Beginners’ Guide to Car Tuning
To any person interested in their car, getting a tune up is a tried and tested way to step up a car’s performance and capabilities. The problem is that there are a lot of well-meaning takes on tuning that are more likely to wreck your car than give it an upgrade.
Thankfully, the people over at AusBody Works can give us an expert’s perspective on why and how to tune your car. This beginners’ guide will hopefully save you precious time and money by asking important questions that can help you determine the right ways to get a tune up.
What sort of car are you aiming for with regards to the tune?
Before you even decide on what you want changed in your car, you have to first visualize what you want your car to be. Are you after a balance of form and function? Do you want a car that handles better and drives efficiently? Are you the type to join races and want a fully-primed vehicle capable of matching up against top contenders around the country?
Asking this fundamental question guarantees you that making that first change to your car takes you a step closer to your goal. Having this mindset will avoid regrets later on when you realize a modification on your mate’s car just doesn’t suit the car you want or that the mods you have installed make it that much harder to progress with your planned tune.
What is the condition of your platform?
The next thing any person should consider when tuning their car is the vehicle’s condition. An old rickety car with a dying engine is less likely to maximize the benefits of an increased performance from its modifications compared to a relatively new or unused car. If you’re getting a car with tuning in mind, it is best to keep it well maintained.
Another thing to consider is the suitability of the platform you’re using. Realistically, a Hyundai Accent won’t work if your aim is to make a speed demon of a race car. Get a car with a design that is in-line to your goals. Want a fast race car? Get a base that is designed for high performance.
Is your tuned car suitable for real-world driving?
You don’t need to ask this question if you’re the type to tow your tuned vehicle to and from a track or racing venue on a trailer. However, if you plan to drive your baby on everyday streets and roads, you have to take into consideration how it will manage. Does your body kit give you enough room to move around? Will it be able to negotiate speed bumps without scraping? Take real-world driving scenarios into consideration to avoid encountering such problems down the line.
What sort of modifications are you after, bolt-on or permanent?
People tend to change their minds about things, not the least car owners who like customizing their cars. Bolt-on modifications and other easy-to-install mods are a go-to if you plan on selling your car easily down the line or if you want to keep your car’s warranty. They’re also easy to access on the market with a variety of options so it makes sense that most people are satisfied with bolt-on parts like exhaust systems or length headers.
However, when considering a certain level of performance involving racing and track preparation, it is important that you understand that permanent modifications may be needed to get your desired results.
What sort of tune shall you require?
Now that you have an idea of what kind of car you want out of your tune up, here is a list of pointers that can guide you on what to tune you’ll need for your desired car:
1. Tuning for daily drivers
Daily drivers or street car owners take up the vast majority of car enthusiasts. What they want out of their cars are better horsepower, handling, torque, and aesthetics. However, they need to ensure that their modifications are within legal limits to ensure their cars are suitable for day-to-day driving.
This usually involves upgrading suspension for better handling, switching out air intakes with short ram or cold air intake systems to improve engine breathing, exchanging stock wheels with alloy wheels for a more responsive suspension system, and using performance-oriented brake kits to give you that boosted confidence when gliding through the streets.
2. Beginners’ Guide to Car Tuning
Tuning for the track or for racing events is a different monster altogether. It costs a lot more time and money and requires a level of commitment much higher than that of a daily driver. This is necessary because achieving high-level performance means committing permanent and aggressive changes to your car.
This tuning typically includes choosing top-quality coilovers for suspension to manage ride height. Wheels and tyres are also an important consideration depending on the type of race you’ll be participating in. Installing high-quality turbochargers or superchargers can also vastly increase the performance of your care.
Tuning for the track or events also means you need to comply with relevant standards such as having a roll cage, fire extinguisher, 4-/5- point safety harness, and full-face helmet.
Of course, there are other modifications you can consider when tuning your car but the above mentioned are a good place to start. The bottom-line is, know what you want out of your tune up and consider the cost it will require.
If you’re still not sure about why or how to tune your car, pop into a reputable car tuning shop in your area where you can ask the essential questions.