Frequently Asked Questions



  • What’s the difference between the octane choices (like 87, 89, or 93)? Is one better than the other?
    • Octane ratings refer to the rate at which your fuel mixture combusts; in other words, the difficulty in which the fuel mixture will ignite. A fuel with a higher AKI (anti-knock index) or RON (research octane number) is commonly referred to as a higher octane fuel. As we decrease the rate at which the fuel combusts, we increase the range over which the combustion phase produces thermodynamic force against the piston. Tuned correctly, a higher octane rated fuel will have the potential for a greater efficiency of material used to engine stroke — which means more HP/TQ.
    • However, on some builds, such as forced induction or high compression, a higher octane fuel becomes necessary to combat pre-detonation — where residual heat coupled with extreme compression causes the air/fuel mixture to combust before the spark plug is fired. If you are unsure about any of this, please contact us with any questions!
  • If I order a tune for 93 AKI (octane), can I run a lower rating?
    • All of our tunes are completely reworked, from idle to WOT to match your mods, fuel choice, and goals. While running one rating lower if you are driving calmly is okay, running anything more than R_2 = R_1 – 2 (eg 93 – 2 = 91) can cause issue, even at part throttle, as everything from ignition timing to fueling is adjusted at every tune point.
      • What about running a higher rating on a lower tune (eg 93 oct fuel on an 87 tune)? Will I get more power?
        • This depends upon your vehicle. On OBD-2 vehicles and those with knock-controlled dynamic advance, running a higher octane may allow for more dynamic ECU advance and may offer a slight bump. However, on older vehicles (mostly pre-1996) with OBD-1 or earlier ECUs without dynamic knock advance, running a higher octane may actually decrease your power as the dynamic compression points of the combustion phase have now changed, and more of the combustion phase may be wasted.
  • Can you tune for off-throttle “burble” or “pop-pop”?
    • On most every vehicle, yes. And yes, this INCLUDES the BMW M20B20/3/5 and M30B34/5 engines.
      • But, should you?
        • NO! Off-throttle pops and flames only wear your engine, gaskets, and sensors quicker, and will lead to earlier engine failure.
      • But, but, but, what about WRC cars and the $2.5million dollar Le Mans Ford GT40 or the $75,000 Audi S7? They burble and pop!
        • Yes, you are correct, but each of these cars is equipped with a specific system that does this for a reason. On race cars (like Le Mans and WRC vehicles, whose engines only need to last a few dozen or hundred miles), a secondary throttle valve is installed, and sometimes an auxiliary injector(s) is installed in the exhaust manifold in order to specifically ignite fuel outside of the engine cylinders, but before the turbocharger, in order to generate force against the turbine. This keeps it spinning and charge-pipe pressure up, even when your foot is off-throttle. We recommend doing an internet search for “anti-lag system”.
        • On the Audi, an auxiliary injector is installed in the exhaust system that dumps fuel into a relatively safe spot to generate the burble sound as the exhaust gas gradually ignites the fresh fuel throughout the system. (Similarly, many of the YouTube videos you see of cars shooting huge flames have these systems, and this does not happen within the tune)
        • Without these systems, we basically must ruin off-throttle reaction in order to ignite fuel as it exits the cylinder. Unfortunately this can lead to both increased intake/exhaust manifold back-pressure, but also ruins quick on-throttle response. This also means the ignition event is at least partially happened against the action of the piston (as it moves toward the exhaust valve). So, rather than engine braking happening because of the vacuum generated by pulling air into the cylinder from a mostly-closed throttle valve, there is now an active ignition event against the piston movement. This both increases the engine braking effect and wears you engine quicker.


  • I have a tune I bought (x) years ago, but recently I installed a (xxx), do I really have to buy a whole new tune?
    • No way, Jose! We offer reflashes of any SSSquid Chip at only 50% of tune cost. There’s no need to fork out a fistful of dollars each time you make a change that requires a retune.
  • My current tune is stage (0.5/1.0), but I’m adding an aftermarket camshaft, do I have to get retuned?
    • This is a tricky question. If the camshaft you install is close enough to the original, a retune is not strictly necessary. However, the larger the duration and/or lift profile of the camshaft installed, the more trouble you’ll run into without a retune. This is especially evident at idle. We have tried to price our tune reflashes so any upgrade that requires a retune won’t break the bank. Most reflashes run less than $100.

Chip/Part Installation


  • I am looking to build an e30 “327i” with ETA 2.7L block and 325i 2.5L head, what do I need?
    • This question requires a rather intense answer, so instead we recommend reading over the community information available on various forums and wikis around the internet. The parts required vary depending upon your vehicle year and your goals, and there are quite a few options to choose between. We believe it would be most beneficial to read through others’ experiences to determine what you desire for yourself. A great thread on this subject is here:
  • You used to offer MAF conversion tunes for the M20 and M30, what happened?
    • There are currently no true MAF conversions on the market that convert the MAF signal into something that the stock Motronic ECU is capable of reading correctly. While we can still tune for a variety of MAFs, there will be a superior solution soon.
      • But what about the Miller MAF Conversion?
        • That’s not a true MAF conversion, and is just a stock MAF with a convenient connection butt, but has no hardware or software for any conversion of MAF signal into something that the ECU is expecting to see. Using this item, especially with the accompanying tune, artificially changes many integral control thresholds that can be quite dangerous for your vehicle. Thus, we must recommend against using this particular item.


  • Do you tune MegaSquirt?
    • Absolutely! We also offer Plug-and-Play MegaSquirt units for a number of vehicles that are available pre-tuned.
  • I bought a MegaSquirt from (xxx), but it was built by monkeys, can you repair it?
    • (Feb. 5th, 2018) While we do offer MegaSquirt repair services, at the moment we have a few months backlog of units to both build and repair, and therefore are not accepting new orders or requests at the moment.


  • SSSquid Tuning is proud to offer an UNLIMITED LIFETIME warranty, of which you can read more about in the link below