At Bluespark we offer numerous ways to improve your vehicle’s performance. The two most common methods are either a chip tuning box or an ECU remap.
Remap vs Chip Tuning...
Our tuning boxes are a safe and easy way to improve your vehicles performance, whilst making it simple to remove when necessary. This comes in handy for when you take ownership of a brand-new car or one with extended warranty. You also have the benefit of transferring the box to another car when the time comes.
If you are looking for a more permanent change, or looking to make even more advances in performance, then an ECU remap is what you’ll be looking for. An ECU remap or Remapping, is a software modification made within the engine management system which installs new software to modify the operating parameters. This does work similarly to a tuning box, in the fact that it will increase performance and/or economy, but the method of doing so is completely different.
ECU Remapping Benefits
When you modify the software of the vehicle, you can change much more than just boost pressures and opens the door for a variety of more extensive and complex modifications. An ECU remap will allow us to implement various advanced features such as Speed Limiter Removal, Throttle Position, Map Upgrades, Exhaust Burbles, Boost Limiters, Component De-Activation and many more.
How Is The ECU Remapping Done?
The ECU in most vehicles we can cover, will be accessed via the Onboard Diagnostic Port or OBD, which is usually located underneath the steering wheel. Some ECUs will require it to be removed completely from the vehicle and modified on the bench. We can cover both types of remapping either via the OBD port or bench tuning.
We do not cut corners when it comes to remapping. Every vehicle receives a full custom tune remap and is thoroughly tested on our in-house rolling road four-wheel drive dyno. Every ECU software file we write is designed to work within the tolerances set by the manufacturer’s safety margins, ensuring the very best performance gains without affecting everyday use of the engine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is remapping good for your engine?
As long as engineer who tunes the vehicle, is highly knowledgeable and knows what they are doing, then the engine shouldn’t experience any damage. Ensuring they monitor the correct parameters, use a dyno to produce the factual gains and use the correct method, the engineer should be able to give you an in-depth explanation of exactly what they are doing.
Is remapping a car legal?
Currently there is no law against remapping an engine, but it is highly recommended that you inform your insurance company as this will be classified as an engine modification to the vehicle.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of remapping a car?
This is usually the main question you would ask when looking to remap your car. The main points for remapping would be that more parameters within the engine can be looked at, giving a more in-depth level of tune. More power is usually added to the car without the need to change much else, giving you a better driving experience. It also opens the door for additional hardware modifications to take place and will allow the engine to adapt to these changes in a safe and affective way.
The main disadvantages if you will, is that this is a permanent change to the ECU of the engine. Depending on how the remap takes place, depends on if this is an irreversible change or not. But the main thing to look out for is unlike a tuning box for example, which can be easily removed usually in less than 10 minutes, an ECU remap is a lot more extensive, so you wouldn’t be able to simply remove this in warranty case scenarios.
How much HP does a remap add?
The answer to this is engine specific. Each manufacturer will differ, meaning each model will differ and each variant of that model will differ. We usually advise an increase in around 20%-30% from stock, but an exact amount should never just be estimated and with Bluespark is always taken from dyno tested results.
How much does it cost to remap a car?
Again, this question has a fairly broad answer. Some companies will charge what seems a fairly low amount for the skill and tools which are required. Others will charge what seems a fairly overpriced amount. The main things to bear in mind, is that ECU remapping is a highly skilled method of increasing performance. If you do try and cut corners and get it on the cheap, you may end up with catastrophic engine failure, leading to a hefty repair charge. Other things you will have to consider, are things like dyno testing time, any hardware modifications for stage 2+ remaps and things like specific fuel for the likes of higher-octane mods.
Bluespark Remapping Services are at a cost of £299.99 which includes the dyno time required for a full development and custom tune.
Can a dealer tell if a car has been remapped?
The short answer for this is YES! It can be one of the main reasons why people with brand new/semi-new or cars with extended warranty, will stay clear of remapping. Usually, if the dealership suspects an ECU modification has taken place, without their approval, it will immediately void the warranty. This is down to the fact that they will not know which mapping files have been used or the exact strain it is putting on the engine/parts, so will not honour any warranty issues because of this.
What is a stage 2 remap?
The differences between a stage 1 remap and stage 2 are not always clear to someone who isn’t necessarily clued up on what they mean. The simplest answer is that a stage 1 remap will adjust the ECU software, optimising you car and releasing the potential power without the need for any extra hardware. A stage 2 remap will basically build upon the stage 1, including the ECU software upgrade, but taking up a notch to include hardware modifications like aftermarket intercoolers, induction kits, exhaust mods and upgraded turbos etc. More power is now gained from a stage 2 remap, and you would typically see an increase of power of around 30%-40% from stock.
Can you undo a remap?
The best way to look at an ECU remap is that it is a permanent change to the engine. Unlike a tuning box which can be easily removed without traceability, an ECU remap will permanently alter the software within the ECU. That being said, there are some ways you can revert the ECU to the original software and run the car at stock power levels. If the original software file has been stored before overwriting, then technically you could revert back to this version. However, this does leave a trace as it will be logged in certain parameters and, in some cases, there will even be evidence that the ECU has been removed during the remapping process. So in a sense you can undo a remap, but it will always leave a trace.