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CAR TUNING . . . WHERE TO START?

There are a lot of car tuning shops out there. Many of them offer a lot of options regarding all sort of modifications, anything form body kits to engine enhancement packs. But how to choose? Are they any good? Is the price vs. performance ratio right?  How will these modifications affect the life of your car?

 

We want to give you some guidelines regarding the enhancements you can safely use for your car.  We want also to give some advice regarding where to start tuning your car.

 

There are a lot of ways and methods to tune you car. Each of them has its specific purpose and there are people that appreciate or dislike them. Some people prefer the tuning for the appearance, others prefer the tuning for drag races and other prefer the tuning for showing off. Here, at automotiveguru.net, we prefer the performance tuning and we like the modifications that enhance the overall performance of a vehicle.

 

Over the next weeks we will talk about ways to enhance the performance and their ups and downs. Here is a list of what is coming next:

– engine enhancements

– power-train enhancements

– safety enhancements

– overall performance enhancements

 

Follow this series of articles and for further information don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

STEP 1 – Increase the safety of your car

 

– Change the suspension system on your car. For better performance you need to keep the tire in contact with the road as much as possible. Also, a better suspension translates itself into better dynamic characteristics and a lot more control of the vehicle. Check what is the offer of some well-known manufacturers for your car. It is an important investment.

 

– Change the brake system. Bigger, better brakes will lead to better dynamic performances. You will be able to brake later and harder and for normal usage of the car, its active safety characteristics will increase significantly.

 

– Use bigger rims and better tires. Bigger rims will allow you to use bigger brake discs and calipers. Also, you should feel an improvement in the handling of the car with the cost of decreasing the comfort.  Wider tires will allow you to transfer a higher force to the ground and a lower profile of the tire improves significantly the cornering.

– Add a roll-cage. It is not mandatory, but if you were ready to invest in better performances for your car you should make sure that you are as safe as possible.

STEP 2 – Increase the agility and maneuverability

 

– Get rid of as much weight as possible: In any good car, the extra weight is a performance killer. Remove all the useless objects in your car. Change the seats (you will be surprised how much a seat can weigh) with sporty seats and for a more drastic “diet” remove all the trims and caps.

– Add stiffeners to your car. First of all you should stiffen the body of your car and then you should stiffen the suspension.

– Lower the car within reasonable limits. A lower center or mass will allow you to corner faster and harder and will increase significantly the overall performance.

–  Ask a specialist about the wheel’s angles and how to adjust them in order to obtain the best performance from your car.

After Steps 1 & 2 your car should be faster on a race track than ever without even making modifications to the engine or other internal components. That’s something!

STEP 3 – Engine enhancements

 

After improving the handling and the safety it’s time to increase the power of your engine. There are though some limits dictated by the strength and durability of the internal components.

– Change the exhaust system –> The factory exhaust system contains a lot of components that increase the exhaust gas resistance on the way out the pipe. Of course, most of those components are there to increase the air pollution ratings of a car. You will have to make a compromise between the power  you want to gain and the pollution level you want to keep. At best, with a good exhaust system you should gain about 10 – 15 bhp, but you should keep in mind that a professional exhaust system, made specifically for your car, it’s a must.

– Use better fluids –> Better fluids will allow the engine to run more smoothly. The energy loss through internal friction should decrease and the output power should increase. But you should keep in mind that the maintenance interval for the engine decrease significantly. For a performance engine, it might even be recommended to change the fluids at maximum 4000 km.

– Use a better software for the engine –> This operation should only be made with a specialist and only on a dyno. There are a lot of calibration parameters (up to 20000 parameters for a regular engine) that can be changed in order to tune the engine but the most important one is the engine map. By modifying the engine map, one can enhance the power, the torque or even lower the fuel consumption. I remind you again that this operation should only be made by a specialist. You should keep in mind that a new engine can support an increase of power of up to 15%, with the extra loads supported by the safety coefficients of that engine. So for a relatively cheap tuning you should not exceed this limit without changing the internal and external components of an engine.

– Use a supercharger device –> This method is not as simple as it looks. There are a lot of new components that should be added and calculated and there is a lot of work to be invested in fine tuning the engine. This operation should be made by a specialist and the results should be evaluated on a dyno. As long as the added power is below 15% the modifications can be made without changing the internal components. For extra power, some other modifications are required.

 

STEP 4 – Aerodynamics?

 

Now that you have made your car faster it is important to be able to control it at high speed. Basically you want to be able to transfer a higher force from the wheels to the ground. This can be done through two ways. First of all, you can use slicks or semi-slicks. By doing so, you will benefit from a better grip coefficient and you will have a better control over the car. Second of all you can use some aerodynamic tricks. The simplest aerodynamic enhancement is to use a big wing at the back of the car. But you should be advised about the fact that you should always use components designed specific for your car. Otherwise you can ruin the handling. Another way of improving the aerodynamics is to use a front splitter, also designed and tested specifically for your car. Another trick is to use a flat floor for the underside of your car. You will improve significantly the air flow under the car and you should feel the difference.

For other aerodynamic improvements you should contact some specialists. They should be able to perform some air flow studies in order to give you the best solutions for your car. There are some tuning companies that are specialized in aerodynamic studies and you should be aware of the solutions they offer for your car.

 

BACK-UP PLAN

 

There are some people who want to drive a special car but at the same time they find this tuning thing exhausting and not suited to them. For them, there is a large offer from some well known tuning companies. The tuning companies usually offer packs adapted to all needs, tastes and in a wide variety of price range.

The offer is quite impressive. There is an important number of tuning companies and all of them are capable of making your car as special as you want. Whether you think only at luxury and traveling in style or you think at the ultimate performance numbers you can find the perfect offer for you. And even if you couldn’t find something that fits you, don’t worry. These companies are all about custom modifications and they can do whatever you want. And the quality is included.

 

One can choose anything form custom paint jobs to make the car stand out in a crowd, to exquisite interiors and custom exhausts. The offer extends also to custom wheels, and different types of chip tuning. The best part is that you shouldn’t get worried with work quality because most of those companies have very skilled engineers and most of their modifications are intensively studied through complex calculations and a lot of hours of tests.

So, what is your favorite tuning method? Do you like to fiddle with the car or do you want a readymade modification?

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