When you’re attempting to squeeze a few more miles out of your automobile engine, remapping it is one option to explore. But what exactly is engine remapping, how much does it cost, what are the benefits, and how does engine remapping affect your insurance are all questions to ponder.
What Is Remapping?
Remapping a car is a simple and relatively inexpensive change to the microchip in your automobile’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) that allows you to overwrite the factory settings that were originally installed. This allows your vehicle to operate at its peak performance.
What Is an ECU?
An engine control unit (ECU) is a computer in your car that regulates the power of your engine. At the time of production, the ECU is programmed to limit the performance capabilities of your vehicle to certain levels in order to extend the life of the vehicle.
Manufacturers began including on-board diagnostic (OBD) connections in their electronic control unit (ECU) designs more than two decades ago. To analyze faults, mechanics can link an external computer to the ECU using these connectors. Engine remapping is also accomplished using the OBD port.
What Are the Benefits of Remapping?
The most common reason for drivers to have their engines remapped is to increase speed and power. There are, however, additional advantages to remapping a car’s engine and they include:
A Better Ride
Your car will feel smoother and easier to drive as the acceleration and engine response have been improved.
The miles per gallon and overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle should improve after remapping. You’ll also be helping the environment by lowering your carbon impact.
More Pulling Power
Tow vehicles benefit from remapping since they have more power, which means they don’t have to work as hard when ascending or accelerating.
Are There Downsides to Remapping?
Only turbocharged engines will reap the benefits of a remapping to their full potential. If your automobile isn’t a turbo, a remap will only provide a marginal increase in horsepower. There are a number of different remapping concerns to consider:
Power Gain, More Strain
After remapping, the car’s increased power is likely to place an additional pressure on the engine, transmission, and other components such as the clutch and brakes. As a result, you may find yourself in the garage more regularly for maintenance and repairs.
Upgrade Your Top-up
Following remapping, you may find that you need to use higher octane fuel. As a general rule, this is more expensive than ordinary gasoline.
If you have your engine remapped at a shop that has not been approved by the manufacturer or a dealership that has not been approved by the manufacturer, your warranty may be void.
Watch Your Speed
With a more powerful vehicle comes greater temptation, as well as a greater chance of exceeding the speed limit!
Insurance Implications of Remapping
It is possible that remapping will increase your insurance price, but you can find a decent bargain by working with a specialized insurer such as Adrian Flux, which provides insurance specifically for owners of customized cars and trucks. Adrian Flux’s team of insurance brokers is certain that they can present you with a more competitive price on your insurance, particularly if you have previously received quotes in excess of £2,000. You must notify your insurance company that your vehicle has been remapped, regardless of which insurer you choose (or your policy could be invalidated).
Is Remapping a DIY Job?
Except if you’re a mechanical genius, it’s probably safer to get your automobile remapped by a competent professional to avoid the possibility of engine damage. Because it takes less than an hour and you will almost certainly notice a big boost in performance nearly immediately, remapping is becoming increasingly popular.
How Do I Know if My Car Has Been Remapped?
If you have a suspicion that a second-hand automobile has been remapped, but neither the previous owner nor the paperwork mentions it, it can be difficult to determine for certain. A sticker on the ECU, which is left by certain remapping firms, is the sole apparent indication that alterations have been made.
You could consult the user manual for your vehicle and check the acceleration and performance of your vehicle at the time of writing with the data in the booklet. However, if you are certain that the ECU has been tampered with, you should take the vehicle to a remapping service or the manufacturer’s shop so that someone can examine the software. The cost of doing this will almost certainly be high, but if you’re unsure, it’s worth it because failing to notify your insurance company of remapping will have an adverse effect on any claims you make if it’s later discovered that the vehicle has been tuned.
Is Remapping the Same as ‘Chipping’?
‘Chipping’ and remapping are two techniques for increasing the performance of a vehicle’s engine. An ECU is composed of a motherboard and microchips, similar to the components found inside a laptop or mobile phone. While remapping alters the software that runs on the machine, ‘chipping’ is the process of physically replacing the primary computer chip with a new, pre-programmed chip.
Around the year 2000, automobiles began to become more computerized, and manufacturers began to incorporate an access point into their ECU systems. When an on-board diagnostic (OBD) port is connected to a vehicle’s ECU, it allows mechanics to explore why certain systems aren’t functioning properly. Engine remapping is also accomplished using the OBD port.
Chipping is a more dangerous technique than remapping because it necessitates the mechanic opening the engine control unit, exposing it to the possibility of being damaged. Since 2001, when OBD ports were necessary in Europe for petrol vehicles and 2003 for diesel vehicles, ‘chipping’ has been reserved for vehicles that predate this period of technology.