Remapping and Tuning

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What do you actually do to my car?
No hardware is changed in your car - all modern cars have an Engine Control Unit (or ECU) - a computer which controls everything that happens in your engine - the ignition timing, how much fuel and air are mixed together, when the turbo kicks in and so on. All these settings are stored as maps within the ECU. We plug our equipment into your car's ECU, read the maps that are already stored on it, use our software to find the optimal settings for your car, and then reprogram the ECU with our new, optimized maps (this is called remapping). The whole process including diagnosing and emission testing the vehicle before and after takes between 2 and 3 hours, depending on your car's ECU.
Is remapping the same as chipping?
Chipping is actually an older method of doing the same thing. Chipping involves physically removing the main microchip from the ECU, and replacing it with a modified chip. Because it involves opening the ECU, this process invariably invalidates your warranty. Our method means we can leave the ECU in place, and just put the new settings onto it. Remapping is far less dangerous than chipping, as we're actually modifying your car's existing map, rather than trying to make your car work with a generic map, which may or may not give it the optimal performance gains you are looking for.
Why would my car not have the optimal maps installed as standard?
By law, all new cars must have a dip in power in the engine map between 2000 - 3000RPM. The intention of this law was that it would reduce emissions, but in fact all it means is that people put their foot down more in this rev range to compensate for this dip, which of course actually increases emissions and wastes fuel. Manufacturers also limit the performance of their cars so that they can release new, faster models at a later date - the only difference being the map stored on the engine. They will charge thousands of pounds for this "extra" performance that was there all along - we will charge a mere fraction of that price to unlock the true potential of your car!
Will my van benefit from remapping?
We've noticed that vans seem to get amazing gains from our remapping process - this is for two reasons:
  • Diesel engines (and especially turbo diesels) benefit far more from this process than petrol engines, as they usually have a wide variety of limiters in place, stopping your van from reaching it's true potential.
  • Remapping increases the torque of the engine, meaning that you'll have more power when you need it when your van is fully loaded.
In most cases, because of the increase in power, you'll find either the car or you needs to shift gear less often, making for a much smoother drive all round.
Will I have to inform my insurers?
That's up to you! Because an ECU can only store one map at a time, it's very difficult to tell if a car has been remapped or not: There's no original map stored on the car to compare against. Not all insurance companies are knowledgeable about the process of remapping yet, and therefore will not add a premium for remapping. You should check your insurance documentation thouroughly before having your car remapped to see if this is the case.
What if my car can't be remapped?
The simple fact is that not all cars can be remapped, this could be down to a few things:
  • The car is too old. Before the year 2000 there was no standardized way of 'writing' maps back onto the ECU, meaning it's impossible to remap a lot of cars manufactured before this time.
  • Non-standardized ECU.
Even today, not all manufacturers use an ECU that can be remapped without a lot of hassle.
The protocols have not been backwards engineered yet. Each manufacturer uses a different protocol (a bit like the drivers your computer needs to talk to the screen, keyboard, mouse etc) for reading and writing to the ECU.
Sometimes it can take our technicians a little time to backwards-engineer these protocols (the manufacturers won't release them publicly, as it would not be in their best interests), so it might be that while it's not possible to remap your car right now, we might be able to do it in the near future. In these situations, there is now an alternative: we are Diesel Tunit dealers. These use a slightly different approach to remapping - rather than modifying the maps on the ECU itself, we install a Tunit box between the ECU and the engine. This then modifies the output of the ECU, as you are driving bringing all the benefits of remapping to an otherwise non-mappable car.
The downside of this is that currently these modules can only be fitted to Diesel cars, but on the plus side, the modules can easily be removed at any time, and can even be reprogrammed and put in another car if you buy a new one!
Does it matter if my car is manual/automatic?
We've noticed pretty much equal gains between manual and automatic cars when using this process. In both cases, because of the increase in power, you'll find either the car or you needs to shift gear less often, making for a much smoother drive all round.
For quote or upgrade figures please please call Car Tuning Clinic on 0131 557 0608 or send us your details at Contact Page  with the vehicles registration number, details and your own contact details. We will then prepare a quote for yourself all our remaps are custom maps so just let us know what are the main benefits you are looking for and we can tailor for your needs.
Phone     : 0131 557 0608
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