Aftermarket engine tuning, or ECU mapping, is the process by which the original factory settings of a vehicle are altered and optimised in order to control the power delivery, fuel efficiency, ignition system, exhaust emissions and more. This process can be carried out on vehicles of any age and type with a turbo, including those that are driven daily and when carried out correctly, enhances the performance of your vehicle's engine.
Engine tuning isn't just meant for cars but it can be carried out on motorcycles, commercial vehicles and even tractors with good effect.
Aftermarket Engine Tuning - Pros and Cons
When carried out properly, this process increases the power output of a vehicle whilst reducing its fuel consumption, thereby delivering better miles per gallon fuel economy together with quicker and smoother acceleration and an increased top speed.
Engine tuning delivers better performance from your vehicle, helps it to run more smoothly and can save you money on your fuel bills.
If your car is still under its manufacturer's warranty, it is important to remember that aftermarket engine tuning will likely void any warranty remaining, so if this is a consideration, you should wait until the warranty has expired before booking your vehicle in for tuning.
Equally, you must declare to your insurance company that your vehicle has been remapped, as this may affect your premiums since the vehicle will now be more powerful than it was when configured at its factory settings.
Finally, increasing the power output of your engine could cause it to wear faster, reducing its overall life expectancy. This is a risk that many people consider to be worth taking, noting the improved performance and smoother driving experience that they will benefit from after the mapping has been completed.
What Is The Process For Having This Work Done?
A qualified technician will connect a laptop to the vehicle and electronically adjust the fuel-to-air mixture, increasing the turbo charge pressure. This process can be carried out with minimal physical changes in less than an hour and deliver a performance improvement of up to 35%.
Basic engine tuning can be carried out reasonably cheaply, but of course, the quality and scope of the work affects the price and the results. Swapping out the ECU will cost more than remapping one that is already fitted, or installing a piggyback ECU.
When performed by trained and qualified experts, this process will not cause any safety issues, however, it is not a replacement for repairing an existing engine issue. If performed in the absence of regular mechanical maintenance, it could increase the likelihood of breakdowns.
If your vehicle is under-performing, first ensure that there is no existing mechanical reason for its poor performance. If none exists, engine tuning could give your vehicle the boost that it needs to improve its performance, create a more enjoyable driving experience and reduce your fuel bills. This process can be carried out cost-effectively and quickly so that you can reap the benefits.