Manufacturers calibrate their ECUs to optimum emissions, fuel economy and component longevity which all can limit performance. It is also logistically simpler and more cost-effective for car manufacturers to produce as few region-specific model variants as possible. This means that one engine management map is developed with the necessary flexibility to cope with all these limiting constraints. Thus, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ map that is conservative enough to cope with running low octane fuel is what is encountered when custom tuning most vehicle models.
This is why we here at Webster’s don’t believe in ‘canned tunes’. Instead we dyno tune every vehicle as completely custom tune. This is because we have seen large variances from vehicle to vehicle from the factory, even when they are the same model.
The fuel mixture of standard vehicles from factory are typically very rich, which is done purposefully as a safety precaution. Effectively, the car needs to be driven out of the showroom and work reliably and not ping even if it is not serviced regularly or correctly, or is using old or lower octane fuel. Ultimate performance of the vehicle is a distant second priority. If you do however service it correctly and use good quality fuel then the gains to be had are huge and all for a relatively small investment. This is where our years of experience in tuning these vehicles really shines.
The improvements are often impressive with a better power spread across the rev range, higher peak torque resulting from increased power at lower engine speeds, better throttle response, quieter and smoother idle and cruising. Added to this is that a performance tune can also result in even better fuel consumption as the OEM calibrations typically retard timing and run a richer air/fuel mixture to safeguard against poorly serviced vehicles or poor quality fuel.
So you get more power, more torque, better throttle response, and better fuel consumption. What are you waiting for?