Pops & Bangs Explained

Pops & Bangs Explained

You have probably heard the effects of pop & bang tuning on some of the most revered supercars on the planet. Those are the popping and gurgling sounds that the exhaust makes when they shift gears or let off the throttle pedal after hard acceleration. Aside from turning heads, they also cause a healthy adrenaline rush for every petrolhead.

Up until recently, this feature was reserved for high-end performance cars. However, our engineers have developed tuning files that bring pop & bang tuning to vast majority of cars, including many diesels. We pride ourselves on safety and quality so, even though you can enjoy the roaring sounds, we also let you enjoy them safely.

NOTE: Pop & bang is the most common term used for this wonderful feature, but you may know about it through one of these terms: decelaration map, crackle map, anti-lag system, popcorn, pop on overrun and in some countries schubblubbern or schubabschaltung.

When you’re accelerating, your exhaust produces wonderful roaring sounds that we are all used to. However, when you decelerate, the sound disappears together with the speed. Pop & bang tuning makes deceleration sound even better than acceleration. As you lift your foot off the throttle, your exhaust starts popping, crackling and gurgling, which adds whole lot of fun and character to driving segments that used to be devoid of any pleasure.

Similarly, if you have pop & bang tuning file installed, when you shift gears, you will no longer experience just a drop in sound when you shift up. You can mark each shift with a loud pop & bang.

Aside from the sound benefit, pop & bang also has a performance advantage. It further reduces or completely removes turbo lag after deceleration.

However, as you will see below, pop & bang can create problems for your engine and exhaust, so you should be aware of the dangers and make sure you keep them within safe levels. We are here to help!

There are two things we need to do in order to create pop & bang. First of all, we need to change the software in your ECU so that it does not cut off fuel immediately after you lift your foot off the throttle pedal. This means that some fuel is injected even when you are not pressing the pedal.

Secondly, also during deceleration, we retard ignition timing. This change causes the flame front to spread later than it would usually, which means that a part of combustion is happening as the exhaust valve is opening and that the cylinder is no longer the only location where the flame front spreads.

Many of you will know how important timing is for both safety and performance. If ignition timing was delayed all the time, this would greatly diminish performance. This is why the delay is programmed in order to happen only when you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal. This way the pop & bang is present but it by no means reduces the performance abilities of your car. In fact, for turbocharged cars, it even improves performance.

This performance improvement comes from the fact that fuel is not cut off during deceleration and that the flame front spreads at a later moment. The result is that, even while decelerating, there is a flow through the exhaust. This flow keeps the turbo spooling so the next time you press the pedal you will not experience the all too familiar and hated turbo lag, since the exhaust side of the turbo never stopped spinning. This enables the compressor side to provide instant boost once the pedal is pressed again and the throttle valve opens to let the air into the engine. This is why pop & bang is also called anti-lag system (ALS) – it eliminates the turbo lag and thus improves response and performance.

Turbo is not a requirement for pop & bang, since the most important segments are the delays in ignition and fuel cutoff. The only difference between cars with and without turbo is that the turbocharged cars will benefit from the anti-lag feature.

Moreover, pops and bangs can also occur when the car is standing still. The mechanism is fairly similar, but the sounds are of noticeably lower intensity.

If done properly, kept under control, well tested and not taken too far it is completely safe. In fact, many manufacturers offer pop & bang sounds as a stock feature for their cars and they come with regular warranty and safety claims. These include some of the most famous manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz (especially for AMG cars), BMW and VW and other VAG models. So, yes, pop & bang, if done right, is completely safe. Otherwise, they would hardly find their place in regular production cars.

The about of fuel and the level of ignition delay provide lots of space for customization of your pop & bang tuning. However, there are a few things to consider.

Most people who aim for custom pop & bang require more intensive sound. Going too far with the modifications can be very detrimental to the valves, exhaust and even turbo. Many stock parts are not designed to withstand extreme temperatures and pressures which are inevitably created during the most aggressive pops and bangs.

In order to provide our customers with safety, but also allow some level of customization, we have created two stages of pop & bang tuning.

Stage 1 pop & bang offers moderate pop & bang levels. When we say ‘moderate’ it is important to say that they are by no means timid. They are more than sufficient to put smiles on the faces of most customers and stage 1 pop & bang also comes with other benefits. For example, for stage 1 you don’t need any aftermarket parts or other hardware changes. The pops and bangs are designed to provide the amazing sound, but also ensure safety of all parts including the most vulnerable ones such as catalyst.

However, some people want the extreme and for them we offer stage 2 pop & bang. The stage 2 actually includes a number of different upgrades which help us tailor your pop & bang tuning according to what you want.

The initial requirements for the stage 2 include an aftermarket or sports exhaust and exclusion of the stock catalytic converter. These stock parts are not of sufficient capability to deal with the severe pops and bangs, so they need to be removed.

Other changes depend on what the customer desires. We have a dedicated team of experts which can perform all of the necessary calculations and tests and provide the best advice for each particular case. However, due to the varying requirements of our customers, the most hardcore alterations are done on their own responsibility.

There are two ways pop & bang can damage the car. The first one is already mentioned in this text in the part about stage 2 pop & bang. In this case the damage can come when pops and bangs are too extreme. However, well trained and experienced experts can help you to not cross the line of safety.

The second way pops and bangs can seriously damage your car regardless of the level of the modification is having it tuned by people who do not have the necessary knowledge, experience or equipment. Bear in mind that you are modifying the operation of your engine and putting far more stress on some of its parts. Not controlling every part of the process can be detrimental even if you opt for lower intensity pops and bangs.

Up to this moment we have developed pop & bang modifications for some of the most common and most revered ECUs on the market. This enables us to provide tuning for cars produced by manufacturers such as Mercedes Benz, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat, Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Mini, Volvo, Fiat, Lancia, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ford and many, many more.

Moreover, our list of available pop & bang tunings is constantly expanding so make sure you contact your dealer even if the manufacturer of your car is not in this list. Currently we can provide pop & bang for numerous ECUs made by Bosch, Siemens, Delphi, Denso, etc.

At the moment we get a lot of requests for Pop and Bang on sport button. This means that the pop and bang function only works when sport mode is activated on a car. On many different engines we are able to do this. The list of new ECUs on which we can add this function is growing every week.

Aside from pop & bang we also offer other performance and sound improvement services such as performance tuning stages 1, 2, 3 and 4, flat shift (No-Lift Shift) which enables faster shifting and improved turbo reaction, hardcut limiter, launch control, map switching and much more.

Make sure you contact us and see what we can do for you.

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