1. Will tuning hurt my car?
Tuning will not hurt your car if you listen to your tuner and follow the correct instructions. The car should be in good mechanical shape before starting the tuning process.
2. Will Tuning my car hurt or help my fuel mileage?
This really depends on how you drive the car and how much power you are making. When you are having fun and putting your foot in it a lot, you will see lower fuel mileage. When you drive easy and normal, you should be the same or even a slight gain is possible. We have noted fuel mileage gains of 1-2 mpg on the highway. Stg 3 with full exhaust and a tune can show gains in the 3-4mpg range.
3. What things should I check before I put the tune on my car?
The main thing for T5 cars is to check inter-cooler clamps, tighten with wrench, no screw driver! Replace worn brittle vacuum lines with good silicone ones. Put in a new set of Ngk bcpr 7es spark plugs.
For T7 cars, the 3 main things besides boost/vaccum leaks is the Airmass Meter, Di and plugs. The airmass meter on these cars do go bad often, they can lead to engine failure, stock or tuned. You can check for a airmass deviation from calculated with a Tech 2. I like to replace T7 Airmass Meters every 60k or 3-4 years for safety. Normally a new airmass meter, DI Direct Ignition Cassett and new Ngk bcpr 7es will resolve most drivability issues, bucking, hesitation, jerkyness. T8 cars need new plugs and sometimes coils, check and tighten IC clamps. V6 Saab 93, New NGK LFR 7aix plugs are a must do on this car ! Coils do go bad often on this car.
4. What Spark Plugs should I run in my car with a tune?
We run the Ngk bcpr 7es plugs in all the T5 cars and T7 cars with tunes. V6 Saab 93 get the Ngk LFR 7AIX.
5. What Octane should I run?
The engine is knock limited with Trionic, the higher the octane, the more power the engine will make and the safer it will be for the engine. I put 91 octane as the minimum requirement on fuel.
6. What is Base Boost?
Base boost is the amount of spring pressure that the turbos actuator has, these can be adjusted, many normal ranges are 4-5psi, many times 7 psi will help the car run and hold more boost if the peak boost is low on the car. Different cars have different Base boost levels and ways to check them.
7. What is the BPC ?
The BPC is the Boost Pressure Control solenoid valve that controls all boost to the engine. It does not matter how aggessive the tune is on the ecu if the boost pressure control valve is sticky or broken, the engine will not make good power or allow the boost to come up at all in many cases. They can be sticky and fail closed or open in T5 cars. You should replace the valve in T5 cars. Oem Quality only ! T7 eBPC can be pulled apart and cleaned, they do not fail electronically nearly as much as the T5 bpc.
8. What oil should I run?
This question always causes some heated debates. I tested quite a few oils and from my own testing I found that for older T5 engines and T7 engines, I like to run Valvoline full Synthetic 10W30 in the Winter and 10W40 in the summer. Rotella 5w40T tested good, Amsoil tested good, Redline tested the best! Royal Purple tested good. What tested low and bad was Mobil 1 and Castroil for me. Very low oil pressures when hot, too low for engine safety in my opinion. You have a newer 93 or 95 with tighter tolerances? I still like Valvoline full synthetic 5w30 or 0w40 in the winter.
9. Why is my car bucking under heavy boost ?
Most of the time this is quench, the plug gap is not tight enough, try a new set of the tight gapped NGK Bcpr 7es plugs, “Not the Ngk Bcpr 7es-11, the -11 means 1.1mm or 040”. The 7es plugs are 030″ out of the box.
10. My car seems to be low on boost and I want to check and make sure everything is ready for a tune, what should I check and tighten?
When I get a car to check out for tuning, mainly T5 and T7 cars, I do a few things for sure. First, I check and tighten all inter-cooler clamps, start at the turbo and work your way all the way around until you get to the intake, use a 7mm wrench or socket, no screw driver! You may have to jack the car up to get to the ones up front. I then check the 13mm bolts from the exhaust manifold to turbo, there is a gasket there.
I then check and replace all vacuum lines with silincone line, 3-4mm works well. On T7 cars, I also zip tie the C line from the BPC to the turbo, it needs to be applied on the turbo side for a good seal. I like to check and adjust base boost if needed at this time. I also check the pvc check valve, white plastic valve between valve cover and Throttle Body. It should allow air from valve cover to the TB, not the other way !
Now I change the spark plugs and I am ready to start testing.