When we are preparing for a new speed talk piece, we usually start by asking our performance shop pros to share their expertise and experiences on a certain trend. This time round, our performance experts decided to flip the script and come to us with a topic they wanted to discuss; performance tuning. More specifically, the importance of tuning when it comes to high performance applications.
Common Misconceptions About Performance Tuning
Our performance shop pros want to clear the air on some topics that are brought up constantly and are often not properly understood.
Only electronically fuel injected cars can be tuned: FALSE
The roots of this misconception starts with the “PlayStation generation,” where imported European and Japanese cars in popular video games are often referred to as “tuner cars,” whereas your American V8’s, many of which are carbureted, are all referred to as muscle cars. The truth is, while it is easier to tune a fuel injected engine’s ecu, a talented mechanic can tune a carbureted engine by listening to the engine run and making small adjustments to the distributor and carburetor after test pulls to unlock the engine’s full potential.
Stock cars cannot be tuned: FALSE
All cars are tuned from the factory. The manufacturer of the car has more factors to consider when tuning their vehicles. Instead of tuning for power, manufacturers will often tune the car to have less performance in an effort to improve reliability and fuel economy, or to allow the car to use the gasoline available in a specific region. A stock car can be tuned to unlock the full performance potential of the stock engine without the need to modify the engine.
Tuning requires you to “chip” your ecu: NOT EXACTLY
This holds some truth as chip tuning your car’s ECU used to be one of the only ways to tune the factory ECU. This required actual modification to the ECU, requiring additional components to be soldered on and some factory components replaced or removed entirely. More modern vehicles can be chip tuned by a secondary device such as a RaceChip, with some manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Toyota choosing to have their ECU’s “unlocked,” allowing a new tune to be flashed to the ecu via the OBD2 port.
The Importance of Quality Performance Tuning
When modifying your car with aftermarket parts to increase its performance, it’s important to make sure your car is tuned to match the upgrades.
Installing a larger turbo or injectors may give you an immediate performance boost, but altering the cars standard running parameters, may cause increased carbon buildup or let your engine run lean. Tuning your car after every significant upgrade will help ensure your car runs smoothly and you experience the full benefit of your modifications.
Modern Tuning Solutions
The three most popular ways of tuning your car depends on what your specific setup requires.
The most common way of unlocking more performance, flashing a new map onto the car’s original ECU is a quick and relatively cheap way of tuning your car. The only real downside of flashing your ECU is that you need to visit a tuner every time you need the map changed, and it will require the map being removed before any dealership work is done in order to maintain service and motor plans.
The new generation of chip tuning, such as Racechip and Cobbs Accessport, gains access to your engines ECU via the OBD2 and allows the user to not only flash the ecu on the fly via cellphone apps, but also access all sorts of information that is collected by the ECU and is not usually available to the driver. An ECU chip can also be removed before dealership work is done, leaving your warranty and motor plan intact.
Aftermarket ECU’s are for the enthusiast who doesn’t want to be restricted by the parts they use on the car. An aftermarket ECU is basically a blank ECU thats parameters are endless. Want to drop BMW’s excellent N54 engine into a E30 shell? Want to run modern Audi R8 coils in an old Audi RS2 engine? All of these become options when an aftermarket ECU is used. The downsides of aftermarket ECU’s is that they are expensive and often require custom made wiring harnesses, or for the original harness to be modified.
Performance Tuning Specialists In Greater Fort Lauderdale
When it comes to modifying your pride and joy, nobody understands your love for your car the way fellow enthusiasts do. At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, our performance shop pros will look after your car as if you were part of the family. For services, repairs, modifications and track prepping, look no further than Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, South Florida’s Premier German Auto Repair, Performance & Race Facility Since 1978.
Call us today at 954-746-0488 to discuss your auto’s tuning options. We are the trusted and most reputable name in performance tuning.