You will see me reference the use of OEM Strategies often, whether it be here or on forums etc..The reason I harp on using OEM Strategies so often is because of the simple fact that the OEM has spent multiple millions of dollars perfecting them. This includes safety,

Seeing as the OEM has already laid out multiple well researched and tested systems for us tuners to use should we choose to…the obvious thing to do is to USE THEM.

My tunes maintain all of the OEM safety systems, whether it be Knock Response, Octane Learning for varying fuel types or limiter systems to prevent LSPI occurrences. All these systems are either maintained in their stock form or adjusted to allow the extra power while also strengthening them to respond more aggressively to account for the added power.

A bad tank of 91 octane shouldn’t be the cause of an engine failure if the systems exist to compensate for it properly.


Drivability is a subjective thing if I’m honest, but at the core they car should feel smooth and responsive without annoying hiccups. I will again reference making use of the OEM setups to maintain this.

The Focus ST as an example has 16 different base ignition timing tables that are blended together based on various conditions. These tables are setup for a variety of different “modes” such as Emissions, Drivability, Fuel Economy and of course Optimal Power.

Since these have been modeled by the OEM and you can almost guarantee they’re setup to be as optimal as possible, there’s no reason to throw out all of them. You should modify the tables for the areas you’re working on. In the world of tuning that is generally the power section.


Power is the goal of tuning, it’s what people want. More power. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways when setting up a tune. I’ll say it again though, the OEM will have made the best system.

These systems can be complex and time consuming to set up, but in the end they make the most power and are more consistent. Why use the antiquated method of just setting a wastegate duty cycle for boost control that doesn’t adjust itself weather or elevation etc..?

Why not instead use a system like Ford where they have torque models and you request the torque number you want to make and let the car control boost for you? If the ambient temperature is lower it will adjust boost to hit your torque target. If it’s summer outside and the car needs to raise the boost to hit the target it can do so within reason.

Systems like these allow for consistent power in every condition as long as the turbo and fuel quality has the headroom for it.

I will always lean on the OEM systems even if takes longer to set the tune up and dial in. The benefits greatly outweigh the cons for the end user experience.