Why AC Schnitzer engine tuning?

AC Schnitzer UK are the official UK distributor for AC Schnitzer BMW and MINI tuning parts. We have over 20 years experience with AC Schnitzer having been the original importer in 1989. Products include suspension, alloy wheels, aerodynamics, exhausts, brakes, engine tuning and interior hardware.
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AC Schnitzer UK
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Location: Norfolk, UK

Why AC Schnitzer engine tuning?

Post by AC Schnitzer UK » 21 Mar 2013, 09:57

With a background in racing and performance we get a lot of enquiries for engine tuning, and the first thing people naturally want to know is the price. Our performance upgrades start at around £2k. "How much!" is the usual response, and once the customer has picked himself up off the floor we go on to explain why.

Back in the day AC Schnitzer used to supply big-bore hairy-chested complete crate motors for your BMW. Back then alloy wheels were something special, and the performance of most BMWs would be described as average. To get something "hot" required some serious mechanical tinkering, and the easiest way for a BMW owner to do this was to take the whole lump out and fit a Schnitzer one. The new motor would come with bigger pistons, high lift cams, maybe even a supercharger. Job done.

With the advent of fuel injection and turbocharging in the 1990s things started to change. It became a whole lot easier to get power from an engine and the emphasis shifted to electronics as a cheaper and easier way of increasing power. A raft of boxes, chips and software "re-maps" were born. AC Schnitzer settled on the box as the best solution for most cars. Although we have dealerships worldwide not many people want their car off the road while their ECU is shipped to Germany for a chip, and re-maps bring their own problems. For starters, manufacturer's increasingly use service time to update the ECU with the latest software and firmware, and this has the unfortunate habit of overwriting any re-map. The good re-mappers offer a guarantee against this, but it means calling them out to install their map again. Then we come to the sticky subject of warranty...

It's fair to say that the majority of our enquiries come from customers with new or nearly new cars. With this in mind it's clear that to uphold our reputation AC Schnitzer need to offer some kind of warranty. Most chip tuners, box manufacturers and re-mappers offer warranty on their own product, but nothing at all on the engine and drivetrain. Clearly there is no reason why BMW should warrant their engines against a tuner coming along and modifying the engine only for it to go wrong, so there has to be something else in place if you want peace of mind. AC Schnitzer's solution is an insurance backed warranty that comes with the price of the upgrade, and covers the engine for 2 years (from new, extendable to 3). Should the engine develop a fault your first port of call should of course be your local dealer, but if BMW decide the fault is down to the engine tuning the AC Schnitzer warranty will step in and cover the cost of repairs at the dealers. This effectively means that the car is fully covered for the normal warranty duration, even though it is tuned.

In the past couple of years the AC Schnitzer solution has become even more important. Most cars now come with tuning protection built into the ECU, making life difficult indeed for the re-mappers who now need to spend weeks or even months cracking an ECU's code. Even if they are successful, the CANBUS wiring system now reports all the sensor information back to the ECU not just for live calculations, but also for recording. Should your engine develop a fault, BMW will know if the engine has been running more boost than standard, delivering more fuel, or if any other unusual activity has been going on. The days of slipping a re-map "under the radar" and then claiming on your warranty are slipping away fast.

Yes AC Schnitzer is expensive. It's expensive because it is the best, and the only fully warranted solution out there that means you can upgrade your new car and still sleep at night.

Any questions? :)
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