Racing Performance: Car Voltage Regulator
Recently, we have seen around, a new racing performance scam; the “regulator performance chip”.
What is this new type of “performance part”?
I have read some auctions and sales pages listing a “Performance Module” which is nothing more than a voltage regulator/stabilizer for car voltages, as many people have asked me about it.
Well, what can I say? The part is exactly as described, a voltage regulator which maintains the voltage constant or at least within a voltage range at all times and it hooks directly to the battery terminals. Battery terminals?, You would say. How can it help performance?
The truth is that this “module” has nothing to do with performance if we are talking about engine added power or torque. While maintaining a constant voltage for the proper functioning of automotive electronics sure is very important, a voltage regulator is already installed in the car’s alternator and what is more, all electronic modules installed by the manufacturer in your car, already have their own version of voltage regulation and protection, specially the ECM. Not an extra pony of power or a fraction of it you will see coming out of your car’s engine just by installing a regulator. If there would be a problem with your car’s charging circuit, unregulated power is high enough to fry any of those modules.
Such “modules” are sold as “Volt Stabiliser Kit” or “regulator performance chip” and it is claimed to “achieve electrical efficiency by controlling and re-distributing power as required” and also “increasing torque, response and power, improve audio quality, increase headlight brightness, stabilise idling, improve fuel economy and increase battery life”. Yeah right! Pure B.S. They do not even know how to write “stabilize”.Higher Vehicle Voltage
Regulators, stabilizers, noise suppressors and protectors are existing already in your car because manufacturers already know how much system voltage of your car may fluctuate because of various conditions and with today’s modern and complex electronics installed on cars, protection is a must when designing the vehicle. An example of this is when for any of several reasons, people may want to disconnect a battery terminal while the engine is running. It could be done to test charging circuit voltage the old way for example, but what people is not aware of is that voltage may surge to potentially damaging levels by doing this. If regulators , stabilizers and protectors were not installed in the ECM for example, you could fry your ECM by doing such a “test”. Luckily, your car’s manufacturer knows better.Lower Vehicle Voltage
On the other hand, if voltages get too low, you will have a warning light in your instruments panel and while the problem is solved, the ECM will compensate for the low voltage (until certain level) to keep sensitive areas, like injector opening time for keeping precise air-fuel mixture to be able to keep the engine running. On this scenario, those voltage regulators “performance” modules have no job to do either, as regulators’ job is to protect from higher voltages, not lower.