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Mobile service remapping a BMW

ECU Remapping
Engine Control Unit (ECU): what is it and what does it do?

The ECU (‘Engine Control Unit’) is sometimes referred to as the brain of the car. The ECU monitors data from various sensors and ensures your engine is running at its optimal performance. This data is interpreted using performance maps (relevant tables) to ensure excellent performance, whether the output is low or high. Elements such as the engine’s fuelling, ignition timing, boost, and torque values are calibrated within the ECU code depending on the quality of the fuel, the altitude and how your car, van, motorhome, truck or tractor is used.


ECUs are far from simple in modern cars and no two units are alike. At Top Tuning, we have in-depth knowledge of the technical complexities that arise with each new generation, especially with BOSCH, Siemens, Delphi, Magnetti Marelli and Denso, and can providing the cutting edge expertise required in order to make your vehicle faster, more fuel efficient or more powerful, according to your preferences.

Professional ECU remapping/programming: what is it?

Two identical makes and models of new car in a showroom may seem identical – but can be very different once bought and driven away.

Lower quality fuels, extreme differences in temperature and altitude, points of difference in emission laws, lack of regular servicing or servicing not in line with the car manufacturer guidelines can all affect how a vehicle performs.

Therefore, there is no ‘one size fits all’ of ECU programme (or map) for ensuring optimal performance of fuel efficiency with any new car; a  manufacturer must consider all operating condition variables across all sales regions. This results in compromises to the ECU programme.

ECU remapping means removing those compromises to ensuring the engine’s pure and intended performance.

At Top Tuning, we achieve this by reading the ECU’s processing chip of the standard compromised map and fine-tuning elements within it such as fuel pressure, boost pressure (for turbocharged applications) ignition advance and throttle pedal control. The result is a customised engine that delivers increased power – and even decreased fuel consumption.

remapping kit used by Top tuning

Different engines & how remapping works

Turbocharged diesel engines: what are the advantages of ECU remapping?

Looking for better power matched by better fuel economy for your turbocharged diesel engine?

There are many advantages to having your turbo-charged diesel engine remapped, and ensuring economy, reliability and longevity – especially given the way that fuel prices continue to rise.

With a cost-effective ECU upgrade to your turbocharged diesel engine by Top Tuning, you can look forward to:

  • Increased horsepower and torque

  • Sharpened throttle response

  • Smoother power delivery

  • Better fuel economy

  • Better acceleration and safer overtaking

Car being chip tuned by top tuning

Turbocharged petrol engines: what are the advantages of ECU remapping?

Need more torque for your turbocharged petrol engine?

Turbocharged petrol engines can achieve superior power and torque figures worthy of a sporty engine. Such gains are significantly higher than for a non-turbocharged power-plant with similar displacement. Parameters (for example, boost pressure, Ignition timing and fuel delivery rates) are carefully matched, and map adjustments (such as electronically limiting torque, throttle response and cam timing) are safely made.

What’s more, the ECU controls the wastegate (turbo boost pressure control) as well, making turbocharged petrol engines extremely suitable for programming.

With an optimised ECU upgrade to your turbocharged petrol engine by Top Tuning, you can look forward to:

  • Increased horsepower and torque

  • Sharpened throttle response

  • Smoother power delivery

  • Better fuel economy

  • Better acceleration and safer overtaking

White Audi Spyder recently tuned

Non-turbocharged petrol engines: what are the advantages of ECU remapping?

Yes, you can gain extra power from your non-turbocharged petrol engine.

Non-turbo cars benefit from an optimised fueling and ignition strategy matched to the quality of fuel in your tank. Any throttle restrictions are lifted to improve power and throttle response.

Although normally aspirated petrol engines can offer challenges in tuning, it is possible to gain a 10-15% increase in power with extra torque by reprogramming the various engine parameters safely and professionally.

At Top Tuning, we have the expertise to achieve this power uplift by fine tuning the fuel and ignition mapping. We may also be able to gently adjust the camshaft timing on some engines to further boost the power gain.

The possibilities for more power don’t end there … after the optimised ECU calibration has been undertaken, conventional tuning elements such as free-flowing exhausts, high-flow air filters, and reprofiled camshafts can be considered and ignition advance obtained by using high-octane fuel.

Close up of Aston Martin next to Top-tuning van
Bentley Car Getting ready for remap by Top-Tuning

How can professional ECU remapping/programming save fuel?

Looking to save money every time you drive? Improve your fuel consumption by up to 20%.

At Top Tuning, our specialist mobile ECU remapping/programming service maximises power with noticeable results – especially if looking to save fuel.

We will improve low-end torque and widen power delivery to result in lower throttle openings at cruising speeds, with full loads or on a gradient. Your car or vehicle will be a more comfortable drive when in higher gears at slower speeds, with fewer gear changes needed.

With turbocharged diesel engines, the improvement in fuel consumption savings can reach up to 20%.

Are any vehicle modifications made?

No hardware is changed. Our technicians simply modify the operating parameters on your vehicle’s ECU programme/map.

The map stored on the ECU’s processor is accessed via the on-board diagnostics port (OBD) in your car, van, motorhome, truck or tractor. If your vehicle is a newish model, we may need to remove the ECU and open the casing to read the map from the processing chip. We use specialist tools to ensure complete accuracy.

The map’s parameters can be adjusted to optimise power, fuel saving – and even both – with the process usually taking less than an hour, subject to vehicle and ECU type.

At Top Tuning, we always keep a copy of the original software just in case you ever change your mind and wish to revert to the original car manufacturer settings. We want all our customers to be 100% happy and offer this service free of charge.

Top -tuning work

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