Car Tuning Is Not Just For Boy Racers

Car Tuning Is Not Just For Boy Racers

Thankfully, the go-faster days of flaming decals down the side of a car and a big bore exhaust tailpipe are in the past. The term ‘boy racer’ isn’t used as much as it used to be although there are still pockets of resistance by night in car parks or on quiet roads. Enthusiasts rarely fit body kits or after-market cylinder heads with a famous name on them as speed enhancers; motorists have moved beyond that, especially as our vehicles are more complex.

This is because it serves no real purpose to change this or change that to improve performance. A car is a collection of mechanical and electrical parts that are designed to work together in unison. If one part goes wrong, generally it affects the others in one way or another. That’s why car servicing and tuning are so important: Done properly.

What Is Car Tuning?

Unless the driver is actually going motor racing, in which case the business of increasing power and improving handling is more elaborate, having a car tuned is about making adjustments to the vehicle’s engine in order to get more power or improved efficiency. Simply replacing a dirty air filter with a new one will allow for improved flow of air into the engine, for example. Adjusting timing belts to the correct settings will also enhance efficiency. Boy racers don’t really think about that.

To properly tune a mainstream car is to adjust the engine and brakes and suspension for optimum performance. Car parts wear out; some, like brake pads, have a limited life span. This is why it is best to take the car to a professional car servicing garage because the technicians can properly attend to the fine adjustment of air, fuel flow, ignition, brake discs and so on to make allowance for wear and tear. This is why car makers give servicing schedules that it is best to follow.

What Can A Car Owner Do?

As indicated, all the parts of a car work together. A responsible owner can and should routinely examine serviceable items for wear. For example:


Check them weekly. All tyres have a wear indicator built into the tread. Everyone by now should know about the 1.6mm tread depth rule; if the tyre has reached that stage the wear indicators will be visible and obvious. Yes, tyres are expensive but they are the only contact point with the road surface; get them replaced as soon as possible, preferably before the minimum tread depth is even attained. Check the tyre pressures too: Soft tyres create drag and performance is affected.

Oils & Fluids

Manufacturers make provision for inspecting oils and fluids. It’s easy to check the oil level dipstick and the brake and clutch and coolant fluids all have reservoirs mounted high for ease of viewing. If the liquids are not at the marked level (when the engine is cold) then get them checked.

Go Faster?

All drivers everywhere are restricted by rules and regulations. There’s plenty of them too. As motorists we risk getting fined, or worse, if the rules are broken. It certainly is possible to make a normal vehicle go faster; these days cars have an on-board diagnostic connection (OBD) which allows a technician to check for problems and enhance tuning.

By all means fit larger fuel injectors or have the engine re-mapped to aid performance, but why was that car purchased in the first place? Why not just buy a faster car? There’s plenty of choice. That way the proud owner knows that the car is built for the job and doesn’t just have a non-standard part or parts fitted, which may anyway void insurance.

The best way to achieve that go-faster feeling is to have the vehicle fully serviced at least annually. That way the car will give deliver the best performance it was designed to do.

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