g ” redirects here. For the principle of automatic correction, see Self-tuning. For the audio processor, see Auto-Tune
Car tuning is the modification of a car to optimise it for a different set of performance requirements from those it was originally designed to meet. Most commonly this is higher engine performance and dynamic handling characteristics but cars may also be altered to provide better fuel economy, or smoother response. The goal when tuning is the improvement of a vehicle’s overall performance in response to the user’s needs. Often, tuning is done at the expense of emissions performance, component reliability and occupant comfort.
As a culture has grown around modified cars the term tuning has grown béo encompass the cosmetic và stylistic changes owners make phệ personalize their vehicles. Thes e changes can range from functional modifications designed mập improve the performance or functionality of the car, phệ visual modifications which alter the aesthetics of the car &, in the case of certain mods, sometimes be detrimental bự the performance or functionality of the car .
Since their invention, cars have always been subject bự aftermarket modification. Both moderate & radical modification have been commemorated in the popular songs Hot Rod Race & Hot Rod Lincoln. The names of Abarth và Cooper appear on models styled after the cars they modified. With tư vấn from Ford, renowned engine manufacturer Cosworth went from modifying English Flathead engines for Lotus Sevens béo dominating Formula One racing .In the 1970 s và 1980 s, many Japanese performance cars were không bao giờ exported outside the Japanese domestic market. In the late 1980 s và early 1990 s, grey import vehicles of Japanese performance cars, such as the Nissan Skyline, [ một ] [ 2 ] [ ba ] began Khủng be privately imported into Western Europe & North America. In the United States, this was in direct contrast Khủng domestic car production around the same giây phút, where there was a very small performance aftermarket for domestic compact và economy cars ; the focus was instead on sports cars or muscle cars such as the Ford Mustang & Chevrolet Corvette .Because of their light weight và the increasing availability of inexpensive tuning equipment, [ bốn ] tuned economy & compact cars exhibit high performance at a low cost in comparison béo dedicated sports cars. As professional sporting và racing with such vehicles increased, so sánh did recreational use of these vehicles. Many drivers would modify their vehicles in an attempt phệ emulate versions of racing vehicles .
Areas of modification
The essence of modification of a tuner car is an attempt at a significant performance increase — or the appearance of high performance — from a stock motor vehicle through the addition, alteration or outright replacement of parts. Although this largely involves modifying the engine và management systems of the vehicle phệ increase power output, additional changes are often required lớn allow the vehicle mập handle such power, including stiffened suspension, widened tires, better brakes, & improved steering và transmission modifications ( such as the installation of a short shifter ). Although largely insignificant in terms of appearance, certain modifications such as low-profile tires, altered suspension, & the addition of spoilers can change the overall appearance of the car, as well as adding downforce lớn increase traction .
A stock audio system is one specified by the manufacturer when the vehicle was built in the factory. A custom audio installation can involve anything from the tăng cấp of the radio lớn a đầy đủ customization based around specific audio equipment. Events are held where entrants compete for the loudest, highest-quality audio reception or most innovative sound systems. Some common modifications include higher chất lượng speakers và subwoofers, amplifiers, & better wiring .
Race cars competing in various classes must adhere béo a strict phối of regulations. As in some well-known racing events, lượt thích NASCAR & NHRA, sanctioned events often require a minimum vehicle weight. In such cases, the interior is stripped, và the required weight is achieved by adding ballast, allowing precise control end weight distribution. Along with weight requirements, safety requirements are present. Requirements differ for different classes. Roll cages, fire extinguishers, reinforced bucket seats, seat harnesses, & the lượt thích are some of the required safety modifications. Roll cages may be difficult phệ install when the stock interior is present .Some tuners will have ” gutted ” interiors, or omit features that many ordinary drivers would find desirable or necessary, such as audio systems, air conditioning và soundproofing, in order Khủng reduce vehicle weight .
Engine tuning is the process of modifying the operating characteristics of an engine. In a typical engine set-up, there are various mechanical và electronic elements such as the intake manifold, spark plugs, và mass air flow sensor. Modern engines employ the use of an engine control unit bự provide the best balance between performance & emissions. Via the OBD communications protocol, [ 5 ] electronically controlled aspects of the engine can be modified in a process known as mapping. Mapping can either be performed by changing the software within the ECU ( chip tuning via firmware modification ), or by providing false dữ liệu via plug-in hardware. Other standalone engine management systems are available ; these systems replace the factory computer with one that is user-programmable .Mechanical components of the engine can also be added or replaced, such as forced induction systems lượt thích turbochargers or superchargers .Improper, incorrect & poorly executed engine modifications can have a detrimental effect on performance và reliability. Mechanical và electrical components can suffer or simply fail as a result. An example would be the use of an air compressor such as a turbocharger phệ increase the volume of air used in the power stroke of the Otto cycle. In a typical chemical reaction, the air – fuel ratio must be a minimum of 14 : 1. If higher ratios are used, higher pressures và temperatures are observed in the cylinders, [ 6 ] which can quickly push an engine beyond its intended kiến thiết limits .Neglecting such operating parameters can lead béo premature failures, such as warped cylinder heads và walls, disintegrated piston rings, cracked or bent connecting rods & crankshafts, total cooling system failure, engine fire, engine detonation, engine seizing, và even blowouts. This can all lead mập very expensive repairs, as well as being very dangerous .
Suspension tuning involves modifying the springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, và other related components. Shorter springs offer greater stiffness và a lower center of gravity at the possible cost of unwanted changes of suspension geometry. [ 7 ] Stiffer shock absorbers improve dynamic weight shifting during cornering & normally have shorter internals béo stop them from bottoming out when shorter springs are used. Stiffer sway bars reduce body toàn thân roll during cornering, thus improving the grip that the tires have on the surface by reducing suspension geometry changes caused by roll ; this also improves handling response due lớn faster weight shifting — similar bự stiffer springs .The danger with overly stiff anti-roll bars is the lifting of the inner wheel, causing a loss of traction. By increasing the roll resistance of one kết thúc of the car, weight transfer is concentrated at that kết thúc, causing it lớn slip more than the other. This effect is used mập control the end / understeer characteristic as well as phệ reduce roll. Other components that are sometimes added are strut bars, which improve body toàn thân stiffness & help better maintain proper suspension geometry during cornering. On some cars, certain braces or anti-roll bars can be retrofitted Khủng base Mã Sản Phẩm cars from sports models .For offroad vehicles, the emphasis is on lengthening the suspension travel và installing larger tires. Larger tires — with or without larger wheels — increase ground clearance, travel kết thúc rough terrain more smoothly, provide additional cushioning, và decrease ground pressure ( which is important on soft surfaces ) .Thes e suspension modifications are in contrast lớn lowriders, which use hydraulic or pneumatic suspensions. Lowriders use another type of suspension tuning in which the height of each individual wheel can be rapidly adjusted by a system of rams which, in some cases, makes it possible mập ” bounce ” the wheels completely off of the ground .
Body tuning involves making modifications phệ the body toàn thân of the car in order Khủng alter the aesthetics of the car, improve performance, or both. Body tuning can also involve changing or replacing parts for better aerodynamic performance. Through downforce, cornering speeds & tire adhesion can be improved, often at the expense of increased drag. To lighten the vehicle, bodywork components such as hoods & rearview mirrors may be replaced with lighter-weight components .
Lamborghini Aventador equipped with a Liberty Walk widebody kit and aftermarket wheels.Often, body toàn thân modifications are done mainly béo improve a vehicle’s appearance, as in the case of non-functioning scoops, wide arches or other aesthetic modification. Aftermarket spoilers or body toàn thân kits rarely improve a car’s performance. The majority, in fact, add weight & increase the drag coefficient of the vehicle, thus reducing its overall performance .Dating back phệ the 1940 s, chopping & channeling was a popular method of modifying a car’s aerodynamics .Increasing the wheel track width through spacers & wide body toàn thân kits, or lowering the center of gravity via suspension modifications, can enhance the car’s cornering ability. Often, suspension tuners unfamiliar with spring dynamics will cut stock springs, producing a harder, bouncy ride. It is also common béo stance a car, lowering it beyond its optimal ride height purely for appearance .Competition cars may have lightweight windows, or the windows may be completely removed, as tự động glass adds significant weight & detrimentally alters weight distribution. Plastic windows are much more vulnerable béo scratches, which reduce service life .
Tires have large effects on a car’s behavior & are replaced periodically ; therefore, tire selection is a very cost-effective way phệ personalize an automobile. Choices include tires for various weather và road conditions, different sizes & various compromises between cost, grip, service life, rolling resistance, handling & ride comfort. Drivers also sometimes personalize tires for aesthetic reasons, for example, by adding tire lettering .
Detuning is the process returning a modified car phệ its original factory status, or reducing its performance in a particular area of tuning. For example, a car may be ” detuned ” mập allow increased traction when the track grip is not sufficient Khủng handle the increased power of the tuned engine .
Styles of modification
Modified cars can be significantly different from their stock counterparts. A common factor among owners / modifiers is béo emulate the visual & / or performance characteristics of established styles và thiết kế principles. Thes e similarities may be unintentional. Some of the many different styles & visual influences bự car modification are :
- 30 roll
- A two-car straight-line race, often between tuned cars, starting from a steady 30 mph speed where the two drivers stand side-by-side, before one of them signals the rolling start by honking 3 times. The acceleration test ends at a pre-defined speed, e.g. 60 mph or 80 mph.
- Combustion of fuel in the intake or exhaust system instead of the combustion chamber, resulting in a distinctive popping sound and occasional flames. For clarity, the term “afterfire” is sometimes used to refer to ignition within the exhaust, with “backfire” referring to intake fuel ignition.
- BOV (blow-off valve)
- A valve that releases pressure in turbocharged engines when the throttle is closed, to avoid damage to the intake system and improve reliability. A BOV can vent either to the intake system prior to the turbocharger (this type of BOV is essentially silent and known as “recirculating”). Other BOVs vent to the atmosphere, resulting in an easily identifiable hissing sound upon release of the throttle.
- CAI (cold air intake)
- A modified replacement intake system, often bypassing the stock airbox, meant to supply the engine with cold air from outside of the car (as opposed to hot air from under the bonnet). On most modern cars, the stock inlet ducts have been developed for peak performance and efficiency using advanced flow simulations, making aftermarket intake performance gain negligible. CAIs are instead mostly associated with their increased induction noise; coupled with an atmosphere-venting BOV on turbocharged cars and a non-resonated and sometimes “decat” exhaust, such a setup is preferred by owners interested primarily in increasing the noise level of their cars, resulting in modifications with little to no performance benefit.
- The portion of the exhaust system downstream from the catalytic converter.
- Custom tune
- A tune that has been customized for a particular car, often modified in specific ways that require adjustments to the stock calibration.
- A straight exhaust pipe without a catalytic converter. On some vehicles, decat pipes allow flames to be visible at the exhaust tips upon throttle closure.
- A race beginning from a standing start, e.g. from a traffic light.
- Slang for dynamometer.
- A tuner working remotely to provide custom tunes over the internet, usually after the customer sends data logs of performance tests in the form of pulls (see below).
- FENG (fake engine noise generator)
- Often called a “syntonizer”, a system, either acoustic or electronic, that diffuses engine noise into the cockpit to enhance the driving experience. On some cars, like the 2015-18 Ford Focus RS, the noise is synthesized by a computer and bears no real relation to the noise generated by the engine. On other cars, the noise is conveyed by an acoustic pipe from the engine bay to the cockpit.
- FMIC (front-mounted intercooler)
- The term comes from the Subaru Impreza, which has its intercooler mounted in an unusual location just behind its engine. Beyond a certain threshold of power-increasing modifications, the small and ill-placed intercooler becomes ineffective, and a popular modification to overcome this limitation is to install an aftermarket intercooler in the conventional position behind the front bumper, giving rise to the term FMIC.
- Replacing some of the engine’s bottom-end internal elements with forged ones. The most common forged parts include connecting rods and pistons. Stage 3 cars can sometimes include a forged crankshaft. Forged parts are usually lighter and stronger than stock cast parts.
- Fully bolted
- Used to describe a car which has the maximum range of bolted-on engine upgrades without extensive modifications. These include aftermarket intakes, intercoolers, exhaust pipes, and mufflers.
- Hub dyno
- A chassis dynamometer with brakes that are connected directly to the driven wheel hubs after the wheels have been removed. They are more accurate than rolling road dynos, as they eliminate one significant source of slippage—the tires. Hub dynos are also more compact, the hub brakes being the size of small washing machines.
- A recording of the car or engine operating parameters (e.g. RPM, boost pressure, various temperatures) made when the car is being driven.
- A calibration for the engine management system, an electronic system known interchangeably as PCM (Powertrain Control System) or ECU (Engine Control Unit). A map is essentially a data file that gives the PCM the elements it needs to operate the engine according to the standards set by the manufacturer. The data is mostly organized in lookup tables known as “maps”, and the set of tables and other parameters is referred to as a “map” or “calibration”.
- Methanol injection
- A water injection system where a mixture of deionized water and a certain proportion of methanol is injected in the intake air stream as an anti-knock, usually using a dedicated pump and reservoir, and where the unmetered injection is triggered by a pressure switch activated once a certain boost level is reached on forced-induction engines. In some cases, the windscreen washer fluid reservoir is used as a tank for the water injection system (and still functions as usual). Water injection is believed to have appeared shortly before WWII on aero engines; notably, the Rolls-Royce Merlin and the Junkers Jumo 210 engines following the pre-WWII work of Sir Harry Ricardo. The methanol in the mixture injected in aero engines was present strictly as an anti-freeze, as it reduces the effectiveness of water as an anti-knock adjuvant.
- OTS (off-the-shelf) map
- A readily available tune sold with the accessory used to flash tunes to a car’s engine control unit. OTS maps typically offer modest performance improvements and are often used as bases for further modifications.
- A full-throttle RPM sweep in a straight line on a level road or a rolling road dynamometer, usually in 3rd or 4th gear and from low RPMs all the way to the engine rev limiter. Pulls are made to record logs or to measure engine output on a chassis dynamometer.
- A noise-reduction device that the exhaust pipe usually runs straight through, which dampens sound waves by the means of sound absorption material placed around a perforated tube section. Exhaust systems equipped with resonators are said to be “resonated”, as opposed to “non-resonated” for those without such devices.
- Rolling road
- A chassis dynamometer which includes a metered brake that allows torque measurements, as well as speed measurements, which measure the torque and power produced at the wheels. Together with the inferred transmission ratio and a number of corrections related to atmospheric conditions and friction and losses, the software associated with the dyno can produce estimates of the flywheel power and torque figures.
- Stage 0
- The state of a car with no performance modifications.
- Stage 1
- The state of a car after simple modification, which can be just a tune, or a tune with simple supporting modifications such as an aftermarket air filter or intake. Stage 1 implies a modest power/torque increase over stock.
- Stage 2
- The state of a car after another round of modifications. Typically, stage 2 cars are fully bolted with a tune targeting higher torque and power, plus optional forging.
- Stage 3
- The state of a car with extensive mechanical modifications made to the powertrain, including (but not limited to) a bigger forced induction system, forged internals, retooling of cylinder heads, and fuel system modifications. Sometimes an aftermarket or motorsport ECU calibrated specifically for the car in question will be fitted. The power and torque outputs at this stage are significantly higher than stock, often prompting supporting modifications to the transmission and drivetrain.
- Stock map
- The OEM engine map.
- TMIC (top-mounted intercooler)
- An intercooler located above or just behind the engine, which benefits from a slight decrease in turbo lag but suffers from a maximum power threshold.
- A modified map, most often aimed at increasing the engine torque and power output. A tune is “flashed” to the PCM or ECU either by the tune vendor or the end-user itself, often using a stand-alone accessory connected to the car’s OBDII connector or through a portable computer. A tune typically voids the powertrain warranty unless sanctioned by the car manufacturer (which is a rare occurrence). Typical changes include ignition timing, fuel flow, wastegate control for turbo engines, and modified limits such as those for RPM and boost.
- An individual or company creating tunes, usually for profit, and often selling supporting elements such as intakes and exhausts.
- The entire exhaust system downstream from the turbocharger turbine, composed of the downpipe (including the catalytic converter) and the catback portion.
- Turbo lag
- The delay between the initial throttle opening and the moment the turbocharger has spooled up sufficiently to deliver significant boost pressure and the associated torque and power increase. On stock modern turbos, lag is usually below one second, while some large aftermarket turbos exhibit lags of two seconds or more.
Many countries or municipalities have legal requirements which govern vehicle modifications. For example, all vehicles in Victoria, nước Australia, must conform mập construction standards lớn ensure vehicle safety. [ tám ] There are also restrictions for P Plate drivers which can prevent young drivers from driving modified vehicles. [ 9 ]Many developed countries have smog regulations, which generally forbid any modifications lớn engines or related components unless the modifications themselves are certified, lượt thích production car models. Such modifications, even if they bởi not actually result in increased emissions, prevent legal use on public roads. [ 10 ]
Various organizations involved in competitive motorsports such as the FIA, SFI, NHRA, & IHRA, amongst others, act as sanctioning bodies mập establish safety guidelines for racing events, series, tracks, vehicles, và parts. The FIA is the largest international motorsports governing body toàn thân, with FIA certification being required for a number of parts, particularly safety equipment, in FIA sanctioned events, as well as in many mới FIA events .
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