The Beginner’s Guide to Custom Tuning

The Beginner’s Guide to Custom Tuning

August 20, 2020

Today’s cars make it easy to fine tune your vehicle’s performance, without having to rebuild your entire engine, exhaust system, fuel injectors and more. Depending on what you want out of your car—fuel efficiency, more horsepower or a cleaner burn, among other possibilities—you can custom tune your engine in Santa Rosa, CA to get the exact results you want.

Some tuning will require new or upgraded parts, but for the most part, your engine control unit (ECU) can be reprogrammed by inserting a new engine chip. Here’s a basic overview of custom tuning and how it can improve your car’s performance.

Decide what you want

When tuning your engine, you will need to decide what you want to get out of it and what you’re willing to sacrifice. Engine tuning can accomplish a number of things, from better “overall performance” to more engine power, cleaner fuel burn and better fuel efficiency. However, these goals are often mutually exclusive—you won’t be able to capitalize on more horsepower without sacrificing fuel efficiency, for example.

To that end, it’s important to determine what you’ll use the car for. If this is your everyday vehicle, you most likely want to increase fuel efficiency, cut down on emissions or tune it for your specific climate and driving environment. If it’s a car built for racing, getting the most power out of your engine will obviously be more important.

Once you’ve decided what you need, talk to custom tuning experts in Santa Rosa, CA like the team at Fine Line Imports. They’ll help you determine the best tuning methods for your needs and will let you know if you need additional parts to accomplish these goals.

Balancing the five elements of engine tuning

  • Intake parts: Your engine needs to take in air in order to efficiently burn fuel, and your standard intake parts may not be able to pull in enough air for your custom tuning.
  • Exhaust parts: Your exhaust system needs to be able to balance releasing air and emissions while keeping up the appropriate amount of resistance. Most stock mufflers accomplish this through a series of tight bends; sports mufflers have lighter bends suited for turbocharged engines.
  • Forced induction: The compressed air that’s forced into your engine helps power the vehicle. You might need to replace the compressor with one that can force even more air into the engine to boost performance.
  • Fuel management: Your ECU manages how much fuel is injected into your engine based on how much air is present. If you’ve changed any elements of your vehicle, such as adding a turbocharger, you’ll need to reprogram the ECU.
  • Ignition: Finally, your ignition can be boosted by upgrading your spark plugs and changing your ignition timing.

All of these elements need to be balanced for top performance—which is why working with a professional tuning company is going to be to your ultimate benefit. For help with custom tuning in Santa Rosa, CA, get in touch with Fine Line Imports today.

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