Dacia Sandero Tuning

"Thank you for reading my Dacia Sandero tuning tips."

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

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

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 maximise your driving enjoyment.

The Sandero is a good car modification project to have. We see many tuners wasting money on their Sandero doing the wrong mods and then having to start over. Follow our articles to avoid wasting your money

Tuning tips and articles

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


Top end power should be your overall aim on the Sandero with a nice fat peak torque band.

Following our tips for modding your Sandero you will end up with a practical but sporty car that will potentially beat bigger cars.

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.

Power mods.

This list of the stages and sports modifications are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the right motorsport parts for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 (competition) mods just won't work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Stage 1 mods: Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Remap, Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Panel air filter, Sports exhaust.

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

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

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 engines and their 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


You really need to keep as much low end torque as possible and aim to get a wide power band across the rev range rather than a narrow top end power spike.

The whole aim of our articles is to give a little insight into the world of car tuning upgrades and point you in the right direction, our forum is best place to go if you need more detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best motorsport kits and all aspects of modding cars.One of the most cost effective mechanical modified modifications you can do on your NASP engine is to fit a fast road camshaft .

The exhaust & intake durations play a large part in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car impossible to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a cam upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap to fully release the power gain.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to increase the fuelling.

Using high octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Dacia project after fitting other modified mods. To get sufficient fuel you may need to upgrade the injectors on your engine.

Uprate the fuel pump to cope with the extra fuel requirements of your tuned Sanderos uprated injectors.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Air induction kits are only beneficial to increase power if the air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see LITTLE LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. 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.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Sports exhausts increase the flow of air through the engine. But if the exhaust pipe is too large, ie: it's over 2.5 inches bore, you will lose much of your flow rate and end up losing power and torque.

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 When you heavily modify your Sandero you will often find that the standard clutch starts to complain so get an uprated clutch. The best mods we would do for your Sandero are Remapping or piggy back ecu, fast road cam and air intake and exhaust.

NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give massive power gains and fully release the potential power of the engine. Adding forced induction will see large power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. Turbos are generally harder to add than a supercharger. Turbos increase power in exponential proportion to rising engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is correlating to engine speed on a linear curve. Alternatively you could perhaps add water injection to cut down knock.

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for car owners first priority in your Sandero tuning project.

Setting a tiny bit of negative camber at the front wheels and around 1 to 1.7 degrees of toe out, will dramatically benefit your Sandero in handling and cornering.

We would go to a maximum drop of 30mm - 40 mm on most models. You risk handling compromises if you go lower than this.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brakes cool down and are usually lighter than steel ones. Don't forget that your choice of rubber greatly affects your cars grip and handling. It is not worth compromising performance with cheap tyres when you can buy track legal slick performance tyres.Please note although they can look cool on the Sandero large alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be - this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

Although some people have gone larger than this we would restrict ourselves to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

There is a more updated version of this Dacia Sandero Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

For more information 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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Your Constructive comments on this article

One Response 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 which gives a better handling

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