Car maintenance and regular vehicle check-ups are essential for getting the most out of your car in terms of performance, froM ECU car remapping to engine maintenance and more. With regular maintenance, your vehicle should be working at (or near) maximum efficiency, resulting in a safer, smoother driving experience and better fuel efficiency, saving you money in the long run.
One easy way to improve the efficiency of your car is through remapping (also known as ‘chipping’ or ‘chip tuning’), which involves tuning your vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU). While remapping can be as simple as plugging a computer into your ECU, is it safe to be fiddling with a diesel engine like this, and what are the drawbacks?
1. How do remaps work?
Because diesel engines are heavily regulated, you may find that your vehicle has been ‘detuned’ with its performance limited to comply with legislation or deal with varying fuel quality by default. As the function of your engine – from the fuel injection to the air pressure – is dictated by your ECU, even minor software updates can yield massive increases in power.
Usually, remappers will increase the fuel pressure and inject fuel slightly earlier during the combustion process to maintain peak pressure for longer, resulting in a mid-range power boost and improving the pickup under acceleration. According to some ECU car remapping experts, remapping a diesel engine results in roughly 30% more power on average and costs as little as £200-£500, making it an excellent investment.
2. how to tune up a diesel engine
Most modern diesel include computerised components controlled by a central Electronic Control Unit (ECU), allowing mechanics to easily adjust the engine’s settings with a specialised computer program. By plugging a computer into the ECU of your vehicle, a mechanic can easily tweak the parameters of your engine to increase performance or economy without the need for any mechanical tweaks.
Although this may sound simple, remapping a car requires specialist software and know-how, so it’s not something that you could easily DIY or fiddle with over the weekend. Because the computer settings of a modern diesel vehicle are highly specific, you should leave this to the professionals rather than run the risk of causing your vehicle to malfunction when you need it most.
3. Is remapping a diesel engine considered safe?
While remapping is a popular procedure to improve the performance of your car, many people are scared of tampering with the ECU of their vehicle out of an unfounded fear that they might break it. The truth is, most modern cars – diesel and petrol alike – can be easily remapped by trained professionals, like the ECU Remap specialists at DKU Performance in such a way that the modifications are well within the safe limits of your engine.
While engine remaps can result in surprising performance boosts, professional mechanics can modify your car to complement your driving style, so there’s no risk of reducing the lifespan of your engine. Unlike mechanical tweaks, ECU remapping doesn’t damage or replace any engine parts and simply tweaks the way your engine works, which shouldn’t add any more stress to your engine.
4. benefits of remapping a diesel
There are many reasons to remap your diesel, not least because it offers improved performance without the risks or costs associated with replacing mechanical parts. But even without comparisons to other types of modifications, remapping a diesel has many benefits, such as:
Better fuel economy
Remapping your vehicle’s engine often improves fuel economy and gives you more miles to the gallon because your engine is working more efficiently than before. Who knew that the pursuit of improved performance could help the environment?
A better ride
With a smoother engine operation comes a smoother ride – remapping your ECU should result in a smoother driving experience and better engine response, as your engine is optimised to your driving style.
Increased pulling power
Remapping your car also offers additional torque, providing even more power when you need to move a heavy load, tow something behind you or just accelerate up a hill.
5. drawbacks of remapping a diesel
Generally speaking, an ECU remap shouldn’t have any nasty side effects or risks to your car, provided it is in good condition. However, you may end up worse off due to related factors, such as:
Insurance complications – historically, insurers have been hesitant to insure remapped cars due to (mostly) unfounded fears of mechanical failures or boy racers going rogue.
Increased strain – with increased performance comes increased strain on your vehicle, and mechanical faults like a worn-out clutch might become big problems faster.
Higher octane fuel requirements – sometimes, remaps require you to use premium fuels to support the increased engine performance, costing you more.
Speed – some remaps have such dramatic results that your new speed can catch you out, so be extra vigilant when driving turbo-charged cars after a remap.
Warranty – in certain cases, getting an ECU remap may invalidate your car’s warranty, so make sure you double-check your warranty before you get that remap.
But don’t let these potential downsides scare you away from what could be the best value-for-money modification on the market right now! If you’re considering having your diesel vehicle remapped or want to learn more about this process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the ECU whizz kids at DKU performance.