This is something i don’t know much about – and there doesn’t look like there’s much info on the web either. I was mostly interested in who is making them – there must be a lot of money in it. I found this one note on google groups about how they were introduced to cars to make them more fuel efficient, but all up haven’t really done this. My anecdotal evidence goes along with that.
[Incidentally, it’s funny how I’m more likely to be skeptical of something originating from an alt. group than if it had its own web page.]
Froggy was telling me how his car’s – a mitsubishi magna – computer chip is going kaput. It was happening over summer – I don’t remember exactly but the power used by the air con. would cut in or out at various points– while driving, the upshot being situations like being on a highway and the whole thing locking up (because of power steering) and him ending up halfway up an embankment after much swearing. It’d be pretty funny if it wasn’t for real. The mechanics said the chip had to be replaced (this car’s is probably no more than 5 years old) and the cost was something crazy… $2000 or something. Froggy said bugger that – he was only planning to drive it into the ground anyway – so he got the mechanic to set the revs twice as high as normal so it wouldn’t cut out. The mechanic grumbled that it’d be using heaps of juice doing that, but did it anyway.
Also, a year and a half ago he bought a new BMW for hiis wife. The last time they took it in for a service they were getting offers to sell it because that particular model has a ‘superchip’ in it which allows more power through to the engine (or something like that). So there ya go.
Perhaps I am a cynic, but I am suprised that the BMW service people didn’t just steal the “super chip”.
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name: yak sox
Wow, you’re more cynical than me because I never even thought of that !
I bet froggy would’ve noticed though ’cause he’s always thrashing that thing – if it wasn’t hammering up to 60kmh as per normal then there’d be trouble — ACA trouble, Today Tonight trouble. I’m sure the dealership wwouldn’t want that kind of publicity.