What is ECU remapping and is it worth it?

21st January 2022

If you're looking to improve the performance of your car; enhancing its responsiveness, performance and fuel economy, then maybe you should be looking into ECU remapping, sometimes called diesel remapping or ECU tuning.

ECU Chip Tuning

But, what is ECU remapping, and is it really worth it?

In this article, we’ll give a brief explanation of what ECU remapping is and how it helps improve the performance of your vehicle, explain the positives and negatives, and help you decide if it’s for you.

What is ECU remapping?

You could think of remapping as like tuning a musical instrument. With a musical instrument, this may be adjusting strings or a tuning slide etc. to reach the notes, that when played together create the desired sound.

In a similar way, with a car engine, it means adjusting settings within the ECU (Engine Control Unit) to optimise fuel injection, fuel mixture, airflow, and other functions, to get them working together in the most efficient or desired way, to create a more harmonious drive.

How remapping your car works

As mentioned above, remapping is a process of adjusting (overwriting) the cars original settings. This is done by plugging in new ECU software to the car's OBD (serial port) and replacing the manufacturer's ECU software with the new software.

Once the software has been downloaded (a process that takes around 30 mins to an hour), it can be adjusted and customised to meet the owner's specifications, whether that means improving acceleration or fuel economy etc.

Are there disadvantages to remapping a car?

Like some of the other additional services modern garages offer, ECU remapping often comes under scrutiny for its fuel-efficiency claims. Sceptics say that when a car is remapped, fuel consumption actually increases.

Surprisingly, in some cases these claims are actually true, but not because of an issue with remapping. The extra fuel consumption often occurs as a result of the driver utilising the improved performance to drive faster than usual and accelerate more quickly, even when not strictly necessary.

Is ECU remapping worth it?

Yes, ECU remapping is definitely worth it, but n case you’re doubting, check out the list below for a more in-depth rundown of 5 of its key benefits –

  1. Fuel economy – By remapping your car’s engine, according to various reputable sources, you stand to improve fuel economy by 8-15%
  2. Torque improvement – Torque is a measure of how much turning power exists at the crankshaft, which more simply put, means how much power the car has to move it. When you get your car remapped you increase the amount of fuel injected into the engine during acceleration, therefore increasing the overall power/torque when you need it.
  3. More responsiveness – One of the main benefits of a car remap is the improvement in responsiveness, which helps in various ways, including when overtaking or pulling away.
  4. Mileage increase – As long as you drive sensibly, with all the vital elements of your engine working in harmony, you’ll naturally get more miles to the gallon.
  5. Fewer gear changes – With your car being more responsive and acquiring more power, particularly on steep inclines, you’ll find yourself changing gear less often, something that can be highly beneficial during town driving.

Is ECU remapping for you?

Whilst we would fully endorse ECU remapping for many of the reasons already stated, it’s not for everyone and does come with its downsides.

For a start, cars manufactured before 2000 don’t have the remapping software available, and secondly, remapping your vehicle will often mean a hike in your insurance premiums, as you’re obliged to notify your provider of any modifications.

That said, if you’re looking to have your car remapped, the positives far outweigh the negatives. Find out more by speaking to your local car remapping expert, who should be able to answer all your questions, and also let you know if it’s worth paying out for the remapping process for your own car.

Book your car remap today

At Quality Car Service, in partnership with Quantum Tuning, we provide the complete ECU Remapping Service. To book your car in, either use the website booking function, email us, or give us a call to speak directly to one of our experts.