#How to tune Automotive Engine

01 / December 2023
How to tune Automotive Engine

Seletron Performance

The Key of Automotive Engine Tuning

When it comes to tuning cars, practices aimed at increasing torque and, consequently, engine power, whether fuelled by diesel or gasoline, are often discussed in a very general manner without specifying the main aspects to consider. In this article, we will try to shed light on the most important aspects (or at least the main ones) that can be addressed to enhance the performance of an automotive engine.

What we will discuss in this article on car tuning:

As a preliminary note to make the topic more comprehensive, we will focus on forced-induction engines, whether they are turbo-diesel or turbo-petrol. We will not delve into the specifics of engines supercharged with a volumetric compressor, as these are quite rare. However, we have already covered this aspect on our website, and you can find something interesting here: https://seletron.com/en/news/117_how-volumetric-supercharger-works

Electronic Engine Tuning

This is the most discussed part on our website, but not the only one. Electronic management, especially in the last two decades, has become the key to the majority of non-invasive or, at least, within a certain margin (although still high) increase in torque and power values. Electronic management has long been the most impactful on the performance of turbocharged diesel or Otto cycle engines.

The electronics, contained within the Engine Control Unit (ECU), regulate the amount of injected fuel (diesel or gasoline) and the boost pressure, the two parameters that determine the energy developed during each active phase of the engine. Everything else serves to operate the system, but it is the quantity of air/fuel mixture that determines the calories developed during the combustion phase, and thus the power delivered by the engine.

The electronics also manage elements that optimize delivery (such as the variable geometry of intake ducts, variable turbine geometry, variable timing, etc.), elements necessary for emission control (EGR partitioning, anti-particulate filter pressure control, etc.), and engine protection functions (torque limiters, temperature controls, etc.). It is clear that intervening in the engine management electronics represents an important and indispensable path to achieve better performance. The additional CHIPBOX DIESEL and CHIPBOX PETROL control units are examples of high-quality (and non-invasive) modifications capable of generating significant power and torque increases in virtually all turbo-diesel and turbo-petrol cars.

Engine Intake Tuning

The intake consists of everything between the external atmospheric air and the cylinder. In order, we find the intake airbox, the air filter, the ducts from the filter to the turbocharger inlet via the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor, the ducts from this to the intercooler, the ducts from the intercooler to the throttle body, the connection between this and the intake manifolds, the intake ports in the engine head, and the intake valves. Each of these parts can be improved through processing or the use of enhanced and/or larger components. You can find an example of a high-performance intake kit on this website: https://black-boost-italia.it/en/ a classic modification that goes beyond electronic management changes.

Mechanical Engine Block Tuning

Engine block tuning represents the most invasive (and less reversible) part in the world of car tuning. This can include the machining of cylinder head ducts, valve replacement, profiling or replacement of camshafts, replacement of pistons, connecting rods, bearings, piston rings, and even cylinder head machining. It is evident that these processes are among the most complex and expensive and are impossible to restore quickly. They are usually reserved for "heavy" modifications.

Exhaust System Tuning

The exhaust system, in a different way, can also be optimized. Today, more than ever, exhaust systems are very complex due to the treatment of combustion gases for the purpose of controlling harmful emissions. A modern turbocharged engine now has an exhaust system that starts with "hot" manifolds. These can be of the "all-in-one" type (with all 4, 5, or 6 outlets converging together towards the turbine inlet) or be split for engines with a twin-scroll turbine, a solution widely used in modern turbocharged direct injection petrol engines (Mercedes, Audi, BMW, just to name a few).

At the turbine outlet, we generally have a particulate filter (DPF for Diesel engines, OPF for direct injection petrol engines) with related pressure imbalance sensors, then the catalyst (with another sensor), and finally one or two mufflers, some of which - on sporty models - may use an electronic system to vary the flow to control the engine sound. The exhaust system, with its backpressure and fluid dynamics in general, significantly impacts engine performance and delivery. In this regard, we have developed special kits capable of emulating the presence of particulate filters for petrol engines.

These kits - called XPF EMULATOR - allow for the technical removal or possible emptying of the GPF, OPF on petrol engines, without the engine ECU going into recovery. That's not all; to customize the engine sound (on cars equipped with the valve control system on the exhaust system), we have developed a specific kit called EVC-SPORT that allows you to control the engine sound through a convenient remote control. With this remote, you can decide at any moment whether to leave the original ECU in charge of the normal sound management (usually quiet at low speeds and "open" at medium-high speeds) or force the sporty sound at all engine operating speeds!

Learn more about kits for the removal of particulate filters here: https://seletron.com/en/chiptuning/xpf-emulator-particulate-filter-opf-gpf

Learn more about kits for exhaust valve management (engine sound) here: https://seletron.com/en/chiptuning/evc-sport-exhaust-valve-control

Forced Induction Tuning

The boost value, as mentioned above, is one of the most decisive parameters for the torque and power values of the engine. The amount of air introduced into the cylinders also determines the amount of fuel that can be injected, be it diesel or gasoline (with due differences), and it is precisely the fuel that, in turn, determines the amount of energy released in the combustion chamber, thus in the active phase of the engine. Our power enhancement kits also act on boost pressure, doing so through internal digital maps that regulate it based on the rotation speed and engine load, balancing the ratio between air and injection.

In summary, we have broadly discussed the main aspects on which electronic modifications focus. On our website's catalog (under the SHOP section in the menu), you can search for your specific car model and see which kits are available to increase performance and, where applicable, customize the exhaust sound. You can find:

  • Additional control units for increased power and torque in Diesel engines
  • Additional control units for increased power and torque in petrol engines
  • Additional modules for the accelerator pedal (increased engine response)
  • Additional control units for emulating the presence of Diesel particulate filters
  • Additional control units for emulating the presence of petrol particulate filters
  • Additional control units for exhaust system valve management (sporty sound)

All electronic processing kits we provide are made in Italy with the best automotive components. Each kit is covered by the official SELETRON warranty and boasts TUV Austria certification as an additional guarantee of quality and high technological standards.

To enhance the performance of your car, browse through our catalog, select the brand and model, then the specific engine type. All available kits for increasing power and torque, any modules to install on the accelerator pedal, and any kits for engine sound management will appear. All additional control units for increasing power in both diesel and gasoline engines are also available in the CONNECT version. This technology allows you to control the maximum power and torque values of your engine through an app to be installed on your smartphone! Amazing, isn't it?

Imagine that you can decide the engine response and power output with simple touches on your smartphone screen. If you have one of the sporty models with electronic management of the exhaust system valves, you can even decide whether to select the standard automatic mode or always keep the exhausts more open for a consistently more sporty and satisfying sound!

Search for your car model now > https://seletron.com/en/shop/


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