Dacia Sandero Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Sandero tuning guide."

So TopGear used the Sandero to benchmark the test track with celebrity drivers. Without any mods the original factory version really showed up a drivers skill or lack thereof.

Getting the right mods though and you can do much to improve the Sandero. The stock setup is lacking in the power and handling areas, and there are many things you can do to improve this considerably.

First Generation (2007-2012):

  • The Dacia Sandero was introduced in 2007 as Dacia's entry into the subcompact hatchback segment.
  • The first generation was characterized by its simple and utilitarian design, focusing on providing basic transportation at an affordable price.
  • It offered a range of gasoline (petrol) and diesel engine options.
  • This generation of the Sandero received a facelift in 2012, which included minor cosmetic updates and improvements.

Second Generation (2012-2019):

  • The second generation of the Dacia Sandero was launched in 2012.
  • This generation continued to emphasize affordability and practicality while incorporating some modern design elements.
  • It received another facelift in 2016, which brought further cosmetic changes and updates to the interior.
  • The Sandero Stepway, a more rugged and crossover-like version of the Sandero, was also introduced as part of this generation.

Third Generation (2019-):

  • The third generation of the Dacia Sandero was unveiled in 2020.
  • It featured a redesigned exterior with a more contemporary look and updated features.
  • The Sandero Stepway also received a new generation alongside the standard Sandero.
  • The 2020 redesign aimed to enhance the overall appeal of the Sandero while maintaining its core value proposition of affordability.

The Renault background really helps with the chassis design and base package giving you something worthwhile to base your tuning project on.

Adding power to the engine and uprating the braking finishes off the tuning package and shows how capable the Sandero really is.

We look at Sandero tuning and report on the greatest modifications. Dacia Sanderos make awesome project cars and with the best tuning mods you can assuredly maximize your driving enjoyment.

We have seen some awesome Sandero tuning projects and there seems to be quite a loyal fan base of Sandero owners. If you do your homework then you can create an awesome Sandero but don't be fooled there are lots of performance modifications out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Sandero suspension mods.

We would uprate the suspension, dropping it around 40mm on slightly firmer shocks all round and it will handle much better.

A front brace, and rear anti roll bar, mated with poly bushings will really sharpen up the handling.

We would recommend a set of coilovers though that can be adjusted to suit your driving style.

Adding some negative camber to the front and a little toe out will improve the cornering grip by a fair margin.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Improving the handling for many tuners first priority in your Sandero tuning project. Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 45mm and fit uprated stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

The suspension top mounts should be upgraded, the vibration you get from the front end is addressed by fitting solid top mounts and this improves the handling.

Turning our attention to the Sandero's engine we need to get a bit more power out of the top end.

With performance tips you can transform your Sandero into a hot hatch, beating larger cars on the track.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Engine Tuning.

This list of the stages and tuning upgrades are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you begin.

Here are the range of engines and power figures offered on the first generation Sandero.

  • 1.0 16v D4D Hi-Flex 77 hp (57 kW) 161 km/h (100 mph)
  • 1.2 16v D4F 732 75 hp (56 kW) 161 km/h (100 mph)
  • 1.4 8v K7J 710 75 hp (56 kW) 161 km/h (100 mph)
  • 1.4 8v K7J LPG 72 hp (54 kW) 161 km/h (100 mph)
  • 1.6 8v K7M 800 85 hp (63 kW) 169 km/h (105 mph)
  • 1.6 8v K7M Hi-Torque 95 hp (71 kW) 174 km/h (108 mph)
  • 1.6 16v K4M 696 105 hp (78 kW) 181 km/h (112 mph)
  • 1.6 16v K4M Hi-Flex 112 hp (82 kW) 195 km/h (121 mph)

Diesel engines

  • 1.5 dCi K9K 892 75 hp (56 kW) 157 km/h (98 mph)
  • 1.5 dCi K9K 892 90 hp (67 kW) 167 km/h (104 mph)

Then there was a 2012 revision to the range and the following engines were offered. This version won best budget supermini in and other awards and accolades.

  • 0.9 12v TCe H4Bt400 90 PS (66 kW)@5000 rpm (103 lbft) @2250 rpm
  • 1.0 12v SCe B4D411 73 PS @6300 rpm (72 lbft)@3500 rpm
  • 1.2 16v D4F732 75 PS @5500 rpm  (79 lbft)@4250 rpm
  • 1.2 16v LPG D4F Bi-Fuel  72 PS @5500 rpm (77 lbft)@4250 rpm

Diesel engines

  • 1.5 dCi75 K9K 612 75 PS (55 kW)at 4000 rpm (148 lbft)at 1750 rpm
  • 1.5 dCi90 K9K 612 90 PS (66 kW)at 3750 rpm (162 lbft)at 1750 rpm

Getting the best mods for your intended use of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport mods just won't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic but will excel on the track.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best mods for your Sandero

  1. Sandero Handling Mods (Suspension) - Upgrading your suspension greatly enhances your Sandero road holding and cornering. Poly Bushes and Coilovers are typically fitted to achieve this
  2. Turbo upgrades - A New Turbo is the most significant way to raise the intake air supply, which permits you to combust more fuel and make higher power. Typically one of the most expensive upgrades you'll see massive gains.
  3. Brake Upgrades - Improve your ability to stop ought to be high on your agenda.
  4. Flywheel lightening - a lighter flywheel will improve the engines rev changes. In some cases flywheel lightening is not recommended for all Sandero engines.
  5. Fast road Camshafts are are often the best upgrade for an engine, but ideally be setup by someone qualified to set them up properly and you might struggle to find one but there is usually a local firm to regrind a stock cam for you.
  6. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence.
  7. ECU Tunes - A Remapped Sandero ECU ensures the most advantage with respect to your investment, aftermarket ECU upgrades, and Tuning boxes are all alternatives.
  8. Air Intake and high flowing exhausts - Please note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD TORQUE in most applications, but they will enable you to enhance power after other modifications by losing a restriction.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Panel air filter, Engine Tunes/Remapping, Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-45mm), Alloy wheels.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Power/Sport clutch, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector, fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Competition cam, Sports gearbox.

You really need to keep as much low end power as you can and aim to get a wide power band rather than a narrow top end power spike.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance modification.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a bolt on modified mods goes on a NA (naturally aspirated) engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a performance chip. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a competition cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to increase the fuelling.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and power surges after your tuning mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Induction kits will only help to add performance if your air intake is struggling!

The OEM airbox and filter is rubbish on all but the smallest engines, and throttles the engines breathing, even after light mods.

A larger airbox, and cotton gauze panel air filter is the way to go on the Sandero in our opinion.

If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for Sandero engines you should go with a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow from the engine but do not go too wide or you might just stuff your flow rate and make things worse. So generally speaking, keep to a size of 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

flowed (porting and polishing) the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools Your clutch can fail as you increase the power if it starts to suffer and the standard clutches are only ever good for power gains of up to 45%. Fit an upgraded clutch to avoid power loss through the transmission.

NA (naturally aspirated) engines do not achieve big power gains if you tune/remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A tuned/remapped turbo will give large power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NA (naturally aspirated) engine will give large power gains. It is generally cheaper to bolt on a supercharger than it is to bolt on a turbo. With a turbo the power curve is related exponentially to the engine speed making it difficult to map fuelling with.

It is simpler to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Decreasing the engines compression ratio will allow you to add forced induction, water injection may also help prevent detonation.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include a lower unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling via the extra air flow they allow. The drawback to large rims on your Sandero is that you're altering your final drive ratio and this will have a negative effect on acceleration.

With this in mind we would advise sticking to a maximum wheel size of 16 inches, although we know some of our members have fitted larger wheels with no problems.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Sandero options in more detail with our Sandero owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Dacia tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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2 Responses to “Sandero Tuning”

  1. Mario68 says:

    The dacia front top mounts needs upgrading.
    As a dacia owner I have notice that the front of the Car does have alot of vibration that because the top mount is not fasten direct to the body of the Car. In my dacia I ordered the top solid mounts from k-techracing.co.uk which gives a better handling

  2. Sagie Moodley says:

    Hi can I put a performance exhaust in my 900 cc sandero thanks

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