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Upgrade your car, the benefits of ECU Remapping
Most modern vehicles have an engine control unit or ECU, which controls various elements of your engine for optimal performance by interpreting data and using lookup tables to adjust the engine accordingly. Because each ECU is run by software, there are improvements and tweaks that can be made through Chip Tuning to squeeze additional performance and improve efficiency. Below are the main benefits of an ECU Remap.
Improves Fuel Economy
More Power (BHP)
The most popular name in tuning and mapping is ECU Remapping. The existing ‘map’ is taken from the cars ECU, used to control the performance of the engine, and is re-programmed to safely increase power, torque and even fuel efficiency. Connecting to the ECU usually happens through a diagnostics port on the car, either under the dashboard or in the engine bay itself.
Editing the software of a vehicle in this way can significantly improve performance from the engine when compared to the software supplied by the manufacturer, due to various factors such as sale locations and local driving factors or legislation’s.
Chip Tuning is actually the same as ECU Remapping and provides the same tuned results but it is carried out in a slightly different way. Rather than connecting to a diagnostics port to program the software, the chip is removed from the ECU and either has new software applied or is completely replaced with a remapped chip.
This process is not as common as it used to be and remapping is often done with simple programming through the diagnostics port on modern vehicles.
Economy remapping is designed to improve fuel efficiency by reducing the how hard the engine has to work. This may actually involve increasing the engine power, reducing throttle load and getting to higher gears sooner to the point where an engine runs at optimal efficiency. This has marked fuel improvements on Diesel cars, up to 10% reduction in fuel costs, which for fleet vehicles can significantly reduce costs.
Does what it says on the tin and looks to push the performance of your engine to its full potential whilst maintaining manufacturer efficiency and service intervals. Your car can be transformed into a more powerful machine without sacrificing reliability, making it more enjoyable to drive and extending the time you keep the vehicle over buying a new one.
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ECU Remapping & Engine Tuning in our Blog
Many of our visitors are keen motor enthusiasts and love to learn more about their cars and the customisation services that are available for them, especially if they are DIY. Take a look through our articles with many focusing on ECU Maps and engine tuning as a whole.
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ECU Remapping FAQ
There is no doubt engine tuning and remapping can be difficult to understand, especially with so many vehicle brands and engine types on the market, it leaves many asking, can I remap my car? We try to answer some of the frequently asked questions below to help anyone understand what they can and can’t do and how to get answers that they may need.
Cars are built to be sold internationally, which means they must adhere to wide ranging legislation for the various territories that they may sell to, from environmental issues and emissions to speed limits and climates. The engine that that they produce, featuring across the range, will be the most optimal configuration possible, whilst staying within the rules so they can sell and produce far more vehicles. The quality of the hardware and technology that is produced is often capable of much more with the software updates that come with ECU Remapping.
Usually your car is hooked up to a laptop or PC via it’s diagnostic port, the same way a garage will look to identify problems with a vehicle, so access can be gained to piece of software called the engine management file. The file is either edited using programming software, or it is replaced by a pre tuned file specifically created for your vehicle. Sometimes this process is not possible due to the make of car, in which case the chip itself can be removed (chip tuning) and programmed separately or again replaced with a pre-tuned chip for that car model. The result is the same, it is purely the process that is different.
If you use the right software and use the best ECU tuner available you will be in safe hands, as will your vehicle. ECU Remapping is used to push your engine to greater performance, within its capabilities, not beyond them. Having an increased power in your car can naturally lead to improvements across the car, such as a reduction in gear changes helping to lengthen the life of a gear box. Most engines are running way off their optimum level and a well created upgrade will still sit well within the limits of what it can achieve.
The remap will control various elements of the engine that are core to its performance, including fuel input, torque and boosts, by controlling the fuel pressure, boost pressure on turbos and the torque settings.
This is quite an easy one. Being pre-prepared, most ECU tuners can have you up and running with an upgrade inside an hour. Such a quick change for potentially massive advancements in performance.
As with many car customisation options on 3Dom Wraps, we do advise that you make your insurance company aware of the changes, the last thing you want is to be caught in a position that causes them to penalise you. Don’t give them the chance and let them know. In most cases it will not increase your premiums, but some high powered upgrades on performance vehicles can see some price increases.
Again if you are using the right ECU tuner, you can almost guarantee that a backup will be taken prior to any changes being made. Be sure to check with your professional before going ahead, but they are likely to know what they are doing.
The best advice here is to use the most reputable software and installation experts available on your car. In most cases the manufacturer will not identify that an engine has been remapped but if their assessment suggests that the cause of a component failure was tuning or ECU related, then that part may well not be covered by the vehicle warranty. It is unlikely that the whole warranty will be deemed void in this scenario. By using the best of the best, you can ensure that the software products and methods of installation are extensively tested for your vehicle and will not lead to any technical malfunctions at all. Often the service provider will cover their work with their own warranty guarantee and will put right anything that goes wrong, similar to any garage carrying out work on your car.
In short, yes. Many of the settings may be similar, but your ECU tuner will know what the settings should be for each make and model. As with many aspects of car ownership, using the right software is just as important as using the right hardware or oil for your specific vehicle.
This usually comes down to age. Cars manufactured before 2000 are usually too old and do not make use of an ECU at all, meaning one cannot be tuned.
They certainly can and they are perfect for efficiency tuning.
This is possible, so do check with your ECU tuner what their options are in this case. Some will offer to reapply the map for free, although some may also add a small labour fee for chip tuning. Using a Bluefin product can detect if the software has been updated and this info can be provided to your ECU tuner so it can be applied to the new software update.
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