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Performance chip to give more horse power and better mpg

On my 1997 Honda prelude the previouse owner put a gforce performance chip on this car which is suppose to give more HP and better MPG. Is this a good thing or bad thing for my car?

Bad thing.
From one review…
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.

While some ‘chips’ (actually, a reprogramming of the engines computer) are worth it, a quick scan of their web site makes it obvious these are worthless, with outrageous claims made, and ‘chips’ available for every car under the sun at ‘amazing’ discounts. I’m certain it does no good. I don’t know if it does any harm.

Worthwhile computer modifications require lots of work by a tuner, usually brand-specific, and fairly expensive.

I suspect that this is just one of those that is really a resistor that you wire in across the IAT sensor to fool the computer into thinking the in coming air is a different temperature than it really is.

Do you not think that if there was an easy gain of HP and/or MPG, that Honda’s engineers would have already programmed it into your car’s computer?

It is possible to program a chip to give your engine slightly more power, albeit at the likely cost of shorter engine life.

It is also possible to program a chip that might allow your engine to provide slightly better gas mileage, with a probable loss of driveability.

Unfortunately, these chips will not provide both benefits.
Essentially–you get to pick one.
Do you want slightly more power, or do you want a very slight improvement in gas mileage–both with their own inherent shortcomings?

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

If he got it for free there is no problem on a 1997 car. If he paid for it my answer is no. If you bought the car that way, you are missing an expensive part.

If it was that easy to really improve mileage and power, don’t you think Honda would have done it? I guess not, which is why you were smart enough to be skeptical and ask the question.

It is very difficult in a non-turbo engine to gain significant MPG or HP. Remove the chip or placebo.

and replace it with what??

A lot of these are things that just plug into the OBDII port, so that kind could just be pulled. The pictures at the web site aren’t much help, they just show a generic integrated circuit.

and if they replaced the whole ECU just go to a junk yard and get an OEM one. You can often get them for under 50 bucks.