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The Flash | What is Flash Tuning and Why do I need it?

An ECU or Engine Control Unit can help you unlock an abundance of controls that will allow you to obtain your goals. For one, it might release more horsepower and torque from your vehicle because manufacturers are known to limit the horsepower and torque of production cars.

Flash tuning is easily described as reprogramming the vehicle’s ECU with optimized parameters. In essence, the vehicle still monitors all the same functions before and after a flash tune, but changing the values of these parameters is what adjusts the tune within the ECU. Even a stock and unmodified car can be tuned in this fashion and often performance can be improved.

The ECUs of modern automobiles are built with fixed settings since the manufacturer doesn’t want average consumers playing with engine settings. More often than not, the settings are not optimized very well.

With flash tuning, you can easily add power without physical modifications. Rather some parameters like ignition timing, air/fuel ratio, and, in some cars, more boost are to be adjusted.

First, we delve into ignition timing. Think about a piston on its compression stroke. The cylinder is filled with an air-fuel mixture, and your spark plug is awaiting the signal from the ECM to fire away. When the spark fires, is critically important. If you fire too soon, you’re creating a force counter to what the engine is trying to achieve, since the piston is attempting to compress a mixture, and the combustion is supplying pressure to force it down. If you fire too late, you’re wasting energy, as you want to make sure that peak pressure occurs when the piston is very close to top dead center, so that as much of the pressure generated is turned into useful work.

By tuning the timing, especially in the case of using higher octane fuels or water/meth injection, you can unlock a lot of untapped potential.

Next is boost. Adding boost is one of the simplest ways of adding power to a forced-induction engine. If a car comes with a factory turbo, often it’s tuned to keep boost levels reliable and efficient. By increasing boost, you’re increasing the amount of air packed into the cylinder. By adding air, you can now add more fuel. And more air = more power.

Aside from more power, a flash tune is a relatively easy thing to accomplish. Uninstalling the on-board computer of your vehicle is a pretty easy job that needs just a few simple hand tools. Once you have uninstalled the ECU, you can then ship or hand-deliver it to any professional tuner that you want, such as VR Tuned.

Once the tuner is done flashing the ECU, you can just re-install it back to your car and experience the noticeable boost in performance. In many cases, the entire process can be done through the OBDII port, which doesn’t require ECU removal.

Who thought adding power also means saving more fuel? Seems counterintuitive, no?

Amazingly, you can flash your car’s ECU and enjoy better mileage as a result. You still have to drive it efficiently, however. The improvement in fuel efficiency mainly comes from improved fueling and ignition, which results in a more efficient fuel burn.

Want to flash tune your car? Buy online or give one of our world-class professionals a call at 1-480-966-3040.