So what exactly is vehicle remapping?
Remapping / Tuning / Chipping. Just what is it?
All of these terms are used to describe the same thing. Modern car and van engines have an electronic management system that controls fuelling. This system is run by the brain of the engine, the ECU (Engine Control Unit). When you put your foot down, the ECU decides how much fuel and air to mix, squirt into the cylinder and ignite. Diesel and petrol engines work a bit differently, but that isn't really important right now. The ECU also controls the boost of the turbo (if you have one).
If you have your engine remapped / chipped / chip tuned or whatever term you want to use then the ECU parameters can be changed, giving more performance— in certain cases more economy — from your engine.
This is done in several different ways. The most common is to connect to the vehicle diagnostic port and reflash the software on the ECU, with a standard map for the vehicle in question. This does need special equipment. Since it's all done with software, a new map can be uploaded to your vehicle ECU pretty quickly and can often be completed in less than an hour.
The second way, which will get you better results but costs more, is to have a custom remap for your vehicle. The car or van is connected to a laptop, but instead of uploading a one-size-fits-all remap, the parameters for your individual vehicle can be altered. This is usually combined with runs on a dynamometer, so your vehicle's performance and fuelling is checked and tweaked all the way through the rev range.
How does it work?
A vehicle remap replaces default software on the ECU, overwriting it with new software which can be programmed to optimize the cars overall performance. This is known as vehicle remapping because the ECU is essentially a program that controls how the engine works. When your car is remapped, the tuned software is plugged into your cars serial port (or OBD port) which then overwrites the engine map with the new version to enhance engine performance.
The ability to flash directly through the OBD has brought the tuning industry on leaps and bounds, with constant development on the engine now being much quicker via the flash process, it has Black Code to develop some of the best software in the world.
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