Tuning a Volkswagen

Tuning a Volkswagen

tuning a volkswagen main

Most owners know by now that tuning a Volkswagen is one of the best bang for your buck modifications you can make.  But, lesser known is how exactly to tune a Volkswagen.  There are many ways accomplish tuning your Volkswagen.  These can be incredibly complicated and involve knowing how to tune a car.  Whether you’re tuning a BMWtuning a Mustang EcoBoosttuning a Subaru, or tuning a Volkswagen, the easiest and best method uses the COBB Accessport which requires no tuning knowledge whatsoever.  The Accessport supports the MK6 and MK7 GTI and the MK7 Golf R.  How easy is it to tune a Volkswagen?

Tuning with the Accessport

Once you’ve received your Accessport, it’s time to use it to tune your Volkswagen!  Let’s go through the process step by step to see just how easy tuning can be.

1. You will need the Accessport and OBD-II cable (included with the Accessport) to perform the installation.  Make sure the vehicle’s ignition is off and the engine is not running.

tuning a volkswagen OBD

2. Locate the Volkswagen’s OBD-II port.  Location of the OBD-II port may vary depending on the vehicle model.

2.1. Plug the OBD-II cable into the OBD-II port under the dash of the vehicle.

3. Connect the small end of the OBD-II cable to the port on the bottom of the Accessport

4. Make sure the clasp on the OBD-II cable firmly engages with the Accessport.

5. We’ll need to get the Volkswagen in the “ON” position.  To accomplish this, turn the key to the “ON” position.  If you do not have a keyed ignition, simply press the Start button without your foot on the brake.  Turn off all in-car electronics (AC/heater fans, headlights, stereo, etc.) and make sure all doors are shut.

6. Select Install from the Accessport menu by pressing the OK button to proceed with installation.

The Accessport will attempt to automatically determine the target vehicle for installation. Verify that the identified vehicle is correct and press OK to confirm.  You will then proceed to selecting the “map” or tune you wish to install.

What Is A Map?

The Accessport reprograms the factory tuning parameters inside the engine control unit (ECU) using map files, which contain specially written instructions for the Accessport to follow during the reprogramming process. A map file can contain information for any number of different modifications or enhancements to a vehicle, ranging from a race map to an economy map for vehicles in different configurations. Through the use of the Accessport and different map files the ECU can be reprogrammed to accommodate virtually any vehicle configuration.

Map Selection

After the Accessport identifies the vehicle, it will present a list of maps. Maps that are not intended for the identified vehicle are displayed in gray. The Accessport will reprogram the ECU with the calibration data from the map selected for installation. This will become the base data for the ECU. To ensure the best performance, select the map that most closely matches the modification level of the vehicle.

If you are unsure about which map applies to your modification level, please see the Volkswagen Map notes for the for the modification requirements for each map.

Select a map and press OK to proceed with the installation. If you wish to see a longer description for the highlighted map, press and hold the OK button on the desired map.

The Accessport will automatically proceed with installation to the vehicle.  At this point the Accessport reprograms the vehicle’s ECU with new program data and calibration parameters from the installation map file.

Follow all on-screen prompts on the Accessport to complete the installation process. The Accessport is now fully installed and ready for use on your Volkswagen and it is programmed with new calibration data. The Accessport does not need to be plugged into the vehicle for the calibration to be in effect. You can disconnect the Accessport at this time or leave it plugged in to use any of the many features outlined below.

Modification Requirements and Power Gains MK6 GTI

mk6 gti dyno

tuning a volkswagen Mk6 Stage 1

Stage1

  • Intake Requirements: Stock airbox with stock air filter or drop-in High-Flow replacement filter
  • Exhaust Requirements: Stock or COBB Tuning Catback Exhaust
  • Boost Target:
    • 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum: ~13.5psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 10psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.
    • 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum: ~15psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 11psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.
    • High Boost:
    • 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum: ~16psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 11psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.
    • 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum:  ~17.5psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 11psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.3
tuning a Volkswagen Stage 1+ Intake

Stage1+ Stock MAF

  • Intake Requirements: COBB Tuning SF Intake System or upgraded intake that uses stock MAF housing
  • Exhaust Requirements: Stock or COBB Tuning Catback Exhaust
  • Boost Target:
    • 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum: ~17psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 11 as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.
    • 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum:  ~18psi peak boost pressure tapering down as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.
mk6 stage 2

Stage2+ Stock MAF

  • Intake Requirements:  COBB Tuning SF Intake System or upgraded intake that uses stock MAF
  • Exhaust Requirements: COBB Tuning Turboback Exhaust
  • Boost Target:
    • 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum: ~18.5 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 12.5psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.
    • 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum:  ~19.5 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 13psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~2psi.

Modification Requirements and Power Gains MK7 GTI

mk7 gti dyno

mk7 Stage 1

Stage1

graph (2)

Stage2

graph (3)

Stage3

MK7 Stage 3 IS38

Stage3 IS38

Modification Requirements and Power Gains MK7 Golf R

VW R Dyno

golf r stage 1

Stage1

  • Intake Requirements: Stock airbox with stock air filter or drop-in replacement
  • Exhaust Requirements: Stock exhaust or upgraded cat-back exhaust
  • Boost Target:
    • 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum: ~21 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to 16~ psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.
    • 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum: ~22 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~16psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.
    • High Boost – 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum: ~23 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~17psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.
    • High Boost – 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum: ~23 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~16psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.
graph (5)

Stage2

  • Intake Requirements:COBB Tuning SF Intake System
  • Exhaust Requirements: Stock exhaust or upgraded cat-back exhaust
  • Intercooler: AMS Performance Front Mount Intercooler Golf R
  • Drivetrain: Upgraded Clutch or DSG Software Recommended
  • Boost Target: 
    • 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum: ~24 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~19 psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.
    • 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum: ~25 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~21 psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.
golf r stage 3

Stage3

  • Intake Requirements:COBB Tuning SF Intake System
  • Exhaust Requirements: COBB Tuning Catted Downpipe with 3″ Cat-back Exhaust
  • Intercooler: AMS Performance Front Mount Intercooler Golf R
  • Drivetrain: Upgraded Clutch or DSG Software Recommended
  • Boost Target: 
    • 91 Octane 95 RON Minimum:~27 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~20 psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.
    • 93 Octane 98 RON Minimum: ~28 psi peak boost pressure tapering down to ~21psi as you approach the 6800RPM redline, +/- ~1.5psi.

Accessport Features for Volkswagen

Adjustable Traction Control: Adjust target traction slip on the fly (Slots 1-8) and maximize tire grip to best suit given track conditions (wet/damp/dry/street/slip/burnout/etc). Note: Feature must be enabled in ECU calibration for use.

Flat Foot Shift: Improve shift times and keep boost built during shifts. Flat Foot Shifting can hold engine RPM at a set RPM between 3000-8000 RPM during shifting. This feature is enabled in COBB OTS maps.

Launch Control: Adjust Launch Control on the fly with 6 pre-configured RPM slots to dial in launch based on track conditions and vehicle configuration. Enabled in OTS Maps and configurable within Accesstuner Pro.

I Tuned my Volkswagen, Now What?

The Accessport for the Volkswagen is a powerful tool. Aside from being able to flash the ECU with different tunes, and a diagnostic tool able to read and clear codes, it can also display and record hundreds of different parameters. From Ambient Air Temperature to Vehicle Speed Sensors and everything in between, the Accessport will be able to provide you with the data you need.

Data Monitoring

The Gauges menu contains all monitoring and datalogging settings. The first time a V3 Accessport enters the Gauges menu, you’ll be asked how many monitors you would like to display.

Each time you return to the Gauges menu, the selected layout/number of gauges will be used until it is changed in the Gauges Setup menu. This provides the ability to monitor different things in different situations. You can select 1 or 2 gauges to be prominently displayed for the track and have different settings with more gauges for street/economy monitoring.

Every Volkswagen Accessport will come with a default monitor log list. This is a good starting point to get an overview of what the car is doing. If you wanted to determine something more specific, you can change the monitors that are being datalogged.  This can be done by

Entering the Gauges menu

Then, enter the datalogging/gauges setup menu by selecting the arrow at the top of the gauges screen, then enter the Configure Datalogging menu.

Once in the Configure Datalogging menu select the monitors you would like to log.

Then, press the Back (left) button to save the changes. You’re ready to take a log!

Datalogging

It’s important that certain conditions are present when trying to determine if the car is healthy and performing as it should. Typically, you won’t get much relevant diagnostic data through idling or light throttle conditions. We recommend a 3rd gear Wide Open Throttle pull from about 2500 RPM to near redline. Any potential issues will usually be evident during this event.

To begin the log enter the Gauges menu

Then, press the OK (center) button to start datalogging. Once started, a scrolling dot will appear on the screen along with the logging rate displayed at the bottom.

Press the OK button or Cancel button to stop datalogging. You can then connect the Accessport to Accessport Manager on your computer and download the catalog files in the Manage tab. Up to ten (10) datalogs can be stored on the Accessport at any time. The lowest number is the oldest log and the highest number is the newest.

You can then open the datalog in any spreadsheet or log viewer application. For most applications, double-clicking on the datalog will open the file properly.

Volkswagen Monitors

What do all of these parameters mean? You can find a brief description for each on our Volkswagen Monitor List.

There are several monitors that can be utilized depending on your personal preference. Seeing certain variables before and after modifications is a great indicator of whether they are providing real results. For instance, being able to monitor both Ambient Air Temperature and Charge Air Temperature and comparing them in real time is revealing. You can see just how much more efficient that new FMIC is! Monitoring/Logging Airflow Mass can also be indicative of whether that new Intake is doing work! Another great comparison is to see what the car is doing between the Stage 0 (stock map installed mode) and our Stage 1 map. This way, you can be 100% certain nothing detrimental is happening with the upgraded tune.

Our customer service is among the best in the industry. If you need help taking or interpreting your datalog or trying to diagnose an issue, send it to us at support@cobbtuning.com and we’re always happy to take a look and point you in the right direction.


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