Car Tuning – Things You Should Know
You have found that your car is outdated. Well, you need not worry, because that’s the reason why car tuning has been invented. Hence, you need not go shopping for an expensive new car, but just have to implement the idea of car tuning. Just like, you have to update your looks and style from time to time, your car too needs it. Still, confused about car tuning and from where to start it? Here are some useful tips.
What is Tuning?
Tuning is improvement of your car in terms of overall performance in accordance to your needs. Some users may have some wrong thoughts about tuning which may cause fitting of parts which are incorrect for their needs. Therefore it’s important to know what the target of the user is, what parts are required to achieve it and the stages of car tuning.
Three basics of car performance are accelerate, turn and decelerate and while improving them, you should remember safety first, with a correct balance within the three elements. For instance, by increasing power, insufficiencies may be noticed in braking or suspension, which were not noticed before. So also, while increasing engine power at high speeds, if the power at low-mid engine speeds is the same as before, because of the change in characteristics in the power delivery, the driver may get the false feeling of the car has a power loss in low-mid engine speeds. Replacing only one part can heighten the stress and ruin other parts and therefore it is required to keep the correct balance between parts while tuning to safely increase performance.
Understand How Engine Works
Cars won’t run fast just by throwing parts at it. Firstly you should understand your own needs and then tune the car to suit them. The same principle applies to enhancing engine power. You can obtain more power through many routes; however, based on whether you want low engine speed torque to make your street driving comfortable or you want a big peak power, you will have to change the choice of power together with the order in which every process has to be finished. To know exactly what course to take, it’s necessary to know how the engine and its parts work.
Intake: Just as humans breathe in more air while exercising or using strength, a car too can get more strength by taking in more air and so, increasing its intake air volume by changing its air cleaner system is the best and most effective way to increase its strength. To increase intake, remove everything that can restrict the intake and direct air smoothly to engine.
Exhaust: Just as it is important to breathe in, it’s also important to breathe out and the first step towards it is muffler replacement. Increasing the exhaust efficiency is the basic requirement. But assuming that the least resistance will create highest efficiency is wrong. By removing muffler, there is a radical reduction in exhaust resistance; but engine torque is also reduced, affecting launch and vehicle acceleration adversely. Hence it is required to have just the correct amount of exhaust back pressure (resistance).
Forced Induction: Air compressed into the engine can create large amounts of power. For this, there are various options from enhancing boost to replacing the supercharger for one with larger volume. This part is unique to Supercharged/Turbocharged tuning.
Fuel Management: Fuel management is controlling the quantity of fuel that is injected in the engine as per the quantity of air present in the system. A computer controls this and creates the base of what is usually called “engine management”, “mapping” or ECU tuning”.
Ignition: A good quality ignition is necessary for complete combustion and for this a strong spark is required. Therefore, the first step of tuning the ignition system is to change spark plugs. When power increases and the heat generated thereby also increases, it is required to increase the heat range value also of the plug.
Tuning for Turbo
This consists of three steps:
1. Muffler and Intake Change: According to some, change in the intake system will make the car run lean (more air/less fuel) and will cause damage to the car. But as long as you pay attention to the spark plugs and other parts (like ECU) are stock, the risk for such a problem is very low. When all intake and muffler systems are created to work with the stock ECU, you need not worry about safety.
2. Step 1 + Boost Up: An EVC raises boost; however the stock ECU may find an error when it notices more boost than what it’s set for and reduce the fuel to save the engine. To avoid this, a lower level signal can be sent by a FCD to the ECU and make ECU believe that the boost is not increased. But in practice, it’s important to increase the amounts of fuel to balance the increased intake air.
3. Step 2 + Turbo Change: Change in turbo can cause massive increases in power and therefore it usually becomes imperative to change the fuel pump which transfers the fuel from the tank and even the injectors to one with higher volume.