Performance chips are easy to install and can have a drastic impact on horsepower. Some manufacturers claim increases of 20% or more, although anything more than a few horsepower and a few miles per gallon is probably an outlandish claim. For the Mazda 6 only generic chips are available; although they may still have a positive effect on your car, they are not as good as one custom designed for your make and model. However, they are still an excellent solution for a more efficient engine.
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Things you need
- New mod chip
- Flat head screwdriver
- Double-sided tape
Visit a drag strip or dyno to get a baseline performance level for your car. Make sure you repeat measurements and get them as accurate as possible. This will help you determine the effectiveness of the chip.
Set the parking brake, open the bonnet and disconnect the battery by removing the negative terminal, then the positive terminal.
Locate the Engine Control Unit (ECU). This is a black plastic box with numerous wires going into it. Its location will depend on whether you have the Inline 4 or the V-6 engine in your Mazda 6.
Remove the appropriate plugs from the ECU and plug them into the chip. You may need to use the flat head screwdriver to compress the tabs to make the plugs easier to remove. The plugs you swap will depend on the engine and chip you have chosen. Reputable chips will come with installation instructions as to which wires you will have to move.
Connect the wires from the chip into the ECU. Some chips come with extra wires or sockets used to connect to an external tuning device like a smartphone or laptop. The documentation for your chip will tell you which wires need to be connected and which do not.
Reconnect the battery leads.
Before mounting the chip, start the car and let it run. Listen for any unusual sounds and look for a check-engine light or service-engine-soon light. Any of these can be symptoms of an improper installation, so go back to the chip and check your work. If everything is in the right place then consult the instructions and contact the chip manufacturer to resolve any problems.
Once the engine is running properly and not throwing a check-engine light, then mount the chip on the top of the ECU (or other flat surface) using the double-sided tape. Ensure the area is clear of any oil, grease or dirt before you use the tape to hold the chip in place.
Revisit the drag strip or dyno for confirmation that the chip is doing what you want for the engine. Make sure your gains are within the parameters specified by the manufacturers.
Tips and warnings
- Be honest with yourself while you're testing. You want the most accurate reflection of the performance improvement you can get.
- If the chip continually gives you a check-engine light or other malfunction, then take the car to a reputable installer or mechanic to have the chip installed and check its compatibility with your vehicle.
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