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Old 05-25-2009, 09:24 PM   #1
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Ridiculously Stupid Question

Hey guys, im sorry for the very newbish question (thats because i am one) but what exactly is a tune, where can you get it done, and what does it cost? Im guessing it adjusts the amount of fuel/air entering the engine? and what increase in performance can you expect? thanks guys, and sorry again for the question.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:32 PM   #2
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A "tune" is a term used to reprogram the engines computer to change the way it delivers fuel and spark and all the other variables like on the LLT cam timing and lift.

It's usually a difficult process of reprogramming the computer to work with in specific parameters for more efficiency or performance.

It takes someone with a special set of skills to over ride the computer and make it perfor
better.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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It can increase fuel economy and horsepower and such. It changes what the computer is programed to tell your car to do kinda.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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GM limits what the cars potential and a tuner can unleash a lot of nice new features but you would throw away any warranty on the engine and tranny at that point. And even if you flashed it back to stock the new scanners can read that it has been messed with.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:42 PM   #5
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Basically, someone who claims to have know-how, or perhaps someone who actually does, puts your car on a dyno with all the parts you slapped onto it and adjusts the computer. These adjustments will help your computer keep up with the new components you've installed on your car. Tunes increase the performance of your car. Originally, your car is tuned to meet emissions standards or to increase fuel efficiency. Performance tunes oftentimes hurt fuel efficiency in favor of better trap speeds and dyno results.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:42 PM   #6
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GM limits what the cars potential and a tuner can unleash a lot of nice new features but you would throw away any warranty on the engine and tranny at that point. And even if you flashed it back to stock the new scanners can read that it has been messed with.
really? tune, and the engine and tranny warranty is gone? Do aftermarket CAI and mufflers void any warranty?
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:29 AM   #7
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really? tune, and the engine and tranny warranty is gone? Do aftermarket CAI and mufflers void any warranty?
no CAI and mufflers won't but headers yes

but just go to the dealer and talk to the service writer or general manager and see how mod friendly they are, some times they are gear heads as much as the rest of us and say those bolt on mods are nothing as well as a tune, just make sure no tech reflashes your computer
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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oh okay, great. Can they swap out ECU's and just have the stock one in there without them knowing you have a tune on the engine?
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:09 PM   #9
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I hate to say this because I am sure some of you out there will try to disagree, but anyone who has an aftermarket calibration is giving up something. GMs OEM calibration is the best overall balance between HP, FE, Emissions, Noise and of course Durability of the powertrain (engine, trans and rear axle). A calibration has to be balanced to provide around town drivability, cruising on the highway and WOT performance. Plus it has to be done at temps from Northern Canada in the middle of winter to the highs in Phoenix in the middle of summer. Then throw in sea level on the coasts and 12,000 feet above sea level around Denver. This can take a year to get it just right.

Yes, someone can get you more HP, but you are giving up something.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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I hate to say this because I am sure some of you out there will try to disagree, but anyone who has an aftermarket calibration is giving up something. GMs OEM calibration is the best overall balance between HP, FE, Emissions, Noise and of course Durability of the powertrain (engine, trans and rear axle). A calibration has to be balanced to provide around town drivability, cruising on the highway and WOT performance. Plus it has to be done at temps from Northern Canada in the middle of winter to the highs in Phoenix in the middle of summer. Then throw in sea level on the coasts and 12,000 feet above sea level around Denver. This can take a year to get it just right.

Yes, someone can get you more HP, but you are giving up something.

+1
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:44 PM   #11
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I hate to say this because I am sure some of you out there will try to disagree, but anyone who has an aftermarket calibration is giving up something. GMs OEM calibration is the best overall balance between HP, FE, Emissions, Noise and of course Durability of the powertrain (engine, trans and rear axle). A calibration has to be balanced to provide around town drivability, cruising on the highway and WOT performance. Plus it has to be done at temps from Northern Canada in the middle of winter to the highs in Phoenix in the middle of summer. Then throw in sea level on the coasts and 12,000 feet above sea level around Denver. This can take a year to get it just right.

Yes, someone can get you more HP, but you are giving up something.
Well said
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:06 PM   #12
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With that being said, and I agree with you by the way, if you modify anything you're changing the parameters they spent the money on the programming for. So with say an after market manifold you're changing the way the air is introduced.

And stay away from shops who like to advertise big numbers. You want a shop that can demonstrate more power throughout the powerband. Not just a big number at peak RPM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:16 PM   #13
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With that being said, and I agree with you by the way, if you modify anything you're changing the parameters they spent the money on the programming for. So with say an after market manifold you're changing the way the air is introduced.

And stay away from shops who like to advertise big numbers. You want a shop that can demonstrate more power throughout the powerband. Not just a big number at peak RPM.
+1 to both


and to Ferrarimk13 yes you can keep the stock ECU and just swap them out, that is actually a good plan too have,just pick up another to have that one tuned and nobody will know lol
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:24 PM   #14
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But don't these performance tunes only affect the fuel/spark table at WOT? It runs in open loop at WOT, so at part throttle cruising would the stock tune not still be in effect?
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:27 PM   #15
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I hate to say this because I am sure some of you out there will try to disagree, but anyone who has an aftermarket calibration is giving up something. GMs OEM calibration is the best overall balance between HP, FE, Emissions, Noise and of course Durability of the powertrain (engine, trans and rear axle). A calibration has to be balanced to provide around town drivability, cruising on the highway and WOT performance. Plus it has to be done at temps from Northern Canada in the middle of winter to the highs in Phoenix in the middle of summer. Then throw in sea level on the coasts and 12,000 feet above sea level around Denver. This can take a year to get it just right.

Yes, someone can get you more HP, but you are giving up something.
Thank You....I agree totally. It is usually a combo of fuel and engine life that you give up with an aggressive tune. Or Turbo Life in case of the SKY Redline. This is why I am still stock tuned!
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:48 PM   #16
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I hate to say this because I am sure some of you out there will try to disagree, but anyone who has an aftermarket calibration is giving up something. GMs OEM calibration is the best overall balance between HP, FE, Emissions, Noise and of course Durability of the powertrain (engine, trans and rear axle). A calibration has to be balanced to provide around town drivability, cruising on the highway and WOT performance. Plus it has to be done at temps from Northern Canada in the middle of winter to the highs in Phoenix in the middle of summer. Then throw in sea level on the coasts and 12,000 feet above sea level around Denver. This can take a year to get it just right.

Yes, someone can get you more HP, but you are giving up something.
thats what i was wondering, im sure the company spends a lot of its time trying to get the perfect balance between fuel economy and power, but the thing that confused me is if it truly is the "best" all around, why do so many people add that to their list right away? Now im sure if i ever got the camaro, i probably woulnt go for a tune, but it never hurts to know about it. Thanks for all the input though, i really appreciate it. I understand it a bit more now. I still dont get why do they go with no CAI stock? is it because they expect people to do it themselves, or is it too expensive? Just seems a little strange to put the overly covered intake on there. Protection?
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:16 PM   #17
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Probably protection. The stock box is probably over-designed to prevent hydrolock, i.e., sucking water into the engine. Some aftermarket CAI's offer a valve that will help avoid this, but sometimes it's an option.

Any other ideas on the above question?

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Old 05-28-2009, 05:23 PM   #18
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When my car came in the dealer didnt have the CAI or Cat back evailable, told me it would be in about mid june or so. So my question is this If i go with a CAI would I also need to take it in to be retuned? My salesman didn't know the answer to that qauestion.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:44 PM   #19
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I hate to say this because I am sure some of you out there will try to disagree, but anyone who has an aftermarket calibration is giving up something. GMs OEM calibration is the best overall balance between HP, FE, Emissions, Noise and of course Durability of the powertrain (engine, trans and rear axle). A calibration has to be balanced to provide around town drivability, cruising on the highway and WOT performance. Plus it has to be done at temps from Northern Canada in the middle of winter to the highs in Phoenix in the middle of summer. Then throw in sea level on the coasts and 12,000 feet above sea level around Denver. This can take a year to get it just right.

Yes, someone can get you more HP, but you are giving up something.
I mostly agree, but I'll say in the case of the Cobalt SS (and the ecotec LNF in general) GM actually severely handicapped them at first. After a while, GM determined what issues there were and what they could bump up, then they released their own tunes. The Cobalts isn't out yet, but they increased the GXP and HHR SS significantly. It's got the same factory warranty. The increase was from 260hp/tq to 290hp/315-345 torque depending on your transmission. So ya I agree on most tuners-but a real pro who does this full time can do a pretty good job.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:53 PM   #20
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justmeron: probably no tune necessary. The small (relatively) difference a CAI makes should be taken care of by the computer, as-is.

MrIcky: that's good news. I'd love to have a "factory-unlocked" V-6 M6.

Come to think of it, I'd like to have the V-6 M6 I put a deposit on. Come on, Christmas!

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