Doctor Diesel

Skinny chips?

Letter one (3)1Dear Doc,

I have a 2009 VW Touareg 3.0 TDI and have been looking at the various tuning companies’ remapping offers and wondering if you might be able to offer me any helpful advice.

I have looked at your website, but I wasn’t able to find any information to help me, such as back issues with tests on them.

Have any of these devices been tested by yourselves and if so, what was the most effective one? I’m not interested in extra top end speed, but do like the idea of an extra 60 miles on a tankful, if that’s achievable?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Kevin Rex

There are a good number of respectable tuning companies like Tunit, Celtic Tuning and EvolutionChips, which advertise regularly in Diesel Car, and with a good pedigree.

I honestly think that there is probably not that much to choose between them in terms of results. What is more important though is after sales service, and convenience. So you need to find a company that has a fitting agent near you, so you can go back to them easily if there are any after sales snags.

Some of these companies are offering tuning specifically for economy, which means that you probably get plenty more low down torque, and they may make the engine somewhat less free to spin to higher engine speeds, to persuade you to drive on the torque. This, of course, is what diesels are really all about, and using torque efficiently is what economy driving is all about. A good tune will result in you often being able to pull a higher gear than previously.

Last year’s Issue 302 covered tuning in depth, if you are looking for back issues of Diesel Car, and we hope our Tuning Special in this very issue has come at the perfect time for you! We used to test tune cars regularly a few years back, but it became rather difficult, for a number of reasons.

I have good faith in Superchips (re-mapping) and Tunit (add-on boxes) having worked with them both back then, so there’s a starting point – find your nearest dealers and have a telephone chat with them. It’s always very satisfying to know exactly what you got for your money, so if any dealer (of any tuning brand) can offer you a rolling road dynamometer test and a “before and after” power and torque graph to look at, for a fairly reasonable extra cost, like £60 to £80, I would recommend this.

You obviously can’t have this if they come to you to install the tuning at home, but if you travel to them to have it fitted they may well have their own dynamometer, or use one from a nearby garage.

Hope all this helps Kevin, but do come back if I haven’t covered anything vital. Let me know how you get on, if you can find time. It may take you a while to see your money back (£300 to £500) but you’ll enjoy saving money and a better driving experience.

All the best,

Doc Diesel

P.S. Don’t forget to check out your insurance company before you get it tuned!

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