AU Edit. Thinking about it?
What is the AU Edit?
In simple terms, the AU “Edit” is a tuning program used to change the settings and base maps in your factory ECU. This means that as opposed to using a piggyback or complete replacement ECU, you can use your factory computer, but still modify the settings and parameters to increase performance. It’s a particularly useful tool if your car is modified, or if you intend to go down the turbo/supercharger path and still want to have a fully engineered setup.
The Edit is done using a Flash Tuner, which is quite simply, a little black box that plugs into your OBD (On Board Diagnostics Port). Pop off your interior fuse cover, and you’ll see a connector – this is where it plugs in, and in a few seconds you can upload and change your ECU’s programming. The Flash Tuner holds up to 4 programs – the first being your factory ECU settings, and the other 3 being custom tunes developed for your car.
So what happens when I get the edit?
If you’ve made the decision to get the edit done, chances are you already know a bit about how it works. If not, here’s a brief rundown of how the process works.
How to select a tuner:
The best way to select a tuner is to do some research on some of their previous cars. See what results they have given other enthusiasts, and if you’re happy with it, contact them and talk to them about your car. There are a multitude of different tuning and performance shops around the country, but if you can find one your are comfortable with and trust to work on your car, it’s a safe bet to go with them.
Getting your car ready:
To get maximum results, your car needs to be at peak operating levels during the tuning process. Doing simple maintanence such as an oil change, cleaning your air filter, changing plugs and leads etc can mean the difference between a great result and an average one.
Remember that during the edit process, your car is going to see a lot of time on the dyno, which means it will be working reasonably hard.
For fuel, it’s best to select the fuel that you intend to be using every day. If you use 95 octane fuel regularly, there’s no point using 98 octane fuel to tune the car with. Make sure you have at least half a tank of fuel in the car before it goes on the dyno. If you use Octane Booster etc, talk to your tuner first before adding it as they may advise against it.
Before starting, the tuner will usually do a dyno run to establish just what sort of power your car is putting out as it currently is. This will give them (and you) a better idea of what needs to be changed or looked at such as flat spots through the rev range, low down torque delivery etc. This dyno run will also give you a rwkw (Rear Wheel KiloWatts) figure which can the be compared with your results after the edit.
After this is done, your tuner will discuss with you what results you want from the car, and what they feel is going to be the best way to achieve it. This is the time to take into account what modifications you have done, what you intend to do in the future, your driving style, and what you expect from the car after the job is done. If you want maximum power, better low down torque etc, now’s the time to say so.
Once you and the tuner have established the aim for the car, the dyno runs will begin. During the runs, the tuner will more than likely be working on a laptop etc, to manipulate settings in the ECU, and measure the results in real time as it runs on the dyno. This can take anywhere from 5-35 runs to get 100% correct, and a good tuner will not stop until they (and you) are satisfied with the results.
If everybody’s happy, a final dyno sheet will be printed that shows the results from the pre-tuning run, and the final (tuned) result. This sheet will show you the differences, but it’s only when you drive the car that you will really see (and more importantly feel) the results.
At this stage, remember a few things:
· The Kw number is not everything. Cars with high kws but low torque can be slower than how they started. Don’t be disheartened if the final rwkw figure is lower than what you expected. If it is, talk to your tuner.
· If the car feels no different, or feels doughy etc, talk to your tuner. The edit is only as good as the tuner doing it and if you’re not happy, it won’t change magically. To get the result you want you have to be clear with them as to what you hope to get out of it.
· The tunes are switchable, so test them all out to uncover any oddities while they can still be fixed. Typically an edit will give you 4 tunes, all of which are held in your flash tuner. The first are the default factory settings which are retained if ever you need to return your car to stock, and the other 3 will be custom tunes that you can work with with your tuner. Typically most tuners will do a tune for your preferred fuel, one for maximum power and another for a different fuel i.e. 95 octane.
· Never expect the dyno to give you an indication of how the car will drive! The only way to find out if the tune is as good as you expect is to drive the car and see how it feels for yourself.
If everything’s all set, and you’re happy with your tune, then you’re done. Keep your flash tuner in a safe place and become familiar with proper operation of it so you can safely change tunes etc. Most will come with a written manual on how to use it, how to change tunes etc, and also a list of what tunes are in the tuning unit.
The flash tuner can be “retuned” at any time, meaning if you have new mods in the future, you can return and have it retuned to suit. Remember though that the flash tune units are VIN locked to your car, so if you sell your car and wish to use the same flash box on your new car, you’ll need your tuner to unlock it.
The AU edit is a powerful tool and can give you awesome tuning capability in the right hands. It’s well worth the money!
Document last updated 14:18 Sat Jan 27, 2007