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What is OBD Tuning?

OBD is an efficient way to remap an engine to overwrite the original manufacturer’s map and optimise performance – in other words, so that the engine can perform much closer to its maximum capabilities.

Top Tuning’s technicians read software from the ECU (Engine Control Unit) by connecting with a laptop PC via the OBD (Onboard Diagnostic) socket. The modified and optimised software is then simply installed and the ECU reprogrammed. This usually takes under an hour. Sometimes, we may need to remove the ECU and
programme it on the bench, which can take a little longer. OBD Tuning can be done at your premises or at home.

Is OBD Tuning safe?

Yes, provided you use an expert tuning company. Always be wary of any file writer making inflated claims such as promising to increase power massively – they may not be programming the ECU inside safe operating parameters. It’s important to understand that there is a mechanical limit to how much power your vehicle can produce, otherwise the result could be component failure. This is why race engines are prone to failing – because the engines are reprogrammed to the power max.

We take up the slack of the high tolerance level built in by vehicle manufacturers; not just for safety but also so that warranty claims can be kept to an acceptable minimum. Every manufacturer sets their own specifications, meaning every engine is different. We work with all leading makes and models and have an expert understanding of what can be done for the best results – and, of course, what should not be done.

Why don’t manufacturers undertake OBD Tuning?

A manufacturer has to sell their cars in a wide range of markets and therefore the vehicles have to be suitable for everyone, everywhere. This is done by considering country differences for fuel quality and operating conditions such as altitudes. Performance can therefore be compromised. There may also be sales and marketing considerations; there’s no point in remapping unless a model can be packaged in a way that is destined to sell.

Are there any advantages to remapping a diesel engine?

Yes, there are definite benefits. For instance, by improving power up to 30% with smooth torque delivery, as well engine reliability and longevity. Existing systems such as diagnostics, traction control, stability and regeneration of the diesel particle filter (DPF) will all remain unaffected. Torque reduction when shifting gear (for comfort and durability) will also be retained. A further advantage is that you can arrange to have the original calibration reinstalled should you change your mind.

Remapping is only carried out on engine calibration parameters. With Top Tuning, you can therefore always be certain of the following:

  • Torque adjusted/limited in lower gears for transmission system longevity

  • Optimised boost pressure and air flow

  • Correct fuel consumption displayed on infotainment system

  • Correctly calculated and applied exhaust gas temperatures

  • Correctly applied service intervals

  • No enlarged NOx, HC, CO, CO2, or soot emissions compared with original at MOT testing.

How will my insurance policy be affected?

Please inform your insurance company of any modification to your vehicle as it is your responsibility to make them aware of changes such as having the engine remapped. Please let us know if you would like a certificate of conformity as proof – clients often tell us that their insurance company was happy to see that fuel economy measures had been undertaken.

What happens to the original tuning file?

Don’t worry – it will remain safely in our good hands! We will store it in a secure archive so that it can be easily retrieved in case you ever decide to revert your vehicle to the manufacturer’s original spec.

How might a manufacturer’s warranty be affected by the remap?

Manufacturers usually state that if a modification causes any issue with your vehicle then the relevant part is not covered. However, this does not mean the whole warranty is null and void – any part not linked to a remap, such as the steering, should still be within the warranty. Top Tuning clients often say that the manufacturer recognised that the conversion was of high quality and accepted it.

Can a remap really improve my vehicle.

Providing the remap is undertaken by experienced technician such as ourselves, then the answer is ‘absolutely!’
Remapping adjusts elements such as torque limits, fuel pressure, injected fuel quantity, maximum legal visible smoke limit, and boost pressure. It completely changes engine characteristics to give you more power and fuel efficiency – yet does so within all preset engine sensor parameters and with 100% feedback control.