Pre-Tuning Checklist

Before beginning any type of tuning process, some basic things should be checked. Certain maintenance items should be replaced as well based on age/mileage of certain parts.


To start, all fluid levels should be checked. Any leaks (oil/fuel/coolant/vacuum) should be addressed to ensure best possible calibration process and to avoid any mechanical issues. If you're due or close to due for an oil change, just do it ahead of tuning process. We recommend you use high quality, synthetic oils from brands like Motul, Liqui Moly, or Amsoil. For any direct injection car, a good synthetic is a must have. Also, when choosing an oil for a direct injection vehicle, verify that the oil you're using has the API SN+ additive. Most full synthetics have it these days, but it's extremely important because it helps prevent low speed pre-ignition (which plagues DI vehicles and can cause mechanical and tuning issues). Oils with the API SN+ additive will normally say it on the back of the bottle in bold lettering, and often will on the front with a white/black circular badge.

Make sure your vehicle is filled with high quality, Top Tier fuels. We recommend using stations like Shell, Mobil, BP, and Sunoco, as their fuels generally have higher grade additives and more consistent fuel quality. We also recommend always using the highest octane available in your area, whether that be 91 or 93 octane. If you're using E85 or an ethanol blend (ex: E30 or E50), keep in mind that ethanol absorbs moisture over time, so you don't want to let ethanol sit in your tank for more than a couple weeks. Ethanol should be cycled through often. If your vehicle isn't going to be driven much over a span of 3+ weeks, we recommend filling the vehicle with regular pump gas, like 91 or 93 octane. Always make sure you're running calibration for the correct fuel as well. 

Verify tire tread depth/wear, alignment, and quality of suspension components. During the tuning process (whether it be remote, street, or dyno) your vehicle will be put under a good amount of stress during the high load portion of your calibration. Ensuring that it's safe at higher speeds and under braking is very important. Extreme alignments specs can also make dyno tuning unsafe. 

If spark plugs are older than 15,000 miles on a forced induction vehicle, or 30,000 miles on a naturally aspirated car, it would be best to replace them prior to tuning. Even if they appear okay during an inspection, with added air/fuel, older spark plugs might not be able to keep up with your new calibration and could cause poor driveability, poor horsepower/torque figures, and sometimes even misfiring at low or high load. Verifying plug gap is correct across all new plugs and using high quality spark plugs is highly recommended. If you're unsure about what your spark plugs should be gapped to, feel free to ask us via private message on social media or email. 

A Wideband Oxygen Sensor is highly recommended if your vehicle is an EJ-series Subaru (2002-2014 WRX, 2004-2021 STi, 2004-2013 FXT, 2005-2012 Legacy GT) or a BRZ/86/FR-S with aftermarket forced induction. While it is possible to complete a good calibration without one, the only way to verify the fuelling in high load is perfect, is with a wideband O2. You can use either an aftermarket wideband gauge or an adapter kit to run a wideband sensor in the factory rear O2 harness and bung, either is fine. Naturally aspirated BRZ/86's do not need a wideband as they can accurately read AFR around desired targets. 

•This last one is for Subaru's with the FA20DIT engine. If you have a 2015+ WRX or Forester XT with the FA20, we highly recommend having a walnut blasting done if you have not had one within the last 35-40k miles. The DIT engine is prone to carbon deposits building up on the back side of intake valves, and this can cause issues over time. These issues include lack of power, poor gas mileage, abnormal amounts of pre-ignition, and you will likely see higher Feedback Knock and Fine Knock Learning values as well. A walnut blasting service will clean the carbon deposits off of the intake valves and lower section of the valve stems, as well as the inlet on the cylinder heads. As this process causes lots of loose carbon deposits to get blown through the engine, new spark plugs are highly recommended at the same time as the walnut blasting service.

If there is anything else you have questions about in regards to pre-tune checks and maintenance, do not hesitate to ask via Facebook or Instagram direct messaging, or email us at