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Car tuning

2017-07-01 13:16:22 / author: carEnth views: 57 / 906

Why do tuning

 

Car tuning


This is actually a question that has a very logical explanation. If we own things, eventually we would try to find ways to make them either work better or look better, especially when that thing is our hobby or somehow plays an important part in our lives. If we take a look at how fashion or make-up can make a woman look better or how we can run better if we buy a specific pair of trainers make for running, that’s exactly what tuning is all about.

Tuning is a course of action which is performed on a specific thing to simply make it better or nicer, either performance-wise, look-wise or even better, from both point of views. Car tuning is a process which has started several decades ago, first as a mechanical process, whereas car owners proceeded to change specific car parts, or even the engine itself, to transform their cars into a power-machine. In the meantime, others decided not to touch on the performance but tried to find ways to enhance their car’s outlook.

Today, car tuning is not just a mere hobby: it’s become a huge business on its own right and there are several car owners who pay any money in order to have their cars, motorbikes or any other vehicles transformed to look and go the way they want it to be.

Today’s tuning is mainly focusing on the upgrading of the following car specifics:

  • Aerodynamics
  • Car brakes
  • Car Engine
    • Engine related upgrades
    • Cooling system upgrades
    • Electrical system modifications and ECU
    • Exhaust system
    • Fuel System
    • Induction upgrades
  • Driving
  • Suspension
  • Tires and wheels


Every single one of these tunings focus on the enhancing of a specific area in connection with driving and performance.



How can tuning make the car faster?

How can tuning make the car faster?


Performance geared tuning is a process which makes a car run faster, sometimes way faster than it used to be. As mentioned above tuning first started as a mechanical process but these days it’s rather mentioned in connection with computer based tuning which is simply the result of the overall computerization which is now implemented in every newer car. Today everything that works in a car is strictly computer controlled, therefore if someone wants any change, they need to find a way through modifying the car’s settings through the computerized control system. This is either called as chipping or remapping.

What you need to know about chip-tuning or simply the modification of the ECU ( Electronic Control Unit) is, that every single car has its own ECU where it constantly measures and sets all performance and driving related processes to a point where it has been originally set in its own factory, by the time of its making. All the default values of a car are by default tuned to provide a performance where the car performs the best without using up too much of energy, without using up too much fuel and its main target is to have a car that goes for year without any major issues to any of its parts being as economical and usage-conscious as possible.

Now, the default values, especially the performance based ones can be further tuned, to make a car run faster for example. However it needs a very good expert to make such modifications without the cost of double or triple consumption or the corrosion or running of a car part well before its time. That’s why it’s essential never to bring your car to pirate tuners but to ones who are proved to do their tuning the best way possible.



How can tuning make the car more economical?

How can tuning make the car more economical?
As car tuning is often strictly performance based, especially when it comes to the tuned car being a race car taking part at drag races, road races or drift competitions ( with each one requiring a different sort of tuning).

Remapping a car’s specific values can make a car go more economically either with or without it running faster as so many tuners and tuning programmers promise but tuning is never an all for nothing game: you need to pay the price either way. In the case of tuning car owners risk losing all warranty and insurance benefits if they decide to have their cars remapped and the car insurers get the clue.

No insurance companies would pay for your car should any costs or accidents occur in the future and car manufacturers would also steer clear of taking any responsibility for anything that happens with a tuned car. Therefore, you must strictly consider if tuning is what you really want.

 

How can tuning make the car more beautiful?

How can tuning make the car more beautiful?

There are million ways to make a car look hotter, cooler or simply better. While some people only want to change the car’s colors or or transform it into looking hotter with the help of body kits (mentioned below) or interior modifications, some people are more willing to invest in modifications which would also make the car work way better than before, This is also called External Tuning.



Tuning history

Tuning history
Professional tuning started mainly in the US around the Fifties and Sixties when car racing, either legal or illegal has become widespread and popular in the country, so popular that it has also created its own racing subculture. Aesthetic tuning and performance tuning by changing or modifying some of the key elements of car engines and the car’s system to enable it to go faster or burn fuel faster is a hot topic in the racing communities ever since.

The golden age of car tuning ir definitely the Seventies and Eighties, because that’s the age when higher performance cars were first produced and these served as the perfect ground for car tuners to further modify them without being restricted. Then, from the eng of Eighties things have started to change. This was due to the air pollution laws which restricts the use of certain fuels, exhaust systems and engine types in cars and also keeps on checking for them in vehicles. By the end of Nineties where the first computerized cars have started to appear, car tuners have also had to shift to trying to work on performance via hacking the car’s computer system.

Today, this chipping and remapping is way more popular than any other ways of tuning. The two key countries of car tuning today are the United States and Japan.



External tuning

External tuning
The two main types of external tuning are Body tuning and Aesthetic tuning. While body tuning is geared towards a better performance aesthetic is mainly only for the looks.

 

Body tuning:

you ought to take into consideration that most forms of body tunings are also destined to make the car’s aerodynamics better.

The most popular forms of body tuning include the following:

  • Increasing of the wheel track
  • Increasing the drag co-efficiency of the vehicle
  • Lowering of the car
  • Lightening the weight by replacing components to lighter ones.
  • Changing of the spoilers

Aesthetic tuning:

  some of the most popular aesthetic elements are the following.

These will not improve performance in any ways.

  • Coffee-cup sized mufflers on the tailpipes
  • Fake ventilation ports
  • Large wings on the back
  • Rocker panels
  • Sound tuning
  • Car smoke tuning
  • XXL wheels
  • Fake side scoops and hoods

 

How to use 3D modeling for tuning

How to use 3D modeling for tuning
The 3D modeling software which is now out for everyone to try either online or sold in form of a package is actually based on the software systems used by proper car manufacturers too when it comes to designing new car models.

Now anyone and everyone can try how well they can design a new car model. These software also serve car tuners and car accessory designers and providers very well: this way they can create new car accessories in order to make a car look hotter. The most popular designs are connected to car lights, wheels and rims.

 

Impact on the characteristics of the car

Impact on the characteristics of the car

Influence of the aerodynamic body kit

There is a huge market for aftermarket aerodynamic body kits all around the world. These would enhance the body shape in such way so that the air pressure would not slow a car down but on the contrary it would help the car go faster. This is exactly why most of today’s cars have the shape that also enables them to achieve a higher speed without the air limiting them the way it used to do with the older car models. Let’s see some of these kits and their overall effect:

  • Rear skirt

This addition is to prevent the airflow from separating and this way to reduce the wake turbulence which slows the car down.

  • Spoilers

A good spoiler is to help in suppressing the drag and lifting effects of the airflow.

  • Front Bumpers

This is installed in order to reduce the effects of the airflow around the tire area and this way reduce the drag.

  • Side Skirt

This is to prevent underbody and side airflow and this way reduce the drag effect of air.

  • Front Skirt

This is to enhance the airflow in such way, that it would not disturb the efficiency of the radiators.

  • Flat Underbody

From the point of view of someone who is either a car racer or a high speed fan, the less is the airflow under a car the better. This is why underbody is installed in order to control the air that would go under the car.

  • Window molding

This is for a window that further helps airflow to not limit but let it through as much as possible without the limiting effects.

There are tons of other body kits and accessories, with many going to extreme lengths in terms of outlook, but their efficiency is questionable to say the least. The pitfall of all the above mentioned aerodynamics kits is that they would make car work more and therefore consume way more fuel/diesel than usual.



Effect of the spoiler installation

Effect of the spoiler installation
As mentioned above spoilers or wings are installed on the back (and sometimes also on the rear side) of a car in order to make their aerodynamics much more efficient. They also serve as a very hot looking aesthetical addition in the same time.

The main focus of a good spoiler is to increase speed in such a way that it decreases the dragging effect and in the same time make the gripping effects way better. This would otherwise only be achieved via increasing the overall weight of a car but that has downfalls which would eventually hold a car back in other areas, such as making turns where weight actually works against a car.

A good set of spoilers work on creating a downforce, the exact same way an airplane’s wing works, but this time around it is to hold the car down, not to lift it up. That’s exactly why the shape of a spoiler is just like a wing turned upside down. The faster the car goes the more would the spoiler force it stay on the ground. This way it also helps a speedy car way more secure from accidental uplifting that would have a fatal outcome.

Increase engine power

Increase engine power
Engine Tuning is by far the largest segment of all car or vehicle tuning. But it’s also the most complicated out of all the tunings as it requires a comprehensive knowledge of how each exact engine works and then looking at how to make each part work better. This time around we will enlist the key parts of a car engine and will also mention how each one of these can or are tuned.

 

Car engine components and their tuning:

Car engine components and their tuning

  • Air Filter

How does it work?

The Air Filter or Clearer has the purpose to clean the air that goes into the engine, especially from the dust and other debris. The filter is held in a specific box that’s within the engine bay.

 

How to tune it:

when air filters get too dirty they impact the engine’s whole performance therefore they need to be changed regularly. That’s why some choose to have it removed completely.

  • Air Flow meter

How does it work?

This is a sensor that measures the exact amount of air that flows into the engine while working. This information is used by the ECU (the engine’s computer control) to measure the amount of fuel that’s required. As such, the air flow meter has a couple of restrictive measures to the engine’s performance and this way it’s responsible for the engine’s fuel consumption too.

 

How to tune it:

  many want to replace the regular Air Flow meter to a different, so-called large volume meter that enables a larger fuel usage to switch off the restrictive measures. One such type is called D Jetro. But once this is changed, it needs a whole additional high power management system installed.

  • Turbocharger

How does it work?

  This is what everyone knows simply as “turbo” and now all the engines are equipped with it. The turbocharger works with a specific method of using exhaust gas pressure to press all the compressed air into the engine. This method enables high performance even if the engine is a smaller one.

 

How to tune it:

the most common technique is to further raise the pressure by changing to a larger turbo system. It is a myth that engines which do not have turbo in them cannot have them. There is a way to add turbo to any engine. This is called as a bolt-on turbo.

  • Intercooler

How does it work?

The intercooler is connected to the turbocharger and it has the important task of reducing the temperature and air density of the compressed high pressure air and this way also boosting its oxygen content.

 

How to tune it:

generally by increasing its cooling efficiency. This can be achieved by cooling water spray or moving it to the center of the bumper for it to work better.

  • Throttle Body

How does it work?

  The throttle body has an important role in controlling the engine’s air intake by a valve attached to it. Modern cars use a computerized electronic system to control this device.

 

How to tune it:

the easiest way to tune it is to obtain a body with a larger diameter or electronically reducing the lag between the pedal’s input and throttle response.

  • Inlet Manifold

How does it work?

This is also called as an intake manifold and it’s a specific area where the air is stored before it goes to the combustion chamber. Its focus is on always providing air supply ready for all the cylinders. In the process, it also increases the actual air density and its flow’s speed in the cylinders. This way intake density is increased.

 

How to tune it:

  to increase the volume they often include a funnel on the inside of the manifold.

  • Camshaft

How does it work?

Often referred to as “cam” the camshaft is one crucial element of a car engine. This is a system that’s connected to the crankshaft via a timing belt and this way it controls the timing when the valves open and close.

 

How to tune it:

generally the cam is replaced by a higher powered one that increases the number of times the valves are lifted and also the duration of time one lift lasts. This is one very important element in speed tuning.

  • Valve

How does it work?

Another crucial element of an engine that determines the whole engine quality and performance are the valves which have a controlled closing and opening process during which they let in the air into the engine’s combustion chamber and in the same time they let the exhaust gas out. The process is commonly referred to as Variable Valve Timing and its functioning is also a telling sign of an engine’s actual age and quality.

 

How to tune it:

  a general method is to strengthen the springs which hold the valves in place to make their movement as punctual and accurate as possible. Adjusting methods of valve movement timing are also commonly used by tuners.

  • Spark Plug

How does it work?

This is the tool that ignites the mix of air and fuel with a spark. It is generally referred to simply as “plugs”. As it has a very important role in the engine’s working process there are plug producers who make plugs out of platinum or iridium.

 

How to tune it:

these plugs have their own heat range and operating with the heat range can make the ignition faster or more dynamical. But it needs a real expert in order to avoid a possible explosion caused by late ignition or engine issues caused by bad early timing.

  • Cylinder

How does it work?

This is the combustion chamber, a main part of the engine where the actual ignition happens and where the fuel-air mixture will be used up by the engine. The whole unit is controlled by the above mentioned valves which let the air in and out. The valve area of the chamber is the cylinder head and the piston/crankshaft area is the cylinder block.

 

How to tune it:

usually by enlarging the cylinder hole and using larger piston that allows more and more dynamical combustion. This is a hard process which is also known as increasing bore and it’s one very popular tuning process used for racing cars by professional mechanics turned car tuners.

  • Piston

How does it work?

Pistons are closely connected to the combustion chamber and they rotate the crankshafts when the air combustion generates so much power that it pushes the pistons down and make them move. Piston rings are used to seal the connecting gap between the cylinder and the piston.

 

How to tune it:

if the actual performance of the cylinders is raised then the piston rings also must be replaced as the ordinary piston rings would no longer be able to deal with the larger force of the combustion.

  • Connecting Rod

How does it work?

These are also referred to as con rods or rods this is the tool that’s used to connect the piston to the crankshaft. This also means a transfer of an originally linear motion to a circular one, as the crankshaft does move in a circular way.

 

How to tune it:

  connecting rod must be replaced or strengthened in any other ways in case the other parts of the engine are tuned to provide higher performance. Failure in doing so may cause a fatal error as the rods would no longer be able to deal with a stronger movement for a longer time. Strengthening usually happens with the use of an I or a H beam.

  • Crankshaft

How does it work?

There has been much talk about crankshaft above. This is the axis that would be moved by the connecting rods in a circular motion and this way make the car move. Therefore they are also crucial parts of any engine. Crankshafts have added weight in order to counterbalance them. As they are heavily used they need to be regularly taken care of.

 

How to tune it:

  raising the durability is crucial when it comes to crankshafts with also keeping the good balancing of counterweights per cylinder in mind.

  • Exhaust Manifold

How does it work?

This is the tool or pipe through which the exhaust gases would leave the engine. This connects to each cylinder and ends up being one larger tube for all the exhaust chemicals to leave as fast as possible. As such this is another important element of a car engine. The way and the speed with which the exhaust gases leave largely determines an engine’s performance.

 

How to use it:

  the actual length of tubes or pipes is crucial for the manifold. This is often replaced by one which provides an equal length system and this way enabling all the exhaust gases to leave each cylinder strictly the same time. If turbos are changed the tuner or car mechanic must also change the exhaust manifolds.

  • Catalytic converter

How does it work?

This is another crucial tool the use of which has been implemented since the first environmental laws regarding cars’ exhaust gas and their damaging effect to nature would official be confirmed. The converter has the important role to turn all the harmful gases in the exhaust into the less harmful carbon dioxide and water. They are obligatory and they are default elements of all modern cars.

 

How to use it:

normal converters have small holes in them through which the converted exhaust gases would go on to eventually leave the engine area. Tuners generally change the regular converters into a sports type which has larger holes in them to enable the exhaust to leave all the faster. This can drastically raise the car’s performance. Everyone is alerted never to let any tuner completely remove this converter as it is now obligatory for every car to have.

  • Muffler

How does it work?

  The final part of the engine system which would eventually let the exhaust gases out. It has another role too: to reduce the large sound which the whole process would normally result. This way the car driver would not even hear what’s happening. In higher quality cars also sub silencers are used to not let any of the sound go through the driver’s area or outside.

 

How to tune it:

according to many tuners the actual enlargement of mufflers would enable a much better and a way faster movement of exhaust fume. They would also look cooler on tuned cars.



Replacing the engine with a more powerful one


Replacing the engine used to be a popular method to increase the power and the performance. However this is an extremely pricey and long procedure which needs lots of time and eventually a lot of money to be paid for the tuner and his team. That’s why it’s not as commonly used these days as it was back in the day.

Turbocharging

Turbocharging

What is turbo?


As mentioned above turbo is the tool which use the pressure coming from exhaust gas in order to make a turbine rotate. This turbine sends signs to the compressor with which it is connected and which initially sends all the compressed air into the car’s engine. The speed and the actual quantity would determine the high power capacity of a turbocharger.

 

How much power can increase


By raising the boost pressure turbo can give a dramatic speed even to a regular to lower powered car engine, it literally can give new life to one. Although turbo can be implemented in a car without a turbo by default, its way easier to straight-up buy a car which has its own turbo and then either work on boosting its power or simply exchange it for a higher capacity one.

 

Compressor

Compressor

 

Why to install the compressor on the engine?


This is the tool that’s used by turbo engines to send exhaust air with the help of which the car can go way faster than before.

 

How much power can increase


A boosted compressor can drastically change the speed and performance of a car.

 

Low-resistance air filter


As air filters are really responsible for a car’s actual performance their quality and actual type is essential in any car to be tuned. Low resistance air filter is the current most energy efficient way to tune your car without actually removing the air filters.

 

Improving the exhaust system

Exhaust system
As you can see above at the description of car engine parts the exhaust system is largely responsible for the performance. Although the removal of the catalytic converter is still used, it’s actually against the law therefore can only be applied to cars which are not registered as on the road vehicles. One popular way to tune on the performance is the application of straight-pipe mufflers to enable the exhaust fume to exit as fast and efficiently as possible.

 

Improving the economy of the engine

 Improving the economy of the engine

Devices to improve the economy of the engine

 

Plasma-precursor spark plugs


As you could read by the engine parts, quality and extra durable spark plugs can really help in making an engine way more durable. If their heat range is modified, they need to be way more enduring than before in order to be able to function on the long haul.

Vortex devices for the preparation of the fuel-air mixture


Also called as Controlled Vortex (CV) this is a subtype of the above mentioned Inlet Manifold. Also called anti reversion manifold this has proved to be only useful for high powered racing cars which have engines which have extra high induction speed, therefore they are not sold to public and only produced per demand.

 

Chip tuning

Chip tuning
Also called as mapping this is the tuning which is done with the help of tuning software which would make changes to the car’s software settings in its ECU or Electronic Control Unit that’s responsible to control all the key functions of the engine and its support system.

 

Flash programmable controllers:


These are types of a specific software used to modify a car’s functions which are mainly related to either drivability or to emission related issues which can come up in newer vehicles. New car dealerships are also dealing with this legally. This process is also referred to as PCM (Powertrain Control Modules).

 

Background Debug Mode:

also referred to as BDM this is a specific interface which enables the debugging of a car’s ECU computerized system. This is also commonly used by seasoned chip tuners when they want to erase any clues of a previous reprogramming in a car, so that a car won’t lose out on general warranties and car insurance.

 

Non-reprogramming controllers


When a car’s ECU has been set to not being able to be reprogrammed with the help of a specific tuning software.

 

The results of chip tuning


There are tons of engine functions which are electronically controlled in today’s cars and therefore they can also be tuned with chip tuning. The most likely areas chip tuning can touch on include: spark timing, fuel injection timing, valve timing, auto-transmission, speed governing and also the electronic stability system. It is however essential to be aware that bad settings can easily destroy even the best car in the world and some changes can never be set back to factory settings.

 

For atmospheric engines


There is a general debate on tuning sites which are debating the effects of chip tuning on atmospheric engines however there is really no evidence of this being true at all. Chip tuning can work on both lowering consumption rates as well as making a car a higher performer.

 

For turbocharged engines


Chip tuning can do wonders with the tuning of boost control as well as all with the tuning of all the above mentioned functionalities. The tuner however must be extremely careful as changed levels may make the ECU system automatically cut the fuel in order to save the engine.

 

Suspension tuning

Suspension tuning
When it comes to suspension tuning, it’s all about the balance the weight and lots of physics. This tuning is all about controlling or changing the actual movement physics of a car on all sorts of different tracks or even track conditions. This includes works on the corners, aero-dynamical additions and tons of weight adjusting.


The key points to suspension tuning is a good knowledge of a car’s actual limitations and the exact type of road you want it to perform its best on.

 

Improved manageability:

with the help of weight distribution the car would stay on the road and act way safer while driving because of the changed aerodynamics.

 

Stabilizers of lateral stability:

there is nothing more important than keeping the car on the road even at high speed and that’s what stabilizers are for.

 

Low-profile tires:

low profile tires and lower set body are all destined to keep the air flow under the vehicle and in the tire area as controlled as possible. This way the car is more stable and air would not limit its performance either.  
Increase disk width: this is partly for the performance and partly for the looks. But many suspension tuners swear on this being effective in terms of speed as well.

 

Tuning of salon

Tuning of salon
There are tons of tuning events held all around the world, but in the US and Japan on the first place where everything is about tuning and out of the ordinary in terms of looks, designs and performance too. Some of the events include Tokyo Auto Salon which is one of the best and biggest tuning shows in the whole world or the SEMA show.



Rating of countries by popularity of auto tuning

 Rating of countries by popularity of auto tuning

USA  -

In the US tuning is always either geared towards performance or focuses on the qualities of the Seventies top American cars therefore they contain a good piece of nostalgic feelings too.

 

Germany -

High performance and futuristic looks is what’s best preferred on the German car market which is no wonder: as the birthplace of today’s top quality cars, such as BMW, Mercedes or Audi are all world famous for both their high performance and fantastic modern designs in the same time. 


Japan - There is no other country in the world which would place so much importance on the eccentric outlook of their cars as in Japan. The land of drifting and extra high speed sport cars loves some glitz and glamour when it comes to aesthetic tuning.  

 

Some tuning of the exhibition:

 Some tuning of the exhibition

Klassikwelt Bodensee (Germany)

 

Exhibition history:

it started up as sort of a secret show back in the day when tuning was rather considered illegal, the Klassikwelt is one of the oldest car shows which is held yearly since the very beginning back in 2003.  
How does it differ from other car shows?


This is the world’s biggest car show that’s always open to the public and it’s strictly dedicated to car tuning. The show has several elements one of which is being a retro show featuring several tuned Oldsmobile. Unlike at other fairs most of the cars featured here can actually be purchased.  

 

All in Tuning (China)

 

Exhibition history:

Quite interestingly All in Tuning was first setup during the first 2005 CIAAE fair as back then tuning was not as hot as these past years. Since then All in Tuning is becoming one of the major tuning events in the world. The first All in Tuning was held in 2012 in Dusseldorf in cooperation with Messe Dusseldorf.

 

How does it differ from other car shows?

This is the first car show that brings together the Chinese and German car tuning tradesmen and creates a perfect chance for several tuning experts and enthusiasts for cooperation.

 

CIAACE (China)

China International Expo for Auto Electronics, Accessories, Tuning & Car Care Products

Exhibition history :

Organized by YASN International which is currently the biggest car trade and car enthusiast show organizing company in China the first CIAACE show was organized in 2005 and features over 6000 exhibitors and an attendance of more than 200 thousand people.

How does it differ from other car shows?

It’s currently China’s largest car show closely followed by All-in Tuning.

 

Automechanika Chicago (USA)



Exhibition history:

this show is held every 2 years in Chicago and lasts for 3 days.

 

How does it differ from other car shows?

  This is currently the biggest car show both for traders, car repair businesses and enthusiasts that’s open to public. The show is held in collaboration with NACE (the International Autobody Congress & Exposition).



Conclusion:

 Conclusion

Why car tuning is not just a hobby, but a huge community of people around the world



Tuning is not just about mechanics, it’s a constant will to improve a car and to make it more original, unique and personal. This is a will that keeps this constantly growing community together alongside the sharing of tuning ideas and learning from the others in order to implement new ways of car tuning.

How tuning can be your hobby.


Car tuning has two key types. Aesthetic tuning and performance based tuning. While it’s enough to have design skills for the former, for the latter it’s extremely important to gain the proper knowledge about how a car and its engine exactly work. Tons of car enthusiasts and car mechanics become car tuners because they have the proper knowledge and years of experimenting to learn from. If you are a car enthusiast keep on learning, experimenting and if you are creative enough, soon new ideas on enhancing performance will come to your mind.

How tuning can be your business.


Sometimes our hobby can also be a business but the most important on the first place is to fully enjoy this being your hobby. Then if you are good enough, you will soon get asked to help with tuning tasks. And if you succeed, then tuning can easily become a business for you.

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