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Discussion Starter #1
Saab 93 2010 2.0T Sedan

Hi, I've been making upgrades for looks ever since i bought my Saab last year, lowering springs, tint, fog lights, blacked it out, but now I'm starting to get interested in increasing performance.

My questions are:

What are the pros and cons of tuning my car?

What should i know about tuning it?

What exactly is "tuning"?

Should i tune mine?

Opinions? ;ol;
 

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A base tune without changing hard goods will net you about 260 horsepower. If you drive in a "spiriited" fashion (exclude the nit-wits), you probably won't be putting any real stress on the engine or other parts; of course if you are driving it like a fool, you will pay.

I got slightly better fuel mileage (but I have a different engine).

Essentially, and I'll stand corrected, everything the engine does is what is allowed by the program in the ECU, a tune takes the Saab factory program and tosses it the can and "re-maps" the parameters of the computer for things like shift points and power via allowable boost.

A good example of this is the difference between a 2007 2.8 engine and the Turbo X or any later Aeros of 2008. The former is 255 horsepower and X/Aero's are 280 horses. There is nothing mechanically different and if you get a Vtune on either the 2007 or 08' Aero X, you will net (a nominal) 320 horses and you haven't changed a single piece of hardware. Later stage tunes require better injectors, exhaust and finally a larger or modified turbo.

Hope that helps. The best thing you can do is to call the tuners, I've talked to a few and each one was more than willing to spend the time and help you think out the progression for your car.
 

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Untuned - Why?

An untuned Saab is a bit like not using all gears that came with your car...
I'd shop around a bit and read here on the forum, before deciding, but clearly, the potential of any modern Saab engine is great. From 210 to 260 hp and increased torque, combined with a slightly lower fuel consumption (if not changing driving habits :p) with no other hardware upgrades is a no-brainer in my world. You get a "new" car that is much more fun to drive. JZW, BCB and Vtuner are tuners used by members here.

Just do it! ;ol;

You wont regret it, I'm sure....
 

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I had my car done by Brian of Vtuner and it's something I have never regretted and was on the verge of selling the car.

I should have mentioned that Vtuner and one or two others like JZW offer a hand held device that allows you to tune the car. It's a plug in thing that looks (from the pics I've seen), like a TV remote. The benefit is that you can load the tune and then if you want, revert back to stock tune .. let's say you were going through MV inspection (my car passed with the tune though).

Other tunes require you to send them the ECU or they can send you one but you pay a core charge.

As for tuning bargains, we get the most bang for the buck. To get a 40 to 50 horse gain on my Corvette would be close to $1,500, for my old Volvo they wanted almost $1,000 for like 18 horsepower; we get 40 to 50 in a base tune from around $400 to $600. I had the tuner just load the tune and saved money but for me there is no default back to stock unless I pay for the hand held device.
 

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reading this makes me want my tune now!! I don't want to load it up though until winter breaks!! this is the worst..
 

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I had my car done by Brian of Vtuner and it's something I have never regretted and was on the verge of selling the car.

I should have mentioned that Vtuner and one or two others like JZW offer a hand held device that allows you to tune the car. It's a plug in thing that looks (from the pics I've seen), like a TV remote. The benefit is that you can load the tune and then if you want, revert back to stock tune .. let's say you were going through MV inspection (my car passed with the tune though).

Other tunes require you to send them the ECU or they can send you one but you pay a core charge.

As for tuning bargains, we get the most bang for the buck. To get a 40 to 50 horse gain on my Corvette would be close to $1,500, for my old Volvo they wanted almost $1,000 for like 18 horsepower; we get 40 to 50 in a base tune from around $400 to $600. I had the tuner just load the tune and saved money but for me there is no default back to stock unless I pay for the hand held device.

So true!!! Once you have a tune, you won't go back......I opt'd for the BCB and mailed my ECU in to save the coin knowing I wouldn't be removing the tune once it was on my car. Best bang for the buck and puts a smile on your face when you feel the difference.
 

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There are no cons.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So lets say i bought a plug and play Vtune for my saab, it wont make the engine wear out faster? Or cause the mpg to go from ~30mpgs to like 20? Would it add to much boost for my engine to handle? I have 53k miles, is it even worth tuning, or does it already have to many miles?
 

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It is much less likely, almost impossible now that Saab is gone, but if you were trading the car on a new car and the dealer ran a scan like a Tech II and detected a tune they might not buy the car from you.

I ended up with a super deal for my (now sold), 01' Corvette and got a complete Borla dual exhaust and "H" pipe installed for like $150 because the original owner was over at the Chevy dealer to buy another new Corvette. The mech was putting on his old (he saved the original), exhaust and the fellow was just happy to be rid of it and recovered the work to put his back together.

I was told that most new car dealers will not take a modified car in as a trade in. I doubt that the Audi or Chevy dealer could detect a base level tune on a traded Saab now.
 

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So lets say i bought a plug and play Vtune for my saab, it wont make the engine wear out faster? Or cause the mpg to go from ~30mpgs to like 20? Would it add to much boost for my engine to handle? I have 53k miles, is it even worth tuning, or does it already have to many miles?
If you want some real world MPG numbers, take a look at my fuelly CLICK HERE
This is with my Brew City Boost Tune

I have slacked off on logging the past few months but it will show you how my car was over the summer and during some winter months. Anytime I was down on the lower 20's it was my own fault for driving ummmm, say, spirited all week? LOL

When I took a ride down to Atlantic City all highway over the summer, I got 32.4 mpg, so, you won't have to worry about losing MPG, I don't have much to compare before the tune unfortunately but from what I recall, I saw a small increase.

I have verified my SID Fuel Average is reading the same as the real world fill up and I am always within 2 tenths +/-, its real accurate in my car.
 

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No, the engine won't wear out faster. The car can easily take the extra power. There is ZERO downside, not even mileage unless you flog it. Ok, I guess there is one. It costs money.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Awesome, great information guys! Thanks for the gas milage info too! Really excited. How hard are one of the plug and play Vtuners to work? Easy enough for a 20 year old with better than average understanding on cars?
 

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Awesome, great information guys! Thanks for the gas milage info too! Really excited. How hard are one of the plug and play Vtuners to work? Easy enough for a 20 year old with better than average understanding on cars?
Never used one but from what I have seen, super simple.

Also with my MPG, you could definitely achieve a higher avg then mine, I do drive a little more aggressively as I enjoy the BOOST. If you drive the car like a normal car all the time, I would guess you could get another 2-3+mpg or more on avg.
 

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Mine is a 6 speed manual, whats wrong with tuning a manual? Or what are the risks rather?
I'm not speaking from personal experience here... just research I did when I was looking into it.

Some folks had issues with clutch slippage when moving to a tune.

But its hard to tell, certainly clutch age and driving styles are a factor. Also how aggressive the tune as well. There are a few threads of "XXX Tune at my clutch" on the site. The value proposition of a few hundred bucks for a large HP bump decreases when you throw the cost of a new clutch into the mix. Add to the fact that I actually really like the Dual Mass Fly wheel setup of this car and wouldn't want to deal with a heavy aftermarket unit to handle the extra power at the expense of drivablility.

Also I can't tell if its just a vocal minority or just a matter of time with accelerated clutch wear and tuning. I mean clutches are a wear item, so there's that. I did attempt to start a thread for those who have tuned manuals to post with how many miles they've put on it. I did get some limited feedback.

In the end, for me, I held off on tuning till I do more research. That and the shear number of tuners (from free backyard tunes to $700+ setups) was headspinning as well.

If / When I tune I'll reach out to some of the bigger names (JZW, VTuner, etc) for recommendations. JZW even has a mild Stage 1 for supposedly longer clutch life.

Also when you tune, you'll likely want to change the plugs - most tuners have a recommendation for different plugs.

Hope this helps.
 
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