ENGINE REMAPPING? - GENUINE ENHANCEMENT OR SNAKE OIL?

 

What is Remap?

When a manufacturer develops a new vehicle they have to take into consideration all of the conditions it may be subjected to in all of the regions in which they intend to sell this model.

This means instead of just optimising the ECU’s program or ‘map’ to deliver the best performance or the most fuel efficiency they have to make compromises to the map to take into account these potential differing operating conditions.

These could include sub-standard fuels, extremes in temperature and altitude, differing emission laws and even the possibility that vehicle may not be serviced on a regular basis and in accordance with the manufacturers recommended instructions.

ECU remapping is taking a read from the ECU’s processing chip of the vehicles standard compromised map and adjusting various parameters within the map such as fuel pressure, boost pressure (on turbocharged applications) ignition advance and throttle pedal control amongst others to release the true performance from the engine.

It is a completely safe process as it is just giving the engine the performance it should have had in the first place before all the compromises were applied to the original programming. Every engine will have its own unique map and by adjusting this we can fine tune the characteristics of the engine; unleashing more power and in many cases reduce fuel consumption too.

 

Benefits of Remapping

ECU remapping will not only improve the engines power and torque figures, it will also sharpen the throttle response and widen the power-band. This will make the power delivery a lot more linear, which in turn will make the vehicle feel a lot livelier to drive and the engine more flexible.

Frequently, the vehicles power output is restricted by the manufacturer for no other reason than to ensure that the vehicle fits into a class to suit fleet buyers, this is particularly pertinent in Motorhomes.

The other main benefit of remapping will be a reduction in fuel consumption. With the extra torque especially at the bottom of the rev range you will see a fuel saving, as it will require less throttle input to maintain motorway speeds, you can drive in a higher gear at a slower speed as well as helping significantly when fully laden, towing or on gradients and even in start stop traffic.

After an ECU upgrade the customers enjoy:

Increased horsepower

Increased torque

Better throttle response

Smoother power delivery

Improved fuel economy

Safer overtaking

 

Saving Fuel with a Remap

When we remap a vehicle, especially when fuel saving is the priority we focus on improving the low end torque in particular and widening the power-band as far as we can.

This increase in low end torque will mean less throttle pedal input is required to maintain cruising speeds, when fully laden or when on a gradient. It will also mean that the vehicle will be more comfortable in higher gears at slower speeds as well requiring fewer gear changes overall.

If you combine these factors with adjusting your driving style to make the most of the extra low end torque you will see an improvement in fuel consumption. This is most effective on turbo-diesel engines where the savings could be as much as 20%!

Fuel saving doesn’t always happen though, some people drive harder which will use more fuel.  The very gentlest of drivers will see little improvement either, as they are nor using the power to its full potential, in fact some drivers are so slow that they are outside the optimum torque window.

One now infamous owner quoted “I never use that turbo thing”.  He was getting 18 out of a 2.3JTD panel van, but after some encouragement to use the turbo and change his driving style, he soon was into the early 30’s.

 

Star Auto Trail MPG Performer

At last year’s 1,000 rally we spoke with a club member who earns the accolade of getting the best MPG out of his Quantum remapped van, through best use out of the remap and undoubted driving skill and experience.

The ‘van was a smallish Navajo running the 3.0 Ducato.  The over a period of 3864 miles (?????? Can’t remember his name, Reg number is NK11 COU)  averaged 31mpg and he doesn’t hang about either with an overall 38mph over the 99.5 hours driving.  On the way to the rally, over a 194 mile run he achieved a remarkable 32.7mpg

 

Quantum Tuning

Quantum are the UK’s leading remapping company in the UK, with over 260 dealers and 600 installation centres.  Quantum has always been a motorhome specialist and have attended all of the main motorhome shows (as Quantum and Wow) for the last 6 years.

A long term favourite van to remap has been the venerable 2.8JTD with over 2,000 ‘vans remapped closely followed by the X250 engines.  Virtually every van after 2000 can be done.

We have remapped 100’s of Auto Trails for club member over the years and Quantum’s MD, Chris Roberts is a proud Auto Trail owner and club member.

 

What Take Place During Remapping?

We do not change any hardware in your vehicle, we just modify the operating parameters in the ECU’s program or ‘map’.  In many cases the map stored on the ECU’s processor can be accessed via the on-board diagnostics port (OBD) in the vehicle, normally found under the dashboard.  In some newer models the ECU will have to be removed from the vehicle and the casing opened, our technicians will then use specialist tools to read the original map straight from the processing chip.

The technician will then upload the original map to our map writing team who will adjust the parameters to maximise the performance, fuel economy or a clever blend of both. Depending on the vehicle and ECU type the remapping process can take under an hour and if at any time you wish to return your vehicles ECU to its original default settings, this can be done easily and free of charge as we always keep a copy of the original software as a backup.

 

So, Snake oil or Genuine Enhancement?

Firstly don’t take our word for it, speak with club members and gauge their experience.

We know for a fact that virtually all owners are absolutely delighted with the remap, the difference from standard is often quite spectacular.  Most see a fuel improvement; some don’t but don’t care as it’s transformed their drive.

Ultimate backup is every ‘van remap has a 30 day money back guarantee so you can make your own decision of just how good your van is after the remap.

Find out the improvements to your ‘van at www.QuantumTuning.co.uk, or if you wish to speak to Chris Roberts then call 07970-317512

 

 

 

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