How does an AVM tune differ from "off-the-shelf" tunes I can buy online?
At Autovation Motorsports, we design a custom tune for your vehicle from scratch. This means that we are editing the information in your ECU/TCU to be applied specifically to your vehicle. You will not be receiving a cookie-cutter tune that is copied from car to car. There are two reasons for why this is so important. Due to the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains, boost and torque have to be controlled much different than at sea level in order to maximize efficiency. Our tunes will typically make more horsepower than off-the-shelf tunes designed at sea level due to not needing as steep of a boost taper. Our tunes also carefully moderate peak boost based on altitude so that turbochargers are not put at risk when driving in the mountains. All of our tunes are developed in Denver and tested at altitudes as high as Mt. Evans, so you can enjoy driving your vehicle in any part of the Rocky Mountains and experience smooth performance. In addition to the benefits of having a custom tune for the high altitude, custom tuning also gives you the option to choose how you want extra features designed. If you have exhaust/muffler valves, you can decide at what rpm and gear you'd like the exhaust to become louder. If you'd like to have crackle/burble added to your tune, you can choose how mild or intense the sound is. By purchasing an AVM tune, you have the freedom of deciding how you want the tune tailored to your vehicle!
How long does the process take?
For most vehicles, you should plan to drop the car off and pick up the following day. There are many different software versions for each car's ECU. In many cases two vehicles can be the same year, same model, and same engine, but still have different ECU software versions. Because your tune will not be copied and pasted from another vehicle, it will take time to sort through all the maps that require changes and ensure everything is adjusted correctly for your specific software version. This process can take some time depending on your vehicle, so we like to keep the car for a full day. In some cases this process can take longer (for example many of the ECU's in cars that are no more than 3-4 years old have become very complex, which adds to the time it takes to create a custom tune).
Will an AVM custom tune void my warranty?
This is a question we get asked a lot, and we cannot promise that your tune will be 100% undetectable. The tuning equipment we use is designed to not leave behind any evidence that the vehicle was tuned, but if the dealership is very determined to find out, there is always a chance they can detect a tune. We are willing to flash your car back to stock and re-lock the ECU if you need to take the car in for service, but we cannot guarantee the dealership will not know.
What is a bench unlock?
Newer ECU's are locked from the factory, which means changes cannot be made to the vehicle's software through the OBD port. If an ECU needs a bench unlock, It means that the ECU will need to be unlocked in "bench mode" before any tuning can begin. "Bench mode" refers to the ECU being removed from the vehicle, so that the tuning tool can be connected directly to the ECU itself. Some of the newer automatic transmissions can only be re-flashed in "bench mode" too. This means that the vehicle will need to be on a lift so the tuning tool can be connected directly to the transmission's wiring harness.