• Dyno Tuning: How Much It Costs and How to Do It Yourself

    Having a dyno tune completed on your car will require a hefty fee. The dynamometer is not a simple machine to operate if you have never done it before. Therefore, there are specialized shops that will take your car and tune it up on the dyno machine for you. While this will cost you a little initially, the long running savings will be worth it.

    Dyno tuning your vehicle can greatly enhance the performance of your engine. Tuning your car through the use of a dynamometer should be thought of as more of a scientific experiment than a garage project.

    Costs to Tune a Car

    Taking your car to a dyno tuning garage is the best way to not only improve performance, boost horsepower, and make the engine run more efficiently. However, initial costs can start at $400 to $700. This number will depend on several different factors such as make of car, any parts that are needed and additions to make it run more efficiently.

    Aftermarket Parts

    One of the things factored into the tuning cost of getting your car tuned on a dyno are the aftermarket products that needed. There are times when you will not need to add anything. However, if you want to get the best tuning job done you will need to replace some parts with aftermarket parts.


    Some of the costs involved with the actual tuning on the dyno involve the technician going through an initial diagnostic run. Most people think that just one run is going to be enough. The best results are made when there are several runs on the dyno to determine the baseline of your engine. From there they can diagnose any problems that might be found.

    Spend What You Can

    When it comes to how much you should spend on a dyno, keep in mind that you are going to pay at least $400 for just the diagnostic work. From there it will be up to you whether to spend more or not. Keep in mind your budget, and what you can afford for adding any other products.

    If you feel the need to try your hand at manually performing a set of dyno test-based upgrades to your vehicle, then there are some things you must be aware of.

    Know What You Want to See Before Testing

    There are a lot of variables in the engine while it is running. Things like fuel pressure, valve timing, problems with spark plugs and wires, exhaust and emissions, the throttle body, fuel injection, and other problems can be found after you roll your car on the dyno testing platform. Having a plan beforehand will always help you see some things, while also helping you locate other problem areas.

    Know What You Want to Change Before Testing

    Along with knowing which problem areas you want to look at, you should also have a plan thought out about the parts of your engine that you want to change. By knowing this you will save a lot of time in the process by having the tools and the parts necessary on hand while the car is on the dynamometer.

    Know What You Are Looking At

    For one who is not well versed on the dyno tuner you can make a lot of assumptions without knowing the true reality of what the numbers are saying. You may think that the A/F ratio is a little off and go about changing valve timing to make it better. However, the truth may be that you only need to do a slight adjustment. Read about the dyno testing machines, and talk with skilled users before trying to read the numbers.

    Perform Several Baseline Runs

    The best way to determine your vehicle’s performance and power is to perform several different baseline runs. This will show you where your car is before you make any changes. However, because of the way that different factors can change performance you should run several tests to make a true determination.

    Be Methodical in Your Testing

    Getting the most wheel horsepower, fixing some of the problems or making your engine fit emissions standards cannot be done when you are pulling out parts and changing things on the fly. It should be a systematic process where you only change out one thing at a time. When you swap out fuel injection, spark plugs and change the timing all at the same time, you will radically change the results making it seem like there are other problems.

    Using a notebook to write down everything is one of the most important things you can do when dyno tuning your vehicle’s engine. Take one step at a time and do not try to rush the process by jumping to conclusions when there is minimal power gain with stock engines.