Should You Be Dyno Tuning Your Vehicle?

Posted on: 9 August 2021


There's a lot to do when looking after a vehicle, from tyre maintenance to oil top-ups. Most owners understand the basic care principles--but is there anything you're missing out of your regular maintenance schedule? Dyno tuning is something many people skip altogether and don't know much about--but that can be a mistake, and here's why.

What 'dyno tuning' is:

Dyno tuning is a methodical approach to tuning your engine. It's used by trained technicians to determine potential problems, allowing you to get the best performance from your vehicle and keep your engine running for as long as possible. A measuring tool called a dynamometer is used to measure various metrics and identifying small errors, which allows them to be dealt with before they turn into bigger problems.

The dyno tuning process looks at a number of different elements:

  • Current state of spark plugs
  • Timing of ignition
  • Revolutions per minute
  • Air to fuel mix ratio
  • Horsepower
  • Tension and torque

A dyno tune uses settings specific to your vehicle's make, model and type to enhance its performance. This can improve your engine's power and fuel economy, as well as minimise wear and tear on individual parts (thereby extending their lifespan) and catch small problems before they turn into bigger and more expensive ones.

Your technician will start by interviewing you about your vehicle, looking to learn about any minor (or major) issues you might have noticed. They'll methodically check every bit of the engine piece by piece, including a thorough visual check and tests on the compression, heat ranges, distributor and ignition. The vehicle will be put on the dyno meter and tested under a variety of conditions, and the carburettor's circuits will be monitored closely and adjusted for peak performance. Once the testing is complete, the technician will provide you with a detailed test sheet and walk you through everything that's been done, adjusted, noticed and fixed.

When should you look into dyno tuning?

You know those times when you can't quite put your finger on it, but something about your vehicle just seems off? Those are the perfect moments to book yourself a dyno tune. It's also worth considering when little niggles start to become apparent: if your engine is slow to start or seems to be running weakly, if your fuel mileage has gone down or if you've got a persistent 'check engine' light with no apparent cause.

Savvy drivers may however want to schedule regular dyno tunings -- perhaps annually, or every two years -- to keep their engine in peak condition regardless of any apparent issues. This is especially true for vehicles with a great many miles on the clock and any engine that's in unusually frequent or heavy use. Dyno tuning is offered by most neighbourhood mechanic shops, so find your local provider today to learn more.