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ECU Remapping – What Is It?

One of the components in every modern vehicle is the ECU (engine control unit) the ECU controls the running of the engine and therefore the overall experience of driving your vehicle. The way it manages the engine determine your MPG, top speed, acceleration and how the car feels as you drive it. Remapping is the process of reprogramming the software within your vehicle’s ECU (engine control unit).

The standard software that is developed by the manufacturer and installed in their vehicles will often sacrifice your engine’s full performance capabilities in favour of meeting emissions and noise regulations set in place by various environmental agencies amongst other things. It may also be restricted by the standard software to enable manufacturers to offer different vehicle models with multiple power variants using an identical engine.

ECU Remapping – often referred to as “Chipping”, “Tuning” or “Remap” is when the restrictive manufacturer software on your ECU is reprogrammed, to allow your engine to perform to its real capacity, but still within mechanical safety limits.

The actual process for remapping your vehicle is pretty straight forward, the majority of the base software development has been carried out using data gained by logging the vehicles engine to establish the right parameters to modify in order to gain the optimal performance and fuel efficiency balance.

Normally no physical parts need to be removed or added, however in some vehicles the vehicle’s ECU needs to be removed in order to remap, bypassing all the other electronics in the vehicle to directly access the ECU circuit board.

How Does Remapping Affect My Car

What do I get when you remap my car? A very important question – There are different options when deciding to remap your car, offering differing levels of power output and in some cases economy improvements. But with all tuning options we can guarantee that the drive and overall experience of your car will completely change!

As above the amount it changes and what exactly will be different depends on the level of tuning that you decide to opt for. But here is in general what you can typically expect:

  • Improved Throttle Response – Not a number you can put on paper, but a very noticeable change following a remap, will be the throttle response improvement. Your vehicle will feel more lively, and give you more of an exciting kick.
  • Improved Torque – The increase in your engine’s torque output is what will throw you back into your seat and gives you a massive smile when you put your foot down.
  • Improved MPG – If you have a turbo diesel vehicle, then with some of our tune options you will be able to achieve some substantial economy improvements. An increase in torque along with a slight change in driving style is what allows the economy savings we often see, this is why a lot of taxi and delivery drivers will have their vehicles remapped to reduce their fuel costs.
  • Better Drive – On most vehicles the difference between before and after will be night & day, with the driving experience transformed. You will notice instantly that your vehicle is a lot more lively and more enjoyable to drive.

Can Remapping Cause Damage To The Engine?

Quality is key when considering this question, as remapping can definitely cause damage to an engine, but only if your vehicle is in the wrong hands. That is why we always say irt is vital to invest in a quality remap carried out by a professional tuning company with good feedback and an established reputation. These companies will be much more likely to use quality software with more time spent on research and development.

Here’s a few tips to try and make sure you are looking at a reputable remapping company

  • Look at their reviews on Google, Facebook etc. see what their customers are saying about their work and customer service.
  • Don’t go cheap – there will always be plenty of “tuners” using low quality remap data files of unknown source or content along with cloned unlicensed tools bought from eBay, often advertising at a price that seems to good to be true. It normally is, and it’s not cheaper if it ruins the engine!
  • Professionals will only tune your engine using industry-leading licenced tools and software. A legitimate company will have proof that their tools are genuine, or won’t have a problem providing it if asked.

Is ECU Remapping for high performance cars only?

No, definitely not! We see all makes and models of cars, the majority of our customers are tuning their everyday, mixed use vehicles. Here’s a couple of examples of other benefits for remapping any vehicle

  • Remapping can increase the MPG on your car, delivery van, taxi, or family SUV, this is actually something that cannot be achieved on most performance vehicles!
  • Remapping can make it easier for people who tow caravans to do so whilst using less fuel.

Whilst remapping is a great way to increase the performance of your vehicle, it is not the only reason to have your vehicle remapped.

Should I Remap My Vehicle?

We cannot 100% say a remap is right for everyone and their vehicle, but here are a few reasons we know of that nearly everyone can benefit from:

  • Fall back in love with your car – If you are getting bored of driving your car, and getting that feeling like you want to upgrade, but the cost of upgrading your vehicle is not viable, then a remap might be the solution.
  • A remap doesn’t have to be permanent – If you ever want your vehicle returned back to its original settings/software then that is not a problem. Or if you have chosen an economical map, but would now like to switch to a performance tune, we can make that happen.
  • Inexpensive – We think that the results achieved with a remap, the improvement far outweighs the expense, and it represents great value for money.

We hope that you now have a better understanding of what remapping is, what it consists of and how to go about getting your engine tuned safely.

If you wanted to know more or book your vehicle in with us, then please feel free to get in touch.