Purchasing the Right Engine Tuning Parts for Your Car

When you notice that your engine is not performing at an optimal level, it is not a bad idea to consider engine tuning. Aside from adjustments and modifications of an engine to boost a performance of a car, engine tuning also increases the fuel economy, power, and durability of an engine. There are different tuning processes that can be applied to an engine. The processes include engine tune-up, chip tuning, and performance tuning.

Purchasing the Right Engine Tuning Parts for Your Car

Moreover, these processes can require purchasing a number of engine parts—whether manufacturer parts of aftermarket parts—to ensure that the engine works at its peak. Without engine tuning parts,, the tuning process would not be possible. For this reason, it is always better to know the usual engine tuning parts that may be required in each type or process of engine tuning, whether they are new or used, or whether they are original equipment manufacturer or aftermarket parts.

Clarifying Terms in Engine Tuning

Adjustments or modifications to an engine vary based on the degree of work performed to the engine. An engine can be overhauled, rebuilt, remanufactured, or blueprinted.


During an overhaul, the engine is removed from the car, taken apart, inspected, and cleaned. In this procedure, the engine is given a "zero hours since major overhaul" status, which means the previous operational history of the engine is maintained. The parts are also tested using procedures that adhere to the factory service manual guidelines.

An overhaul can be categorised as a top overhaul, which involves replacing parts inside the cylinder head, such as the valve and rocker arm.. Buy a rocker arm made of stamped steel because it is durable and economical. A major overhaul, in contrast, involves removing the engine from the vehicle and transferring it to an engine stand. Overhauling can be set to a service limit, which allows installation of used parts that meet the service-limit standards. On the other hand, a new limit overhaul usually provides new original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or new aftermarket parts, and it also allows you to set a baseline of wear that is equivalent to that of a new engine.

Necessary Engine Tuning Parts for an Overhaul

Engine tuning parts that are commonly replaced in an overhauling procedure are oil seals<, gaskets,, bearings,, and piston rings.. When doing the overhauling on your own, you need an A-frame or portable engine hoist because it allows you to raise the engine from the vehicle in order to remove it. You also need cleaning solvents such as an engine degreaser.


Rebuilding an engine follows the same procedure as an overhaul, but new and used parts can be used as replacement parts so long as they adhere to the factory service manual's approved tolerance and fits set by the manufacturer. After rebuilding, the engine comes to you with zero hours and the engine's previous operating history erased.


A reassembled engine is remanufactured when the replacement parts are considered "new" by factory specifications even though a number or all of them are used. Car owners perceive remanufactured engine as an engine having all used parts used, but that is not wholly so because high-quality rebuilds would include new pistons and crankshaft bores.. A cylinder block is a used replacement part that is often allowed in remanufacturing.


In engine blueprinting the manufacturer tolerances in an engine are removed to create an engine that mirrors the actual blueprint made by the original engineers who designed it. Because engines that underwent blueprinting looks like its original design, people tend to think that there is no significant amount of work made in the procedure. However, blueprinting delivers an engine with better-than-factory tolerances and could include customisation that fits the application.

Types of Engine Tuning

As mentioned, the three types of engine tuning are a tune-up, chip tuning, and performance tuning. With each process certain parts of the engine need adjustment or replacement.


A tune-up is a routine servicing of the engine. The process includes inspecting parts, replacing those that are about to be worn out beyond repair, and modifying to a "new part" reliability the parts that can still be restored. A tune-up also aims to adjust systems in an engine to make sure that they adhere to the standards of the manufacturer. Cars with contact ignition systems needs a complete tune-up for every 10,000 to 12,000 miles travelled, and cars with electronic ignition systems need the same type of tuning for every 15,000 to 20,000 miles covered.

During the general inspection, the oil and oil filter are changed. The PCV valve,, vacuum hoses,, contact breaker points,, and electrical connections are also checked. Spark plug wires can crack, harden, or become loose over time, so replacement spark plug wires are necessary every three years. High-performance spark plug wires may do well in race cars, but they do not function just as well on the rest of car types. These plug wires may negatively affect the operation of underhood electronics of some cars because they are not the resistance type and do not contain radio waves.

The rotor and the distributor cap are also susceptible to cracking and formation of carbon tracking. Also, the rotor can eventually burn or corrode because of repeated use. Replacement rotor and the distributor cap may also be needed.

Chip Tuning

Modern cars are equipped with an engine control unit (ECU) that controls several systems in the car to boost the power of the car, produce cleaner emissions, or save fuel. Together with advanced engine technology, an electronic control unit in modern cars can control operations like fuel injection, spark timing, poppet valve timing, electronic throttle control, boost control, and other systems. Car performance chips used to be the only component that can be added to the ECU to upgrade or modify its programme. For other cars these days, an external device called a tuning box is added to upgrade the ECU. Since 2001, tuning or upgrading the read-only chip in most cars does not need a replacement chip because the upgrade can done by reprogramming an on-board diagnostics (OBD) port that has direct access to the car's ECU.

Performance Tuning

Performance tuning, although done primarily for competing sports vehicle, extends to vehicles that do not compete in motorsports but are just built for show or leisure driving. This type of tuning focuses on improving the power output, engine responsiveness, and torque. Most car owners who want to have their cars undergo performance tuning are interested in boosting the power of the engine. The techniques in performance tuning have the goal of increasing the rate of combustion in a given engine.

Summary of Performance Tuning Techniques

The table below shows the different techniques employed in performance tuning. Each has the ultimate goal of increasing power in the engine.

Techniques to Increase Power

Engine Tuning Part(s) Needed

Increase the flow of fuel and air into the cylinders

Slightly larger cylinders

Controllable burning of air-fuel mixture and smoother entry of mixture into the engine

Larger or multiple carburettors

Decreasing the restriction in the path of fuel-air and exhaust gases in the cylinder

Larger or multiple poppet valves

Maintaining the velocity of gases by a cylinder head porting

Smoother and less contorted inlet manifolds and exhaust manifolds;; smoothed and enlarged cylinder heads

Extending the bore right through the complete exhaust system

Larger diameter piping;; low back pressure silencers

Extending the bore right through the intake system

High-flow and high efficiency air filters;; larger diameter airbox

Reducing the size of the combustion chamber to raise compression ratio

Larger compression height piston or thinner head gaskets

Increased force induction

Turbocharger or supercharger

Improving throttle response

Alloy instead of steel crankshafts,, connecting rods, pistons, and ring gear

For each technique or modification to be successful, it requires the right engine tuning parts.. The table can be a quick reference when determining the parts to purchase when doing a performance tuning in an engine.

Other Engine Tuning Parts

There are so many engine tuning parts available online. This section discusses a number of important parts that are needed when tuning an engine. A strut brace,, used along with MacPherson struts, gives added stiffness between the strut towers. Since the strength of a strut brace is relied on by the strut towers, the brace must be rigid throughout its length.

For the engine to run efficiently and at the most power, an oil catch can needs to be installed. Catch cans are only aftermarket parts; there are pre-assembled kits that fit a specific type of vehicle and there are universal cans that provide you options for mounting.

Another tuning part is a cam belt,, which needs to be flexible and robust because it controls the timing of the valves of an engine by opening and closing the valves once every other revolution. Aftermarket cam belts are stronger and does not stretch compared to manufacturer-produced belts.


Engine tuning is performed to increase the power of an engine and to make the car run efficiently. An engine can be overhauled, rebuilt, remanufactured, or blueprinted. Each of these procedures may require one or more replacement engine tuning parts, whether new or used, or original equipment or manufacturer part.

Engine tuning can range from tune-up to chip tuning to performance tuning. In a tune-up engine, parts such as spark plug wires, PCV valves, vacuum hoses, and contact breaker points, may require replacement. In chip tuning, a car owner who wants to modify or upgrade the electric control unit can buy a car performance chip or a tuning box or have the on-board diagnostics port, depending on the type of car.

Lastly, in performance tuning the main goal is to increase power output, engine responsiveness, and torque. Depending on the modification, both large and small engine tuning parts, such as a carburettor and a cam belt, may need to be purchased. Engine tuning parts are important considerations when tuning an engine because most engine tuning techniques would not be successful without them.