After reading our articles and watching videos on tuned cars, you might have decided to give your ride a Stage 1 or a Stage 2 tune, but are confused about where to start and what mods are needed. But before discussing mods, let’s understand what tuning is. When you recalibrate your car’s ECU to provide an optimum output, whether you want to optimise the parameters of the stock engine (stage-1) or want to extract the maximum output of your new upgraded parts (stage-2), this process is called tuning or remapping your vehicle. Now let’s dive a little deeper into what is an ECU.
ECU (Electronic Control Unit)
The ECU or Electronic Control Unit, as the name suggests, controls the car’s electrical systems along with the engine, powertrain and transmission modules, which come locked from the factory, and by locked, we mean that the ECU comes with a firewall, that protects the ECU from being “hacked”, just like a regular computer. The ECU controls the fuel and air mixture ratios, ignition timing, and other parameters. By essentially “jailbreaking” into the ECU, we have the possibility to manipulate the ratios and parameters set by the manufacturer to maximize power and efficiency and that will lead you to increase the car’s standard performance figures by a margin. Just a simple remap without any external performance mods is what we refer to as a stage-1 tune. While remapping your ECU, ensure you go to a reputed and well-known garage that you trust and have easy access to or else you always ask people from the tuner and car community to help you out. Time to take things to the next level, these are the mods you need to take your car to stage 2.
- Fitting A Performance Air Intake
A stage 1 remap is essentially making your car run as optimally as possible within the parameters of the stock engine components’ capacity. But a stage 2 remap is meant to be complemented with other external modifications You can run your car on stock mods after remapping your ECU to Stage 1, replacing your stock air box and filter with a performance air intake is a great start because it will improve the amount of airflow going into the engine. This improved airflow can enhance combustion, resulting in more power and improved throttle response. A performance air filter from a reputed brand like APR or K&N because these air filters are made from cloth or fabric, which can be reused and are more porous, providing better filtration.
Fitting A Performance Intercooler
It might not be necessary to upgrade your intercooler in order to get a stage 2 remap, however, it is highly advisable since it helps in creating more consistent power by keeping the internal temperatures at bay. A performance intercooler helps to cool down the compressed air that goes into the engine from the turbo, which helps in compressing the air going into the engine even further which helps in giving a more aggressive explosion inside the chamber. It also helps to maintain a consistent intake air temperature which reduces the stress to the block, even while giving your car a full send on highways. And with the performance intercooler as well, make sure you choose a reputed brand.
Installing A Performance Exhaust System
The exhaust process of an engine is as important for performance as the intake process, while air intakes and intercoolers allow the engine to breathe in at its best capacity, a well-designed exhaust system optimises the exhaust flow by minimising back pressure and restrictions through the pipes. Not only does it sound good, but the lack of restrictions increases your throttle response since the engine is capable of releasing pressure in a more efficient manner.
When it comes to the cost of tuning your car with modifications and upgrades, it all depends on your car, the mods you choose and the garage of your choice. Rest assured, regardless of the cost of tuning any vehicle, an enthusiast will never consider any performance gain as a waste of money.