ECU Tuning – A Fun Way to Learn How to Tune Your Own Vehicle

Tuning Your ECU Can Be A Fun and Rewarding Tool

 

If you’ve ever wanted to get the most out of what your car has to offer, then you may want to consider learning ECU tuning. It’s a fun way to learn how to “tune” and program your own car to peak performance – and for car enthusiasts like you, it’s definitely a joy to learn.

ECU stands for “engine control unit,” which is basically the “brain” of your car, controlling everything that goes on in the engine. It’s like a computer that controls how the car operates, down to the last variable. “Tuning” this computer to squeeze out every last drop of high performance is, today, both a rewarding hobby and high-profit business opportunity.

Knowing how to tune a car’s ECU means you can:

• Fine-tune your car’s fuel economy, especially if you know at which speeds it spends much of its driving time;
• Get more horsepower out of your car’s build
• Allow you to add upgrades, performance parts, and modifications (“mods”) without potentially damaging or decreasing your car’s performance
• Make the engine more responsive to acceleration
• Smoothen your engine’s power delivery, so you don’t need to switch gears as often
• Increase or decrease your engine’s rev range as needed
• Increase or decrease your car’s speed limit as needed
• Save money on gas bills by improving fuel efficiency

These are just some of the benefits that come with the proper training, experience, and accreditation in engine tuning. If this sounds like something you’d love to get into, read on!

ECU Tuning Basics – Can You Tune Your Own Car?

Everything that your car does is controlled, managed, and maintained by its ECU – or, more specifically, the programming that’s been written on it (sometimes called a “map”). Every single car line has a specially made ECU and map for it, which is usually updated every few months by the car manufacturer.

To tune your engine, you first need to know the vehicle’s year, make, and model. Every ECU comes with its “stock” tune (its factory default). As the months and years go by, the car’s manufacturers come up with more updated, more improved maps for their car lines, which they then distribute to their dealers all over the world.

Car manufacturers tune their cars’ engines through “flashing,” or erasing the map written on the ECU, and then replacing it with an updated map. It’s like updating the firmware on your mobile device, opening up new features and improving performance.

Presently, car manufacturers update their car lines’ maps every few months, after a lot of studying, stat-crunching, and compiling data. It’s highly advisable to take in your vehicles for a tune-up every year, as it keeps it in tip-top shape.

That said, can you tune your own car? You definitely can – especially if you’re the type of car enthusiast who adds performance parts and modifications to your ride!

Normally, you don’t need to “self-tune” if you’re just adding new exhausts, top-mounted intercoolers, or cold-air intakes – the engine’s stock tune usually self-adjusts to the minimal changes these modifications make.

However, you DO need to self-tune when you add new cylinder heads, camshafts, and other performance modifications that change the data that goes through the ECU. The more modifications you make, the more important tuning your engine becomes – but to the true car enthusiast, the process is enjoyable (and even addicting to some).

Manipulation – ECU Tuning Software

Updating and changing the map on a car’s ECU is done with special software, which you can manipulate on a computer or similar interface device. You might notice that when you take the car to the shop for a service, the technicians plug in a laptop to your car and fiddle with a special program.

As mentioned earlier, car dealers usually just update the stock tunes on the car lines they’re licensed to service. But when you’re a car enthusiast, heavy modder, or tuning hobbyist, you’ll want to learn how to tune the ECU yourself.

The tuning software usually lets you change variables in the ECU map, which include:

• The fuel-to-air ratio
• The spark timing
• The variable valve timing
• The engine rev limit
• The vehicle speed limit

Now, you might be wondering: Why does a tune-up cost so much at the shop, when all the technicians seem to do is just plug in a laptop?

Here’s why: For most car lines, especially the popular ones, updating to the latest firmware takes several months of painstaking study and stat-crunching, using expensive computers, dynamometers, and testing facilities.

It’s a real science, which is why more and more car enthusiasts are taking up engine tuning as a hobby – both to save money and to open up business opportunities. It’s also the reason why more and more schools are giving ECU training and education today.

The Right Education – Choosing Your ECU Tuning School

There are lots of tuning schools out there that can teach you how to tune several popular car lines. These schools can also help you get the accreditation and licensing you need if you ever want to start your own engine tuning shop (or career) in the future.

The problem with most tuning schools is that they’re either (1) too expensive, (2) too far away, or (3) have courses that are scheduled inconveniently, or in conflict with your own schedule.

What’s more, most schools today acknowledge that many people get ECU education to start their own engine tuning businesses, and as a result infuse their curriculum with the business side of things. Most times, this takes away from the technical side of engine tuning – and as a result, many students finish their courses feeling a little short-changed of training and education.

This is especially frustrating for car enthusiasts who dream of working on a race team, building ultra-high-performance cars for competitive racing. It can be a challenge to find that kind of cutting-edge training in the everyday, average ECU tuning school.

That’s why we at FASTuuN decided to put our school online. Now, anyone who wants to get an education in engine tuning can get it anytime they want, anywhere they want!

If you want to learn all about tuning your car’s engine all by yourself, it’s best to do it at your own time, in the comforts of your own home, and without breaking the bank on school fees. That’s exactly what you’ll get by joining us!

And best of all? Our school is online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Whether you just want to pursue your car tuning hobby, or if you want to one day build a profitable business around your hobby, or work towards your dream of working on a successful race team, we can help you. Just click here to learn more about our courses and ECU tuning professional. See you on the other side!

19 Comments

  • Naveen raj

    Reply Reply May 20, 2015

    Need to learn these tuning techniques…I’m interested to do a course on tuning remapping flashing and all other techniques…also have plan to start my own tuning shop…

  • Daniel

    Reply Reply September 5, 2015

    I want to know about the classes online and where to pay and how much

  • Jack

    Reply Reply September 6, 2015

    Hi Daniel

    Where are you in your tuning? Are you new to tuning?

    Jack

    • Daniel

      Reply Reply September 8, 2015

      I graduated from Universal Technical Institute back in 2001 I have been working on cars ever since I’m pretty good with electrical and diagnostics I had seen tuning done before but have never done it myself would like to learn

  • Daniel

    Reply Reply September 7, 2015

    I graduated from UTI back in 2002 and have been working on auto’s ever since and the tuning part I have seen done but haven’t been trained on tuning but that’s about all I have left to learn on the technical computer part of the trade

  • Jack

    Reply Reply September 9, 2015

    Thats great that you at least have some sort of auto tech back ground to start with so it shouldn’t be to hard to understand what Shawn teaches. If this really interests you maybe this will better understand where you are and what level you want to be at. You can take our short survey here http://fastuun.com/dds/
    This will better help us as well.

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply December 8, 2015

    I am paralysed from the waist down and always loved cars. I would love to learn how to tune up cars and deristrict them and so on. I am in the UK what else would I need to buy and costs to be able to do this to my T5 and maybe a few friends if I feel up to it . Can you help me? I have never worked on engine before

    • Jack

      Reply Reply December 11, 2015

      Hi Andrew There is not any reason you can’t learn to EFI. You would just need a way to control throttle or have someone drive for you while you tune. If you need to start somewhere you can start here. fastuun.com/starters-edition

  • mori

    Reply Reply December 10, 2015

    hi
    i want too know where can i learn too tun my car
    is there in college for this?

    • Jack

      Reply Reply December 11, 2015

      Hi Mori there may be a college out there somewhere that you can take some basic course on automotive engines but you can discover all you need to know with us right from the comfort of your favorite chair while drinking your most interesting beverage. You will need to start here if this interests you. fastuun.com/starters-edition

  • sabiu

    Reply Reply December 10, 2015

    i’m car technician i want learning everything about ecu tuning repairing programing even dicoding.

  • Jack

    Reply Reply December 11, 2015

    Hi Sabiu we don’t teach anything about repairing or decoding but you can discover how to reprogram the ECU to get more efficiency and horsepower from just about any engine management solution with us. If you like to check it out and see if it is for you then try going here first. fastuun.com/starters-edition

  • Sai

    Reply Reply December 17, 2015

    Good Day Guys,

    i am very interested in tuning from the basics to a master tuning.

    what is the best way? is all these videos available online?

    i am currently based in South Africa, and there such a massive demand for top performance from they cars and best fuel economy.

    i want to turn my hobby into the best tuning company in SA!

    please advise what is the best way forward to do this .

    thank you

    • Jack

      Reply Reply December 17, 2015

      Hi Sai

      That is great that you want to be a master tuner. It is very possible to achieve that with us.

      Shawn was named top 20 tuners in the US.
      He is about the only guy in the world that tunes 2000-2500 cars a year if not the only one. This is all he does. He is a great teacher as well. He was even a professor at Pepperdine University. That is just a little about Shawn and his credentials. You can see more here at http://fastuun.com/about-us

      All our video’s are located online.
      Well if your new to tuning EFI you would probably want to start at the beginning
      with the basics which is here http://fastuun.com/starters-edition which you can watch
      all the videos in about 2.5 hrs. This course is $77

      Then you would get EFI Simplified which goes deep into all the concepts of tuning EFI.
      You could probably watch all the videos in a weekend but some of the concepts Shawn
      goes over from what guys tell us you might have to watch some of the videos twice just
      to get the ah-ha moment. This course is $397. Just follow the fastuun.com/staters-edition
      page purchase and you will get to the EFI simplified purchase page.

      Hope that all makes sense.

      If you have anymore questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • Tana

    Reply Reply January 24, 2016

    Hello, we are used truck engine shop and we couldn’t start an engine(diesel commonrail) that we bought from japan due to immobilizer. Do you guys teach how to remove or remap imo from an ecu?

    Thank you

    • Jack

      Reply Reply January 26, 2016

      It all has to do with the software. If the software can remove it or not.

  • David Escobar

    Reply Reply April 17, 2016

    What does a complete fast tunn package consist of ?

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