Latest Car News and Tips

Car Tuning 101: Modification Stages

Car Tuning 101: Modification Stages

Apr 18, 2013

Most of the time, we hear car tuners and enthusiasts talk about different stages of car modification. Since almost everybody have their varying opinions on the matter, what these stages denote are fairly meaningless in terms of power gains and thus cannot be reliably used to explain how much improvement a certain modification brings. However, some points should be taken into consideration to differentiate Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3 mods.

Stage 1 modifications are generally straightforward, DIY fits. These could be added in isolation and should work on a standard engine without requiring any other changes to work. The overall benefit one could get using Stage 1 mods are relatively minimal and regarded as being at the bottom end of the tuning scene. Samples of Stage 1 mods are the following: induction kits, air filters, fuel pressure regulators, custom exhaust system, simple engine remapping and timing changes.

Stage 2 modifications provide marginally larger power gains than Stage 1 albeit with additional work or parts needed to fully work reliably. A Stage 2 mod is usually a DIY fit although sometimes could also require specialist tools. Sample Stage 2 mods are: adding a larger or hybrid turbo, fast road cams and supercharger kits. All these modifications usually need some engine remapping, strengthening and dismantling.

Lastly, Stage 3 modifications are regarded by most as a track day configuration or motorsports tune as these are usually far from ideal for road use. Typically, vehicles under Stage 3 mod idle erratically, uneconomical and overall just too harsh to drive around in traffic. The aim in this kind of mod is to gain as much power as possible from the engine, thus hurting reliability. More so, Stage 3 mods require regular overhaul and servicing, as the additional strain put on the engine results in premature engine wear. High performance brake pads and disks, aggressive cam profiles and heavy competition clutches are examples of Stage 3 modifications.