What is tuning? – part I


All combustion engines are controlled by an ECU aka engine control unit, this genius invention takes and processes signals from well over 10 sensors to run the car. 

The signals collected from the sensors help guide the ECU to activate pre-programmed commands aka maps to control various components of the engine such as injectors, ignition coil, or cam timing. To alter the engine’s performance will mean changing the pre-programmed command, and that is tuning ?

Sound simple? That’s because concepts are always easier to understand than applications, just like how you can be lost when putting together a jigsaw puzzle but the image on the box looks simple. There are various ways to alter the command from the ECU, you can either crack the map to edit it, add a device such as piggyback chips that hijack the command before it reaches the operating components, or replace the ECU with an aftermarket one and write the full comprehensive list of maps from scratch known as the standalone ECU. Here’s a glimpse of a sample map cracked with Alientech software.


In part II, we will share with you the various tuning solutions available in Singapore’s market and how to spot a hoax…