Car tuning for improved performance: Yay or Nay?

Updated Dec 31, 2020

Learn the smart way to make your car perform better, by modifying it smartly!

Car tuning is tricky and if it’s done the wrong way, then prepare for problems along the way. But, do the math and modifying it the smart way is better.

Modifying a car for better performance will forever change a stock car, and it will never be the same. For some drivers who love tinkering with cars to draw out the best performance it can achieve, is the goal. But, there is a process that needs to be understood, or modification may turn out to be a nightmare. The solution is doing it the smart way not just slapping in parts that aren’t up to spec for any model.

car tuning

Modifying a car for better performance will forever change a stock car, and it will never be the same

Just keep in mind that stock cars are developed painstakingly and are finished products that don’t need modifying. This is purely optional for some, but even small changes, especially in electronics, are crucial. A car modification is possible within tolerable limits that improve performance too, but it needs expertise, not a random process.

Cars have many components especially modern cars that are run by CPU and sensors. Cars of yesteryears were easy to modify because they were mechanical and analogue. It was so easy to modify old cars that it can be done by anyone with some guidance.

Now, it’s computers and chip that makes it a different ball game altogether! One wrong mod and everything will fall apart, so modding newer cars is a tricky process.

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3 Different Methods for Tuning a Car

I. Step by step car tuning: The smart way

Now, outlining the goals of the modification is important, and each step in modifying the smart way for improved car performance is crucial. Nothing should be random and take into account all aspects of modding, and what can’t be possible to do! What comes next are invaluable tips on how to start the process of car tuning by

1. How modified should the car be?

It’s really up to the tuner and how much modding is involved in doing it! Here are levels of modding that could be considered.

  • Modding the car slightly, so it can be the everyday ride as opposed to heavy mods. If a slight mod is desired; then it’s close to stock condition and will cost less.
  • Heavy modding of the car will mean a major overhaul and the stock condition is not existent anymore. Examples of this are car show quality cars and track cars that are heavily altered. These car modifications are a bit expensive and render it unfit for everyday driving.
  • Cars that are tuned mildly are perfect for street driving because most of the changes are cosmetic only. Other heavy mods will have heavy and electronic overhauls but done expertly of course!

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2. Prioritize all the supporting modifications, don’t omit them!

If the stock condition changes; it affects overall performance and will need supporting modifications. Changes in power output and torque and key components need support mods to help the car cope with it. Without these modifications, it will lead to certain running condition problems. This is where smart modification comes into play, to optimize all upgrades better!

a tuned car

If the stock condition changes; it affects overall performance and will need supporting modifications

3. Cheap out on the cost, then it’s hell to pay.

So, the cars modified and have breached the stock condition to the high-performance level, but was it done expertly? A modification is not cheap; it needs the right technicians to do it, or else a worst case would crop up. Cars are serious machines and are precisely made, violate it by random mods then expect the worst.

4. Expert tuning is a must!

All electronic and mechanical mods need to be tuned after installation, or it wouldn't function that well. Expert tuning is the final step to complete the modding totally, and it can’t be avoided. Car modding is a multiple process that should be followed strictly, and tuning is the last and vital part! Cheaping out on this stage is an absolute no-no.

5. Maintenance is important!

One thing to note is to have a full car maintenance check before modifying the car and after modding it. Keeping everything in running condition is the glue that ties everything together. No expense must be forgone or don’t mod the car at all!

a car maintenance service

Keeping everything in running condition is the glue that ties everything together

6. Car modifications is for experienced drivers not for showing off!

A fancy modified car that is driven by new drivers is a catastrophe waiting in the wings. Car tuning is good but only for older more experienced drivers who can handle a powerfully “modded” car.

Here are the steps to bring out the best in modified cars. But keep in mind that nothing in the process should be omitted or else! Do smart modification or not at all.

II. Kinds of car tuning

Before anything else, it is better to trick out an older model car because of less CPU and sensor use. Most older models have a central chip, unlike newer cars that fully computerized. Newer cars can be modified, but it might affect insurance coverage and freebies that came with the car. But making more cosmetic change is modifying the smart way for improved car performance.

  1. Some aftermarket electronics can be added but not when it involves touching the CPU. The CPU is sensitive and connecting or altering the main program is not very smart!
  2. When choosing mechanical upgrade parts don’t touch the ABS, EBD, and BA sensors which are sensitive safety features. Better to alter the brake disk and pads but never tamper with the sensor connections or a problem might happen.
  3. Cosmetic changes like tires and adding some mirrors, other driving aids that just need to be attached. Cosmetic changes don’t affect the CPU program but drilling into the chassis might be an issue.
  4. The addition of parking sensors and rear cams that need batteries or can be plugged via the cigarette lighter. All is fine for gadgets but tapping into the main CPU is not advised.
  5. Tires can change the road handling of any car for the better.
  6. Modyfiying suspension parts like shock absorbers, and the bushing will make the ride smoother and silent.
  7. Cabin components like better seats and steering wheels will do a lot of good!
  8. Generally adding any accessory that is attached or glued is better than drilling, or tapping into the main CPU.

cabin modifications

Cabin components like better seats and steering wheels will do a lot of good!

That more less completes what our article about car tuning is all about.

III. To mod or not to mod?

Altering the stock condition of any car is a matter of better judgement, but it can be done. When it comes to car tuning, it must be a step by step process, or problems will follow. Just go over this primer and ask if modding is applicable, then consider the tips given. It’s that simple to do!

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Norjan Ismail Abbas

Norjan Ismail Abbas


Norjan enjoys writing about various topics, and car is among them. Don't ever ask him which his most favorite car is since he has none. He believes each car is beautiful in its own way.

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