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Review of KermaTDI MK7 (2015) engine tune for the CRUA (EA288).. TL/DR: It's OK.

ncsteinb

New member
Location
Saginaw, MI
I'm posting my review here, as I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to post a review to KermaTDIs website or on Google. I'm at a loss here... So here it goes.

The specs on the car: 2015 VW Golf TDI, w/ DSG. SEL package, Lighting package, Fender audio. Bone Stock. I like the car, but the drivetrain system is/was lacking.

The process for getting the tune installed was pretty painless. Ordered it, got the programmer, downloaded the original ECU file, sent it to Kerma, and within 30 mins, got an updated tune.

The programmer must have had a small issue, as some of the icons were blank, but I followed a YouTube video and just pressed in the general area of the screen to get the programmer to do its thing. Which it did, in about 20 mins.

On first pass, the tune is nice. Kerma claims +50/+100 (hp/tq) over stock, which I have not verified on a dyno (except my butt dyno), but it seems fitting. The tune really livened up the car, and changed my intention of selling it. However...

It seems that KermaTDI was a bit too aggressive with the tune. The car pulls through 1st, 2nd, and most of 3rd without issues. However, 4th and above have issues. Upon contacting KermaTDI tech support regarding a hesitation (power cut) during full throttle, I was informed that the ECU is pulling power due to high Exhaust Gas temps. So, on long pulls, like over 5 seconds, say, up a hill on the highway, the engine produces EGTs that are too high, so the ECU pulls power to reduce EGTs. This keeps cycling if you keep your foot in it, like every 2 or 3 seconds. This is super annoying, and also begs the question, "Is this tune going to damage my engine?" I feel that it won't since the EGT cut is setting in.

But seriously KermaTDI, for $100 over Malone's tune, I would expect that you'd at least MENTION that your tune causes EGT cut for "long" pulls.

Side note: I haven't cared to keep records of my MPGs before or after, and frankly, I DGAF, as long as they aren't in the 20s.

The verdict: 2.5/5 Stars. -1 for EGT cut, -0.5 for not mentioning the EGT cut on your website, -0.5 for the programmer being "quirky", and -0.5 for me having a leave a F@CKING REVIEW ON A FORUM... If I were to choose a tune knowing what I do now, I would've gone with the Malone tune. At least now, I know to go with Malone for the DSG tune which will need to happen since whomever tuned this drivetrain at VW is a complete moron. Or maybe I should've just bought a BMW 328d and made my vehicle fleet all BMW.. idk. Would've looked nice next to my 135i and my 318ti.
 

joedubs

Ready to race!
It's a shame that you have to refer to something like this as just 'ok'. Why would they tune the car so aggressively that it purposely runs into a protection situation?

I love the newer (I used to know the body code.... But I don't anymore) 3 series wagons. A friend's wife has (a 2015?) one of the diesels and it's a great looking car.
 

ncsteinb

New member
Location
Saginaw, MI
It's a shame that you have to refer to something like this as just 'ok'. Why would they tune the car so aggressively that it purposely runs into a protection situation?

I love the newer (I used to know the body code.... But I don't anymore) 3 series wagons. A friend's wife has (a 2015?) one of the diesels and it's a great looking car.
Yea, it is a shame. There's no reason to NOT be transparent. I also agree that the newer 3er wagons look nice! I saw one in burnt metallic orange a while ago, WOW!! I love the size of the Golf, but a wagon would be awesome! Also, the 328d wagons come with xDrive. Another thing I wish my Golf had... Maybe one day, I might find a wrecked Golf R and do some "frankensteining", if you know what I mean. 😉
 

Cuzoe

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Los Angeles
My understanding is Kerma leaves the stock EGT limiter in-tact specifically so you don't damage the engine. I think my preference is to have more power available most of the time (ie not flat out >5 second uphill pulls in 4th-6th) instead of less power that is sustainable in that situation. Of course, if you're often in that situation the opposite would be true for you. For what it's worth, I've had their tune for almost 3 years and never hit the EGT limiter until last weekend, on purpose just to see what the power cut felt like.

I found the Q loader to be fiddly as well but it won't see much use and Kerma doesn't make it. Takes some digging on the forums (TDI Club) but hitting the EGT limits in high load/high gear situations is a known concern. I would certainly try reaching out to them to see if they'll give you a milder tune. Worst thing is they say no 🤷‍♂️. I suspect Malone also keeps the EGT limit in place but they do support deletes... if that's something that interests you.
 
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