Is Car Remapping Worth it?

WCar remapping (also known as ‘engine remapping’, ‘ECU tuning’, or simply ‘chipping’) is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your vehicle’s performance. It’s a non-invasive technique that doesn’t require any new components to be fitted to your car. The process can usually be completed within an hour and delivers measurable results.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the car remapping process, including what it is and how it can help you, as well as address any potential downsides.

What is car remapping?

In the simplest terms, car remapping involves reprogramming the electronic control unit (ECU) of your car to enhance both its power and its performance. That’s all well and good, but what is an ECU, and what does it do?

The ECU is a key part of your vehicle’s onboard computer system. It manages the actuators that control various aspects of the engine’s performance, setting limits on output to ensure optimal safety and reliability. These actuators control everything from wheel speed, ignition timing, and braking power to idling speed, air/fuel mixture, and more.

When it rolls off the production line, your car’s ECU is programmed to default factory settings, determined by the manufacturer to offer an effective base-level performance that will satisfy most users under everyday conditions.

Car remapping allows you to remove those restrictions and unleash the full potential of your car’s engine, boosting its capabilities and improving performance across the board.

The Benefits of Car Remapping

Remapping your car’s engine offers several noticeable advantages. Since the ECU effectively controls the engine’s output, you can, with the right expertise, target key areas of performance to deliver a tailored driving experience.

These are some of the most popular benefits of car remapping:

Increased torque

Torque is used to describe the rotational force around an axis, and in engine terms, it determines the amount of power the engine can generate. By increasing the torque, you can achieve greater acceleration and shorter periods of time spent in each gear. Depending on the make and model of your car, an effective remap can increase the torque by up to 30%.

Increased horsepower

Horsepower (or brake horsepower) determines the rate at which your engine can reach its top speed. It is calculated by taking the RPM, dividing it by 5252, and multiplying it by the torque. Since we can improve the torque through ECU remapping, this has an immediate and measurable impact on your horsepower.

Improved fuel economy

With more torque, you don’t have to use as much throttle either to reach or to maintain your preferred speed, significantly reducing the load on the engine. This means your car will use less fuel to operate, resulting in better fuel economy and savings on your travel costs.

A cost-effective solution

Compared to other methods of improving engine performance, a car remap is easily one of the more affordable. It doesn’t require that any additional components be added to the vehicle, nor is it a long, drawn-out process that attracts large labour costs. Speak to your local ECU remapping experts today to find out the latest and most accurate prices.

A quick process

For most modern vehicles, a full ECU remapping takes around an hour. Expert technicians connect a specialist computer to the OBD port on your engine control unit. This allows them to read the data directly from your ECU and amend it accordingly to match your requirements. Since the equipment is lightweight and portable, this service can even be performed at your home or place of work. Some older vehicles require the ECU programme chip to be physically removed for remapping, which can add a few more minutes to the process.

car remapping

Car Remapping Myths: Busted!

If you post about engine remapping in an online forum or chat about it with your friends, you will come across all kinds of dire warnings about the problems reprogramming your ECU can cause. Most of those warnings will come from people who’ve never had it done to their own vehicle and are basing their opinion on second- or third-hand accounts. These are some of the more common remapping myths that you’re likely to come across:

Car remapping can cause you to fail your MOT

So long as your engine was remapped correctly, this simply isn’t true. The ECU is not inspected directly during the MOT test. It is checked indirectly as part of the exhaust and emissions test, but a professional engineer will ensure that your remapped engine complies with the latest standards.

Car remapping can damage your car

There is always a risk of damaging your vehicle with any kind of upgrade, particularly if you’ve never attempted it before. With the right skills, equipment, and experience, however, the risk is minimal. Car remapping is one of the most mechanically safe ways to improve car performance, if performed correctly by a trained professional.

Car remapping increases your insurance premiums

This myth has a little more truth to it, as many insurers did charge more to cover chipped vehicles, possibly because the previous two myths were so prevalent. While some insurance companies may still do this, they are the exception rather than the rule. In general, your premiums will not be affected by an engine remap.

Is Car Remapping Worth it? Final Thoughts

Here at TCM Automotive, we provide mobile car remapping services across Hampshire, covering a 50-mile radius around our car service centre in Portsmouth. We can attend to your car at your own home, your place of work, or anywhere else that we can safely perform an engine remap. Alternatively, you are welcome to book your vehicle into our garage. Whichever approach you prefer, you can expect a world-class service performed by one of our experienced and qualified engineers.

Give the team a call today on 07581 033 606 and let us help your car achieve peak performance.