Almost everyone has questions about new technology or things that they may have heard bits about but never fully understood. We have already written a lot about the subject here on the site but though that a extra page to help you understand more about what is involved would be helpful to you. Don’t forget however that when you come to discuss booking your car in for a remapping of your ECU we will want to talk with you about some of the options.
However we also know that sometimes when a person is regarded as an real specialist they will tend to drop into technical jargon too easily. It is not our intention to baffle you with science the way some of our competitors will do. That is not the way we work at Croft Autotech here in Ellon. If there is any issue you are not COMPLETELY understanding please ask Scott to explain it again. You can reach him on 01358 722112 or go to ECU ReMapping Aberdeeenshire for more information.
What Is A Car ECU?
Almost all modern cars on the road today have an Engine Control Unit (we all it ECU) this is can be likened to a computer brain that is firstly constantly talking to and listening to your car engine. Secondly it is also busy detecting what you are telling your car to do. It does this by for example:
- Are you adding extra fuel by pressing down your accelerator pedal?
- Are you braking hard?
- Changing gears?
- At what stage is your turbo kicking in or switching itself off?
Note it cannot yet listen to your verbal instructions such as “Change that red traffic light to green”. That may come in time but not yet.
The ECU will than make adjustments to the car engine to assist you to do that more efficiently for example changing the ignition settings, adjusting the air fuel mix etc.
What Does Your Engineer Actually Do To Your Car?
Our re-tuning specialist will plug our equipment into your ECU control box to enable him (or her) to read your current mapping settings. We can then adjust the existing map to the optimal setting for your individual car and the way you use it. The whole process of changing these settings to the new optimised version is known as ECU-remapping. Remember we offer three different types of remapping settings dependant on whether you are looking for
- Higher performance (i.e. more power, higher speeds) which could include better fuel economy as you will find yourself able to change up gear earlier.
- Better fuel economy to enable you to save a lot more money on fuel whilst reducing engine wear etc.
- Our hybrid standard giving you extra power and top speed though each gear whilst saving you money on fuel at the same time.
In most cases you will see some major improvements in performance and/or fuel economy but there are additional savings you don’t see so quickly. With our optimised settings there will be a lot less wear on the clutch and gearbox as power is delivered more smoothly and feels more comfortable to the driver and passengers.
Obviously before making any changes to the ECU maps we will have fully discussed with you to establish the best option for you to suit your style of driving. We will, (of course) also take a full copy of your original settings so we can reverse the changes if you later change your mind.
Why Did The Manufacturer Not Optimise My Car As Standard?
By law any new car/van as it comes off the production line must have a set dip in performance between 2,000 and 3,000 revs to reduce emissions. That is the theory anyhow. In reality however most of us drivers will simply compensate for that power dip by increasing the pressure on the accelerator to get through it. If you think about it pushing the pedal down means using more fuel (effectively wasting it) and increases emissions of Carbon Monoxide etc.
By releasing new cars with performance limits manufacturers are able to later release new identical more powerful engines by simply adapting the ECU mapping settings. They will then add a couple of thousand pounds more for this “new more powerful model” when the only difference is the ECU settings. That sounds a little dishonest to me but launching new models every year is the only way car manufacturers can keep selling new cars without investing millions of pounds in developing genuine new models.
The amount we charge to do an ECU remapping is a small fraction of the cost the manufacturer would charge for their new model but at least we are upfront and more honest about what we are doing for your car.
Will My Diesel Van Benefit From Being Remapped?
Diesel vans especially turbo charged vehicles can get major improvements from being remapped. With the anticipated price increases for diesel fuels over the next few years this could be a major factor in making your van cost effective. In addition most diesel vans are built with a large number of performance limiters in place you will never get it to become as good as it should be especially when carrying full loads.
The way we at Croft Autotech Ltd do ECU Remapping will give you the additional full power your engine can give. In addition that extra power will then give drivers more comfort and be less tiring as drivers will be changing gear less often.
What About My Insurance?
Strictly speaking you should always tell your car/van insurance company about any change to your vehicle. The ECU can only hold one settings map at a time so it would take a diagnostic expert looking specifically at the ECU to discover it had been remapped. Most car insurance companies will not charge any extra premium for a vehicle that has been ECU remapped especially if has been re-tuned using our Fuel Economy programme.
Is Remapping The Same Thing As Chipping? Part 1
Chipping is an older version of remapping as it involves replacing the chip inside the ECU with a chip that has been modified. This would usually invalidate any manufacturer’s warranty. The way we do ECU remapping does not involve opening the ECU so cannot affect the warranty. In addition we are remapping the ECU with a specific ECU map for YOUR vehicle to give the optimum performance you are looking for. Chipping means putting in a modified generic chip which may not be designed specifically for your car so you will not get the full improved performance you want and need. It could also give a lower top speed and/or poorer fuel economy. It could even worse still damage your car engine.
Is ECU Remapping the same thing as chipping? Update Part 2
However that was the problem in the past even for us. There are cars and vehicles that just will not allow us to do a remap without replacing the chip inside the ECU box. We now have the means to be able to obtain chips that have been graded to give top performance or fuel economy for individual models for manufacturers that prevent us doing any other way. We were unwilling to use generic chips such as those above described in. Despite the fact that other garages locally were using them we could not guarantee that they met the standards we and our customers would expect from us.
We now can. The top manufacturer of ECU Remapping equipment has now agreed to provide us with chips we know are remapped for individual car models. We know their reputation is second to none. This costs us more and is more labour intensive but does not matter. We wanted to be able to honour our promises to only provide the very best customer delivery service to our people. AND we do that across the board.
We have a more technical page for simple explanations of what we mean when we use some of the other more technical jargon ECU measurement terms.
Published by Scott Cheyne