•Ahh, that new car smell. It's aromatherapy for those of us hopelessly addicted to the automotive arts. And when that new ride is something as sweet as an SS Camaro, that smell seems to be just a bit more intoxicating. In fact, we would have to say the experience is only rivaled by the act of bolting on the car's first performance widgets. This fact is being discovered by a slew of new gearheads buying Chevy's 2010 Camaro SS. And given that they just dropped a big wad of cash on the car, they often want to ease into the modifications.
Two of the most popular first mods for new Camaros are air intakes and handheld programmers. The intakes help more air flow into the engine, which equates to more power, while the programmer performs a plethora of tasks, from tuning to adjusting for tire sizes. In the grand scheme of things, they both fall into the "affordable and easy-to-do" category, which is never a bad place to start.
Performance in the Palm of Your Hand
•In the old days, tuning your car involved twisting distributors and screwing in and out various jets. Today, it's a whole different ball game. Laptops have replaced hand tools, and timing lights have yielded to lines of computer code. But the goals are still the same: Squeeze out every bit of possible performance by massaging the engine's tune. Unfortunately, it's far easier to get it wrong than it is to get it right. For those of us without the mad skills needed to make sense of raw programming code, there's a solution: the handheld programmer. You can't get as deep into messing with your ride's computer as you can with a PC-based programmer, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This is because it's unlikely you'll end up turning your engine to scrap metal since the handhelds come pre-loaded with tunes that have been dyno tested.
But there's more to them than just the tuning tweaks they provide. They can also remove top-speed limiters, adjust for aftermarket tire sizes, change gear ratios, and disable displacement-on-demand features. If you have an automatic, there are more benefits to be had in being able to adjust your transmission's shift points. All of this in an easy-to-use, menu-driven format. What's not to love?