This short clip from EFI University helps clarify the differences between the two ECU worlds–OEM tuning and aftermarket tuning–and explain why each exists. Car enthusiasts often wonder why the automaker couldn’t just add more power and unleash more of the inner beast within their cars. Ben from EFI delves into the issue by explaining the concerns auto brands have and why changing a few tables within a computer, after the fact, can make such a positive difference.
The video, which was shared on LSX Magazine, helps to educate the masses and reassure enthusiasts that merely having a stock tune is just fine. Ben uses the a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 as an example to explain the process General Motors goes through when creating power numbers and capping those figures. The 2009 Corvette ZR1 in the video has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 LS9 engine that cranks out a whopping 638 horsepower and 604 foot-pounds of torque. With a top speed of 205, the stock tune on the Corvette ZR1, for instance, is definitely not one to be ashamed of.
There are, of course, advantages to both OEM tuning and aftermarket tuning. With that being said, understanding both realms is vital to reaping the benefits from them. We know that one of the first things car enthusiasts to when seeking out more power is take their vehicle to a tuner. These professionals, who live and breath car codes, can help squeeze out that last ounce of power that we crave.
Keeping everything stock, though, does help to keep the warranty in place and ensure that the car is running as it was intended to. Otherwise, appointments to the service center can feel like you are getting in trouble and have to explain what you’ve done behind their back, so to speak. Modifying the car’s computer can have a great impact on the lifespan of the car’s drivetrain and pushing it too hard can cause more bad than good. There are a number of reasons why these automakers reached and stopped at the powers numbers they did; the stats had to meet a number of calibration standards to maintain a safe and reliable ride.
It’s important to note that just because something may be “better” does not necessarily mean that it is what is BEST for a certain vehicle or application.