KERMA Performance FAQ (ECU Tuning)
This applies to someone wanting to get a little more out of a stock car. If you're looking for more, talk to me, we'll get a hardware and software combination laid out.
Q: What gains can I expect?
A: It depends many factors for hard numbers. WHP is the first thing that comes to mind. For a software only mod, all else stock, for the CR140, 28% more power & 33% more torque (equates to gains of 40hp & 80ftlbs), for the PD, >/= 2004 130ish. for the ALH, AHU, or 1Z, <2004, 105ish. Most importantly, you'll feel it. Greater gains can be realized for all motors by upgrading various hard components including fueling, airflow (turbcharger, intercooler, exhaust, and intake plumbing) and driveline/clutch.
Q: What about drivability?
A: A Kerma tune feels very stock at light throttle, although there will be slightly more power. Roll onto it harder, and the driver experiences dramatically increased power and torque as well as an extended usable power band. The goal here is a predictable and intuitive powerband with more on tap than the stock file.
Q: How will a tune influence fuel economy?
A: Under the same driving conditions, (acceleration and cruising speed) the car will consume roughly the same amount of fuel. Most drivers report no change in fuel consumption.
Q: Will you delete my DPF, EGR, SCR, or any other emission equipment?
A: NO. There are plenty of online vendors based outside the US happy to take your money, let you hack up your car, and leave you holding the bag. Keep in mind that if a vehicle is sold "as is," it is still the seller's responsibility to have sold a registrable vehicle.
Q: Will I still pass emissions?
A: Yes. The Front Range counties' emissions tests measure opacity (visible soot). All tunes are written to be in compliance with your local municipality's regulations.
Q: How does the tune affect reliability?
A: The biggest areas of concern from a reliability standpoint on a lightly modified car are your turbo, clutch, and (automatic) transmission. Charlie knows he's tuning your daily driver that you depend on. Turbo protection is built into the tune by preventing the turbo from running in surge or beyond the choke limit. Transmission and clutch type are always taken into account when writing your file.
Q: What if I don't like it, or if I need an update?
A: Each tune is written from fully customizable maps. We will adjust the tune until you are satisfied. If you have hardware upgrades purchased through Kerma or myself, tuning updates are free.
A: $400 for an ALH (2000-2003), $500 for a PD (2004+), $549 for CR, please contact me for 96-99.5 cars.
Q: Tuning philosophy?
A: When OEMs offer a car with a powerful engine, the car comes equipped with big brakes, tight suspension, and wide, grippy tires. A chip-tuned TDI, at the very minimum, should have properly functioning brakes, suspension, lighting, & tires. When the engine is further built for performance, the car requires upgraded brakes, suspension, and tires. I can recommend an appropriate package to round out any TDI power enhancement. I want to build the whole car; not just the motor.
Q: Great! I'm sold, but is my car ready for a tune?
A: If any and all the maintenance and repair issues have been addressed, then yes! Some things I'll ask about and examine: oil and filters (air, fuel, oil) intake clogging, MAF sensor, VNT actuator adjustment, TB and associated components, any current or planned hardware mods, and alternative fuel use. Diagnosing running issues can be more difficult with aftermarket software. Starting with a perfectly running car ensures maximum results and reliability.