Pros And Cons Of Vehicle Remapping
Pros and cons of vehicle remapping, Are you aware that the engine fitted to your car has had its power output intentionally restricted by the manufacturer?
This is due to the manufacturers having to cater to a wide range of conditions and various users throughout the world and as such have to make allowances for some of the following examples:
Some countries outside of Europe only supply low octane or substandard fuels.
Some vehicle owners do not stick to the recommended service schedules.
High and low altitudes also have to be taken into account.
Another reason may be due to low emission zones.
Manufacturers such as BMW intentionally restrict some engines by using certain maps for each product. A lot of the power maps BMW use are physically identical, the selected ECU tunes will raise or lower the power output to fit their market demand. Take the early Mini One and Cooper as a great example, these two vehicles have exactly the same engine but with a 25bhp difference in power output, this is purely a different ECU program selected by BMW. We can take a Mini One over and above Cooper spec in the form of a remap giving it 30 additional horsepower.
The good news is these restrictions do not need to be kept in place on any of the BMW range. By removing these restrictions we can then optimise your vehicle’s engine to its full potential. This process is known as remapping.
What Is ECU Remapping?
Remapping is a convenient and practical solution that implies replacing microchips/files in a car’s ECU by overwriting the existing settings with external software. The electronic engine control unit (ECU) is the heart of the engine management system that is responsible for controlling the fuel supply, airflow, fuel injection and, ignition.
When the settings of a car’s ‘engine control unit’ (ECU) are altered it allows you to go beyond the limits set by the manufacturer and get the most out of the engine.
ECU software reprogramming is considered one of the best solutions for many car owners.
remapping the vehicle’s ECU (engine control unit) thus attaining a genuine increase in smoothness, driveability, throttle response, power, torque, and MPG. The engine’s “flat spots” (usually two) that are purposefully engineered into the power curve at the factory (so as to pass emission and noise regulations at those particular RPM locations), are also eliminated.
The new software can easily be reverted back to the factory map at any time.
The cost of a stage 1 engine tune is very reasonable at approx. £359.00 inc VAT.
We work alongside multiple mapping companies throughout the UK and can highly recommend them if you are looking for this to be done.
Does Vehicle Remapping Improve Fuel Economy?
According to popular belief, car remapping does increase fuel economy, but the driving habits of car enthusiasts speak volumes. That’s why it depends on the individual. The majority of drivers who are eager to remap their car, do not miss a chance to use their car to its full potential. They enjoy putting the pedal to the metal and high-speed driving and therefore ignore increased fuel usage.
Another factor affecting fuel economy is the ultimate need to buy higher octane fuel for your newly remapped vehicle.
What Are The Con’s Of Remapping?
As with anything, there are pros and cons, you have to make the decision for yourself to see if it’s right for you. Here are a few of the con’s we have noticed:
The Potential Impact on Your Insurance Premium. As with any vehicle modification, you will have to declare ECU chip tuning with your insurance company, Not informing insurance companies maybe illegal in some countries. If it is found out at a later date this could possibly invalidate your policy and result in refusing to payout if needed. If you honestly inform your insurance company, they will ask you what the power increase is in percent and make a final decision whether continue insuring you or not.
Manufactures Warranty, if your vehicle is still within the manufactures guarantee, you may find that some manufacturers may refuse payout on certain items if a remap has replaced the standard map program within the ECU. Manufacturers and Insurers will look for any reason not to payout, so please take this into consideration when looking for a remap.