level of fuel adaptation, also known as Fuel Adaptive's or Fuel Trim Table Adaptive's, which is not typically or widely understood.  This trim mode occurs during something called :closed loop: control once the engine reaches a level of operating temperature to allow this control process to occur.  Typically once the engine temp reaches >160-180 deg.F. the ECM/PCM now begins to take in sensor signals and trims fuel and timing to promote good engine performance AND low carbon emissions to comply with Federal Emissions Regulations (EPA) and guidelines.  This typically means, that once the fuel control takes in higher O2 sensor readings (from a rich exhaust), it will begin to dial back on injector pulse width and look at other knock/timing data to "trim" the fuel system. 

Monkeying with the IAT or MAF sensors signal creates a rich (or lean) condition depending on what values the scammer used to shift fuel/air ratio and the ECM/PCM will attempt to bring these values back into compliance.  So, even if the vehicle *seems* to have  some new "throttle kick", the system will attempt to bring the exhaust emissions back into compliance, dialing back fuel and timing.  So you are again, in a losing battle against the sensor manipulation for the want of some cheap horsepower.

The best way to achieve real performance is to do it via a programmers tool and looking at what is really happening in the vehicle in real time so that proper values can be written into the ECM/PCM's fuel tables via dyno testing etc.  Some programmer tools have "canned" tunes that can be easily installed to allow vehicles to be performance enhanced via stock or simple bolt on add-ons.   More sophisticated setups with cams, headers and the like would need to have a professional "tuner" person make the changes needed to take advantage of the new equipment and "tune" to them.

Speed shops are familiar with doing this and what is required for good results.  Unfortunately, it will cost you a bit more than $69.95.


Other scams to be aware of!

Consumer Reports has stepped in and looked at a few items popular on the market for "saving gas".
Including one that sells for a whopping $250.00

Check out some of these worthless items;

- Fuel Genie
- Tornado Fuel Saver
- Platinum Gas Saver

Gas-saving devices tested

These products that claim to improve fuel economy still don’t work!

Folks, take some time and do your research and educate yourself.  Simply do a GOOGLE search with the following keywords;

"performance chips consumer scams and fraud"


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