How it works?

how ecu remapping works


Since the late 90′s, most vehicles have a small computer which controls many of the vehicle’s functions and behaviours. This is known as the ECU or Engine Control Unit. This ECU monitors sensors in the engine and around the vehicle. The ECU contains a set of “maps” or programs which control how the vehicle responds to information from the sensors. Things like the amount of fuel required, timing, turbo pressure and many others.

Manufacturers deliberately restrict the power and torque ratings of their vehicles for commercial purposes

Manufacturers, particularly of European vehicles, like to use exactly the same engine configuration to power various different vehicles in their model ranges.

The power and torque output is changed merely by changing the program stored inside the vehicle’s ECU.

This enables manufacturers to market many “different” vehicles in a range and charge very different prices for them without actually having any greater manufacturing costs.

The vehicles are technically identical, the main difference being the program or “map” inside the vehicle’s ECU.

Remapping is the process of releasing that restricted output in the same way that a manufacturer would do in order to sell an “uprated” vehicle.

In the right hands, the process is safe and reliable and the results are fantastic.

A great example of this is the BMW 1 Series diesel range. The 116d, 118d, 120d and 123d are all 2.0 litre engines. Virtually the same in each variant of the car. With some clever programming in the ECU, 4 different models are available with different power, torque and fuel efficiency figures. And different price tags!

And here’s the good bit

This principal is not restricted to just BMW cars. It applies across most model ranges of most manufacturers of cars, vans, 4x4s, trucks, tractors, agricultural plant and more.

Diesels are the biggest beneficiaries, followed by turbo petrols. But in reality most vehicles can benefit from ECU remapping.

Additionally, manufacturers typically set up the programs contained in the ECU to cope with anything that the vehicle is likely to experience regardless of which region or country in the world the vehicle is sold.

The standard “maps” in your vehicle’s ECU have to allow for things as diverse as wildly differing qualities of fuel between regions, varying regional exhaust emissions standards, irregular or non-existant servicing or poor quality service personnel.

Some vehicles are used in extremely tough environments such as deserts, areas of prolonged sub-zero temperatures, high humidity, reduced oxygen levels and many other variables.

The manufacturer’s standard setup of your ECU must allow the vehicle to operate in all these environments and is NOT accurately “tuned” for anywhere in particular! In a country such as Australia, where there is a high standard of servicing, good quality oil and fuel, skilled service personnel and owners who comply with servicing schedules, it is possible to truly refine the ECU maps for vastly superior outputs.

AB Chip Tuning Performance remap will carefully adjust the settings in your ECU, allowing you to safely get the most out of your vehicle and improve various aspects of your vehicle’s operation.

The Engine Control Unit (ECU) in your vehicle is a tiny computer which controls the amount of fuel, timing and other variables that the engine needs in order to operate.How it does it

It achieves this by monitoring sensors all over the engine and applying values from predetermined “maps” or programs stored within the ECU itself to ensure that the engine performs according to the predefined “map”.

Very small adjustments are made to various “maps” within the ECU to alter the way the engine reacts and performs. All adjustments are very specific to each customer’s engine and are always well within the safety margins for each engine.

We ALWAYS stay WELL within the recommended limits.

We NEVER use generic maps. Each vehicle’s ECU is programmed specifically and individually.

How we do what we do…

In the majority of cases our technicians access the ECU via a special connector called an OBD port which is normally located in the drivers area, often under the dash.

• First of all, we do a test drive and run special diagnostic tests on your vehicle, similar to what your dealer would do, to determine if there are any signs of pre-exisiting faults or problems with the vehicle.

• Secondly, we plug into the OBD connector and take a copy of your vehicles original ECU configuration which we immediately back up and store safely in case you require the vehicle to be returned to its original state

• Next, the ECU file is modified by re-mapping the original file using your chosen specification (fuel economy or power or a combination of both)

• Lastly, the re-mapped file is uploaded into your vehicle

• The whole process is usually complete within 1 to 2 hours, depending on vehicle type and what sort of ECU remapping is required

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