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What is an Engine ECU Remap?

What is it?

ECU stands for the Electronic Control Unit of your engine; essentially this is the brain of your car. Getting your car remapped, or tuned as it was once called, means changing the software on your engine’s ECU to increase its performance.
What are the benefits?

There are multiple benefits to having your engine remapped or tuned, and the gains can vary depending on your car and the software you have installed. Some of the possible benefits are:

  • Increased BHP
  • Increased Torque
  • Increased Fuel Economy

How does it work?

The ECU controls the fuel injection process; the process that combines the fuel and air mixture that combusts in the engine’s cylinders. Once upon a time carburetors were used to handle this, but modern cars now use fuel injectors instead. By modifying the fuel/air mixture going into the engine, it is possible to achieve extra power.

Turbocharged cars usually achieve better performance gains due to the fact that the turbocharger’s settings for boost pressure, the rate of fuel delivery and ignition timing are also modified by the software. This means that the turbo can be setup to dramatically increase the pressure of the fuel/air mixture, meaning more can be squeezed into the engine’s cylinders, resulting in a more powerful explosion.

Why are car’s not optimised out of the factory?

All cars come out of the factory with a standard setting. This is usually the same regardless of country or region. Different regions all have different atmospheric conditions that will affect how the car performs. Applying an ECU remap that is optimised for your region will mean the car drives best for the location you’ll be using it in.

Similarly, all countries have different laws dictating exhaust emissions, and the car needs to comply with these regulations at the time of sale. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it needs to stay with these settings once purchased.

It is also worth noting that all cars, and any machine for that matter, are designed to work within certain tolerances. For example, if your car has 300bhp as standard, the car itself could very well handle up to 400bhp, or more, perfectly safely, but this will be limited to ensure durability for warranty purposes. On that note it is worth mentioning that any changes to a car, whether mechanical or simply software updates, will most likely void any warranty on your car.

Is it worth it?

Most people who have had their car remapped will tell you that if you are happy with the lack of warranty, then the performance gains significantly outweigh the cost.

Can anyone remap my car?

There are huge numbers of companies who claim to be able to remap any car’s engine and improve your car’s performance. The price of these can vary significantly, with some companies offering huge gains for very little cost.

It would be our advice to do your research before making any changes to your vehicle. The last thing you want to do is install software on your car that is faulty or simply ruins your car’s engine over time.

Look to see which companies fellow drivers of the same car of you have choosed, and listen to their feedback so you can make your own informed decision.

Tags

ecu, remap, tuning

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