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.