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What is Car Remapping?

Thanks to the fast-accelerating cost of keeping cars on the road, all motorists need to keep a close eye on ways to make their vehicles more fuel efficient. That’s why an increasingly common question for vehicle owners is “What is car remapping?”.

This article answers that and provides insights on how to remap a car, the costs involved, and any obstacles that would prevent you from going ahead.

How does engine remapping work?

The first thing to point out – and emphasise – is that this is not something that should be handled by even the most enthusiastic amateur, using the power of YouTube videos!

Remapping is a highly technical process, that is model-specific and undoubtedly best left to local experts in remapping vehicles. Especially as a DIY engine remap could put your car, you and your passengers at considerable risk.

Today’s cars are operated by multiple electronic control units (ECUs). Think of them as small computers that handle various essential functions. This includes your power steering, windows, door locks, and heating and air conditioning for example.

Crucially, ECUs also operate things like your vehicle’s fuel use, air/fuel ratio, and ignition timing.

In higher-end cars, there can be over a hundred ECUs installed to support things like turbocharging and boosting.

Each ECU contains a dedicated microchip, with its own software or firmware, reliant on the correct data. Automobile manufacturers have a vested interest in pre-setting your ECU in a certain way, and therefore the data is configured to meet their commercial targets.

What happens in engine remapping is this. An expert in this field updates the data, to customise it to the driver’s own individual needs and aims. This relies on them having technical know-how, access to the latest model-specific operating data, and equipment to update the ECU’s coding.

ECU and Engine Remapping

What are the benefits of engine remapping?

One of the main advantages of investing in an engine remap for your car has already been hinted at in the introduction.

Fundamentally, using professional remapping services helps to remove some ECU limitations and characteristics. This would focus on the data updates on ways to:

  • Improve your car’s fuel performance.
  • Create a more positive driving experience.
  • Remove unwelcome limits on your driving control.
 

All this can be done, without affecting your safety or straying outside the rules and regulations that govern UK vehicles.

Clearly, the steps to overwrite factory settings in an electronic control unit – and updating software data in your car’s ECU – vary according to the model and age of the vehicle. However, specialists can adjust microchips to achieve a significant improvement.

There is evidence to suggest that ECU tuning can result in up to 35% output and performance improvement. That’s an excellent return on your investment!

Keep in mind that commissioning remapping services doesn’t have to be about better fuel economy though. It can also improve the driveability of your vehicle, and iron out any engine niggles and code-related problems you have, such as DPF warnings and EGR issues.

Drivers report that remapping improved towing ability, and made their engine more responsive and quieter. ECU remapping can even be just about creating a smoother ride for the driver and passengers.

What are the disadvantages of car engine remapping?

Experts in how to remap a car ECU know how to achieve these benefits, without compromising your vehicle’s safety or flawless operation. Updates can be created quickly, and seamlessly but also entirely legally.

Any risk involved in remapping engine ECUs comes from using unqualified technicians, or amateurs trying to do it themselves to avoid the cost of experienced car remap experts! As you can imagine, you risk not only having illegal alterations done to your ECU software but also changes that could damage your car engine. You could actually make it less efficient, reliable and economical to run!

One thing to consider when remapping your car is that some changes to your ECUs will result in the need to switch to high-octane fuel.

You must also talk to your specialist vehicle technician about the immediate effects of remapping. For example, altering the performance factors may lead to you accelerating with greater ease and having no speed limitations installed. Going faster can become a safety issue or result in police action unless you are ready to modify your driving style.

Can all cars undergo remapping?

The short answer to this is no. There are some makes and models of vehicles that can’t undergo this updating process. There are also occasions when it would be unwise to remap an ECU or would achieve no significant improvement.

Experts in this specialist field can provide insightful advice on whether you can go ahead, and honest advice on whether you should go ahead.

How long does an ECU remap take?

This is another reason to trust a local specialist in engine remapping. With the right knowledge, skills and technical support, an ECU remap can be a swift process. In fact, you can have an ECU remap while you wait.

How much does it cost to remap my car?

The cost of engine remapping varies according to the make and model. Clearly, some modern cars are more technologically advanced than other vehicles on the road. Leading to a need for our specialist engineers to be highly precise and draw on the latest data for high-end car remapping.

That means you would need to find a price for remapping according to the brand of car you own.

However, safe, legal and quick remapping services provided by The Vehicle Doctor cost from as little as £300. That even includes dyno testing your car, doing fault diagnostics and road testing it to provide a flawless result.

It is the level of professionalism and customer service that ensures The Vehicle Doctor is such a highly recommended remapping specialist in Worcestershire.

To find out more contact our customer service team, or please use our online enquiry form for a free remapping quote.

Additional resources:

https://www.comparethemarket.com/car-insurance/content/what-is-car-remapping/