Why You Should Consider a Custom Tune

Get a custom tune to help your Mazdaspeed perform best.

Get a custom tune to help your Mazdaspeed perform best.

When I first bought my speed, I had zero knowledge of the MZR platform, and turbo cars in general. I’ve owned my Mazdaspeed for almost three years now and have learned a lot. Since I bought the car, I’ve met many awesome people and turned it into a fully bolted machine. I’ve learned a lot about my car and what it takes to reach certain goals with it. Building the car has been very rewarding, but meeting new faces along the way has been just as enjoyable. Other people have taught me a lot about my personal goals and where I want to stand with the Mazda community. That being said, I’ve turned myself into the type of person that’s always willing to give advice when it’s needed.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned from talking with other Mazdaspeed owners is that everyone sits at a different power level and has different functions they use their car for. One of the biggest questions I see in the Mazdaspeed community is whether or not someone should consider a custom tune. The answer to that question is yes.

The OTS maps that come preloaded are definitely a decent upgrade over the stock mapping, but you don’t really know what the car can do until you actually make small tweaks. That’s where it makes a big difference. Seeing increased boost levels makes you think your car is much faster, but how much faster is it actually going to be? Most of the Stage II maps allow you to run around 17-18 pounds of boost, which is definitely a decent increase, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s not until you get a custom tune that you realize how much more you can get from your Mazdaspeed.

Why you should get a custom tune:

The biggest reason is so your car can be tailored to all of the modifications you’ve done. I like to look at it like a suit. If you bought a suit from a store without having any alterations made, the suit would fit, but it wouldn’t fit well. If you were to get every part of your body measured, then the suit would fit perfectly. That’s the way I look at OTS maps versus custom tunes. The OTS maps will work, but not that well. A custom tune will be tweaked for every modification you’ve done, which means the car will run perfectly with maximum performance.

Additionally, a custom tune will make sure your car doesn’t sacrifice reliability. It will allow you to unlock the true potential of your car without having any huge issues with the motor. There are a handful of tuners that maximize performance without sacrificing reliability. Here are a few popular tuners on the market, in alphabetical order not based on preference.

These are some of the most popular tuners that the Mazdaspeed platform uses. Any of these would be a great choice.

I’d suggest getting a custom tune once you reach a certain point of modding. If you order the CorkSport Turbo Back Exhaust, CorkSport Front Mount Intercooler, and CorkSport Big Intake, then you should definitely get a custom tune to maximize performance. Pick the one that sounds best to you and go for it!

Reasons why you should get a custom tune.

My car has been on a custom tune from Purple Drank Tuning for almost two years now. During the 20k miles I’ve driven in the last two years, my car and turbo has been pushed to the limit for the stock KO4 turbo. I was tuned on E85 running around 23 pounds of boost, and tracking the car at any chance I could. Some people ask how the heck my motor or turbo hasn’t crapped itself out yet. I can honestly say the reason she still runs well and pulls just as hard as when I first starting modding, is because of good maintenance and having a great tuner to make sure the car runs the way it should.

Luke McCarvel-01

Top 10 New Years Resolutions for a Car Guy

Barett-Strecker-2014-12-11-P3

 

It’s about that time of the year where we tear out a piece of a paper and jot down all of our New Years resolutions. Most forget about these resolutions halfway through the year, but this year is your year. It’s time to grasp your resolution with your bare hands and get it done! Here are some New Years resolution ideas that you can incorporate into your own list:

1. Hit the local Autocross event this year.

We all love going in the straight line or hitting the racetrack, but there’s nothing like the accessibility of an Autocross. An autocross gives you more of a visual of your driving abilities and gives your car less of a beating than if you were on a full-length race course or a quarter-mile drag strip. Of course this depends on how smoothly you go through the course and whether or not you lodged any cones in your wheel-well.

2. Buy the Corksport Adjustable Struts & Shocks Combo you’ve always wanted.

We’ve all been here. Every session online you get distracted by visiting the Corksport web store and stop by the Corksport adjustable struts and shocks combo product page. You keep looking into the Mazda forums, doing research, and dreaming how that pesky wheel gap makes your car look like it’s a monster truck. Now is the year to save up and finally treat yourself. Try getting a jar and commit to saving a small percentage of your paycheck to work towards paying off the suspension kit (or any other awesome modification) with straight-up cash.

3. Attend a Mazda Meet.

Butch Bender

There’s nothing like attending a Mazda Meet and talking cars with other Mazda owners. This is where you can get inspiration, connect with other local Mazda owners/enthusiasts, and even local tuning shop owners. Have an issue with your Mazda? We bet you can find somebody at the meet who had the same problem and knows exactly how to fix it. Checking out the forums is a great step but there’s nothing like a Mazda enthusiast actually seeing what the issue is in person. Besides, who doesn’t want to make more Mazda friends?

4. Learn to Race.

We’ve all taken on-ramps at a faster than suggested speed, trying to establish a race-line. It’s fun to think of yourself as a race car driver. What if you can actually be one? There are a lot of opportunities at your local track to get instruction from professional race car drivers. A great place to start is the SCCA website. Maybe it’s time you actually became a race car driver?

5. Let somebody change the radio station or playlist.

Most people hate it when a passenger starts messing with the radio. Who wants to listen to a slow jam with four dudes in the car (maybe some of you do)? From the great words of the most played out song in 2014: let it go! Relax. One day just let a passenger do whatever they want to the radio. Only once of course.

6. Finish that project.

Everybody has that one project that sits untouched in the corner of their garage or shop for what seems like forever. It’s collecting dust, and you’re starting to pile stuff around it. Time to get it out and finish it up. Whether it be plasti-dipping the valve cover, finally getting an alignment after lowering your car, or actually installing that Corksport Transmission Motor Mount that’s been sitting in your garage for a few weeks. Maybe it’s time you set everything aside and just do it.

7. Take a noob out to the shop.

Shop Life

We all have a friend that is very eager to learn more about working on cars or just about cars in general. This person can be just one of your friends or even your 7-year old nephew (it’s never too early to learn how to turn that wrench). It’s time to pass on your knowledge, because, to be honest, everybody remembers that one person that taught them everything to help them get started in tuning and modding. It’s time for you to be THAT person.

8. Help a friend with their project.

We all have that friend who buys a ton of parts and pays for an auto shop to install it for them. It’s time to lend your services and give your friend a helping hand. If you think about it, you can technically complete resolution number 7 and 8 at the same time.

9. Give a friend a bluetooth device.

With all the laws being passed in every state regarding hands-off communication devices in the car, this can not only prevent your friend from receiving a ticket but also keep them safe on the road. Buy one for yourself if you haven’t already!

10. Participate in the next Mazda toy drive.

Mazda Toy Drive

It’s time to give and have fun doing it. Every year a local car club runs a toy drive to benefit needy kids in the area. It’s also a great time to meet other Mazda owners and just talk cars. Most car clubs will do a food drive in November and a toy drive in December. You’ll be doing a good deed and you get to see some awesome local Mazdas.

Don’t forget to put your New Years resolution somewhere that’s highly visible. To be honest it’s hard to complete all the resolutions you ever make but there’s nothing like that accomplished feeling you get when you do complete one.

Good luck this year and don’t forget to keep reminding yourself about your resolutions by posting notes EVERYWHERE!

 

– Corksport

ZoomZoom

Dear Car Guy: the Things Mazda Noobs Say

Dear Car Guy,

I’ve been thinking about how we’ve all experienced what I will refer to as ‘NOOBING’. When you’re faced with a situation with a NOOB and would love to call them out, but instead you opt to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’ll grow out of it or wise up! The following are for a few laughs, groans, and reminders that some of us have even “been there”:

noobpic1

What Noobs Say:  “Looking for advice”

What it really means: Hi all, I’m new here and haven’t even clicked the search button. I am hoping that because I stumbled upon this site, that if I post a question, you’ll all dump your wealth of knowledge into my lap in an organized and specific manner.

Noobs_Everywhere

What Noobs Say: “Mod Experienced”

What it really means: I bought LED’s had my car crew ‘help’ me install an intake. I’ve plasti-dipped my Mazda emblem and wheels. I’ve attended a few car shows and chatted with a few slightly more experienced guys (who’s cars were borderline in terms of intimidation). I can regurgitate what they’ve said about their builds in a single breath.

Camber_Tweaks

What Noobs Say: “Getting ready for a Car Show”

What it really means: I’m gonna go through a car wash and pay for the ‘deluxe-all inclusive’, so the inside will be detailed and the outside will shine with generic wax. I will then drive over to the show and park in the parking lot instead of the line, but take sweet pictures to put up on my facebook and Instagram.

Duct Tape

What Noobs Say: “I’m stage 1+”

What it really means: I have an intake, that I may or may not have installed myself.

PeterGriffin

What Noobs Say: “I am going big turbo next year”

What it really means: I have no clue what I need, and I can’t afford the supporting mods to do it anyway. I’m just trying to make it sound like I’m gonna be around for a while, and will make a name for myself ‘real soon’.

GiantTurbo

Whether you’ve been there, or are still there, don’t worry there is still room for improvement!

Stay safe, stay happy, stay fast!

Kim Russell-01