An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is a small device in your car’s engine that controls specific engine functions, such as the ratio of air to fuel in your engine. Car manufacturers carefully program these small computer chips to regulate engine performance and comply with local legislation regarding pollution, speed limits and so on.
The ECU affects almost every aspect of your engine’s performance – from torque to fuel efficiency – so modifying it can be an excellent way to increase your car’s performance. ECU modifications (often called ‘chipping’) can be quickly carried out by most ECU remapping company in the UK with impressive gains to your car’s performance, but there are many misconceptions about this process.
Because ECUs are intended to regulate engine performance, many people see them as safety devices that must never be tampered with, but they could be holding your car back. For example, some car manufacturers knowingly encode their ECUs with limits on engine performance to comply with legislation on noise and pollution at the cost of power and efficiency.
Fortunately, many garages have specialist software that can ‘tune’ ECUs and remove these limitations or even give you improved performance with one simple procedure. However, this process is nowhere near as dangerous or performance-enhancing as most people think, as it will not explode your engine or turbo-charge your car, instead offering subtly enhanced performance and efficiency.
Modifying your ECU can provide a wide range of benefits, improving your engine power, fuel efficiency and more when done by a professional ECU remapping company. While it may seem unlikely that such a small component can have such big benefits, remember that the ECU controls the fuel intake and combustion of your engine, so fine-tuning these complex reactions can provide impressive benefits, such as:
Chipping your ECU can help your engine to perform more efficiently, resulting in more power than the factory settings would allow. By allowing more powerful combustion with a higher fuel to air ratio, an ECU remap (another term for chipping your ECU) can boost your horsepower to the upper limits of your engine’s capabilities.
Furthermore, careful calibration of your engine with an ECU remap can improve your engine efficiency and enhance fuel economy. Through several seemingly small tweaks – such as changing the balance of air to fuel in the combustion chambers, a modified ECU can make fuel go even further than stock models, saving you time and money down the line.
Most car manufacturers limit the power of their engines for various reasons, so chipping your ECU allows you to release your car’s full potential rather than forcing it to perform above safe limits. Most motorists aren’t aware that their cars are being limited, so any ECU remapping company worth their salt is eager to promote the potential gains of chipping.
In addition to boosting your engine’s power, an ECU remap may help your engine function better overall, smoothing out acceleration and more. This is because remapping is designed to make your engine work more efficiently with lots of small tweaks to normal operations, which should make your engine more effective overall when done right.
When modifying your car, you must be careful so that you don’t end up overpaying for an inferior product or compromising the safety of your engine. While it may be tempting to buy cheap parts from a small garage or friend of a friend, you should always search for a trustworthy specialist when having your ECU remapped, so remember to:
While ECU remapping can be a convenient way to increase your car’s performance for less than the cost of aftermarket engine parts, you have to consider the risks and rewards carefully. Do your research, find a reputable ECU remapping company and carefully maintain your car afterwards for the best possible results.