Humidity and its effect of performance. - Mustang Evolution

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Old 04-19-2015, 12:10 PM   #1
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Humidity and its effect of performance.

So I have officially been out in the Boston area for a full year and one of the things i noticed was how drastic the weather can be. From 85*-90* with 80%-100% humidity to 10* and less than 10%. With that said i had the assumption my cars performance would increase as the temps regularly dropped below 40 on a regular basis, but It in fact didnt improve and i ended up having to swap back to my stock intake and a lower 87 tune. Come spring Ive tried to swap back my intake and my datalogged 93 Race tune and it kept giving me a wrench and CEL with a P061B code. Now Im running the intake and tune all the same as it was before winter.

So what im wondering is does humidity have an effect on overall engine performance? If so is it a posative or a negative? Also is there such a thing as TOO COLD to a point that engine performance decreases as the temps drop below 35*? Is dryer air better?
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:19 PM   #2
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As an ex bicycle racer I can tell you that humidity is moister that displaces the oxygen in the air. So I am sure it would have a negative affect on automobile performance just like it does the performance of the human body.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:40 PM   #3
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Yes, it plays a huge part. Hotter air is less dense to begin with, combine that with more moister and less oxygen = even worse performance. A perfect example is when I would fly my Cessna. On a cool fall day that plane would take off in literally 100-200 less feet than a hot humid summer day. This is due to the prop moving more air more efficiently at the same RPM. Same goes for a car, less dense and humid air starves the engine versus a cool, dry fall day.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:32 AM   #4
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Ok, ya that makes sense. I assume tune makes a difference as well right? If you had a tune made while the temps were between 60 and 80 and humidity was above 60% would you find a decrease in performance if everything were to drop? I.e temps get below 40 and humidity drops to less than 20%?

I know this is odd to ask. I just never experienced that kind of thing g before. I feel as if the colder it got the worse my car was performing us this last fall-winter.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:35 AM   #5
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The only thing i can think of is going back to those load tables. If your car was tuned in hot muggy air, going to cool crisp air could have it performing so much better that the car actually believes it is over performing and neutering itself.

This is unlikely, as usually those tables are a little forgiving, but the person writing your tune is human, and well ... sht happens.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:51 AM   #6
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The only thing i can think of is going back to those load tables. If your car was tuned in hot muggy air, going to cool crisp air could have it performing so much better that the car actually believes it is over performing and neutering itself.

This is unlikely, as usually those tables are a little forgiving, but the person writing your tune is human, and well ... sht happens.
This could be true. Im not looking for perfection but rather Im just looking to understand whats going on and whats happening just for knowledge sake. It was something I would notice back when I had my turboed Hyundai.

Car ran good on hot days, a bit sluggish but so did everyone, cool night the thing ran like a jack rabbit. It just darted everywhere so briskly BUT THEN on foggy days or days with higher humidity it seamed to just be a bat out of hell.

I found the same things happened with my Mustang when it was stock. Foggy days or slightly more humid days It would just roar though the gears and felt like a whole new car.

I could also be confusing foggy with humid but Im not a meteorologist so to me being foggy and being humid still mean there is higher moisture content in the air or an over saturation. (correct me if Im wrong, which im sure i am.)
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Old 04-20-2015, 10:54 AM   #7
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Play with this and see the differences:

DA Calculator - Density Altitude Calculator - DragTimes.com
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Old 04-21-2015, 07:06 PM   #8
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Ah I don't have all the necessary if to plug in...cool site though
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fintile View Post
Ok, ya that makes sense. I assume tune makes a difference as well right? If you had a tune made while the temps were between 60 and 80 and humidity was above 60% would you find a decrease in performance if everything were to drop? I.e temps get below 40 and humidity drops to less than 20%?

I know this is odd to ask. I just never experienced that kind of thing g before. I feel as if the colder it got the worse my car was performing us this last fall-winter.
Also keep in mind that 20% humidity at 40 degrees is not the same as 20% at say 80 degrees. The percentage refers to the total capacity of moisture the air can hold at given temperature. Warmer air can carry a lot more moisture as you might expect, so 20% humidity at that temperature represents more total moisture and more displaced oxygen than 20% humidity at 40 degrees does. It's kind of a double whammy, less dense air to start with and a larger absolute quantity of moisture as well.
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voltwings View Post
The only thing i can think of is going back to those load tables. If your car was tuned in hot muggy air, going to cool crisp air could have it performing so much better that the car actually believes it is over performing and neutering itself.

This is unlikely, as usually those tables are a little forgiving, but the person writing your tune is human, and well ... sht happens.
My car was tuned in 75% humidity iirc
Haha

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Old 04-22-2015, 01:09 PM   #11
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I've raced my car on the same tune from +3000 DA to -1000 DA, not noticed anything like this.

I'm sure you mentioned it somewhere but what was the CEL? P061B? Torque table... If going back to stock intake and 87 tune fixes it, it sounds like an air/fuel problem to me. But the CEL aligns more with what Volt is suggesting.
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:16 PM   #12
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Oh these are completely different trains of thought. I've always wondered about why a turbo car runs better in heavy fog than in dry cold. Also the idea that my car was tuned toward the end of summer yet spring I couldn't get it to work right. I managed to get it working. Got the intake on and tune loaded up just fine now for the past week. However I couldn't even run my TB spacer or the generic Bama 93 R tune during that time either.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:49 PM   #13
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What code is it throwing?


Unless she tuned to the ragged edge on a super cool day with no humidity should it make a difference. You computer has the ability to add fuel and timing to adjust for weather.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:38 AM   #14
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It was a P061B code. Exact same setup I ran all summer and it kept throwing that code.

Like I said I got it to work now, so it's no longer an issue. I need to buy a laptop to do some logging though.
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