Car tuning is a specialist job within the automotive industry – read on if you want to know more about this highly skilled job.
Car tuning is the modification of a vehicle to improve its performance, often for races or exhibitions. Unlike regular mechanics, car tuners focus solely on adapting and developing vehicles through re-engineering, engine tuning and building or modifying parts. The most fundamental part of car tuning is engine enhancement and adaption to increase the vehicles speed but modifications made by car tuners can also be purely cosmetic, such as the installation of spoilers or specially made, non-engine parts.
For this specialist job, you’ll need GCSEs in maths, science and English. Apprenticeships are available and many people also begin an apprenticeship as a mechanic at garage workshops moving on to tuning after gaining experience within the industry. Tuners qualify after being awarded either a qualification in vehicle repair and technology or a qualification in vehicle mechanics. These qualifications are acceptable for professional work as a general mechanic, although the majority of car tuning workshops will require applicants to have specialist knowledge, either in a particular car manufacturer, like or in an area like classic cars.
There can be a wide variation between the tuning and modifications of particular car types –American vehicles often require traditional car tuning techniques due to their mechanical simplicity, whereas Japanese cars respond to technical tuning techniques because of their advanced, modern software.
It is essential to gain experience and knowledge before starting to train as a tuner because car tuning requires great mechanical skill as well as the ability to learn and retain new skills, due to the fast-paced, technology-led nature of the car industry. Although the job will always be hands-on, technological advancements mean there are more computerised tools for a car tuner to master, so an aptitude for technology is important too.
As well as knowledge of the practical side of the job, there’s also customer service and paperwork to consider – car tuners are expected to agree tuning plans and budgets with customers, to offer advice on the choice of components, to discuss ongoing plans to improve a cars performance and to work to a budget.