Frequently Asked Questions
What is An ECU?
The Engine Control Module (also called the Powertrain Control Module or PCM) is the brains of the engine management system. It controls the fuel mixture, ignition timing, variable cam timing, and emissions control. It constantly monitors emissions performance via its OBD (Onboard Diagnostics) programming, and it oversees the operation of the fuel pump, engine cooling fan, and charging system. It also interacts with the transmission controller (if separate), ABS/traction/stability control system, body control module, climate control module and anti-theft systems. In short, the engine control module performs a wide variety of functions that are necessary to operate a vehicle.
Why don’t vehicle manufacturers tune their vehicles?
Vehicle manufactures are in a tough position here, they have to build one cost-effective vehicle for all drivers, taking into account tax banding, insurance, performance, price, and economy, gone are the days when if you wanted more power you bought a vehicle with a larger engine. It’s just not economical for manufactures to design and develop new engines for each model in the range or necessary in this modern age.
A good example of this is the Ford Transit van utilising their 2.0 TDCi Engine, the vehicle is available with 3 x power options, 105 PS, 130 PS and 170 PS, the only difference is the map within the ECU, oh and the price.
And surprisingly, many manufactures do offer ECU remapping services, Volvo for instance allows main dealers to remap their vehicles under the Polestar badge, and Mercedes under Brabus.
What warranty do you give?
First of all, I think you’d be surprised to know how little is actually covered when you buy a vehicle brand new from the manufacturer, for example, VW vehicles only come with a 2-year manufacturers warranty, and many items are only covered for 6 months from new or 6,500 miles, items such as clutch release bearings, pressure plates and center plates, for example, then there are other caveats such as damage or defects caused by not having the vehicle serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, of course, we or no other installer of ECU software/tuning company can provide cover that even the manufacturer will not cover, and if a company says that they can, I’d ask to see the policy, as it simply won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.
Modification of vehicles is not without its risks, particularly when it is older, or driven to its limits constantly, inevitably there will be occasional serious failures as parts can and do fail when reaching the end of their useful life modified or not, see our Terms and Conditions.
Will a Remap invalidate my cars warranty?
A car remap WILL void your engine’s warranty, If you have heard different elsewhere, then you’ve been lied to. Car manufacturer warranties clearly state that modifications to any components that are not approved by the OEM will void their warranty.
A car remap not approved by your OEM falls under the above.
Can the main dealer detect if my vehicle has been remapped?
Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) are particularly vigilant at picking up modifications, their dealer tools have the ability to see modified software when it is automatically plugged in as part of a service, the vehicle will then be permanently flagged with a TD1, this is the VW Audi Group “warranty key’ for a vehicle that is showing the software in the ECM has changed, it is likely that the dealer may not even mention the flag unless there is a claim.
Some companies suggest that if the vehicle is returned to stock prior to going into the main dealer it’ll be OK, certainly with VAG chances are they will still know that the vehicle has been modified, we will never suggest that a remap is undetectable, and any company that suggests otherwise are simply not being truthful.
If you wish to learn more about VAG please click HERE
Why do power claims vary so much from tuners for a Stage 1 map for my vehicle?
You will see that the top companies within this sector all have developed maps producing very similar gains. Beware of tuners who claim significantly more, it’s either being economical with the truth relying on that the customer will not notice to win the business, or the engine and components will be pushed too hard and become unreliable.
How is the tune carried out and how long does it take?
Note: For safety reasons, we only work on vehicles are that are capable of being tuned via the world standard OBD2 port or by establishing a direct connection to the ECU without physically opening it up, as these are still the most secure way to carry out remaps, the steps are as follows:
1. An engine diagnostic check is undertaken and any fault codes cleared prior to starting the remap, as a customer you will be advised of any issues.
2. An battery stabilization unit is attached to your vehicle as it’s critical to maintain voltage during the process.
3. A full copy of your existing ECU’s software is made, labeled carefully, backed up, and stored for easy access.
4. A copy of your file is sent off to the tuners to modify to give the desired improvements to your vehicle’s power, torque, and fuel economy.
5. The new map is uploaded to your ECU to transform your vehicle’s performance.
6. We carry out another diagnostic test to ensure that there are no fault codes present.
7. We hand you your keys and invite you to go for a drive and experience the transformation of your vehicle.
We always say allow up to 2 hours, but often much sooner depending upon the complexity of the work being carried out.