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Vw Performance Mods In 5 Simple Steps

By Expert Author: Michael Brett

So you bought your first Volkswagen and you’re ready to step into the world of VW performance mods. Whether you own a VW GTI, Golf, Jetta, Passat or even Beetle, there are a set of fundamental steps for turning your car into a performance beauty and beast. Note, there are many companies out there that offer the same VW performance parts, so at the end of the day, you’ll have to do your own research to figure out what’s best for your budget and goals. Luckily, there are many options, a lot of information out there and a ton of VW enthusiasts that share their feedback. That said, here are 5 simple steps that can be used as a general guide to getting started with your mods.

Step 1: ECU Upgrade

Here are Eurotek Tuning, we always say the first step should be an ECU Upgrade. Electronic Control Unit (ECU) refers to the technology or “chip” that controls the electrical system of a vehicle. ECU or Chip Tuning is sort of like rewiring your stock system to gain more power, fuel economy and a host of other features. This is a great starting point, and the upgrade where we feel you get your best bang for the buck. After implementing chip tuning, you’ll notice an immediate improvement.

Step 2: Exhaust

The down pipe is that portion of the exhaust that connects the engine to the rear exhaust piping. Catback refers to everything from the catalytic converter back to the muffler. Turboback means from the turbo back, including the downpipe and catback. The factory exhaust system restricts air flow, causing back pressure in the turbo causing it to lag. By upgrading your exhaust system, you release all of that trapped air and allowing the turbo to breathe freely. This upgrade will increase power, and depending on the system, give your VW a more aggressive exhaust note.

Step 3: Intake

Replacing your stock air box with a high-flow intake will feed your engine with the air it needs to perform. There are various options for intakes. You can replace the stock air box with a performance intake, replace the rest of the pipe from the intake a high flow pipe, or do both. While you may not experience a noticeable boost of HP immediately, an intake is a necessary component for other mods later down the road.

Step 4: Suspension

For many newbs, the first thing they notice is a car dropped and sitting low. These cars don’t just look cool, these cars strive to achieve better aerodynamics, improved traction and handling, reduced rollover and greater comfort. This is where suspension comes into play. There are a lot of different ways to go with suspension—springs, shocks, coilovers, airbags, sway bars and more. Ultimately, you’ll have to do your research and find the suspension that’s right for your VW.

Step 5: Tires & Wheels

Your entire car’s weight, including you, sits on top of 4 wheels and tires, so why wouldn’t you upgrade from factory and buy a new set? Performance tires help offer optimal maneuverability, handling and wet traction. And while wheels are an aesthetic modification, they also help to improve steering, acceleration and braking.
That wraps up the 5 steps to nirvana. Well, maybe not. But after completing those 5 upgrades, you can say you’ve popped your cherry and consider yourself an official VW performance car enthusiast. Some last words of advice: (1) check out the forums and (2) establish a plan for your car. The forums offer a lot of real world advice from actual people like you and me. You can interact and learn more with likeminded folks. As for establishing a plan, just like anything else, having a goal and a list of objectives can make your journey a lot more efficient. That’s it for now… Best of luck to you!

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