How To Find the best tuner shop for your car

How To Find the best tuner shop for your car


Part of modifying your car right is choosing the best tuner shop in your area. Not all tuners are the same. In fact many of them will over charge or under perform, leaving you to foot the bill. There are many choices available to you when it comes to choosing the best tuner shop in your area. These tips can help you make the right choice, and avoid the bad tuners and overpriced invoices.

Before you look for the best tuner shop, you need to understand that there’s a difference between installers and tuners. Installers are shops that merely “bolt on” or install products that they sell. Tuners on the other hand will help you make the right choice or tune your vehicle to get the most performance.

How to find the best tuner shop

Experience – Any tuner worth their salt will know and understand that there are no shortcuts to becoming a good tuner. The best tuner shop is often built on a mountain of broken parts and failed experiments. Knowing when to push the envelope and try new things, and relying on the old and trusty modification method is what separates the best tuner shops from the rest.

So when you are planning to build your car, or tune it, make sure your tuner knows what works and what doesn’t. You don’t want your vehicle to end up like everyone else, but you don’t want your car to become another rung on the learning ladder either.

A good tuner shop isn’t afraid to make mistakes, but they won’t repeat those mistakes. Learn and understand the level of experience your tuner shop has with the parts or the engine swap in question before going with them.

Installer vs Tuner – Don’t be confused with a shop that just installs parts. There are many high-end install shops that will price gouge you just to bolt on your aftermarket parts. Although some of these shops can know quite a bit about the parts in question, never confuse them with an actual tuner.

Some examples of the best tuner shop in your area may include; dyno tuning shops, wind tunnels or fabrication shops. The best tuner shop will have the ability to not only tune your car but include other services such as a flow bench, dyno work, custom machining, welding or fabricating and much more.

Technical Expertise – The best tuner shop will not only be able to install and tune anything you need, but they’ll also have the expertise to help you make the right choices. These types of shops just don’t sell speed products, they act as technical consultants to their customers as well.

This gives you the unique insight you need to maximize your dollar and plan your build right. Whether you are bolting on performance parts, or planning an engine swap, anyone can benefit from experienced advice.

If you’re don’t have guidance, or the experience to make choices this can be important. Without the mechanical ability or plenty of tools, you need the best tuner shop to service your vehicle. Most often the best tuner shops will also have the experience to know how one mod affects another.

This knowledge can save you lots of money and time, especially in the early stages of your build. Rely on an experienced tuner that can help you make good decisions on upgrades and the right upgrade path for your car.

Image courtesy Kaizen Tuning
Image courtesy Kaizen Tuning

Questions to find the best tuner shop

Do they seem helpful? – There’s no doubt that many tuners can be eccentric or even full of themselves. However those kind of tuner shops probably aren’t best for beginners. When you are starting out, you need a tuner that’s helpful and supportive.

Tuners must participate in an industry that’s made up of self-made, self-prompting individuals. These people have often come to the top of their craft by working hard, and as such can be odd or sometimes stand offish. Still they are still small businessmen whose success is tied to their accomplishments.

So if you find that a tuner is patronising, lecturing you or talking trash behind his customer’s backs, it may be time to move on. Hard working professional tuners just don’t have the time to waste on such trivial activities.

Realistic Goals – When looking for the best tuner shop in your area, you need a tuner that’s going to give you realistic goals. Building a project car is a lot like building a new building. You want to have a plan and make sure that it’s achievable in the right amount of time. It does you no good to have your project car in the shop for long periods of time.

Make sure that your choice in tuner shops gives you a realistic turn around time period. Patience is a virtue you must learn to have a good relationship with your tuner shop, but you need one that’s reliable as well. You don’t want a tuner who’s unable, or unwilling, to deliver goods or services on time.


Affordability – Many of the best tuners out there aren’t cheap. For this simple reason you don’t always want to shop by pricing points. You’ll need to use your best judgement when it comes to this facet of shopping for the best tuner shop in your area. Most of the best tuners out there have expensive tools and the experience to warrant the high price tag, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop around.

Reviews –  Some people will tell you that tuning is art, while others will tell you it’s a science. In truth however it’s a blend of both. Although most tuners aren’t engineers, they will have a mind for engineering. Namely the ability to understand physics, electronics and advanced troubleshooting methods.

One of the biggest factors to finding the best tuner shop is a tuner that has sharp analytical and diagnostic skills. The second biggest factor is the user experience and customer reviews that the tuner is known for. The best tuner shop will undoubtedly have a loyal following of customers that have been around.

Use these tips to find the best tuner shop in your area, and begin your journey to a full tuned machine today. Have any questions about our guide to planning your vehicle build or finding the best tuner shop? Leave us a comment below and let us know! Make sure to follow us on Facebook or subscribe for all the latest in automotive news and tech tips.