An electronic control unit, or engine control computer, is sometimes employed for greater efficiency and smog control. There are typically more than one unit in a car, handling different systems. Often, one of the several computer units is designed to improve smog ratings in the car.
These modules have been criticized by many for decreasing engine performance, and some companies even sell “PROM” chips to replace the chips in older units, resulting in increased engine performance, but often also resulting in failed smog tests. The idea of the replacement chips is to drive around with the “performance” chip, then replace it with the “smog” chip before smog testing.
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