I often ask this question and get mixed answers from my customers since it seems they don't really KNOW what they want. I need to know what KIND of tune you are looking for, so please think about this, and address it with me BEFORE we start the tuning process. Some things to consider below…
1) Is this a daily driver?
- Do you need the car to have decent gas mileage, is idle, part throttle and cruising important to your overall enjoyment of this performance vehicle? If the answer is yes or no…I do need to know what YOU WANT specifically so I can tailor the time allotted to your specific goals.
2) Is this a TRACK only car?
- If this is a DRAG or Road Course car, this will play into how I approach the tuning of the vehicle. If you need good on/off throttle transitions, if low end torque and midrange are important, or if this car ONLY sees wide open throttle at the drag strip, I need to know. A drag car might only need 8-10 seconds but a road car will need 20-30 minute sessions to stay happy. It matters!
3) Do you want a margin of safety built in?
- If you need every last bit of horsepower, and you are ok with running on the ragged edge of max horsepower and engine melt down, I will put the tune on “kill mode” I just need to know that you "WANT" it and need you to understand the repercussions of a racing vehicle tuned this aggressively. Tell me if you need this engine to last all year or if you have a backup that you can have in the car the next day.
4) Depending on your tune, do you need to be running higher octane gasoline?
- Everyone wants the most power on pump gas they can get, “safely” which is a big contradiction. If you want max power, and you want safe…you probably need better gas. It doesn't matter if you have a “fully built” motor and all the best parts are in your car. If you make a lot of power, pump 91-94 octane can realistically only support so much power in a safe fashion. Even with the best parts, at High Horsepower…one spec of detonation can tear the motor apart in a matter of milliseconds. In a controlled environment on the dyno where the air temp and conditions are kept stable, this USUALLY isn't an issue. However the quality of pump gas out there carries a wide range. Remember pump gas is made for PRODUCTION vehicles…not for your race car so consistency isn’t a huge concern for the big oil companies out there when it comes to your performance vehicle. Also when the weather changes, or when something in your motor starts to change, that slight “safe” margin can shrink or become non-existent outside of the dyno room and we have all seen the results of this on our own or others vehicles…it happens, and there is usually no good explanation as to why…
Don't stop just yet! Check out out befor tune checklist. This will help us help you. It saves you MONEY too! Print it out make notes on it and make sure you have it all covered. Check it out HERE