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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,

I'm new here. I just bought a 2013 Kia Sportage 2.4 AWD. I used to drive V6s cars so the power of the Sportage is not really high for me, but it's good anyway. So I was thinking about Performance Chips and found some online on eBay.

For those who have tried or experinced those performance chips, what do you think of it? Does it affect the engine by any means? Is it true that they give up to 35 HP?

Thanks in advance
 

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2012 Sportage LX
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Not to be a smart-a$$, but are you really asking if a performance chip affects the engine? I sure hope it does or your wasting your money.

You can definitely kiss your 10-year warranty goodbye.

Also, why did you buy a brand new car that you're not happy with? You know they make Sportages with turbos, right?
 

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2012 Sportage SX AWD
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I will have to agree with the gentleman above on all counts.

Real tuners obviously change the way the engine performs, however the dealers can see if your car has been tuned or messed with, so they will most likely deny any engine claims. Furthermore, you wouldn't see much of anything on a N/A engine like the 2.4L. Basically if the "chips" aren't from reputable companies such as Cobb, they don't work and the crap on eBay is nothing but a scam.

And yes........they make turbo Sportages, lol.
 

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Well, amongst thousands of 2.0l engines run in Russia there are more than 20% with ECU software modified. I have not heard neither about denying in warranty nor about engine problems related to ECU modification. It is very hard to find out whether was ECU software modifyed or not as an ECU Ident stays the same, only byte-by-byte comparison may reveal ECU reprogramming. Unfortunately 2.4l engines are officially unpurchaseable in our country and I have no idea about that.
 

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Well if we're talking about a cheap ebay chip, I'm pretty sure all they do is dump more fuel into the cylinder. If that's your only mod, that won't do a darn thing for you. Physical modifications will have a greater impact (intake/exhaust).

If it were me, I would make physical modifications first then, get a programmable tuner that is specifically programmed to the modifications I made, type of driving I do, elevation, and what type of fuel I want to run. Even after all of that, I would expect insignificant gains in either power or mileage.

It continues to boggle my mind that people put so little faith into the companies that build cars for a living, but will trust the cheapest price on ebay to improve performance. If you're into performance there are much better choices than a Sportage.
 

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Well, amongst thousands of 2.0l engines run in Russia there are more than 20% with ECU software modified. I have not heard neither about denying in warranty nor about engine problems related to ECU modification. It is very hard to find out whether was ECU software modifyed or not as an ECU Ident stays the same, only byte-by-byte comparison may reveal ECU reprogramming. Unfortunately 2.4l engines are officially unpurchaseable in our country and I have no idea about that.
In Soviet Russia, engine tunes you!

Seriously though, I wouldn't risk it. Besides, no offense, but it will take more than anecdotes to convince me that Kia won't deny claims. According to people here, Kia won't cover legit claims with all the evidence in the world on their side, so it seems risky.
 

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Real tuners obviously change the way the engine performs, however the dealers can see if your car has been tuned or messed with, so they will most likely deny any engine claims. Furthermore, you wouldn't see much of anything on a N/A engine like the 2.4L. Basically if the "chips" aren't from reputable companies such as Cobb, they don't work and the crap on eBay is nothing but a scam.
Cobb doesn't make "chips" per se, they sell their "AccessPORT" that then plugs into your OBD-II port and flashes a new map onto the ECU. Cobb also has far from "reputable" standing, as their "off the shelf" maps have blown up numerous motors over the years. My 2008 Legacy GT was unfortunately one of the motors that fell victim to a bad Cobb OTS map.

OP: I wouldn't buy or install a chip or flash for the 2.4L. Best case, you lean out the A/F a little bit and pick up a couple hp. Worst case: It damages your motor and you're on the hook to replace it. The objective of the 2.4L was to get good fuel economy, not make the Sportage quick. The extent of any performance mods I'll do on my wife's Sportage will be a K&N panel filter. If we were talking about the turbo motor, the risk/reward ratio of tuning would be a bit more appetizing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Not to be a smart-a$$, but are you really asking if a performance chip affects the engine? I sure hope it does or your wasting your money.

You can definitely kiss your 10-year warranty goodbye.

Also, why did you buy a brand new car that you're not happy with? You know they make Sportages with turbos, right?

I will have to agree with the gentleman above on all counts.

Real tuners obviously change the way the engine performs, however the dealers can see if your car has been tuned or messed with, so they will most likely deny any engine claims. Furthermore, you wouldn't see much of anything on a N/A engine like the 2.4L. Basically if the "chips" aren't from reputable companies such as Cobb, they don't work and the crap on eBay is nothing but a scam.

And yes........they make turbo Sportages, lol.
Thanks for your reply. I know they make Sportage with Turbos, but they don't come here in my country. That's why my best choice was 2.4 and I'm happy with it, but little more HP would make it a pleasant.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, amongst thousands of 2.0l engines run in Russia there are more than 20% with ECU software modified. I have not heard neither about denying in warranty nor about engine problems related to ECU modification. It is very hard to find out whether was ECU software modifyed or not as an ECU Ident stays the same, only byte-by-byte comparison may reveal ECU reprogramming. Unfortunately 2.4l engines are officially unpurchaseable in our country and I have no idea about that.
Thanks Hottab! I appreciate your response!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well if we're talking about a cheap ebay chip, I'm pretty sure all they do is dump more fuel into the cylinder. If that's your only mod, that won't do a darn thing for you. Physical modifications will have a greater impact (intake/exhaust).

If it were me, I would make physical modifications first then, get a programmable tuner that is specifically programmed to the modifications I made, type of driving I do, elevation, and what type of fuel I want to run. Even after all of that, I would expect insignificant gains in either power or mileage.

It continues to boggle my mind that people put so little faith into the companies that build cars for a living, but will trust the cheapest price on ebay to improve performance. If you're into performance there are much better choices than a Sportage.
You're right! I used this kind of tunes from Bama on my Mustang that were made for the mods I made on it. So I could see the improvement in the HP and the Fuel economic.

Also I'm not thinking about really tuning the Sportage, what I wanted is that if those chips are real or fake. and now it's clear to me.

As for performance, I have two cars, 07 Mustang with more or less 250HP and Nissan Altima with 270HP

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In Soviet Russia, engine tunes you!

Seriously though, I wouldn't risk it. Besides, no offense, but it will take more than anecdotes to convince me that Kia won't deny claims. According to people here, Kia won't cover legit claims with all the evidence in the world on their side, so it seems risky.
Cobb doesn't make "chips" per se, they sell their "AccessPORT" that then plugs into your OBD-II port and flashes a new map onto the ECU. Cobb also has far from "reputable" standing, as their "off the shelf" maps have blown up numerous motors over the years. My 2008 Legacy GT was unfortunately one of the motors that fell victim to a bad Cobb OTS map.

OP: I wouldn't buy or install a chip or flash for the 2.4L. Best case, you lean out the A/F a little bit and pick up a couple hp. Worst case: It damages your motor and you're on the hook to replace it. The objective of the 2.4L was to get good fuel economy, not make the Sportage quick. The extent of any performance mods I'll do on my wife's Sportage will be a K&N panel filter. If we were talking about the turbo motor, the risk/reward ratio of tuning would be a bit more appetizing.

Well said guys! I wish the Turbo ones come here in Saudi Arabia

Thanks a lot!
 

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Sportage Turbo "SX" is North-America only, very unfortunately.

Is it true that they give up to 35 HP?
Not exactly. Since the engine needs the computer, the programming technically regulates all the engine's power. To give more power, the original programming would need to restrict power. It's certainly possible, and has happened before, but its unlikely.

Performance Chips and found some online on eBay.
No. Those will not work. You'll notice them available for every car model, much like "electric superchargers", so there's no tuning involved.

Physical modifications will have a greater impact (intake/exhaust).
True. That said, NA vehicles make exhaust tuning improvements very difficult. Intakes on modern NA vehicles tend to not restrict performance while filtering the air properly.

I'd start with proper maintenance, weight reduction (seats?), and choosing the right wheels & tires. After that, it gets risky and expensive, with aftermarket turbochargers and nitrous and engine overhauls.

----

Another thread concluded that the Sportage SX was being held back by the programming, something about a delay on the turbo. Also, no ECU tuning was available yet. How do people encourage aftermarketeers to tune any specific car?
 

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Cobb doesn't make "chips" per se, they sell their "AccessPORT" that then plugs into your OBD-II port and flashes a new map onto the ECU. Cobb also has far from "reputable" standing, as their "off the shelf" maps have blown up numerous motors over the years. My 2008 Legacy GT was unfortunately one of the motors that fell victim to a bad Cobb OTS map.
I beg to differ sir. While I have heard some complaints about their OTS maps, generally speaking their 93 octane OTS map is actually safer than the stock maps (I am talking about the EJ255/7). Obviously there are better maps available to flash via the AP. I have read overwhelmingly good things about the AP, as well as having had it on my two WRXs with no issues to speak of. I don't doubt that there were some problems out there, but they have a good reputation.

OP - Didn't know where you lived. That sucks that the SX isn't available to you. I wouldn't waste any money on those "chips". If you want a few extra ponies, you can try an aggressive exhaust (header included) and maybe an intake system but honestly those won't give you much of anything even if you could find someone to tune the car to take advantage of them. If you have the money, you can try a custom turbo setup, but good luck and kiss your warranty goodbye. Best bet is to enjoy it as it is, save the money.
 

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I put a K&N air filter in my AWD 2.4 Tuc, and always shut off the "traction control", these both have helped with performance, BUT surprisingly, even better with gas mileage. I now get 2-3 more mpg, averaging 22-24 actual mpg around town!

I just figured I'd have my foot into it more (pedal to the metal) and loose gas mileage, but that wasn't really the case :)

At 50k miles now, I can actually hear my engine on acceleration now, I think it helped with the power, (the long stroke compared to the 2.0 engine, is Sweet!) but Anyway I plan on getting a flowmaster Delta 40, 50, or 60 soon, because it delivers a deep sound, with still a good rap, but not like the annoying loud rasp of those fart can mufflers.
 

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I beg to differ sir. While I have heard some complaints about their OTS maps, generally speaking their 93 octane OTS map is actually safer than the stock maps (I am talking about the EJ255/7). Obviously there are better maps available to flash via the AP. I have read overwhelmingly good things about the AP, as well as having had it on my two WRXs with no issues to speak of. I don't doubt that there were some problems out there, but they have a good reputation.
I've been in the tuning game going on 6 years with extensive research and significant first hand experience with the Cobb AP, and they do NOT have a good reputation with legitimate Subaru tuners, nor are their OTS maps safer than the stock maps. Cobb has built a business plan around releasing OTS maps before they're actually tested, and letting the first comers take the financial burden of being guinea pigs without ever telling them. That's why anyone knowledgeable avoids Cobb OTS maps like the plague, particularly when they're first released.

Case in point: Cobb never even bothered to open the hood of a 2008 LGT before relabeling the 05-07 maps as 05-08. Not only were the restrictor pills different for 2008, the TURBO ITSELF was different. It took them 18 months of complaints from blown up 08 and 09 owners (whom they refused to help) to finally release a separate map for 08+09 models.

Yet another example of a total lack of research by Cobb, was claiming from 2008 into 2010 that their SF Intake System was "100% compatible with our OTS maps." After another string of blown up motors caused by dangerously lean A/F ratios, the disclaimer,
"NOTE: COBB Tuning does not yet offer Off-The-Shelf maps for the Legacy GT SF Intake. Custom self-tuning using AccessTUNER Race or professional dyno tuning is required for this intake until Off-The-Shelf maps are made available."
magically appeared on the SF Intake's product page without any admission of mistake or apology to damage ridden owners.

The average Joe ignorantly flashes on a stage one map filled with holes in the throttle mapping and a poor timing curve, but because the butt dyno likes it, they sing Cobb's praises never being the wiser. I've worked with two of the nation's best turbo Subaru tuners in the past, and both expressed serious concerns not only with the quality of Cobb OTS maps, but also the manner in which the AccessPORT "marries" itself to the ECU. I was unfortunate enough to get an AP that refused to "unmarry" itself from my ECU when I finally decided it had to go, and I was forced to tear the entire ECU out of the car and ship it to Cobb to be diagnosed. They shipped it back with a note saying that the AP unit had experienced an error, but everything was now fixed. I reinstalled the ECU in my car and it wouldn't even start. Long story short, I had to send it back a second time to Cobb because in their attempt to fix the problem, they had reinstalled a map for a different car before sending it back to me . . . typical Cobb quality. Meanwhile my car was down for over a month while they tried to figure out the problem.

So feel free to have a different opinion of Cobb, but their reputation is anything but good with those that genuinely know their products.
 

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And that is your opinion (and that of other folks), just as I (and pretty much everyone I know in the realm of Subies, not to say that is a lot) have had nothing but good luck with their products. Further, I found their customer service to be great. But hey, that is the way it works, some can think a product is junk, others love it, just look at this forum as proof.......most people are happy with their Kias, some aren't.

Further, which engine was in your LGT? If you recall, I was talking specifically about the newer 2.5L engines, as I don't know much about the other EJs. Maybe the AP and OTS maps killed all these cars with different engines, but I really never read anything terrible about the newer WRX/STi cars. I am sure if you search, you can find a few people who had issues, but all-in-all most people were fine. Now I do know some people went with different OTS tunes, but they also cost more money.
 

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And that is your opinion (and that of other folks), just as I (and pretty much everyone I know in the realm of Subies, not to say that is a lot) have had nothing but good luck with their products. Further, I found their customer service to be great. But hey, that is the way it works, some can think a product is junk, others love it, just look at this forum as proof.......most people are happy with their Kias, some aren't.

Further, which engine was in your LGT? If you recall, I was talking specifically about the newer 2.5L engines, as I don't know much about the other EJs. Maybe the AP and OTS maps killed all these cars with different engines, but I really never read anything terrible about the newer WRX/STi cars. I am sure if you search, you can find a few people who had issues, but all-in-all most people were fine. Now I do know some people went with different OTS tunes, but they also cost more money.
Quite frankly, it's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of knowledge. There are those that are knowledgeable and have studied the OTS maps and/or personally experienced Cobb's shortcomings (a few of which I've already pointed out), and then there are those that are still in the dark. That's the differentiation. Just because you or other people wasted $600 and picked up a little power doesn't make it a good product. If those same people took the time to learn about engine management and studied their data logs, they wouldn't be such happy campers. If they compared/contrasted the differences between the AP and Open Source, then they'd REALLY be sour.

As far as Cobb having "great customer service," that's quite honestly a laugh. If you have a price or general product question, then they're just fine. But "great customer service," from an auto tuner shop won't be confused when you ask if the intake they're selling requires a mass airflow scaling change, or if you ask why their OTS maps are producing high knock sum counts. Nor will they kick the customer to the curb when a third party determines that their products are at fault for a blown up motor. (happened to myself and two personal friends, all of which had 2008 LGT's running their bad OTS map)

As far as types of motor . . . all 2005 and newer LGT's and 2006 and newer WRX's utilize the EJ255, so yes, we're talking about the exact same 2.5 liter short block. All in all, most people were not fine with Cobb OTS maps, as my dealership had a steady stream of AccessPORT LGT's and WRX's in need of new motors throughout the time that I owned my Legacy. It was such a familiar scenario that I honestly heard the service writer once call back to the shop and say, "we have another Cobb victim being delivered in 10 minutes." And sure enough, a little while later a 2009 WRX rolled off a flat-bed with a blown bottom end and an ECU that was locked out by an AP. I got to know the one service writer and the top mechanic at my local dealership very well, and was told countless stories about Cobb tuned cars showing up for new motors. When my motor finally went, I was in line for a transplant behind a blown WRX and another LGT. The WRX owner fessed up to using the AP, and the LGT owner claimed ignorance but had an ECU that was previously married. My point is that everyone thinks their Cobb AP and OTS tunes are the bees knees until they actually study their data logs or experience a problem themselves. Ignorance is bliss . . . until you have a problem.
 

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And that sir is your opinion.

Cobb has done right by me and hasn't destroyed my cars or anyone's cars that I know.
 

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Dunno, never heard of Cobb, and I have no anecdotal subaru-owning friends; sorry about your Subaru Captainhook. Documented issues (lawsuits, news, articles...) would help, and with destroyed cars and "100% compatible" claims I'd guess there'd be a few. These Off-The-Shelf firmwares require a lot of trust, and "professional dyno tuning" would be the safe/responsible choice. Regardless, Cobb Tuning said "At this time we have no plans develop the AccessPORT for the Kia Sportage SX."

Apparently OpenECU has had success with Kia before. The Genesis 2.0T is tunable via Seoulful. What needs to be done for a Sportage tune?
 
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