Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Performance Chip

Should I install a Performance Chip

If you install a performance chip or reprogram your cars PCM software, be prepared to lose your warranty and see huge repair bills down the road.

GM issued a technical service bulleting (TSB) #09-06-04—026 regarding revocation of warranty coverage on any GM vehicle in which the factory calibrations (software) has been removed or altered. The TSB applies to ALL GM gasoline passenger cars and trucks from 2006- present.

It’s important to note that GM is seeing enough damaged engines and transmissions to make this announcement. Here’s a direct quote from the TSB:

“When alteration to the GM-released engine or transmission control calibrations occurs, it subjects powertrain and driveline components (engine , transmission, transfer case, driveshaft and rear axle) to stresses that were not tested by General Motors. It is because of these unknown stresses, and the potential to alter reliability, durability and emissions performance, that GM has adopted a policy to cancel any remaining warranty coverage to the powertrain and driveline components whenever the presence of a non-GM (aftermarket) calibration is confirmed – even if the non-GM control module calibration is subsequently removed.”

The TSB goes on to instruct the dealers on how to determine if the factory calibrations have been altered or removed. So don’t think you change restore the factory programming and tear into the dealer when they refuse to cover your warranty claim. They CAN tell what you’ve done.

So, if you’re planning on “chipping” your vehicle (which I do NOT recommend), be aware that you’re on your own and that the likelihood of damage to the engine and transmission increases dramatically.

Also, remember this: engine design is always a compromise between power, responsiveness, emissions, and fuel economy. You cannot change one variable without changing all the others. So, while chipping may increase power in one range of operation, you will pay for it in other areas. There’s no free lunch, despite what the chipmakers want you to believe.


© 2012 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat
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