Is an ECU Remap Worth It?


– Principle and characteristics of ECU remap (reprogramming an engine).

– Why would you be interested with an engine reprogramming?

– How to carry out the reprogramming of an engine?

Reprogramming an engine is believed to improve its performance and reduce fuel consumption. Electronic systems manage the fuel injection systems of modern engines. Their reprogramming makes it possible to optimize these components’ performance to gain power and engine torque. Is it effective for all types of engines and their uses? This post explains what is it all about reprogramming an engine, and its advantages and disadvantages.

Principle of reprogramming an engine

The electronic injection is controlled by a device commonly called ECU (Electronic Control Unit), which consists of an ECU and software for managing it. Sensors provide the information necessary to manage the operation and efficiency of the engine.

The purpose of reprogramming is to modify the parameters by reprogramming them, using computers with dedicated software. The power and gas distribution parameters, boost pressure, and exhaust gas flow can also be reprogrammed.

Good to know: Engine reprogramming is only significant if it is only carried out on an engine in excellent working order.

Characteristics of reprogramming an engine

On older engines from the 1980s and 1990s, replacing the original chips with powerchips improves engine performance.

Modern engines require more sophisticated interventions. With their variable valve timing or supercharging systems, in particular, the software used to reprogram them is adapted to the different types of engines designed by car brands.

They modify the ignition curves, fuel injection and carburetion, distribution, the engine’s volumetric ratio, and the recirculation of exhaust gases into the intake.

For engines supercharged by compressors or turbochargers, sensors are also used to regulate these devices’ charge pressure.

Good to know: for reprogramming professionals, this means that they have to read the ECU map and then set up a new one. They then analyze the new values to verify their improvement by testing the reprogrammed vehicle on a power bench.

Why would you be interested in an ECU remap?

The reprogramming of a gasoline engine is of various interests.

Unleashing the engine allows it to have optimal performance, including a reduction in its average fuel consumption due to improved gasoline combustion obtained through better ignition and injection parameters.

This also avoids fouling. However, this last factor also depends on the car’s use, since urban driving or driving at too low a speed makes fouling easier.

For heavy-duty drivers or those who enjoy sporty, even competitive driving, it brings more pleasure behind the wheel.

Good to know: the reprogrammed engines will have to run on 98 unleaded gasoline, as the high octane rating of gasoline is more suited to increased performance. The difference in price per litre of this fuel will be compensated for by reducing average consumption.

Before considering reprogramming your car’s engine, the questions to ask yourself are:

– Is my car’s engine in excellent condition?

– Is the engine designed to improve its performance and efficiency?

– Does the mileage and usage of my car justify and pay for reprogramming?

Advantages, disadvantages and limitations of ECU remap

The benefits are power gain, engine torque gain, better engine efficiency, reduced average fuel consumption, more driving pleasure.

There are no disadvantages in terms of engine operation as long as the engine is in excellent condition.

Please note: the type of engine you want to reprogram is essential. An engine that is not designed for performance and intended for economical use will not gain much power, nor will an engine that is already very well prepared at the outset.

On the other hand, there may be disadvantages related to the actual effectiveness of reprogramming. Before-and-after comparison graphs are complicated for a novice to interpret, and the real power or torque gain may ultimately be small.

Therefore, one should be wary of overly optimistic figures or percentages touted by professionals. An average gain of 15 horsepower on a low-end engine with no sporting aspirations is already very significant, even if it seems small.

Good to know: comprehensive engine preparation goes beyond reprogramming. It involves replacing the mechanical parts that make it up and specific peripherals such as manifolds and exhaust lines.

Carrying out reprogramming of an engine

On vehicles dating from the 1980s and 1990s, reprogramming can be carried out by yourself merely by changing the electronic chips in the ECU. with power chips.

These elements, especially for robust American or Japanese V6 and V8 engines, are often programmed below their real capacities, support very well these reprogramming operations, which can be easily carried out in a few minutes by simply exchanging the chips.

Caution: the only precaution to be taken is to handle them with latex gloves to not cover them with sweat, which is a corrosive substance for their elements.

The best solution for today’s engines is to contact professionals with appropriate parameterization and control tools. They will guarantee their intervention, will explain to you in detail the nature of the work done, and the invoicing of this one will engage them towards you.

Price of an ECU remap

The price ranges vary between engine type and make, and the prices of each professional.

For a compact car for family use, count between $300 and $600 for a reprogramming. A small sports car will cost you between $400 and $800 for this service. More recent models will have a reprogramming rate at the top of the range.

If you own a vehicle already equipped with a reasonably powerful large engine, you will have to pay between $600 and $1300. For a luxury, sports or prestige car, the rates are between $600 and $2,000.

Supercars can also benefit from reprogramming. Rates for these exceptional engines can be between $3 500 and $4 500.

Tip: don’t hesitate to request for a quote from various service providers, whatever your car is.

Hope this post helps you figure out whether you should go for an ECU remap or not. Remember to leave your comments below and share this post with your friends.

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