Decades of tuning experience behind every key stroke is what Cartek has to offer. Some say that all you have to do is read the air to fuel ratio on your Lambda meter and your set, but that couldn't be the farthest from the truth. There is more here than meets the eye. The reading from the sensors can be interpreted a variety of ways depending on the specifications of the given application, for example cam profiles play a vital role in air fuel ratio reading in part throttle conditions. Knowing how to read that info an adjust accordingly is something that approaches the status of "black art" since so few people seem to get it right in conditions where a radical setup needs to be tuned for the street. How drivable something is relies heavily on the tune applied.

Another example is the misconception that making the most horsepower you can on the dyno is the way to get the best track results. Take into account the weight of the dyno roller being 3000 pounds and the weight of you average vehicle being about 3500 pounds, 500 pounds over the weight of the roller. Now also factor in aerodynamic drag and the changing of gears, you begin to see that the load applied to the engine on the track or street is quite different than that of the dyno. The same fuel and timing maps are not used for a correctly tuned vehicle. You will see quite a difference in performance between the two tunes on the track. Knock retard causing the ECU to pull timing is experienced in many cases causing a loss in performance and possible engine damage.

A common question asked to us is "What software company do you use to tune with"? The answer to that is not so straight forward. At Cartek we like to offer the most to our customers so we use three different pieces of tuning software: HPTuners, EFI Live, and LS1/LS2 edit, also after market controllers like Holley and F.A.S.T.. The reason for this is that not all pieces of software offer the same number of tables for each year of vehicle or type of build within that year so we use what will give us the most granularity in control over your ride. We aim to give you the most that can be had. Here at Cartek we know what the engine wants and we give it that, at the sacrifice of higher dyno numbers. We feel that true performance enthusiasts prefer to have "Real performance... Not just dyno hype"

There are three levels of tuning offered here at Cartek:

This is the only tune that we feel can be done by mail. The reason is that one it comes to tuning you are dependent upon the reading read by the ECU from the factory settings. Since these sensors are not all exactly calibrated the same a condition may occur where a tune that works in one car may be just not right in the next car. This may result in less than expected performance or in some extreme cases damage. Here at Cartek we don't do something unless we feel it 100% right. This brings me back to the basic tune. Timing and fuel maps that are known good maps for mild combinations, not for heads and cam or forced induction applications, are flashed in. The maps take into account possible discrepancies in sensor inputs, yielding a performance gain without the risks.

Other things done in the basic tune are fan settings, shift points as well as shift firmness in automatics, and reduction of torque management. The reason the word "reduction" is used is that it is uncertain as to how many tables are available for torque management. As new versions of tuning software are released more tables sometimes become available allowing us to further control it.

This carries all the same features as the Basic tune, but all tuning is done on our fully data acquisition Dynojet Dyno. At this tuning level we use our expertise to correctly interpret the reading from our data acquisition and dynamometer readings to fully customize you fuel and timing maps for optimal street or track performance.

The Custom dyno tune is the method of choice for getting the most out of your mods such as extensive bolt on modifications, cam installs, heads and cam, and stroker motors. Some clients even choose to go this route on their 100% stock vehicles to get back what the factory left behind.

This method we feel is the only appropriate way to tune a forced induction application. We change the operating system of you stock ECU so that it will be able to read boost level with the addition of a GM 2 Bar or GM 3 bar map sensor. Allowing the ECU to read boost keeps the correct fuel and timing requirements in all conditions. If you blower belt were to slip it will keep the car from running too rich possibly fouling out plugs or washing out the rings. In the turbocharged scenario the ECU would be able to compensate for varying boost levels as seen when using a boost controller or can save the engine from an over boost condition.

Other benefits are improved road manners, especially from the more aggressive combinations, as well as more accurate compensation from varying weather conditions. Some shops feel this approach is unnecessary, but what we have found is that due to the increase labor involved (5 to 7 hours of tuning time) those shops either don't find it to be cost affective or just don’t know how to do it. Don't be fooled, this is what you need and deserve for you forced induction application.
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