A Quick Guide to Car Performance Tuning

Every car that comes off the assembly line is manufactured and designed to perform in a specific way. However, you can change all that by tuning it. Whether you tune the engine or the exterior of a car, there are ways in which you can make it more to your liking and increase its performance.

Here are some ways in which you could tune your engine. Keep in mind that this is just generic information and if you wish to tune your vehicle, we suggest that you start digging for specific info on forums and tuning company websites.

The definition of a tuned car varies drastically from person to person. Many think that a tuned car is simply one that runs at maximum efficiency and achieve this by adjusting it to its factory settings. Others want their car to perform and run better than the way the car was originally built.

Because there are a lot of aftermarket car parts and due to the fact that tuning is relatively easy to do (or get done) a lot of people are getting their cars upgraded.

1. Exhaust Tuning

Many believe that a Flowmaster exhaust is the way to go and it is one of the most recognized and appreciated names in the industry.

The main types of exhaust are the axle-back, header-back and cat-back exhaust.

An axle-back exhaust system consists of all the elements from the exhaust tip to the rear axle. While cat-back and header-back exhaust systems may deliver more power, this kind of system is more often than not less expensive than the other two. An axle-back that is well designed is more powerful than the stock one and it’s a lot easier to install than the cat-back or header-back one.

A header-back exhaust system replaces all the components from the tailpipes to the header collector. Because it replaces all the components, it allows you to make the diameter of the entire exhaust system larger, which will let more exhaust gas flow through it. These kinds of systems, however, are more expensive and a lot harder to install.

A cat-back exhaust system will replace components back from the catalytic converter. They usually come with a tailpipe and muffler but based on the model and make they could also include a Y-pipe, H-pipe, X-pipe or a mid-pipe. These are one of the most popular exhaust systems.

On most trucks, the exhaust system is visible or at least parts of it, which makes the installation process a little easier. Just as regular vehicles, aftermarket truck parts are easy to come by. Diesel exhausts are mostly larger than petrol ones, especially if they are Turbo Diesel so you won’t gain a lot if you make the exhaust larger. However, if you remove the particulate filter you will receive a great deal of power boost.

2. Car Performance Tuning

Most of the times, people tune their cars or wish for a tuned car because they want to increase the power of the engine. This can be achieved on petrol cars as well as diesels.

You can increase the intake performance of the engine with the help of intake tuning. The most important thing to do is to remove any restriction on the air coming into the engine and guide it smoothly there. The stock air system is quite inefficient because it’s designed to prevent blockage on the filter and to reduce the noise. This means that it’s kind of like running a marathon while wearing a gas mask.

You can also make the engine more powerful with forced induction. When compressed air is being forced inside the engine, it can give out significant power. There are a lot of options ranging from replacing the supercharger with one that has more volume, to increasing boost.

Ignition tuning can also be helpful to increase engine power. A strong spark capable of giving quality ignition is necessary for a complete combustion. Changing the spark plugs is the first step to take when tuning the ignition. You can also improve ignition by changing the timing of the ignition through the help of ECU tuning.

3. APR Tuning

You can get more out of your car by tuning its software. APR is responsible for readjusting the engine of the car’s for reliability, drivability, HP and TQ. With APR tuning you can expect improvements in the low end torque, more powerful top end and better response of the throttle.

APR will allow you to have more options and programs on the ECU. You will be able to change or activate those programs with the help of the switch for cruise control. Some options you can pick for your car are an anti-theft function, a feature for fault-code erase, race gas programs and performance pump. You can add these features and a lot more without having to worry that you will lose the stock function of cruise control or adding any extra hardware to your car.

4. Tuning For Turbo

You can get a massive increase of power by changing the turbo so you must also change the fuel pump and the injectors to some that have a higher volume capacity. On some vehicles, even “boost up” tuning may require you to upgrade fuel parts. You can monitor this with fuel pressure gauges and through F-CON. F-CON allows you to see exactly at what capacity the injector is being used. You may also need to strengthen and replace some parts of the engine based on the type of turbo you use and the power output.

There are tons of shops that can do the tuning for you but if you feel that you can get the job done yourself you can visit an online store and get the parts right at home. BMW performance parts arguably offer the best performance at good prices. A lot of websites offer a discount when buying more parts but make sure that if you don’t buy the best ones at least not to get the very cheap parts as this could ruin the whole idea of creating a custom car. So be smart about it.

This was our very brief overview regarding car performance tuning. We hope it clarified some of your questions regarding custom and tuned cars.

Scroll to Top