In simple terms, a tuner chip applies a load to the engine to replicate driving the car on the road.
- mostly give accurate feedback on the tuning changes made
- very essential for adequately mapping advanced engines with VVT
- Necessary to calibrate ignition timing well
- Allows tuner to concentrate mainly on tuning the engine
- deemed as very quick and secure
- it might not be easy to access in some states or cities
- Purchasing a tuner chip or even renting tuner chip time can be costly
- It isn't easy to adequately replicate the cooling airflow you expect to see on the road.
After a quick glance, road tuning can be seen as dangerous if one approaches it rather recklessly. Despite that, it can also offer excellent results in numerous circumstances. Road tuning is not necessarily a proper replacement for a tuner chip. On top of that, this technique is accompanied by some significant complexities and compromises involved. At other times, however, you may have no option but to tune on the road, and I believe it's a skill every tuner should have if you intend to chip your car.
This is part of the numerous reasons I'm a strong advocate of power programmers and tuners and always confirming any tune on the road once a car has come off the tuner chip.
- it could be cheap/free
- Easily access as long as you have a straight stretch of road
- tuning the car in precisely the same conditions, you will use it in
- Ability to reach very light load areas
- it is easy for transient or acceleration enrichment tuning is often easier to accomplish on the road than a tuner chip
- You can compromise safety if you attempt to tune a car while controlling it on the road.
- No feedback on the effect of adjusting changes
- Local laws may hinder your ability to view a laptop while driving
There has been an increase of 'E-Tunes' offered by some vendors across various popular forums on the market. The concept behind an E-Tune is that you give the power tuners and performance chips tuner a list of your modifications, and they mail you a new ROM file that you are supposed to upload into your ECU.
Sometimes you may need to remove the ECU and send it to the tuner for this work to be done. Usually, the tuner will back up the initial tune by performing several logged acceleration runs in 3rd/4th gear. Perhaps one may adjust the original file based on the overall results of these logs.
- low expenses or costs
- travelling is not necessary
- may not meet the ultimate power your package is capable of
- may vary a lot during comparisons
- Vetting is required to make sure you deal with a reputable tuner prepared to back their craft.