One of the most fascinating aspects of owning a car is the ability to tune it to produce more power. This is an especially great way to infuse a car with a new lease of life. Tuning a car up can seem like something meant for only the technically gifted with plenty of time on their hands. Tuning also comes with the potential hazard of messing up the car to the point where it can end up to be undrivable. I have often wished for one of those computer game types of situation where you could press a few buttons to tune a car and if it wasn’t to your pleasing then all you had to do was press the reset button. We live in amazing times, as that is pretty much what the CRTD4 Multi-Channel Petrol Tuning Box Chip from TDI Tuning does.
What is a CRTD4 Multi-Channel Petrol Tuning Box Chip?
It is a cool gizmo that allows you to modify your car in the least intrusive way possible and still get some amazing performance boosts. It claims to boost the power on a Golf from 211 PS to 260 PS and the torque from 280 Nm to 344 Nm. I attached the CRTD4 Multi-Channel Petrol Tuning Box Chip to our Golf GTI MK6 to check it out first-person. What follows is an account of my experience with it but before that here is everything you get in the box.
The tuning box itself – Isn’t too big or too small. Is just the right size and is very durable.
A wiring harness – This contents the tuning box to the car. Again, this is of great quality and should last for a long time.
Some cable ties – Very useful to keep the engine bay neat.
The instruction manual – Detailed and actually very useful.
Our test unit comes with onboard Bluetooth. This allows you to connect your smartphone to the tuning box chip and then control everything from the comfort of the driver’s seat.
This device comes with seven modes each offering a different amount of boost. Having so much control over the engine did give me the sensation of being a tuner, with zero technical knowledge, anyone can understand it.
The Test Car – VW Golf GTI MK6
We needed a worthy car for such an upgrade and the Golf GTI MK6 seemed perfect for it. It is at the right age where car-owners start yearning for a bit more from their cars. The other reason why the Golf GTI MK6 is perfect is that it is already a pretty exciting car but falls just short of being a performance beast.
Sticking the tuning box hip in such a car would be the perfect real-world test for such a device as any performance gains in real-life should be immediately apparent.
The TDI Tuning box you can argue is an affordable addition to a car. But it is only really worth it if you can notice it working by driving the car. Thankfully, the CRTD4 Multi-Channel Petrol Tuning Box Chip did not disappoint.
Promised Gains = Extra 49 PS & 64 Nm
As we alluded to earlier, the tuning box chip promises to give a boost of 49 PS of power and 64 Nm of torque when it is set to its highest performance mode. This is actually quite substantial as it means a power boost and torque boost of more than 23%. In the real world, this translates to an increase in top speed by 10 mph and a noticeable increase in the acceleration as well.
7 Levels of Performance
Another very thoughtful feature of the TDI Tuning chip is that it allows you to choose from seven different modes that give different levels of boost. The first mode gives a power boost of 32 PS and takes the power to 243 PS while giving a torque boost of 34 Nm taking the torque value to 314 Nm. Each of the next modes increases the power by 3 PS and the torque by 5 Nm.
This level of customisation is very helpful as you can tune the car according to the driving needs and the capabilities of the driver. You could use one particular mode for backroads and another for the A-roads. These modes also allow you to adjust your driving style to the performance boost offered by this device in a more gradual and practical manner.
Advanced Features with Bluetooth
All this customisation is great but if you have to pop the hood every time you want to make a minor change then it sort of defeats the purpose of something that can be modified to a fine degree. That is where the Bluetooth connectivity of the CRTD4 Multi-Channel Petrol Tuning Box Chip and the TDI Tuning app come in real handy. All you have to do is install the app, open it, connect to the tuning box once and then you can control everything without even having to get out of the car.
The interface of this app is very clean and intuitive and allows you to do everything from choosing one of the seven modes to switching off the device completely. It also comes with the handy feature of being able to set a warm-up timer that will keep the engine in stock mode until it is properly warmed up before engaging the performance boost which will protect the engine from any undue stresses.
Just ensure to note down the 6-digit pin mentioned on the device before installing it as you will need it to connect to the app. You can also set the tuning box to a discreet mode where its LEDs will stay turned off even when the device itself is on.
Installation in VW Golf GTI MK6
Such devices can seem amazing but the biggest stumbling block that they tend to have is a complicated list of steps to be properly installed. The tuning box thankfully does not fall under that category. It is very easy to install and the supplied instruction manual is very detailed and helpful. If you have a basic understanding of the parts of your car engine then you won’t even need to refer to the instruction manual. Here are the steps I followed to install the TDI Tuning box to the Golf GTI MK6.
- Find the boost sensor: This is very easy to find. If you have any doubt then you can refer to the car’s user manual or a YouTube video to figure out exactly where the boost sensor is. For reference, I have attached the picture of the boost sensor on the Golf GTI MK6 (2009).
- Remove the boost sensor connector: You will have to remove the stock boost sensor connector. This is again quite easy to do.
- Plug tuning box wiring harness into boost sensor: Take the supplied wiring harness with the unit and attach it to the same place from where the stock boost sensor was unplugged.
- Plug the cars male connector into the car tuning box wiring harness: Take the male connector and connect it to the other end of the wiring harness.
- Plug TDI Tuning box into wiring harness: Plug the CRTD4 Multi-Channel Petrol Tuning Box Chip to the other end of the male connector.
- Mount tuning box to the car: Fix the tuning box to the car. I used some double-sided tape to do this. But it can be cable tied neatly in most places.
- Secure any loose cables to the car: Tie up all the wires using the cable ties to give everything a very neat appearance.
So, there you have it. Pretty simple, isn’t it? These steps might vary ever so slightly depending on the specific make and model of your car but the basic principle is the same.
Driving Impressions – Testing
Coming to the heart of the matter, I took the Golf GTI MK6 for a drive to see what effect the petrol tuning box chip had on the car in the real world. This is very important as the peak power and torque values do not always translate to better performance on the road. The reason it is so difficult to quantify a car’s performance based on simple figures is that when we drive a car, a lot of variables come into play.
Most importantly, we do minimal driving at peak power and torque. A regular drive is not linear and consists of taking the car through a wide range of power and torque values and if the performance boost is only around the peak values then the rest of the drive won’t feel any more exciting than it already was. If anything, it will affect the smoothness of the power delivery and in many ways, spoil the car.
The great thing about the TDI Tuning chip on the Golf GTI is that it manages to give a performance boost in a good measure across the entire power and torque range. As evidenced by the graph below, the performance boost is linearly increased across the entire powerband. This means that irrespective of how you drive, you will feel an increase in power delivery. There is more punch at all RPMs and the immediacy with which the throttle responds to the driver’s input is improved vastly.
I took the Golf GTI MK6 installed with the Chip on a variety of roads and through different traffic conditions to simulate the everyday life of a car and in all cases, the car just felt better and more pleasurable to drive. The car felt more intent on moving forward and doing so with gusto. I also fiddled around with the different modes and found that the highest performance setting was great for the B-roads while the lower setting could help with fuel economy on longer runs. Changing the settings via Bluetooth is so easy, you can change it on the fly.
In short, the TDI Tuning chip infused the Golf GTI MK6 with a new sense of purpose and made it quite exciting to drive which is a big achievement considering how it drives in the first place. It made the car feel like a new animal altogether and that is all the justification you need for the price this device commands. I can’t think of a single other modification that would get the same result or more for less money out of the Golf GTI.
Golf GTi Tuning – Conclusion
To sum it all up, the TDI Tuning chip is a worthy upgrade for your car. The install time was only 10 minutes which is almost nothing in car tuning times. The primary reason why you should install this tuning box is because of the power gains. As mentioned above, the performance gain isn’t something just reflected in terms of pure numbers but something that can actually be experienced in all driving conditions by normal people.
Once tested you wouldn’t want to drive the Golf GTI without this chip, it is irresistible. The high-quality and durable construction of the device is the perfect setup for this kind of DIY tuning kit. This is a well-designed piece of hardware that is easy to install and above all, does what it says.