Aftermarket computer chip?


#1

Saw a ford focus for sale. Seller says it has a modded “chip” that increases fuel economy by about 10mpg. I think the name mentioned was “Volo”? Anyone here recognize it? You would think a 2.0 focus would have good mileage to start with. How could a chip tweak the fuel/timing safely to pick up 10mpg?


#2

I don’t believe it. Ford is perfectly capable of providing a computer that makes the Focus perform satisfactorily. Maybe the seller chipped it to get better mileage and got far less than he bargained for.


#3

I went to the Volo website. They put right in the description;

"Recommended modifications :

  • K&N or equivalent non-restrictive intake
  • 92 octane fuel"

They, like many other such companies, are increasing the spark advance to get better performance. This requires high octane fuel to prevent engine damage. The intake is to also provide a small boost. The intake will set you back $200 to $300 and the 92 octane costs 30 cents or more per gallon over regular PLUS the cost of the “chip.”

At least this product can be easily removed from what I can tell. It plugs into the OBD-II port and overrides the ECU’s calibration.

10 mpg ain’t gonna happen with this. Snake Oil. It is all in this guy’s head. Don’t believe it.


#4

I would never buy a vehicle that was modified in such a way.


#5

Just looked at their web site - what a SCAM! Any ‘chip’ that can be bought for under $100 for every car ever made is junk, guaranteed. The nail in the coffin is the ‘HHO’ edition chip. Ugh!


#6

If it’s such a great invention then surely the seller will want to keep it to install on his next car.

I’d only ask for a $500 reduction in price since this device was installed in the car.

Seriously, the fact that it’s on the car at all would make me not consider buying it.

Anyone who tries this stuff, especially on a Focus, probably thrashes the heck out of the car.


#7

Snake oil, BS, placebo, delusional, misguided; all applicable to this kind of thing.

One of the testimonials I read is amusing. Some guy claims after verifying the mileage on a 30 miles round trip, stop and go traffic, that he picked up 4 MPG.


#8

If you think Volo found a secret method for increasing mileage AND performance in a $89 chip, consider this.

There are Ford engineers that would offer up their left testicle for a 10 mpg improvement on a 35mpg car. That kind of innovation would make them VP in a heartbeat.


#9

Automotive engineers definitely know how to increase both mileage and performance. Doing so would raise exhaust emissions, which they cannot do.

I have not studied all the aftermarket chips. Most (maybe all) are best known for their flashy websites with bogus claims.


#10

^This.

Going lean of stoich WILL up FE considerably…but also cause a car to bust NOx limits. DIY not reccomended here unless you’re willing to hole a piston or two finding out what you can/can’t get away with. (Obv. mfrs have the pockets for this, if it weren’t verboten.)


#11

One point not yet made is the very high risk of buying a used car that’s been modified by an amature with an unknown device from the internet. I’d simply keep looking.

This could also be considered a warning to those considering buying and installing these gimmicks. The perception that they’ll increase the salability of your vehicle isn’t necessarily true. These types of modifications can scare potential buyers away.


#12

Dubious,about like the 100 mpg carburater-Kevin


#13

A “modded chip” is a big red flag for me as is a K&N air filter. If either is on the vehicle…I start looking for something else.


#14

Honda used to advertise a high mileage model. Think it was civic only. I drove a Prius and was somewhat surprised to see buttons on console for ECO mode? Isn’t a Prius always in Eco mode? I did not take the time to read manual to figure out the particulars of Prius life.


#15

The Eco Mode on the Prius just changes the throttle response so you drive more economically, just as if you press the “pwr” mode the mileage might not change depending on your driving style.


#16

I don’t know about the Prius, but on my parents’ 1989 Nissan Maxima, there was a rocker switch that had three settings: power, normal, and comfort. When I asked the salesman what the switch did, he rattled off some line about the nose of the car lowering in power mode, but according to the owner’s manual, the only thing it changed were the shift points. In power mode, it would shift at higher RPMs, in comfort mode, it would shift at lower RPMs, and in normal mode, the shift points depended on the throttle position.


#17

“What I asked the salesman what the switch did, he rattled off some line about the nose of the car lowering in power mode”

That’s a classic “ignorant salesman making up BS on the fly” comment!


#18

my jeep has power and comfort settings. changes the shift points


#19

LOL, I’m always amazed by some of the things salesmen say. He probably read that Bugatti Veyrons lower themselves in power mode and figured it sounded good for '89 Maximas too.


#20

“I’m always amazed by some of the things salesmen say”

+1

I think that the veterans of this forum will likely recall how a car salesman explained Traction Control to my brother–who actually knew how it worked and was essentially testing a salesman who seemed to be particularly dim-witted.

If anyone wants me to post that old chestnut again, I will.
Trust me…it’s a gem that illustrates why you can’t take anything that a car salesman says at face value.