5 Factors You Should Consider When Tuning Your Ride & Customer's Experience Tuning with IE Software.
If you're looking to tune your ride. There are numerous options available on the market - APR, Revo, Integrated Engineering, 034 Motorsport, Galano, Superchips, Burger Motorsports, COBB, Custom tunes and more...
With so many brands of tunes available on the market this leaves the driver more confused than the guy that's just filled up his GTD with a whole tank of 98.
We have driven multiple VAGs running different tunes by different companies, and most tunes are similar in terms of performance gains. So to help you decide which brand you would like to tune with, you might want to consider the following:
1. Method of tuning
4. Customer Support
5. Matching Hardware + Software
Method of Tuning
There are 3 main types of methods when it comes to tuning cars:
1. Piggy-back - With these tunes you just plug into your vehicle's port and the tune is on the storage device. Some pros - being able to install and remove easily and also resell. Cons - not being able to upgrade additional software if required. Brands that offer this type of tuning include COBB and Burger Motorsports etc
2. Self-tunes - Self tunes are the future of tuning. It involves the driver tuning his/her own vehicle with their own laptop and cable provided. Users then download the digital file from the server. This form of tuning is a very popular option nowadays due to convenience and flexibility factors. You won't need to drive to a workshop every time you decide to upgrade your software. You can upgrade existing software and/or revert to stock anytime. Examples include IE and 034 Motorsport.
3. Workshop tunes - This includes custom dyno tunes and also software that has to be installed by a dealer. Pros - include getting the right advice, specific tune tailored to the driver. Cons - might be expensive due to requiring a professional and workshop. Examples include APR, Revo and Galano.
Price might be your biggest determinant - determining if you are going to go down with the tune or not. Some might not want to spend thousands of dollars on 'tune X' when they can get 'tune Y' that provides similar performance benefits for half the price.
If you decide to tune your ride at a workshop, make sure it's within close reach to your home. If you've tuned your ride from a workshop that's more than an hour drive away; you will be most likely be making that drive multiple times to upgrade additional software + hardware in the future which just ends up being inconvenient.
Great customer support from tuning companies is a huge +1. A responsive support team allows you to ask questions related to performance upgrades or what you might be planning on upgrading in the future and what routes you might want to take to achieve that.
Matching Hardware + Software
If you have tuned your ride with a specific brand it might be ideal to get hardware from the same brand. For example IE specifically tailor their tunes with IE hardware to get maximum performance gains. You woudn't want to get a Superchips ECU tune and match it with an IE DSG tune whilst upgrading to an APR DTR6054. Your car will be a fruit salad and nobody wants to drive a fruit salad.
Interview with one of our customer's experience tuning with IE software.
Customer: "Of course, well I found that it was incredibly convenient tuning with IE. Being a self tune, you can tune your own car in your garage or driveway without having to book an appointment in at a workshop... drive to the workshop... wait for the software + hardware install... and drive back.
It's as simple as purchasing a POWERLINK Cable from an IE dealer, having that express shipped to you and being instantly able to upload the file specific to your car."
Interviewer: Can you give some more detail as to the tuning process and can you revert back to stock one day?
Customer: "When you tune with IE software there are multiple files already uploaded onto the server and available for your car. For example, when you've purchased a stage 1 tune you can select the low torque or high torque file.
There is also a specific file for if you decide to upgrade your fuelling system with a high pressure fuel pump or upgraded turbo. So let's say you've upgraded that fuel pump down the future. You can just simply re-tune the car with that specific file yourself. In addition, the tunes are all interchangeable. You can revert back to stock or change to a different torque file as many times as you would like. I think it offers great flexibility for the user"
Interviewer: Was your experience with the DSG tune just like tuning with the ECU tune?
Customer: "My experience with tuning the car with the DSG file was exactly the same. It involved opening up my laptop with Windows and plugging the cable into the laptop and port.
Once you click on the flash wizard you just type in your POWERLINK serial number and then just press TUNE. From there you will see 'Transmission' and 'Engine'. You just click flash and wait 5 minutes.
When I purchased a stage 1 DSG file to upgrade to high torque it also offers great flexibility allowing the user to choose from DSG Auto Shifts ranging from 3000 - 4800RPMS. That's something I would like to play around with one day to see how driving feels compared with the varying files. I would definitely recommend IE software, it's great pricing and offers so much flexibility"
So there you have it...
What are some things to consider before tuning and what it's like to tune with IE software - all explained in one article.
To sum it all up, most tunes offer similar performance benefits, the only thing that differs is really the 5 main factors as stated previously. Our team hopes that this article has helped made your decision a bit easier.
We will see you in the next one!
VAG Garage Australia™ Team
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