Whether you’re shooting straight for the top class or taking your pick from a pool of used cars, after a few years of ownership, many car owners get the idea of car tuning. Regular maintenance, repairs, fuel costs and other expenses can add up over the years, yet car tuning makes it possible to shut down or improve certain features to make your vehicle more to your preferences. Before doing it yourself or paying a specialized workshop to do it, here are a few things you should know about car tuning.
Are there factory-tuned cars?
The design and manufacturing process of every car is always followed by compromises. While trying to maintain the competitive price and still offer attractive fuel economy and optimal performance, factories tend to standardize different parts in order to keep the balance between the investment and gains. Basically, this means that they put the same engine components in a number of different models with minimal modifications. That’s where terms like ‘great gearbox-engine matchup’ originate from. It means that not all models are assembled with the best performance in mind. Since post-assembly tuning processes would be expensive and time-consuming, it’s up to individual owners to decide if they are satisfied with the factory settings or they want to get a little extra.
Can car tuning shorten the life of your car?
More horsepower inevitably brings more stress for all drivetrain components and more wear on the moving parts. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that car tuning will shorten your engine mileage. If trusted to a professional mechanic with experience in car tuning, the only side effect you’ll notice is improved car performance. There is a common misconception that tuning voids the factory warranty. This is, however, only partially true since if you do it in a factory tuning shop or use an authorized brand tuner, your warranty is safe.
How car tuning works
Tuning a car means improving its performance. This can be done in several different parts on your car. While more detailed terms and jobs are out of the scope of this article, let’s give a few examples of the most common and effective tune jobs. Aftermarket tuning devices such as tactrix openport 2.0 plug directly into your car’s OBD-II port, and it comes with a selection of pre-installed tunes designed to give you more horsepower, torque and fuel economy. You can also replace factory parts with aftermarket performance ones that will make your car go faster or provide tighter handling on the road.
The most popular mod
It’s reasonably cheap, it looks cool and provides some gains – the cold air intake (CAI) is hands down the mod that every car tuner probably starts with. The purpose of CAI is to reduce the temperature of incoming air by drawing it from a cooler location. Cold air is denser than warm air, which means more of it can get into the engine and more air facilitates better combustion. When a new CAI is installed, you need to remove the stock air filter and replace it with a high-flow cone filter. The cone shape grants it more surface area and the reusable fabric it’s made from can be washed when it gets dirty. This mod will give you an additional 5-15hp, while the car computer will compensate for the colder air.