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I'm after a second opinion on a local tuner

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Hey guys I recently had my car tuned at a local workshop, I tuned the majority of the off boost/ idle areas and I took it to the tuner to tune the full throttle area as I was not confident on the street. However I had some concerns regarding the finished product. The tuner claims he doesn't need knock detection equipment as he can hear the knock from the engine. Is that right? I'm sure anyone can hear knock once it gets bad enough but it's the light pinging that you can only hear through knock detection?. When I took the car out the next day, I got a fuel cut every time I got on the throttle in 4th gear at around 3000rpm as I was hitting the set map limit (260kpa) (only running 220kpa target boost). The issue was that the wastegate dc was set to keep the wastegate closed around spool but on the street the load was higher and causing massive over boost. The tuner never road tested the car after it came off the dyno. The tuner also didn't tune the cold start as he didn't have the car overnight, nor tune the idle rpm as it warmed up. He set the idle into open loop mode to adjust the base position tables and never switched it back to closed loop. He didn't steady state tune any of the cells in the ignition or fuel map as he said he just does power runs and builds the map from that. When I left the tuners he said if it ever starts knocking , take 1.5% timing out of the high load high rpm area of the ignition map. The idle is around 0.85 lambda now whereas I had it about 0.98 lambda as he had added an across the board 10% more fuel than what I had done.

Further more, a friend of mine who had his sti tuned there a while ago is getting bad knocking at high rpm(7000rpm) in 4th gear, which was something he has just found out as usually he doesn't drive the car at those speeds.

Should I be worried ?!!!!

A professional, and by this I mean a business that sells tuning as a service, should never tune without some sort of knock detection equipment.

I can't help with anything to do with turbo oriented questions sorry.

As for taking 1.5 degrees off timing if it knocks that says to me he hasn't tuned for MBT.

I'd be going back to him and asking for a proper tune or my money back, and if he doesn't comply I'd be contacting fair trading (actually contact fair trading first and let them know what's going on and what you are thinking of doing).

Just an afterthought, what state are you in? I'm not sure all Australian states has something like NSW Fair Trading.

I'm in wa, we do have those services, however Ive got some knowledge and have set strategies to ensure the car won't detonate, I think I will simply never take my car back and will warn others

You're right to be worried. Tuning without knock detection equipment is dangerous at best. The engine will begin knocking well before it can be heard from the cabin, and if you have a loud exhaust it may be all but impossible to hear until the knock is very severe.

If you've followed any of our courses or webinars, you'll already know my opinion on only tuning at WOT - Unless it's a drag car you can only possibly end up with a second rate result. Your findings with the over boost are just one of the reasons why I'm such a strong advocate of always testing on the road after a dyno session.

At this stage I'd be confident in saying that you could do a better job on the road than what your tuner has delivered you.

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