WHAT IS ECU (ENGINE CONTROL UNIT)?
All modern cars and vans on the road today have an ECU (ENGINE CONTROL UNIT).
This Engine Control Unit can almost be described as the vehicles ‘brain’ and contains a small processor that takes information from various sensors throughout the engine. It analyses information such as the engine temperature, accelerator pedal angle, and oxygen content in the burnt exhaust gases as well as many more parameters. Using the information from these sensors it can then add the right quantity of fuel, at just the right time to provide a good mix of fuel economy, performance and emission control when pulling away, overtaking, pottering down the road or zooming down the motorway.
ECU REMAPPING BENEFITS FOR TURBOCHARGED PETROL ENGINES
Turbocharged petrol engines have always been regarded as the sports flagship engine for good reason. They boast far higher power & torque figures than a non-turbocharged power plant with similar displacement and are usually fitted to the manufacturer’s flagship models. They are also ideal candidates for remapping as the ECU also controls the wastegate (turbo boost pressure control).
After your ECU upgrade to your turbocharged petrol engine, you will enjoy:
Better throttle response
Smoother power delivery
ECU REMAPPING BENEFITS FOR NON-TURBOCHARGED PETROL ENGINES
The normally aspirated petrol engine, whilst not being the easiest of engines to tune, can still benefit from a 10-15% power increase with added torque by careful reprogramming of various engine parameters within the map. Parameters such as the fuel and ignition curves can be fine tuned to give better power & torque output. On some engines the camshaft timing can also be tuned within the map, giving additional improvements.
In many cases, ‘after market’ tuning items such as free flowing exhausts, high flow air filters and re-profiled camshafts can only be fully utilised by the engine once the necessary adjustments have been made within the ECU. Careful recalibration of the correct maps can unlock the potential of your new engine parts. Further power gains may also be available when a higher-octane fuel is used, allowing for more ignition timing.
SAVING FUEL WITH ECU REMAP?
When we remap a vehicle, especially when fuel saving is the priority we focus on improving the low end torque in particular and widening the power-band as far as we can. This increase in low-end torque will mean less throttle pedal input is required to maintain cruising speeds, when fully laden or when on a gradient. It will also mean that the vehicle will be more comfortable in higher gears at slower speeds as well requiring fewer gear changes overall. If you combine these factors with adjusting your driving style to make the most of the extra low-end torque you will see an improvement in fuel consumption. This is most effective on turbo-diesel engines where the savings could be as much as 20%!
WHAT DO YOU ACTUALLY MODIFY IN MY VEHICLE?
We do not change any hardware in your vehicle; we just modify the operating parameters in the ECU’s program or ‘map’. In many cases the map stored on the ECU’s processor can be accessed via the on-board diagnostics port (OBD) in the vehicle, normally found under the dashboard. In some newer models the ECU will have to be removed from the vehicle and the casing opened, our technicians will then use specialist tools to read the original map straight from the processing chip.
The technician will then upload the original map to our map writing team who will adjust the parameters to maximise the performance, fuel economy or a clever blend of both. Depending on the vehicle and ECU type the remapping process can take under an hour and if at any time you wish to return your vehicles ECU to its original default settings, this can be done easily and free of charge as we always keep a copy of the original software as a backup.
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