How to evaluate different tunes? Kerma, Malone?

Nevada_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
I have been with TDTuning for years and Mike has always been there if needed. I am sure Mike writes tune for the newer TDI's so that type of tuning is not in my wheelhouse.
 

DivineChaos

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Location
Minnesota
TDI
mk6 jetta sportwagen tdi
I've had 3 tuned by Malone. While not as pushed as Kerma. I'm emissions fixed with Malone. Stage 2.
 

milktree

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
TDI
2015 Golf Sportwagen, 2004 Jetta Wagon (sold!)
A question for those who have gotten a Kerma tune:

One thing that appeals to me is the ability to put the stock tune back in if you need to take the car to a dealer for warranty work. Obviously if I'm hoonig and break a con-rod, that's not on them. But if some part of the emissions system fails in a way unrelated to the tune, I think VW should fix it.

Since TDIs that have been diselgated have an emissions warranty that lasts through '26 (11 years from manufacture) this is significant.

However, as I understand it the dealers' scan tool can tell if the ECU is been modified, and if it has, it will permanently tag your VIN with the "TD1" code, which cannot be undone, ever.

I *think* the TD1 code is something only in VW's computers, and not in the *car's* computer.

When you get a Kerma tune, the first thing you do is email them a file that came out of your car. They use that to make a spiffed-up one and email that back. You then have two tunes in the dongle they send you: the original, and the modified one. (and presumably any subsequent tunes)

So that leads to the question about putting the original tune back in the car: Does it actually re-flash the whole ecu? Does it put the ECU in a state that makes it impossible for the dealer to know you've added and removed a tune?

In VCDS, this is what I see in my car:

Code:
Flash Status
     Programming Attempts(application): 2/2/2/2/3
     Successful Attempts(application): 2/2/2/2/3
     Flash Date: 19.11.04
Nov. 11, 2019 is when the second stage of the dieselgate fix was installed (according to the sticker under the hood)

Does "restoring the original tune" reset the flash status to whatever it was, or is that somewhere else?

I'm assuming that if the flash status data doesn't match what's in VW's mothership computer, the TD1 flag gets set. (assuming, I don't know)
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
My understanding of the "TD1" flag is that it doesn't look at what's on your ECU so much as the number of times it's been flashed - and it compares that against what it has in its records.
So, VW's servers know that your ECU has had "x" number of flashes, and then on its next read at a dealership it comes in at "x+2" (you installed tune, then restored original)...congrats - you just got TD1'd.
 

KERMA

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Sep 23, 2001
Location
here
TDI
99 beetle and 04 jetta
FWIW we have NEVER had any customer report a TD1 flag due to a flash counter not matching what the VW server expects. Not once.

Only time we've heard of a customer having a warranty problem, is if they actually tell the service writer "my car had/has a tune on it". So the lesson here being: keep your mouth shut about the tune when you visit the dealer, flash to stock beforehand, you will be fine. Although we advise not to flash to stock for routine stuff like oil changes and even computer-involved service items like timing belts and DSG service. The only time it's possibly been an issue is for warranty related things.

Flashy stuff under the hood are a different matter (intakes, looking at you). We advise keeping the stock parts handy to re-install for dealer service visits.

In fact, many "mod friendly" dealerships will let you know of potential conflicts with aftermarket stuff, and give you a chance to "fix it and bring it back later". The techs work on book rate and they get cranky when there are "extra" steps caused by aftermarket stuff.
 

milktree

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
TDI
2015 Golf Sportwagen, 2004 Jetta Wagon (sold!)
My understanding of the "TD1" flag is that it doesn't look at what's on your ECU so much as the number of times it's been flashed - and it compares that against what it has in its records.
So, VW's servers know that your ECU has had "x" number of flashes, and then on its next read at a dealership it comes in at "x+2" (you installed tune, then restored original)...congrats - you just got TD1'd.
Do I infer you mean the "x number of flashes" in the car's ECU is immune to any manipulation by things like Kerma's flash dongle?
 

milktree

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
TDI
2015 Golf Sportwagen, 2004 Jetta Wagon (sold!)
FWIW we have NEVER had any customer report a TD1 flag due to a flash counter not matching what the VW server expects. Not once.
That's good to hear.

Do you mean your customers have had emissions related warranty work, and not been challenged?

Or do you mean they've had NON-emissions warranty work done and not had a problem?

Would the dealer even bother informing a customer of a TD1 flag if the warranty work was unrelated to engine/emissions?
 

partlyvwp14

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Location
NC
TDI
2014 VW Passat TDI 2.0
Malone tunes are more conservative. Kerma tunes push the hardware more to the limits. You could also look into Rocketchip. I know lots of members swear by them.

Who are these people who swear by "rocketchip"?
 

Nero Morg

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2014 A6 TDI, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
IndigoBlueWagon is one of them, I can't remember who else off hand.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Yes, I am. All my TDIs and my BMW are tuned by him. He used to tune a lot at GTGs, and I've had most, if not all, of my tunes done in person by him.
 

powermandan

Active member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Location
Worcester UK
TDI
ABL, AHU, AFN
I recently discovered a website called tunerfx.net after what appeared to be a spam bot messaged me on ECU connections.

I was pretty desperate to get a tune and I could find no tuner except darkside who would touch it and they were very expensive and a long way from me.

Anyway I was pretty dubious but thought what the hell. I'll give it ago.

You upload your request with exactly your spec and loads of tuners bid on the job. First job I had done was have a load of Can bus related DTC removed to test the water and see if site was scam. That cost me €5 and about 3 revisions to get them all.

Then i got a tune for 11mm/0.260 nozzles/BV43 turbo

Think I had about 10 people bid on my VP37 job. I'm sure it would be much higher for a PD engine.

Anyway I paid about €37 euro for a tune. We did 3 revisions over a couple of days and now my van runs like a stabbed rat. honestly I'm blown away by it.

So if you have a flashing tool, I used KESS V2 euro. It definitely worth ago.
 

partlyvwp14

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2022
Location
NC
TDI
2014 VW Passat TDI 2.0
Yes, I am. All my TDIs and my BMW are tuned by him. He used to tune a lot at GTGs, and I've had most, if not all, of my tunes done in person by him.
is there a YouTube video or some sort of detailed review for RocketChip? long term review, of TDI owner.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
Not that I know of. There are a lot of people here that have his tunes, and have for a long time. He first tuned my Wagon in 2004. If you want feedback I'd start a thread.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
is there a YouTube video or some sort of detailed review for RocketChip? long term review, of TDI owner.
I've gotten two tunes from him in the past, both at GTG's. Really happy with both tunes. However, I had no luck contacting him outside of a get together. That would be the only knock I have, his work is excellent. Since 2015 or 2016
 

MK4TDIbew

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Location
Colorado
TDI
Bew
I have a kermatune on mine. Has been great so far, about 20k since tune and stage 2 colt cam. Prevous owner gutted the cat and egr is disabled. Wouldn't mind a less stinky toxic car but driving it is peppy compared to stock.
 

burpod

teh stallionz!!1
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Location
cape cod, ma
TDI
82 rabbit vnt ahu, 98 jetta vnt ahu, 05 parts car, 88 scirocco.. :/
It's very easy to make s tune that's peppier then stock. You should take boost logss 011 measuring blocks and post in my boost log thread to see how well it's actually performing. Gutting the cat, opening up the exhaust and deleting egr all have big effects on boost control
 
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