Skip to main content

Should I E-tune or Dyno-tune?

An e-tune or a dyno-tune are BOTH better then running a basemap. For the average user, a quality e-tune is sufficient, but for an all out performance enthusiast the best answer is both. A user can run JUST a dyno-tune alone if a complete top to bottom dyno-tune is done properly. This will tune your completely part throttle and full throttle for the conditions present in the dynoshop at the time of the tune. Typically this involves 5 hours of data analysis (reviewing information) and 3 hours of related physical work (strapping the car, changing parameters, uploading, etc etc) for a total of an 8 hour day. This can get expensive when your paying $100-$150+ an hour for use of the dyno.

An e-tune will average the values out in real world conditions, taking the numbers from the datalogs you provide for the conditions AT the track. This means that the best answer to this question is to get both an e-tune and a dyno-tune. Why Both? For one reason you are going to get 2 opinions on how your car is running, which is better then one. For another you are going to save money getting the majority of the basic work out of the way before ending up at a $100-$150+ an hour dyno shop. And finally, an e-tune bases its feedback on the complex OBD-II systems in your car for real world conditions. Combine this with a good dyno shop which can further "fine" tune parameters such as ignition that are hard to gauge in a datalog the final dyno tune will complete the tuning process for a perfect running vehicle that is fully tuned.

However, something to remember is that the bottomline with all tuning, is that a tune is never complete, it is after all software, and when a good dea comes along you can always further improve it. The more time spent analysing your tune, and how the car is running, the better it will run. Its a law of averages, just because it runs perfect when its sunny and dry doesn't mean it will run the same when the barametric pressure falls and the humidity rises. Theres always another issue that can be found and better averaged out for ideal running conditions.

A naval acoustic engineer once said someting similar. No matter how quiet you make a submarine, there is always the next loudest noise. Even if the engines, propulsion shafts and sonar systems are silent, theres still people, footsteps, turbulence and electrical noise. The work is never done, its all a matter of how far you want to pursue it.

Tuning a combustion engine is very similar, it can always be improved given enough time to analyse the averages. The more detailed the datalog and the more revisions in place, the better then tune. The problem today is often a much smaller time frame of data is anlysed on a dyno leading to a poorer quality tune due to a very narrowband of analysis, this is epecially true if the user can only afford to analyse WOT values. Also this is because the data gathered while the car is both IN the shop and TURNING the dyno, rather then at the track in the weeks leading up the dyno. The user understandably doesn't want to spend 8 hours for a complete part throttle tune and often there there is not enough time to capture all the issues. The dyno tuner's hands can be tied if the user doesn't want to spend the money for the time on the dyno. The good news is with modern OBD-II systems 90% of the tuning can be done before hand, off the dyno. We recommend getting a quality E-tune, ensuring your tune is free of error and running as optimal as the OBD-II system can measure. Then if a dyno tune is desired, E-tuning will save you TIME and MONEY on the dyno as the majority of the tedious work is complete, and the tuner can focus on WOT. In the end ensures a better overall tune as all areas have been properly analysed and tuned.

A dyno-tuner will appreciate the fact that you car is READY to be tuned as well, the basic issues are out of the way, the car is running properly and performance areas like RPM indexing, engagement points, basic ignition and fueling values have already been sorted according to your goals. This means more time can be spent optimizing the car on the dyno and using that feedback rather then correcting unforeseen problems. In the end you will get more for your dollar, as the time at the dyno-shop will be used to fine tune, and gather feedback from otherwise unmeasurable parameters such as MBT (Minimal advance for Best Torque) which is an ignition value.

E-tunez can put you very close to the ideal parameters based on sensory feedback and experience. A dyno-tuner with other issues out of the way has a great iew of where to find those extra 2-3 degrees and finalize the WOT portion of tune, and they will be able to do it in less time if you come to the shop with a pre-tuned car. This saves you money.