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A complete guide to remapping your car

Remapping your engine is thought of as an extremely low-cost method of tuning your car.

While most remaps focus on boosting your car’s power and performance, it’s possible to increase your engine’s fuel efficiency with the help of a remap.

Are remaps worth the additional cost? This guide can help you determine.

Engine remapping is the process whereby the car’s onboard computer (often known as an Electronic Control Unit, or ECU) is altered with new software that alters its behavior.

At the time of manufacture, vast majority of cars won’t have their engine’s maximum potential performance — even on sports cars. ECUs generally restrict the engine’s performance to increase the reliability, emission levels and the consumption of fuel.

Your car’s engine may also be a little restricted to ensure that it will deliver a good balance of efficiency and fuel consumption in less-than-ideal conditions for instance, very hot temperatures (when engines are typically producing smaller power.)

A remap is usually done to boost the performance of an engine by eliminating the restrictions. There is also the possibility of having a the remap aimed at improving fuel efficiency as well.

How does engine mapping work?

A engine remap is carried out by writing a brand new software program into the electronic control unit of your vehicle (ECU). This is a relatively simple procedure for tuning, typically performed by plugging an laptop into the vehicle’s OBD port (the same plug that garages employ to detect any issues with your vehicle if it breaks down.)

Of course, it’s exactly as easy as downloading the software online and then doing it yourself. You’ll have to give your vehicle over to a skilled professional but some companies will offer an DIY service.

This software update will attempt to optimise the engine’s behaviour for better performance.

What are the benefits of engine mapping?

It’s a cheap method of improving your car’s performance

The cost of remapping varies, but it’s one of the most affordable ways of improving your car’s performance.

You don’t have to do any physical changes

There is no need to upgrade any aspect of your vehicle to reap the performance benefits of the remap. In fact, it’s usually the other way around. Many aftermarket products will need an engine remap to be sure they’re operating as smoothly as they could.

It’s (usually) irreversible

In many instances the remap of a car can be reversed. So, if you decide that you’d prefer to have the original software installed on your vehicle, it can be simple to do. That said, this won’t return the warranty you’ve lost.

What are the drawbacks of car remapping?

It typically invalidates a car’s warranty

Although it’s an effortless and unnoticeable method to tune your car but the vast majority of warranties for cars can be cancelled when you remap your car. It’s still an alteration to the car after all that could alter the reliability of your engine that is not under the control of the manufacturer.

But there are certain instances of. For example, Ford worked with specialists Mountune to offer a portion of Mountune’s remaps for the Focus RS without affecting the warranty offered by the manufacturer. Always check your paperwork, however.

Your insurance premium will likely rise

Any kind of performance enhancement to your car will usually result in an increase of the cost of insurance. This is true for remaps and remaps too.

If you fail to mention it, your insurer may end your policy in the event of an accident . In addition, they could refuse to payout.

It can affect your car’s performance.

Though you’ll get more performance however, a remap puts more stress on your engine too. It could have an adverse effect on the reliability of your vehicle, and certain components may fail sooner than you expected by the manufacturer.

How much will it cost to modify an engine?

Similar to many performance improvements, a remap can cost as much or as low as you’re willing to spend. Often remaps will come in a variety of’stages’.

The most affordable remaps are typically referred to as”stage 1″ upgrade and typically are just the smallest reprogramming needed for an enlightening performance boost. These typically cost a few hundred quid.

‘Stage 2’ remaps may require a bit more work on the engine, which is usually an air filter replacement and some exhaust improvements. They’ll naturally increase the cost of the upgrade, and often will close the PS1,000 mark or even surpass it.

‘Stage 3 and higher are the most severe remaps. These will work alongside major engine upgrades- think of new turbo systems or internal components, like pistonswhich will extract some serious performance from your car. In the end, these can cost thousands of pounds.

FAQs: Engine remapping

Are remappings safe?

The process of remapping a car could cause more stress to your engine. While some are fairly safe, you’ll need to take extra care to keep your car in good condition.

In general, the more power you get from a remap more likely it will affect your vehicle’s reliability.

Can you modify any car?

The majority of modern vehicles can be remapped, however some older models that have outdated software can’t.

To what extent an remap can affect your car’s performance can vary greatly depending on your model and where you have it changed.

Does remapping affect insurance?

Remapping your car is likely to always increase the amount of your insurance. You have to notify your insurer , too. failure to do so can result in your policy being cancelled.

Where can I remap my vehicle?

Many dedicated tuning services offer the possibility of remaps. Some will focus on particular models, with others offering many different services.

Never alter the software of a automobile’s engine by yourself. If you’re not a qualified technician that knows exactly the procedure.