The Engine Control Unit (the ECU) is the small computer which effectively controls how a vehicle’s engine works. It is programmed to manage fuel injection, sensors, air flow, etc. With new software, these functions can be customised and the performance of your car can be improved. When the vehicle leaves the manufacturer the software is set to default – cars are exported across the world and the ECU has to take different laws and regulations into account, as well as the quality of the fuel and event the climate. Vehicle remapping is basically a modification of the software to enhance and optimise the performance.
You will see that when you accelerate your remapped car, the engine responds much better – there will be up to 30% more BHP and up to 40% more torque. This extra power offers a much safer driving experience – it will be easier and safer to overtake. The throttle will respond better and the rev range will be enhanced. You will get more miles to the gallon, reducing the cost of your refuel and lowering your carbon footprint. Although more fuel will be consumed to produce the increase in power, if the driver changes their style of driving to make the most of this increase, fuel economy can be increased – for instance, better torque may mean the driver no longer has to frequently change gear when in traffic, or drop down a gear on a hill. This all adds up to better fuel economy giving you up to 20% more MPG. As for disadvantage – engine damage is very rare but Oxford Performance Autos offer a lifetime warranty on all the software.
A remap might increase the cost of your insurance premiums so it pays to shop around to find an insurer who offers cover for owners of modified cars. You will need to declare the modification to your insurance company or your policy may not be valid. If you are buying a car and are not sure if it has been modified, you can take it to a remapping garage or your main dealer to find out. This will cost you money but may be worth it to be sure you have valid insurance.
A remapped car might feel different to drive but most drivers do get used to in a short time. Some, however, do not adapt to it well but thankfully, remapping is completely reversible and Oxford Performance Autos offer cloud based storage of both your original and tuned file for future use.