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Foreign Affairs Motorsport
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Frequently Asked Questions About Performance Tuning

Performance Tuning

Have you ever jumped into a car, floored the gas pedal, and thought to yourself, “This car is holding back”? Chances are that the factory map is holding it back: performance tuning is the key to unlocking your car’s full potential. Performance tuning is the art of modifying a car’s Electronic Control Unit’s (ECU) standard map. If you’re confused about what a map is, a map shows the parameters set out on a car’s ECU with regards to fuel injector flow rate, air-to-fuel ratios, and other factors to reach desired performance, economy, or emissions.

Why Would You Remap A Car?

When a manufacturer is designing a car’s standard map, they need to find a balance between performance and reliability, while ensuring the car meets international emissions standards and can use different fuels in various regions. In pursuit of increased performance, enthusiasts can control several factors, such as ensuring they only fill their cars with premium gas and sticking to regular service intervals. This means that their cars can be remapped to maximize performance of the stock engine, taking full advantage of every performance modification they do.

Are There Risks With Performance Tuning?

While it is perfectly safe to remap your car, there are several factors that you need to consider before you commit. If your car is under warranty or still has a service plan, the manufacturer maintains the right to void these, should they detect a remap on your car. With some insurance companies, it is required to inform them of any tuning and modification done so that premiums can be adjusted accordingly. It’s possible that your car may not be covered if undisclosed modifications are detected. We do recommend you contact your insurer before undertaking any performance tunes.

If you have an older car or a used car with an unknown history, tuning your ECU outside of the normal parameters can put your engine under increased stress, which can lead to failures such as bent rods and blown seals. To prevent engine failure, it is recommended you have a mechanic inspect your engine’s health and complete any recommended repair work before continuing with a remap.

What Are My Performance Tuning Options?

Performance tuning with a remap only applies to electronically fuel injected cars, and can be done in several ways, namely:

ECU Remap

Some vehicles, such as the Golf GTi and Toyota 86, come with unlocked ECU’s from the factory. This allows tuners to remap the car’s ECU quickly and easily through the OBD2 port. However, some tuners like REVO lock their tunes once they are loaded to an ECU to prevent the tune from being further modified or copied, which requires you to return to them for any future tunes.

Piggyback Tuning Chips

Companies like RaceChip and Cobb have designed devices that connect to your car’s ECU via the OBD2 port. This allows for tunes to be changed on the fly via a dedicated device or cellphone app, without having to remap the stock ECU. The benefit of these devices is that you get the full experience of a remap but can revert your car back to its stock tune by simply removing the device. Doing this will help you keep your car’s warranty and service plan intact, should your car need to go in for dealer work.

Hard Chip Tuning

With older cars like the Toyota Hilux AN10, it was required to physically alter the ECU by replacing components to modify the parameters of the ECU resulting in a tune. Unfortunately, this is a permanent solution, and cannot easily be reversed.

Performance tuning a car with a carburetor or mechanical fuel injection requires a mechanic to make test pulls on a dyno or a drag strip and make small adjustments to the air fuel mixtures to maximize performance.

Performance Tuning Experts Are Here To Help

Whether you’re looking to maximize your car’s performance, or simply want the best in the business to service your car, we welcome you to come down to our Pompano Beach shop, where one of our performance technicians will be happy to assist you with all your car needs. Call us today at 954-746-0488 to schedule an appointment.

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