Although modifications are completely illegal in India, we still have a decent number of cars that have been tastefully modified in the country. While most of them opt for exterior modifications to enhance the look, there are a few who focus more on performance.There are a variety of workshops that tune the engine on cars and SUVs to make them more efficient and powerful. One of the easiest way to get a performance upgrade in a car is ECU remap. Like in any case, there are positives and negatives to this as well. If you don’t get this work done from a good tuner, the chances of car not working properly are quite high. Here we have one such incident from Kolkata where a tuner fried the ECU in a Tata Harrier after installing faulty aftermarket tune.
The incident was shared by the customer of Team-Bhp on their forum. The owner shares his horrible experience with the tuner when he tried to tune his Tata Harrier SUV to stage 1+. We wanted to tune his SUV for a very long time and was in search of a tuner. He found one locally in Kolkata namely “RC Tunes”. He took the Harrier to RC Tunes in February this year and when the tuner connected his OBD II tool, it was showing several errors. On further inspection, the tool showed 22 error codes and some of these were related to the ECU, ABS, Terrain Response System, Passive Entry & Start system.
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The tuner initially told him that he cannot tune the car as it was showing too many errors. He asked the owner to get it checked from a service centre. The owner did the same and the service centre told them that the car had around 8 errors and they have fixed them all. After getting the issue fixed from the service centre, the owner took the car back to the tuner on March 1, 2023. The tuner once again connected his OBD tool and found that the errors were still there. The tuner blamed the owner for not fixing the issue and then went ahead and spoke to his tuning partner and mechanic about the same.
Instead of advising the owner to get the car fixed he went ahead with the tuning. He did not even brief the owner about the issues that the car can face after tuning. The tuner removed the ECU and connected it to his laptop and flashed it. The owner waited at the workshop for hours before leaving home in another car. When he finally got the car back at around 11 Pm, he realised that his car was not working fine.
The engine was not revving above 1,600 rpm and the top speed of the SUV was only 25 kmph. The Sport, Eco and Normal mode on the SUV did not work as well. The tuner was not ready to take responsibility and told owner that the car had issues and it was not the fault of his tuning. He tried to manually clear the errors but, the issue did not resolve.
After this issue occurred, the owner took his SUV to the service centre which was around 25 km away from his place. He drove the car to the service centre and the technicians looked at the car and diagnosed every possible part that could be causing the problem. After almost spending a week at the service centre, the technicians found that the ECU on this SUV was smoked and it had an open circuit. The service centre simply placed a replacement order and fixed the issue under warranty.
This is exactly the reason why one should always look for garages that specialise in such work. The attitude of the tuner towards their also matters. In this case, the owner was lucky to get the ECU replaced under warranty otherwise, he would have had to spend a lot on the repair. Ideally, the tuner should have informed the owner about the errors and issues that he would face if he goes ahead with the tune. He should not have gone ahead with the tuning at all.
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