Performance Chip
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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS Performance Mods Discussion, Performance Chip in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; Has anyone gone the chip direction ...??? I have a 2012 3.6 and would give it some consideration if it ...
  1. #1
    radmangto is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Performance Chip

    Has anyone gone the chip direction ...??? I have a 2012 3.6 and would give it some consideration if it is real .....

    Many years ago when the chip thing was born, I had several cars/trucks that I tried them on .... one was worthless and one, in the truck, did give some noticable change. If you look on the CTS home page here, you will see and ad with some unreal, and possibly unbelieveable, claims of milage and performance gains.

    Maybe just stick to removing the silencing from the air intake and let the intake sounds tingle your ear lobes ... :>))

    Maybe they have come of age .... but, the old addage of sounds too good to be true may not be outdated .... :>))

    Radman

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  3. #2
    kingtj is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Nah, from everything I've read and learned from other cars, don't waste your time on the supposed "performance chips" for a modern car like the CTS. It's not that the concept was originally a bad one. Most of them attempted to trick the engine computer by intercepting the readings coming from a sensor, such as a mass airflow sensor, adding or subtracting a bit from the reading, and passing the modified one on through so the engine would run a little less fuel-rich, adding a little power and improving fuel economy at the same time. (Manufacturers tend to program vehicles to run a bit on the rich side under load, knowing it helps keep temperatures down in the cylinders that way and prolongs life for the sake of warranties. It robs you of some potential power though.)

    Problem is, newer vehicles are more sophisticated and read from at least 6-7 sensors to get a picture of what's going on. If you mess with the output of 1 or 2, the computer simply starts adjusting out the changes as you drive or throws a check engine light. Unless you reprogram the engine computer itself, you can't realistically trick it into making the engine run differently than it's designed to do.

    What you want for our CTS is a custom tune, done via a laptop computer or special programmer, interfaced through the OBDII port under the dashboard. You've got to re-write data in the engine computer itself.

  4. #3
    GT!'s Avatar
    GT!
    GT! is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Trifecta has a tune for the 3.6 DI that is supposed to add between 15-30 HP.

    -GT

  5. #4
    kingtj is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Yep! I just ordered a TriFecta tune, from "Bad News Racing", and look forward to receiving the software and programming cable in the mail.

    They had an "end of year" special where they sold me the programming cable and the tune for $300. (Normally, they make you pay an extra $200 or so for the cable, if you don't simply ask to borrow it with a security deposit down).

  6. #5
    sfv41901's Avatar
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    Keep us posted as to ur results.

  7. #6
    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtj View Post
    Yep! I just ordered a TriFecta tune, from "Bad News Racing", and look forward to receiving the software and programming cable in the mail.

    They had an "end of year" special where they sold me the programming cable and the tune for $300. (Normally, they make you pay an extra $200 or so for the cable, if you don't simply ask to borrow it with a security deposit down).
    I'm also interested in your 'Seat Of The Pants' opinion. Seems like a no brainer for only a couple hundred bucks.

  8. #7
    kingtj is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Just as a quick update, I received a box in the mail yesterday containing the "EZ-Flash" programming cable for the custom tune. Basically, it's just a USB to serial cable, except instead of a 9-pin serial port on one end, it has an OBDII connector. (So the way they act like these cables are costly items requiring security deposits down is nothing but marketing and profit-making. One of these cables should really have a "street value" of no more than about $20-25, tops.) To be fair though, I think they used to ship people a much more advanced programming tool that was self-contained, vs. requiring you load software on a laptop computer and use one of these cables with it. If they were still shipping actual stand-alone programmer units, THEN I'd understand the need for security deposits and such.

    Along with the cable itself, Trifecta included a big round sticker with their logo on it, but oddly - no printed instructions or software in the box. I figured out how to download the required software drivers and ezflash utility for Windows itself from their web site, and was just trying to figure out where to download my custom tune when I received an email with instruction and a copy of the tune attached. (I guess they wait until they receive delivery confirmation from the post office for your package and then email you the instructions and tune that evening.)

    I probably won't get any time to try to do anything with this until this weekend, but I'll let you guys know how it turns out!


    Quote Originally Posted by Wag-O-Neer View Post
    I'm also interested in your 'Seat Of The Pants' opinion. Seems like a no brainer for only a couple hundred bucks.

  9. #8
    sfv41901's Avatar
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    Can't wait for install & review.

  10. #9
    mikesul is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Performance Chip

    I noticed that KPE also has a tune that can be loaded and removed if you use your laptop. Seems to be the same results power-wise. I am waiting for the LT headers they are coming out with, then will do the tune with that enhancement.

  11. #10
    dkozloski's Avatar
    dkozloski is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by sfv41901 View Post
    Can't wait for install & review.
    I can't wait for the CELs, burnt valves, holed pistons, and screams of frustration from owners over voided warranties.
    Don't mess with Binky Bear!


  12. #11
    Wag-O-Neer is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    I can't wait for the CELs, burnt valves, holed pistons, and screams of frustration from owners over voided warranties.
    Meh....I've tuned every car I've owned in the last 6 or 7 years, and that includes a few very expensive ones, with extremely complicated ECUs and TCUs. As long as you do your research, understand what the tuner is doing to the ECU maps, you shouldn't have an issue. The dealer will have no way of even knowing that the tune is on the car.

    Pretty hard to screw up a tune on a naturally aspirated V6.

  13. #12
    sfv41901's Avatar
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    I can't wait for the CELs, burnt valves, holed pistons, and screams of frustration from owners over voided warranties.
    & thats why a tune isnt for everyone.

    Install at ur own risk.

  14. #13
    kingtj is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Umm.... most of that happens when people start trying to make adjustments to the timing themselves, not really knowing enough about what they're doing, and making the air/fuel mixture too lean. The places selling custom tunes (like Trifecta) have been doing so for years, for a whole series of vehicles, and I have yet to find a single negative thing said about them (other than perhaps someone claiming it was too mild of a tune, and they could "get more out of their car if they had an actual dyno tune done in-person by an expert").

    Especially considering the amount of computer control in one of these modern engines, you've got to do more than make some minor tweaks to some values in stored tables to do that kind of damage. These cars all have knock sensors, among other things, which are going to make the ECU retard the timing if they detect spark knock. (In fact, that system works well enough that many manufacturers rely on it as part of normal operation, vs. some sort of "emergency fail-safe", when they optimize a car for 93 octane but say "perfectly safe to run on 87 with slightly reduced power".)

    The damage you fear is the sort of thing I'd worry about when adding nitrous or turbocharging with an aftermarket kit.... not just optimizing the factory tables in the stock tune, on a car that's either all stock, or has a few bolt-ons like a custom air intake or exhaust.


    Quote Originally Posted by dkozloski View Post
    I can't wait for the CELs, burnt valves, holed pistons, and screams of frustration from owners over voided warranties.


    ----------

    Not to discourage you if you know for sure you want them ... but I did LT headers on my last car (Genesis Coupe V6 3.8 liter) and *hated* 'em. Some of the guys from the Infiniti groups did the same on G35's or 37's and had the exact same results and complaints I did, AS did a Camaro V6 guy I spoke with.

    I realize every vehicle is different, but I saw enough of a pattern where I've become convinced that in general, modern V6's don't really get a lot of benefit out of long tubes.

    For starters, you tend to hear an unpleasant raspy tone to the exhaust as soon as you put them on. Unlike a larger displacement V8 where you get that "powerful low pitched gurgle" that sounds like "vintage muscle car", these smaller V6's put out an annoying drone under acceleration that's pretty well masked/toned down until LT headers make the sound come through loud and clear.

    And second? As I found personally (and heard time and time again from others), I lost considerable low-end torque with them on. I'm pretty sure I gained max. HP at the upper end of the RPM range, but that kind of power is more useful for "dyno sheet bragging rights" than being functional/useful power for most driving situations. Meanwhile, the torque loss really mattered!

    So I dunno.... if you get the LT headers, definitely let us all know how they work out for you. But I'm highly suspicious they could wind up a costly failed experiment.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikesul View Post
    I noticed that KPE also has a tune that can be loaded and removed if you use your laptop. Seems to be the same results power-wise. I am waiting for the LT headers they are coming out with, then will do the tune with that enhancement.

  15. #14
    Cougar281 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wag-O-Neer View Post
    The dealer will have no way of even knowing that the tune is on the car.
    In all likelyhood, yes they do. Most of the newer ECMs and TCMs keep a history of cvns that were programmed. Usually the last 10. If one or more of the cvns don't match gm cvns, good bye warranty.

  16. #15
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    Re: Performance Chip

    Any updates on the performance impact?

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