The engine's electronic control unit (ECU) is your car's main brain, and is connected to many others within the vehicle's electrical system. Each ECU reports back information to the main brain - certain parameters - required for the engine to make informed decisions, ensuring the correct and safe operation of the vehicle.
For example, petrol engines require, among other things, a perfect ratio of air to fuel to operate efficiently. The huge amount of data that is processed by the engine's ECU determines the decision on how much air and fuel is released and adjusts the ignition ('spark') timing accordingly, allowing for optimum performance.
HOW CAN I BENEFIT FROM REMAPPING?
A 'map' refers to the file (or 'calibration file') that is stored within the engine's ECU. This provides the engine with reference data while it's running. Large car manufacturers produce vehicles that are distributed to various continents, with different drivers, environments, rules and conditions. As a result, the cars are 'mapped' to a happy medium; a standardised design that takes into account all of these different factors. Inevitably, power is sacrificed in the process.
By reading the map in your car, and carrying out a professional assessment, I'm able to customise it and create a bespoke version, which compliments your exact driving style. This process not only improves performance, but extracts the full potential from each component of your engine, ensuring they work more efficiently together.
As a result, you'll achieve the same level of power without having to fully compress the throttle. Increased torque at lower engine revs could see up to 15% better fuel economy, sharper throttle response, better towing capabilities and a clear improvement on your over-taking manoeuvres, where you no longer have to change down a gear.
Vehicle manufacturers commonly use the same engine in various models, detuned and capable of more power. In most cases even using the same ECU, just with modified software. In this situation, the car's power on a lower specification vehicle can improve to above the standard figures of its more costly higher performance model.
Forced induction engines such as those fitted with turbo chargers or superchargers tend to see the most noticeable improvement in power, due to the increase of boost pressure. However, other vehicles can benefit a great deal from ironing out flat spots within the rev range, increasing torque and providing an all-round more responsive, lively and fuel-efficient drive. WHAT ABOUT ROLLING ROAD REMAPS? There is a common misconception that having a custom 'rolling road or chassis dyno' remap is the only option for tuned vehicles, but most standard car ECU's, they cannot be live mapped. This means, data within the map tables can not be adjusted while the engine is running unlike standalone management. The ECU's flash file needs to be removed, adjusted and written back to the ECU for adjustments. A rolling road in this case proves great for before/after power figures and data logging without needing to leave the workshop. But this doesn't mean tuning without a rolling road is inferior. We developed our files in house, using data logs from real world conditions in your vehicle. We call this 'road tuning'. By collection essential data from multiple runs on the road and using calculations, we can achieve the optimum results from your engine while under real world condiitons.
Your vehicle will then have a basic pre-tuning health check. This will include a road test and a basic fault scan of your engine's ECU, to ensure there are no underlying faults with your vehicle before any software has been installed. At this point we will have a good insight into the engine's condition and whether it is a good candidate for custom software. From here we will, if necessary, check the ECU type for compatibility of 'On Board Diagnosis' (OBD) communication or bench communication and will provide you with an upfront and transparent estimate for the service. Some vehicles may have underlying faults not apparent in the initial consultation and its at the owners responsibility to ensure the increased performance is suitable for their vehicle.
Once this estimate has been agreed, we will safely remove your engine’s original file for customisation. We will either do this by OBD communication or by removing the ECU for bench reading. In some cases, the ECU may be locked or have an anti-tuning software, but we can usually overcome this by using specialist equipment. In the unlikely event that we am unable to overcome this, we will advise you immediately and you will not be charged for any work carried out. Once the file is successfully removed, it will be customised by our in house file writer to meet your requirements.
We will then safely write the file back to your engine's ECU. The time for the writing process will vary with different ECU types but this usually takes between 30mins to 2 hours. The whole process can take between 2-6 hours, in some cases longer, where anti tune, larger control module files, data logging and/or testing is required. So we would always recommend a vehicle is with us for the day for optimum results.
Having installed your modified software, we will carry out a post-map road test and a final diagnosis check of the engine's ECU to ensure you are happy with the service.