Tuning FAQ

Frequently asked Questions

Using Llandow Tuning

Why should I pick LLANDOW TUNING over another tuning firm?
Quite simply becuase we are the only company operating in Wales that have been offering customer tuning services since 2004.
Every other remap/tuner with a location has at some point been operating as a "mobile remapper" / "file slinger" installing files on behalf of remote companies with nothing remotly custom about the tune.
Whilst there were others offering tuning before us in 2004 in Wales, they don't still exist. Indeed the competitors that have been around nearly as long as us (of which there are two) one is no longer owned by the same people thus the quality is gone through the floor and they have resorted to being a reseller to one of the UKs larger second rate tuner.
Bottom line:
  • We believe in Quality before Quanity
  • We are the longest established
  • We are completely independent
  • ALL our equipment is Master equipment and we have NEVER owned or had in our POSSESION any equipment from another tuner let alone acted as someone other tuners agent (Nobody else can claim that in Wales)
  • We've tuned more car in Wales than any other Welsh based tuner
  • We believe that if you come for a free consulation you'll agree with us, that we are the best in Wales
Why should I avoid a Mobile Tuner/Remapper
Mobile Tuners are the sort of UPVC sales men of the Automotive Business, possibly lower than a Used Car Sales man in the pecking order of whom to trust.
The questions you need to ask yourself is:-
  • Why doesn't the Mobile Remapper have a workshop?
  • When it goes wrong (and it often does), where is the vehicle to be repaired and by whom?
  • If the guy bricks the ECU, will you be able to deal with the excuses or just let him disappear?
  • Over 90% of Mobile tuner aren't tuners, aren't mechanics, aren't technicans but are simply people that have signed up to a reseller scheme, with a car, a laptop and some money to invest in some tooling. Do you really want that someone playing with your car?
  • A mobile tuner cannot perform a custom tune to the vehicle despite all their false promises. How on earth are they to develop and test something custom at the side of the road? The file they load will be from whoever their tool is slaved too. The price might be good, but do you really think it will work as well as a fully developed tune/calibration?
Do we have a Dyno/Rolling Road?
Llandow tuning can offer accurate horsepower and torque measurments for almost any vehicle usig our on-road dyno system.
In Llandow we have two dyno cells offering 2WD vehicle tuning and our tuning partners in Copenhagen and Sula both have a 4WD dynos.
We can cater for any kind of vehicle, even one that doesn't support our chassis dyno by using a sophisticated on-car dyno. We get can results that are as accurate as a chassis dyno but on any wheel configuration.

Every tune for a vehicle with a factory fitted ECU at stage 1 and stage 1+ has been developed on a dyno to ensure maximium peak power is made. A dyno on its own doesn't ensure the amount of power being made is safe, this is what data logging and knock detection equipment is for, which we have and are able to operate on the road or in the dyno cell
Hourly Rate / Labour Charges
Our tuning team charge £75 per hour + vat
Any work outside the scope of a flat rate service is billed per hour worked.
We do not use book times for billing unless agreed in the form of a written estimate.
We offer a free initial face to face consultation. We may extend a free initial look at the vehicle but if it is free we will EXPILICTY tell you this, in all other cases once we examine a vehicle it is billable and the smallest unit we bill is an hours labour. Typically this will be added to the cost of any work.
Put simply we have to pay the staff, if they work on your car it is chargeable.
Tuning Session Costs
Our Tuning Sessions cost £450 + vat and last a half day
Work outside the scope of the tuning session is billable per hour
If you book a tuning session and the vehicle is un-tunable and you haven't had an engine check over service performed by us in advance then a session fee is payable as the tooling and staffing have been booked and we won't be able to rebook at such a short notice
We recommend anyone booking for a tuning session has an engine checkover performed which starts at £95
Estimates and Quotes
We are happy to provide a written estimate for work.
We will give a written informal estimate as a guide price. If you are happy with the price we will be happy to give a formal written estimate.
If the estimate is going to take us more than 15 minutes (in our opinion) to generate then we will ask for an "estimate fee". If you authorise the work, we will take the fee off any work done.

Why do we do this? Becuase we get lots of people asking for estimate for work we know they will never have done, aka pipe dreamers.
Money Back Guarantee
I appreciate a lot of tuning centers operate such a scheme. We do not.
You pay for our time in tuning the vehicle.
If for whatever reason you want a tune modified, we will do this with pleasure.
If we cannot tune your vehicle becuase of an inability on our part there will be no charge
For example if you want pops and bang and they aren't loud enough, we will make them louder. If its impossible to make them any louder you don't get a refund.
For example if you bring us a car and we are unable to tune it for whatever reason, you will not be billed.
If we put a map on your car and you don't like something about it, we're happy to tweak it. However each and every map has been tested on a dyno and with nearly all cars the basis tune has already been used on other vehicles. We don't offer a moneyback guarantee, you are paying for our time not the outcome.
Put simply, we won't bill you if we cannot do a job. But once the tune has been done, its done.
We don't do a try before you buy
We don't offer refunds at all
You pay for our time, if you don't like the idea of that then please don't use us.
Aborted Tuning Sessions
If a car is booked in for a tuning session and the session is aborted for any reason outside of our control. I.e. there is an issue with the car preventing us tuning it safely, or the tuning will be distored by a fault with the car. The full session price applies
We are mindful that we don't want to upset customers, and we will work with them to get around it. But if an agreement cannot be made for a route going forward then the fee will simply apply
Something is wrong with my car after tuning
Pop in with the car. We will offer our opinion. Anything Stage 1 will be easy to rectify. If you have a modified car i.e. Stage 2 or with a Built or Forged engine or standalne ECU then I refer you to the warranty section and the modified vehicle section of this FAQ.

Vintage / Classic Cars / Carbs

What are the essentials before tuning a car with Llandow Tuning
  • A sound exhaust free of leaks
  • A round exhaust outlet or an O2 sensor bung. O2 sensor bung would be more ideal
  • New points in the distributor if points are used
  • A sound carb, i.e. one which isn't worn out
  • A method to control the fuel pressure to the carb or injectors
  • A FULL tank of fuel
  • A new set of spark plugs
Without the basics we will end up aborting a tuning session. You need to check the above BEFORE you bring us to car or use our engine checkover service
Should I start with an engine Checkover?
Yes, if you book for a tuning session and it cannot be done then the tuning session fee applies. It makes no sense to start with a tuning session without first making sure the engine can actually be tuned.
We don't like giving people bills of £450 but if you book a tuning session and the car has an issue we reserve the right to do just that.
Tuning Sessions vs Engine checkover
If during an engine checkover we can turn a screw and adjust something and the car runs right, we aren't implying its tuned correctly.
A full tuning session will assess the cars tuning completly. We will establish a baseline and work from there with different jets, timing or injection timing to get it as good as we possibly can.
The engine checkover is designed to check the vehicle, give our opinion on things that need to be done PRIOR to an engine tuning session. It may well be that we can adjust the carb or ignition to make the car run BETTER but it is not done so in a way which you can consider its checked. Its best effort.
I have a non standard classic car can we help?
Yes but see our modified vehicle section. If your vehicle has a standalone ECU or isn't OE factory spec then our approach is different

Modified/Race/Stage 2+/Standalone ECU powered Vehicles

Can we help with a custom/modified vehicle at Stage 3?
If your vehicle is modified beyond what most people would class as Stage 2, we can still help, unlike so many other local tuners.
Naturally the condition of your engine is your own responsibility, but we can provide a wide range of tuning services to vehicles that have been modified including but not limited to standalone ecus, hybrid turbos, injector testing and calibration, throttle body changes etc.

If you’ve changing tuners and have a custom or modified vehicle please don’t take offence but we don’t want to modify other peoples work.
We tune vehicles our way, if you want to discuss our approach to tuning, the time to do so is t the start not the end. If you want it tuned a certain way then hire our dyno equipment and by all means tune it yourself.
In any case we want satisfied customers, If you aren’t satisfied with a tune done by us we will happily modify for it for you.
If you are brining in an already build engine with an ECU that has some form of tuning on it, we will happily tweak it should there be an issue but we don't offer some kind of guarantee that everything will keep running as expected as it isn't our install. If you wont this kind of peace of mind then we will start again and bill accordingly.
How do we charge for tuning at this level?
We charge per hour, £75 an hour. We can also book the dyno for tuning in half day segments.
We do not guarantee any outcome with our tuning services. For example should you come in for a days tuning and you find an anomolay or running issue we may bill per hour.
We don't do freebies. It is your car, we can help but our labour rate is £75 per hour. We are open to discussing discounts to the labour rate, no harm is asking.
Be advised that we don't accept any warranty claims on vany kind of modified vehicle and our time is billable
I've fitted a different engine or added a turbo/supercharger
Yes we can help. But if you've had the modifctions done for you or done it yourself without consulting us it may be necessary for more mods in order to tune the car
There may be many issues which prevent us tuning it, these will be addressed as part of the tuning process
For example if you've fitted a turbo or forced induction to an engine where the car didn't have such features from the factory we may need to modify elements of the vehicle in order to make it fit, or to access parts of the system.
Another example would be you've fitted different carbs and to access them an access panel must be fitted. Sometimes the carb is fitted right up against a bulkhead. Yes the carb can be removed but if we have to remove it 100 times to try different jets
AFR readings are also needed, we highly recommend that an O2 sensor port be fitted to the exhaust manifold or very near to it.
Track/Race Car back to Road Car
We can help you get a race car back on the road, but be advised there are normally a lot of issues with doing such conversaions. Most often we find the buyer of the said vehicle doesn't really understand what has been done, why its been done and what needs to be done to make it drive nice on the road.
Exepct ongoing issues, we can help with this but like everything its done on an hourly basis.
Whats the most common issue that prevent tuning?
Exhaust Leaks. Its far better to fit an AFR sensor bung in the exhaust manifold or just after. It will give far better readings and result in more power and safer engine running.
Do we offer a warranty on Stage 2 / Custom / Race / Built Engine Tuning?
Then Llandow tuning provides no warranty for your engine or drivetrain during or following any tuning and is done entiry at your own risk.
The very nature of such engines means there is always risk they could blow up or break and as such we don’t provide any warranty.
As a customer you agree to bring no claims against us following or during any tuning work.
For example: If you have a modified engine that we tune, the tuning we provide will be best effort. There is no guarantee that it won’t blow up on the dyno nor that it won’t blow up after its left.
By using us for tuning, you don't get some warranty and entitle you to claim against us as if we were the supplier of the engine or the engine builder.

We generally make recommendations during or after any tuning session which it is for the owner of the said vehicle to follow up on.

If we supllied the ENGINE, ECU and DID THE TUNING. Then we will give a 3 month road warranty, but there is no warranty with builds for race engines or cars with exterme builds. Any such warranty would be on your paperwork.

Leasing and Warraty Questions

Will Tuning my vehicle invalidate my warranty?
Yes. There are no ifs or buts about it. If you modify your vehicle, your manufacturer warranty could be null and void. But lets say you have a "tune" on your engine and your exhaust falls off. That is still going to be covered. The issue you will have is what is and what is not is open to debate.
Can I tune a leased vehicle?
If you want to tune a leased vehicle, remember you are not the legal owner.
You will need to return the vehicle to stock condition prior to handing it back or purchase it outright at the end of the lease.
It is well reported by the press that BMW sends customers bills for immeadetate payment to clear outstanding finance on a vehicle when they discover it has been modified.
Can the Dealer refuse to work on a tuned car?
Yes. And honestly they do often. If you modify a vehicle with a tune and the dealer finds out, they might just simply turn you away as they don't want the hassle of warranty claims or liability that might arise from your modifications.
Should I tell my insurer?
Yes. You should tell them or you risk any modifications resulting in your insurance being invalid. That said, we've worked with many insurance inspections and their opinion can be boiled down to "When is a modification, a modification?"
i.e. You've put a set of cheap tyres on the car, that aren't approved?
Maybe you've installed a steering wheel cover, is that a modication?
You've installed different alloy wheels or changed their colour?
I think the point is, a small remap to gain a few HP or sticking a turbo on the car or making a V6 into V12 may have different impacts.
What about if your car has been modified before you bought it? Does that invalidte your insurance too?
In any case, it is probably best to ask your insurer what they think.
Can I hide my tune from the dealer?
If you want to tune your vehicle whilst it is under warranty or leased then there are a number of approachs. The most important is to avoid going to dealer where possible. Avoid software updates online and simply remove the software before any visits to the dealer for warranty work.
This is perhaps another reason to go to an established tuner rather than a chap with a laptop on a car park.
The bottom line with Tuning and Warranty Claims
If you have a factory warranty on your road car, tuning the car will generally invalidate any factory warranty.

If you have a built or modified engine, then natrually it will need tuning. Any warranty is with the engine builder not with us. We do not offer a warranty just becuase we turned it. What we do we do on each car and there is an element of trust. We trust that the engine is built right and we do what we do to every engine and tune it to certain standards.

If you have a standalone ECU we will provide a degree of warranty for the hward if we supplied and installed it.

If you need a warranty on a standalne ECU with a built then then we will offer this WHERE WE HAVE SUPPLIED AND BUILT THE ENGINE AND PROVIDED ALL HARDWARE AND TUNING. Otherwise it is all at your own risk.
What to do if there is an issue with your car post tuning.
Stop driving it and bring it back up to us. We will take a look at it for free and give you some advise on what to do next. It is up to you on whether you take of advise but we might for example with a modified vehicle give you our opinion on parts which need to be replaced or added or work that needs to be done to move forward.

With a stock road car. we will in most cases be able to help make a test plan to move forward.

Tuning Questions

Can the Tune/Map be removed?
Yes, we can remove any map we have installed once for free with little notice. We recommend you remove any map from the vehicle prior to visiting the dealer. They might refuse to work on your car.

We don't offer refunds on any work done, our fees cover our labour not the outcome.
If you've had the map removed more than one we may charge a £95 removal/restoration fee.
Will Tuning my Car damage it?
Not if it is tuned correctly. This is the whole reason a dyno exisits. To check and test the tune installed on a vehicle. Whilst we and our partners have developed thousands of tunes on every kind of car possible, can somebody with a laptop that knows nothing about how a car really works offer you the same guarantee?
It is also worth checking the "Will My Car wear out quicker?" question as there are other issues to consider.
Will My Car wear out quicker?
Yes. Some people will tell you otherwise. I'm afraid they are mistaken. If you tune a vehicle to obtain more power from it, then it stands to reason it will wear out quicker. Is this something to be worried about? Not really.
Simply perform more oil changes and expect induction hoses to be under more pressure
Stage 1, 2 and 3 explained
  • Stage 1 is the basic level of Tuning a vehicle where no modifications have been made to any engine system. It is completly safe and will not require you to change how you look after the vehicle
  • Stage 1 + is the next level, typically you need to modify the exhaust system to get to Stage 1+. Modiciations that enable a Stage 1+ map include DPF and EGR Deletes.
  • Stage 2 capablity is reached when you add inducation modifications like updated Intercoolers, Air Filters, Induction Pipes etc
  • Stage 3 incorporates everything above stage 2. The kind of modifcations range from larger turbos to a wild cams. It really means VERY CUSTOM.
Can I delete an EGR without modify my DPF?
We get this question a lot. As there are a lot of "tuners" that tell customers you can delete the EGR valve with no effect on the DPF. They couldn't be more wrong. Yes you can delete the EGR and leave the DPF, but the DPF is going to block up very quickly when it discovers the emission system is working like it should. Lets note forget the EGR lowers emissions at idle. Deleting it is going to increase the soot load on the DPF and it WILL block.
If you've been to a tuner that has told you otherwise, run to the hills.
How long does a Stage 1 Remap take to install?
We ask that you bring the car to us in the morning and it should be ready by 5PM. Naturally we need to examine the car, communicaiton with the Engine ECU to determine any faults and then we need to test the map once its been installed. Sometimes it can run over to the next day, should this happen we will let you know.
We offer free BMW Courtesy cars to enable you to get around whilst we work on your car.

Tuning Boxes

What is a Tuning box?
They are devices installed on one or two sensors connected between the Engine and Engine ECU to fool the ECU into doing something to typically add more fuel.
The Tuning Box company claim more power than a Remap
Quite simply, they are selling snakeoil. The box does nothing but tricks the ECU into overfueling. Sometimes they include pretty Apps to control some of the settings from a Mobile. But rest assured their efforts are all hogwash as are their promises.

Will a Tune/Remap deliver more power than a tuning box?
Yes, it will offer substabically more power and better fuel economy as we modify maps that effect a lot more than simply the fuel pressure.
If you have a tuning box connected to the fuel rail we will offer you a full money back guarantee that we can improve the performance of the car using a remap/tune. How about if we don't get more power than the tuning box we won't charge you?
Are tuning boxes safe?
No they block your DPF, make you use more fuel and will damage over time your injectors, fuel rail, pressure sensors and high pressure fuel pump.
If you have one fitted, rip it out.

Putting Facts back in to Tuning

What is Tuning vs a Remaping vs Chipping
  • Tuning is simply the modification of a vehicles engine to perform better
  • Remapping is a term used to describe modifying a Map or Curve on the Engine ECU to perform some effect. Sometimes more power, indeed sometimes less.
  • Chipping or Chip Tuning is a term from an older age where we had to remove the old PROM or EPROM from the vehicle modify it and place it back in, I suppose the term started in the Eighties with the advent of ECU's and all those firms supplying in "super chips"
What is wrong with using a Agent/Mobile Remapper?
The truth is, they don't have a clue what they are doing. Yes they can be good snake oil salesmen and talk the talk. Yes they can load on to your car a "remap" from some guy the other side of the internet but you must ask yourself a number of questions.
  • Is it a £4 bottle of plonk or a £20 bottle?
  • How has the file been tested?
  • What does the person installing the remap know about cars? Can he perform an initial inspection to ensure there isn't some underlaying issue with the car?
  • If it all goes wrong and he bricks the ECU, what is he going to do about it? Does he have the equipment to fix it? Is he simply going to do a runner? Or might he just pass the buck and blame the car. Don't worry if this happens call us, we fix lots of "tuned" cars
Why can't other tuners agents "Custom Tune" my car
Quite simply becuase they are using "Salve Tools". The tools used to read and write to the Engine ECU come in two forms "Master" and "Slave". Slave tools encrypt the ECU contents which then needs to be sent off to the "Master" tool holder. Therefore the person doing the tune cannot modify the contents becuase they don't have access to the contents.
Naturally we have master tooling so we modify each and every files inhouse.
Does my car need to go on a Dyno?
No. Not for stage 1. But the tune must be developed on a map on an identicle car.
Do we test every car on the dyno? No. There is no need. But the software that has been applied by us has always been tested on a similar car
We do however test every vehicle on the road and using the dealer tooling find out if any faults have been logged.
We are able to offer pre and post dyno runs for all vehicles either on a rolling road or using our on-road dyno system
Does Remap.Wales have dealer tooling?
Yes we have dealer tooling for nearly every make and model of vehicle. We aren't talking about "snap on" or "autel" or "launch" do everything tools but the real deal. BMW/Merc/VAG. Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Vauxhal, PSA/Citroen, Fiat, Maserati, Ferrari, GM, Nissan, Subaru, Honda. You name it we have it.

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