Can you name that tuner?

Rogue engine tuners who use cloned tools in an attempt to boost a car’s performance are wrecking thousands of engine ECUs a year with repair and replacement costs setting owners back up to £2,000 each.

The warning has been issued by engine remap services provider, Viezu, which is providing drivers with a series of top tips to help them avoid such damage.

Paul Busby, CEO of Viezu Technologies, said, ‘Responsible engine remapping is a fantastic way for drivers to modify the performance of their vehicle so that they can lower their fuel costs, reduce their emissions or enhance its driveability. However, the problem is that a fake or cloned tool looks exactly like the real thing, but the result of them being used on your car, can be disastrous and very costly.’

While cloned or fake tuning tools can look identical to genuine tools, under the surface there can be a considerable difference, with cloned tools often run on very old, out of date or hacked software causing instability or incompatibility issues for the user. This can result in the tool locking up during the tuning process and the car simply will not start again.

Often this will require a replacement engine ECU, normally costing owners in excess of £1,000 each.

Paul continued, ‘The horror stories are always the same; ‘Someone came out and tuned the car on my driveway,’ with no business card and only a mobile number or email address. Getting hold of a rouge tuner when something has gone wrong is impossible. There are many legitimate tuning companies around so make sure you chose the right one using genuine tools in licence.

To ensure an engine tuner is reputable, has the appropriate back-up and genuine tools, Viezu is recommending drivers ask these five simple questions before handing over their car keys: What tuning tool are they using and is it genuine? Ask the tuner to provide proof of this and ask the tuner to show you their tools software information screen. Take a screenshot and send it to Viezu if in doubt who can verify if the tool is genuine, within license and very importantly who it’s registered to.

Is the tuning tool still in licence? Does the tuner have an insurance policy that covers not only the workmanship, but also the tuning service? Do they have proof of warranty? Has the technician been appropriately trained?