Questions about ecu

I bought a 2011 v6 mustang January of this year. It came with a few mods including cold air intake, 3.73 gears and axleback exhaust. It also came with a tsx tuner that uses the itsx app. At the time I knew very little about mods/tuning and just wanted a daily driver that looked nice. When i go into the app it doesn’t give me an option to retune, only switch between 87 and 93 octane tunes. I’m not sure if the car has a custom tune right now specifically for the mods I listed or if it’s on a preset tune.

My question is what would happen if i started adding more mods but didn’t retune? I want to add long tube headers but multiple sources say it’s bad to add mods after a tune and then not retune. Is this true? If so, how do I retune, or do i have to shell out $400 again for a new custom tune?

Might be on a custom tune, there were a few preset options with that tuner, or since you bought the car with the tuner you can buy into their tunes for life program which costs $150 since it’s only included for the original purchaser of the TSX tune.

Is there some unique identifier itsx/american muscle uses to tell if you’re the original purchaser? Or is it by VIN, number on the device/tuner, etc. (don’t have the tuner physically in front of me right now) could i just message them asking to retune and they’ll assume i’m the original purchaser as long as i provide the identifier, or is more required

From what i’ve found on the process is that they email you the tune, if you bought the car with the tuner already installed, the previous owner would have had tunes emailed to them and then installed via bluetooth from the phone. As far as I’m aware only the email that was given at purchase works to get more tunes for free, American Muscle’s disclaimer below.

Offer valid for customers who originally purchased an SCT custom tuner from BamaChips customers who purchased an SCT or Diablosport tuner or custom tune files are also enrolled in the Free Tunes for Life program for continued support by Bama Performance so long as the vehicle or owner has not changed. Please contact us when you would like to order new free tunes.

Only the original car and drivetrain tuned for are eligible for the Free Tunes for Life program. A new car or drivetrain will require you to buy back in to the Free Tunes for Life program.]. Also the Tunes for Life program is not transferable to a new owner of the vehicle. Once the vehicle is transferred to a new owner they must enroll in our program if they wish to receive new tune files.

1 Like

Assuming the car currently has a custom tune for the specific mods currently installed, would i still net performance gains from headers without retuning? Or would I not get any noteable performance gain or loss? Or would the car actually run worse if I installed them and didn’t retune?

I really doubt the car would run worse after installing headers but not sure how much you’d take advantage of the gains from headers with the tune already installed. You’d need to find out how much power the car’s making now and after the headers are put on.

I guess what I’m asking is will I just have to suck it up and pay to retune?

What I meant by running worse is that I do know adding long tube headers will open up a lot more airflow into the engine so if the current tune sets the air/fuel ratio specifically for the mods I have on the car as of right now (before headers) then would it likely run lean if I installed headers and didn’t retune since the tunes only accounting for the combination of the previous mods before the headers?

Or would the ECU/o2 sensors bypass the tune and adjust the air/fuel ratio accordingly even with the old tune?

Probably best if you reach out to America Muscle to figure out if you need an updated tune but in the long run if you plan on further modifying this car it looks like you’ll want to pay the $150 to buy into the plan but that get’s you all the tunes you’ll need for as long as you own the car.

First off… Bama Tunes issues a registration number to the purchaser for the “tunes for life program”… I know, I have one, I use Bama Tunes in my car. This program is designed for people like you who do their mods in stages.

Second… Yes, you need a re-tune if you install headers. The car WILL NOT run right without a tune… it will run worse and drivability will be poor. The A/F ratio will always be correct because the computer will make it so but there are many other parameters in the tune that will be less than optimum.

The Bama tune is a bit of a compromise, however as it is designed to work on the average car with the average mod. When you are done with your mods (yeah, cars are never “done”) it may net you a few more HP to rent dyno time and hire a tuner person to tune your specific car with your specific mods. One of the other regulars here did that to his Mustang V8 and got some gains that exceeded what I’ve read long tube headers would normally give. His tuner was obviously quite good.

1 Like

Possible those are just the canned tunes.

Depending on the CAI, it may just have a canned tune just for use in correcting the speedometer for the 3.73 gears. Some CAI’s require a custom tune, some don’t.

Your car will not run correctly.


You shell out the money for a custom tune. You’ll also have to make sure the tuner (outfit/person who writes the tune) you choose works with the tuner (the electronic device) you have. I put long tubes on my Mustang last year. My tuner is a guy that owns a local speed shop, so it was put on the dyno and had a custom tune made for my specific car, which going to yield better results than a canned tune or emailed tune, but at the same time is much more labor intensive and costly.