The ECU – What is it?
The Engine Control Unit is the ‘brain’ of the engine. Amongst other things it reads, understands and makes decisions based on the accelerator pedal demand angle, engine temperature and oxygen content in the burnt exhaust gases. Dependant on this data, it will control the correct quantity of fuel to provide a mix of fuel economy, performance and emission control.
What is ECU Remapping?
The practice of remapping is to first read the ECU’s processor of a vehicle’s standard map and then to adjust various parameters within that map. As an example: fuel pressure, boost pressure (turbocharged engines) and ignition advance. When carried out correctly, this process will successfully unlock engine performance.
ECU programming will improve power and torque figures, increase throttle response and widen the power-band, resulting in a more flexible engine and a much sharper drive.
Another major benefit of remapping is a reduction in fuel consumption. Extra torque at the bottom of the rev range requires less throttle input on acceleration and when maintaining steady speeds. The vehicle can also be driven in a higher gear at slower speeds, thus reducing revs, and this also applies to driving when fully loaded, towing or driving through elevation changes
The obvious question of course is: ‘Why don’t carmakers fine-tune their own ECU’s?’ Well, large manufacturers sell vehicles across various markets that have extreme climates, different tax/emission regulations and diverse fuel quality. They have to take all these factors in to consideration and therefore need to make substantial compromises in their tuning set-up. However, without facing such restrictions, Topgear Tuning is more precise; we can safely optimise outputs thus unlocking engine potential.
ECU Remapping is a safe process. It is just allowing the engine to perform as it can and should do without the compromises.