There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there on the subject of modifying a car you have on a finance agreement. With 91% of new cars now being sold on HP and PCP deals, it’s a pressing issue for many tuning enthusiasts.
Most people’s primary concern is just how bad will it be if I’m caught with modifications that the finance company don’t approve of? The answer is your finance agreement will be terminated and your car can be taken back for auction if you can’t pay the entire outstanding finance bill within a certain amount of days (determined in the terms and conditions). A truly terrifying prospect for most!
Are there PCP and HP safe modifications? Any modification that leaves a trace on your vehicle can be considered “not safe”. That includes digital and physical traces, many changes that you can’t see will still be raising digital flags on the engine that the manufacturers can see.
So no modifications are safe? Not quite. Some Tuning Boxes (Chip Tunes) are PCP and HP safe. Reputable tuning box manufacturers use the same physical connectors as the original vehicle manufacturers. They make no traceable changes to the ECU records, and they can be completely removed – leaving no trace at all!
You may already be familiar with ECU modifications, especially the most popular sort of performance refinement: a remap. Remaps are flashed straight onto the ECU, which means, remaps are not PCP or HP safe. Even a remap that claims it can be returned to standard at any time will still leave flags on the ECU as it is a software change directly onto an original component.
Tuning Boxes are very similar to Remaps in the way that they function, changing the levels of fuel and air in the engine at any time. This is done with the goal of increasing vehicle performance, improving fuel efficiency, or a mix of the two. By flashing the map containing these levels onto a tuning box instead of directly onto the ECU, tuning companies can avoid leaving a permanent trace. The TDI-Tuning box stores the map program and acts as a middle-man between the ECU and the engine sensors.
Are all tuning boxes traceless? No is the answer. Only reputable tuning box designers and manufacturers use software that is sophisticated enough to avoid raising tell-tale flags on the vehicle’s ECU. This is one of the main reasons for the huge price variants on the tuning box market – those that don’t leave a trace have had far more invested into them.
TDI-Tuning guarantee that every tuning box designed and produced at the UK headquarters will be traceless as long as it is removed prior to inspection. Installing and removing a tuning box is extremely straightforward 95% of the time with no tools required. If you’ve forgotten your car is going in for a service or it’s unexpectedly recalled then you have peace of mind the TDI-Tuning box can be quickly and easily removed.
So yes you can modify your car when it is on finance, be it HP, PCP, or another finance deal from your local dealer. You just need to make sure you have chosen a traceless option that can be removed before inspection.