ArticlesHow to Modify / Tune your car
What does a BHPian naturally want out of his stock machine? MORE POWER! Team-BHP tells you all you need to know about modifying your street car.
• Remember to practice SAFE DRIVING on public roads! With additional power comes the need for additional responsibility. Keep the racing restricted to track days and in other forms of competition (within a controlled environment).
• Enroll with a professional rally / racing / driving school. This will not only make you a faster driver but also a safer one. To quote a popular Pirelli tagline : Power is nothing without control.
• Ensure that you are with the right tuner. The quality of install and product is most important. Get your work done only by a tuner who has the relevant knowledge, infrastructure and dedication to carry out a high quality installation. The product quality is equally important and it is generally recommended to stick to reputed brands (wherever available). A bad modification can actually make your car slower than in stock tune. Poor reliability may also result from a bad installation, causing a great amount of heart-burn to you.
• Remember that the engine is a very complex system and each component has to work in harmony with everything else. Only then will you benefit from the performance modifications.
• Tune your car via a step-by-step method. This will allow you to gauge improvements in an incremental manner and fine-tune one modification before moving on to the next.
• Choose a “mod-friendly” car to start with. Most Japanese brands like the Hondas and Suzuki’s have tremendous after-market support in terms of parts availability and tuner capability. Simply put, there are some cars which inherently respond better to performance tuning. On the other hand, it is a pointless exercise trying to make heavy cars like the Contessa or a Mahindra Jeep go any faster! Pick your car based on what you want to achieve.
• Beware of cheap “go-fast” gimmicks like the Surbo and electric superchargers, which are nothing but an absolute waste of money. Common sense plays a vital role out here; why would you need a DTM corner slammer on a front wheel drive car that spends most of its time below 120 kph.
• Remember that Vitamin M (or Money!!) runs the show. Tuning your car can be an expensive proposition, so outline a detailed budget before moving on from stage to stage. Not only will the modifications cost you big $$$, but lowered fuel efficiency (almost certain) will cause another dent on your wallet. Some highly-modified cars or engines running an increased compression ratio may also require high-octane fuel to run efficiently.
• Invest in a popular timing device like the G-Tech series. This range of timing equipment will help you to gauge the benefits of your modification, and whether that actually translated into making your car faster.
• Remember that your warranty will almost certainly be nullified, if your car is within the coverage period.
• Think before you try to alleviate the visual appeal of your car via body kits and spoilers. Be warned that a badly-designed body kit will ruin the aerodynamics of your car and may cause it to become unstable at high speeds. Also, spoilers are merely for looks and, in any case, work only above 175kph.