All About ECU Tunes

So you have heard about ECU tuning but what does it all involve, what risks can it have and do you need anything else other than the tune? Lets break it down below….

What do I need for tuning my Audi or Volkswagen?

Pretty much all tunes are broken out into stages with some variations between the brands.

Stage 1:

A stage 1 tune will require nothing additional. All a matter of getting your ECU flashed with the new software. Installation generally is a matter of minutes as the shop will connect the cars ECU to their computer to rewrite your software. Some may recommend you buy a Cold Air Intake but it is not necessarily needed.

Stage 2:

If you are going stage 2, although not required it is HIGHLY suggested you upgrade your intake to an aftermarket option. The one area of the car that is REQUIRED to be upgraded prior to a Stage 2 tune would be the stock downpipe.

Stage 2+

You may see this mentioned for certain applications such as the MK5 2006-2008.5 FSI engine cars as the + was designating the addition of a high pressure fuel pump which would be replaced at this stage. But Stage 2+ is not relevant to many applications such as the newer TSI engines.

Should I upgrade my stock turbo on a tune?

The most common upgrade on the Audi/VW platform is the K04 Turbo upgrade. This turbocharger is known as a great OEM solution for an aftermarket swap. Developed by Borg Warner it is a completely OEM replacement for the factory IHI turbo found on Audi’s and Volkswagen’s during certain years. ┬áThe K04 is actually found on select variations on the platforms such as the Golf R, S3 etc.

Will this effect my warranty?

As you will hear in the car scene, the famous words “you gotta pay to play”, ECU flashes are a tricky area. Some dealerships are approved APR, Unitronic tuners however, modifying the OEM ecu will result in a TD1 error which will be found at the time of getting service on your vehicle. This will most likely result in voiding your warranty.

We suggest prior to doing any ECU modifications to contact the dealership you work with to see their rules on these types of modifications as we have found certain dealerships may be better to work with than others.


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