Professional Mobile Remap vs Dyno Remap Myths

I thought it would be good to dispel some myths surrounding mobile tuning and their relationship to a remap being carried out on a rolling road.. 

Smoke and Mirrors

Let’s, first of all, dispel some myths about dyno tuning, when it comes to a  production car with a standard ECU (Engine Control Unit) there is no such thing as live tuning, a live remap or even dyno tuning, adjusting the vehicle’s software whilst on a rolling road is physically impossible and can only be carried out when the vehicle is stationary and powered off, however, I often see misleading marketing that suggests otherwise.

A Dyno, is simply a device used for measuring the power output (specifically force, torque or horsepower) from an engine, it’s essential when developing a true custom tune for a vehicle and can take several days to do so, during this time they would also be data logging air-fuel ratios, engine knock, boost, exhaust gas temperatures and so on..
BUT this is very specialist work and very very few companies actually do custom tunes regardless of if they have a dyno or not, even though they used the word custom, more often than not they are agents to the very same trusted companies that provide the very same base tune to other professional remapping tuning companies, simply because most of us could not afford two days labour to have our vehicle tuned, plus it’d be foolish to do so, as the benefits would be minimal.
Certainly, for Stage 1 tuning 99% of end-users will be delighted with the results of a generic tune, provided by a specialist tuner that has the opportunity to take the time to develop a tune that safely falls within the tolerances of the engine and components, obviously, they have left safety margins within that tune, hence many places that do have a rolling road can tweak and narrow the safety margin for the few who do want very last bit of power available, however, this isn’t a custom tune, just an adjustment to a previous good file and in reality, they haven,t done anything particularly clever.

But some people do like to have the piece of paper to give them peace of mind and to compare results with their friends about the new power output of their engine, I love all that stuff too, but a piece of paper does come at a cost as you do have to pay for the time of two dyno runs and the person’s time, so it is an expensive piece of paper.

So How Accurate are the Results from a Rolling Road?

First of all, as with all other precision measuring tools, the dynamometer’s readings should be regularly checked for accuracy, due to wear, temperature changes, corrosion, etc. mechanical and electronic sensors gradually drift slightly away from their original calibration, now I’m a natural skeptic so I’d want to see those maintenance and calibration records before I passed my money over, especially if the environmental conditions resembled that of a garage workshop and not that as a state of the art bespoke facility as in the photo.
The next most important thing other than the competence of the operator is the entering of a correction factor, take your car in on a nice crisp spring morning when the intake air temps are colder and you make 200bhp for example, go away and return later when the weather is warmer and you’ll make considerably less, the correction factor needs to account for air pressure, tyre pressure, fuel quality, temperature and humidity amongst other things to attempt to provide the same results, whatever time of day you take it.
Let’s take a minute to think about what I’ve said, and then ask yourself if you believe that this really happens at the facility you had in mind?

I believe that we have established that a dyno/rolling road is not essential to having a good quality tune applied to your vehicle, certainly, if you are just looking for good safe gains within the tolerance of the engine and components. It’s also very important to appreciate it is impossible for a rolling road to simulate real-world driving, so unless you own a heavily modified vehicle, or are looking for every last piece of available power to be squeezed out of your vehicle you can save yourself quite a bit of money and get the same result, just without the piece of paper, and in reality, if you can’t feel a significant difference in driveability and driving pleasure the piece of paper is worthless, and no one is going to refund you for Dyno time, whereas if we remap your vehicle and you are not completely delighted on the test drive, there would be no charge.

So yes, our tuning is dyno developed and proven in a bespoke state of the art facility by some of the most experienced people in the tuning business, but also testing is extensively carried out on the road where it really matters.

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