ECU Remapping And Programing Explained
What is remapping?
Remapping is the process through which the car engine’s control unit (ECU) or computer is altered. The ECU is reprogrammed to customize different functions like sensors, airflow and fuel injection. Programmers can overwrite the existing code to improve the efficiency of your car and allow it to do more.
Benefits of Remapping
Car manufacturers can program the car’s ECU so it performs at optimum efficiency. They can release sporty models with good fuel economy by adding small patches and additions to the ECU. You can remap the car to make sure you are getting the best performance, responsiveness and fuel efficiency
Improving the engine’s performance gives you a way to make the car go faster and release more power to the wheels. The highest horsepower you can attain depends on the type of engine your car has. For example, turbo engines can experience an increase of 40 up to 100 brake horsepower. The value can be lower for other engines. We also boost the torque up to 80 NM so your car will feel like it is going faster
With regards to fuel efficiency, it depends on how you drive the car. Hurriedly changing gears, quick acceleration, speeding and braking all of a sudden can negatively affect the fuel economy. The engine consumes almost 50% more fuel when it is driven like that. Although remapping can improve fuel efficiency, only when it is combined with smooth driving will it be effective.
How to tell if a car has been remapped
If you are buying a second-hand car and think it might have been remapped but the paperwork does not indicate it then there are ways to find out. Some remappers add a sticker on the ECU which can give you a visual clue to possible modifications.
You can also check the car manual and compare the top speed, acceleration and overall performance with the specifications given in the book. If you are almost certain the ECU has been patched up, you can bring it to us or a manufacturer’s garage so an expert can look at the software. This option will not be free but it is worth it if the car has been remapped. You could lose on insurance and other claims if you are not truthful about the car’s engine and other modifications.
Are remapping and chipping the same thing?
Chipping and remapping are two different methods used to enhance the performance of a vehicle. Just like a laptop or smartphone has a motherboard and chips inside, the ECU has similar hardware. Remapping can change the software and its unit while chipping includes physically replacing the chip with another one with a built-in program.
In the year 2000, cars were becoming smarter and manufacturers began adding ECUs to the engine. The onboard diagnostic access point is a port that allows mechanics to connect the engine to a computer. They can investigate the system and find out what is working and what isn’t. The port is also used to remap engines.
Chipping is riskier because the mechanic has to open up the engine control unit making it susceptible to damage. The access point is mandatory in all petrol and diesel cars in Europe since 2003. Chipping is usually the chosen route for car models that are older than that.