Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

Our tuning will provide increased horsepower and torque, improved shift patterns and throttle response, overall improved drivability, responsiveness, and in many cases improved fuel economy, all depending on fuel quality, octane, and condition of the vehicle.
The best indicator of how long your vehicle will last is the foot that controls the gas pedal. Assuming that the vehicle is not raced at every stop light and proper maintenance is performed, the usable life of the engine should not be affected in any way.

In cases where a Scan Cable tune is ordered, I'm able to further hone the tune in to be as safe as possible while still performing the way that you like it to.
Handheld tuners typically incorporate changes to a very specific set of tables within the PCM and in a very standardized way for every vehicle. We are able to make a tune that is custom-tailored to your set of modifications and desired output. Additionally, with our Scan Cable and AutoCal tunes, we're able to take that customization a step further. Not every vehicle performs the same given the same modifications and conditions. The data logging involved with these tune options allows to make specific adjustments that pertain to the vehicle. We're also able to identify and help diagnose many mechanical problems that a tune would otherwise bring out.
In nearly all cases, the answer is "yes, but...". 87 octane CAN be run in most vehicles, however it cannot be run efficiently in quite a few. Due to GM's choice of compression ratios, combustion chamber design, etc. 87 octane is a poor choice both in terms of engine power output as well as fuel efficiency. In those cases, it only makes sense to run a higher octane, as the performance benefits and increased fuel efficiency will outweigh the per-unit cost of that fuel.

For an inclusive (but not fully-encompassing) list of all vehicles that can run 87 but should not (under any circumstances), see below:
  • All LS1, LS2, LS3, L99, LS7, LSA, LS9 equipped vehicles. 91+ octane required.
  • 2005+ L33 "B" engine silverado/sierra models. With a higher compression ratio than the standard 5.3L for those years, 89 octane or better is recommended for both fuel efficiency and power output.
  • 2007+ 5.3L engines. At 10:1 compression, this engine (all variants) cannot run efficiently on 87 octane. Power output and mileage will be noticably better in 95%+ vehicles simply by switching from 87 to 89 octane. 91+ preferred.
  • 2001-2007 LQ9 vehicles (AWD Cadillac Escalade, Silverado SS, Sierra Denali, Vortec Max). Compression ratios (and owners manual) dictate that premium fuel should be used at all times.
  • 2007+ 6.2L L92 (and variant) vehicles. All 6.2L truck/SUV engines have a 10.5:1 compression ratio and as a result, require premium. Most of these vehicles will have a note in the owners manual as well as a decal on the gas door stating a recommendation to that effect.
  • All 2014+ direct injected vehicles. Compression ratio is simply too high to efficiently burn 87 octane.
In most cases, it would be best to add the modifications prior to the tune. This will avoid any need for a tune update shortly after.
Absolutely. Aftermarket gears/tires are not a problem to accommodate on most platforms. In some instances, the ABS and parking brake lights may illuminate signifying that the speedometer calibration is outside of the allowable range that the ABS module can accommodate.
The tow/haul mode allows the PCM to run off of a second set of tables for most transmission functions. For 4-speed equipped vehicles, we do have a "Sport" option available that remove all restrictions from the transmission programming and revises shift points for even better response. For 6 and 8 speed vehicles, this is not an option. The tow/haul button remains factory but will have the performance gains from the tune.
Ultimately, we leave the torque management reduction up to the customer. On a mostly stock setup, we typically recommend removing 75-80% from the transmission during everyday driving mode. All engine torque management is typically removed.
We can certainly help improve your shifting patterns and drivability with that transmission, however can do so via the AutoCal handheld device or in person only. We are not able to provide transmission tuning for 2017-2018 8 and 10 speed vehicles.
Absolutely! We have many satisfied Canadian customers and the process is not much different than to a US customer. We simply request an additional shipping fee to help cover the added expense.
In most cases, nothing at all will happen. The dealer is unable to disassemble the tune that is on the PCM and read it to determine what, if anything, has been changed by looking at it with a scan tool. Generally, the worst case scenario would be that they have an update for the software on the PCM and will flash over the tune you have. To combat that, you have the option of keeping your stock PCM when we send out a new one for just the cost of a PCM core charge. Then, when it is time to go in for service, all you would need to do would be to swap out the tuned PCM for the stock one. With our AutoCal option, you will have access to your stock tune files and will just need to flash them to the vehicle.
Your tuned PCM is installed by physically removing your stock PCM and replacing it with one provided. Depending on the vehicle, the PCM could be in a number of different locations. Exact specifics will be provided upon request.
Yes, as with all other tunes that involve swapping out the stock PCM for a tuned one that was previously in another vehicle, you will need to perform a crank relearn procedure. Any dealership or shop with a GM Tech 2 or other high end scanner should be able to perform this procedure in under 5 minutes. The exceptions are the 1996-1997 vehicles. A crank relearn procedure is not required.

Customers that utilize the Scan Cable option will typically be able to perform this procedure on their own. This is a potential savings of up to $100, depending on dealership rates. This does not apply to 98-00 Classic Body style trucks and SUVs.
No, you will not need to perform any CASE or security relearn procedures in this event. You would not need to submit a PCM deposit either.
That's not a problem. We keep tune files for a minimum of 7 years. If it gets flashed over, just send us back the previously-tuned PCM and we will re-write it and send it to you for just the cost of shipping.
The tune update service is free of charge for the first year after the tune purchase, other than any shipping fees and PCM deposits. After the first year, there will be a minimum fee of $40. That fee may increase if the modifications require a lot of adjustments to the initial tune.
We strive to turn around every tune as quickly as possible, with most shipping out within 3-4 days of ordering. There are times where we unexpectedly run out of computers that are up to our standards and as such a delay can occur.

If you mail in your PCM/ECM, priority will be given to you to ensure that you have as short of a down-time as possible. In most cases, we can have the PCM/ECM tuned and back in the mail within 1-2 business days.

Our preferred method of shipping is USPS Priority Mail which takes 2-3 days.

It really depends on your vehicle. Most 2009 and newer vehicles can only be tuned with the AutoCal. For all others, there are some cases where the traditional tune and scan cable tune would end up being very similar, there are others where the tune differences are significant. For heavily modified vehicles, we highly recommend our Scan Cable or AutoCal options.

We've encountered thousands of vehicles that have had mechanical problems that were previously unknown to the customer. In most cases, the problem was minor and well within the computer's ability to adjust, however without correcting those problems, a performance tune may have caused the problem to become more prominent and would leave the customer with a less than optimal vehicle. In many cases, the cause of poor gas mileage can be revealed and corrected. There have even been cases where engine damage would have been possible had these issues not been corrected.


Scan Cable Tune Questions

A windows-based laptop is required for this tune option.
You will submit a security deposit and we ship out a cable that you use to collect data from your vehicle as you drive. That data is then emailed into us to be analyzed. In some cases, the data will show a mechanical condition that needs to be corrected before the tuning process can proceed. If this is the case, we'll do our best to help you determine the cause of the problem so that your tune will perform as well as it possibly can. Once all problems are squared away, we'll then build a tune for you based on that data and ship a tuned PCM out to you. You'll then use the scan cable to perform a crank relearn procedure and create a final log with the new PCM in place. The scan cable is then returned for a refund of your security deposit.
Due to the popularity of the Scan Cable option, there are times where we run out of stock on the cables. When this happens, you can still submit a deposit for a cable and we will add you to the waitlist. Please Contact Us for any current wait times.
Generally, it is a good idea to have all maintenance up to date before collecting data for the tune. This will potentially fix any problems that may otherwise hold up the tuning process. Otherwise, the data we review will potentially allow us to identify any unknown issues.
We need 20-30 minutes of varied driving. The most important thing to include in the data log is a couple of wide-open throttle runs for a few seconds at a time.


AutoCal Questions

A windows-based computer is needed for the AutoCal tune. It can either be a laptop or desktop, as long as the computer can run Windows.
You will submit an order for an AutoCal and we will ship it out to you. The AutoCal will come with a packing slip notifying you how to access our online instructions. These instructions will guide you on how to do the data log, download your stock tune file, transfer them to your computer, and email them to us. When you email them in, we ask that you list any modifications to the vehicle and any tuning requests you may have. We will use those files and that information to build your custom tune. We will email your tune files to you and after loading them to the AutoCal, you will then flash them to the vehicle.
The AutoCal can tune up to 600 vehicles. The initial purchase covers the hardware and tune for one vehicle. Each additional vehicle would require the purchase of a new tune and license.
The AutoCal allows you to data log and monitor select parameters from the vehicle in real time. It can also be used to read and clear DTCs.