Can you Unmap a car?
Disadvantages of Remapping A Car
Remapping a car is an increasingly popular way to increase the potential of a vehicles performance by adjusting the car’s electronic control unit (ECU) to override the factory default settings. It is similar to the way people can overclock their computers.
In this article we’re going to focus on the disadvantages of remapping a car as the advantages of doing so are well documented already, we’re also going to give some information about remapping a lease car at the end of the guide.
What are the disadvantages of remapping a car?
Here are some points to consider before remapping
Simply put, it’s impossible to know exactly what remapping will do to your car (and by that we mean how it will drive and handle the change) and whether the strain of the extra power will cause undesirable changes. This is particularly true of older cars or vehicles which haven’t been remapped extensively in the past with little to no feedback for future customers.
However, most engines are designed to do more than they advertise and some would say that remapping is simply unlocking what is already there.
The more the car is pushed the more likely the results can be unpredictable to you, the driver.
It’s not cheap
Remapping is not a service that dealers will offer for free. You can expect to pay at least £150 for a remap with the average cost being above £300. Various factors are involved in the cost such as whether or not you want a mounted device to be able to switch between remaps rather than having it always-on, for example.
Can void the warranty
The warranty of your vehicle (if it’s new) will be based on the exact car and configuration that they’ve given you, any problems caused by unauthorised changes is very likely to void the warranty and you will have to pay out of your own pocket to resolve.
We have written a guide on modifying a leased car here for more information. If the manufacturer and the funder have given the go-ahead then it will be fine but if you’ve remapped a car without consent then you are likely to encounter problems if things go wrong.
No turbo, no point
If the vehicle doesn’t have a turbo then there’s very little point to remapping as the two main reasons to do so in the first place is power and torque.
More strain on the car
With great power comes great. strain on the engine, clutch, breaks and tyres and you may find yourself having problems all the time and need more regular services. Don’t forget our previous point on the voided warranty here!
To help reduce the wear and tear you could consider upgrading the clutch, suspension, breaks, tyres, exhaust to a performance level for the car to handle the increased power better but that is a very expensive job and once again counts as modifications for your insurance provider to consider.
If it’s a leased car then modifications will either not be allowed or demanded that they are reversed before handing the car back.
Car insurance premiums
Your car insurance WILL go up after a remap as it counts as a modification and the car becomes more powerful and therefore more likely to be in an accident. Also, you MUST tell your insurance company about the modification as otherwise, your insurance is void.
Some insurance companies may flat out refuse to cover modified cars to beware.
Increased fuel consumption
Although some have reported better fuel economy, particularly in diesels, the likelihood is that your fuel consumption will go up — not just because of the increase in power but also in the change in driving style from having a souped-up car,
If your goal is to increase fuel consumption then you can remap it with that goal in mind and adjust your driving style along with it. But if you just want more performance and power then it’s unlikely your car will be any greener.
Can you remap a lease vehicle?
You can not and should not remap a lease vehicle without the funder’s permission, as they own the vehicle. If you seek their permission then you may but it is at their discretion only.
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What is Car Remapping?
Thanks to the fast-accelerating cost of keeping cars on the road, all motorists need to keep a close eye on ways to make their vehicles more fuel efficient. That’s why an increasingly common question for vehicle owners is “What is car remapping?”.
This article answers that and provides insights on how to remap a car, the costs involved, and any obstacles that would prevent you from going ahead.
How does engine remapping work?
The first thing to point out – and emphasise – is that this is not something that should be handled by even the most enthusiastic amateur, using the power of YouTube videos!
Remapping is a highly technical process, that is model-specific and undoubtedly best left to local experts in remapping vehicles. Especially as a DIY engine remap could put your car, you and your passengers at considerable risk.
Today’s cars are operated by multiple electronic control units (ECUs). Think of them as small computers that handle various essential functions. This includes your power steering, windows, door locks, and heating and air conditioning for example.
Crucially, ECUs also operate things like your vehicle’s fuel use, air/fuel ratio, and ignition timing.
In higher-end cars, there can be over a hundred ECUs installed to support things like turbocharging and boosting.
Each ECU contains a dedicated microchip, with its own software or firmware, reliant on the correct data. Automobile manufacturers have a vested interest in pre-setting your ECU in a certain way, and therefore the data is configured to meet their commercial targets.
What happens in engine remapping is this. An expert in this field updates the data, to customise it to the driver’s own individual needs and aims. This relies on them having technical know-how, access to the latest model-specific operating data, and equipment to update the ECU’s coding.
What are the benefits of engine remapping?
One of the main advantages of investing in an engine remap for your car has already been hinted at in the introduction.
Fundamentally, using professional remapping services helps to remove some ECU limitations and characteristics. This would focus on the data updates on ways to:
- Improve your car’s fuel performance.
- Create a more positive driving experience.
- Remove unwelcome limits on your driving control.
All this can be done, without affecting your safety or straying outside the rules and regulations that govern UK vehicles.
Clearly, the steps to overwrite factory settings in an electronic control unit – and updating software data in your car’s ECU – vary according to the model and age of the vehicle. However, specialists can adjust microchips to achieve a significant improvement.
There is evidence to suggest that ECU tuning can result in up to 35% output and performance improvement. That’s an excellent return on your investment!
Keep in mind that commissioning remapping services doesn’t have to be about better fuel economy though. It can also improve the driveability of your vehicle, and iron out any engine niggles and code-related problems you have, such as DPF warnings and EGR issues.
Drivers report that remapping improved towing ability, and made their engine more responsive and quieter. ECU remapping can even be just about creating a smoother ride for the driver and passengers.
What are the disadvantages of car engine remapping?
Experts in how to remap a car ECU know how to achieve these benefits, without compromising your vehicle’s safety or flawless operation. Updates can be created quickly, and seamlessly but also entirely legally.
Any risk involved in remapping engine ECUs comes from using unqualified technicians, or amateurs trying to do it themselves to avoid the cost of experienced car remap experts! As you can imagine, you risk not only having illegal alterations done to your ECU software but also changes that could damage your car engine. You could actually make it less efficient, reliable and economical to run!
One thing to consider when remapping your car is that some changes to your ECUs will result in the need to switch to high-octane fuel.
You must also talk to your specialist vehicle technician about the immediate effects of remapping. For example, altering the performance factors may lead to you accelerating with greater ease and having no speed limitations installed. Going faster can become a safety issue or result in police action unless you are ready to modify your driving style.
Can all cars undergo remapping?
The short answer to this is no. There are some makes and models of vehicles that can’t undergo this updating process. There are also occasions when it would be unwise to remap an ECU or would achieve no significant improvement.
Experts in this specialist field can provide insightful advice on whether you can go ahead, and honest advice on whether you should go ahead.
How long does an ECU remap take?
This is another reason to trust a local specialist in engine remapping. With the right knowledge, skills and technical support, an ECU remap can be a swift process. In fact, you can have an ECU remap while you wait.
How much does it cost to remap my car?
The cost of engine remapping varies according to the make and model. Clearly, some modern cars are more technologically advanced than other vehicles on the road. Leading to a need for our specialist engineers to be highly precise and draw on the latest data for high-end car remapping.
That means you would need to find a price for remapping according to the brand of car you own.
However, safe, legal and quick remapping services provided by The Vehicle Doctor cost from as little as £300. That even includes dyno testing your car, doing fault diagnostics and road testing it to provide a flawless result.
It is the level of professionalism and customer service that ensures The Vehicle Doctor is such a highly recommended remapping specialist in Worcestershire.
To find out more contact our customer service team, or please use our online enquiry form for a free remapping quote.
What is remapping? A simple guide
Getting the most from your car in terms of performance and economy is a great way to improve your overall driving experience and save money on your fuel costs over the months and years. While tuning a car for optimal performance may sound daunting and complicated to many casual motorists, you may be interested to hear that it can be done in as little as 30 minutes, by ‘remapping’. In this guide, we’ll explain what the term ‘remapping’ means, and what happens when you remap a car.
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What is remapping?
Remapping, sometimes called ECU tuning, is when the settings of a car’s ‘engine control unit’ (ECU) is altered to improve several areas of the vehicle’s performance. By overwriting the existing settings with new software, the owner can re-programme the car to manage the fuel injection, airflow, sensors and more (within legal limitations).
How does remapping work?
Remapping a car changes the manufacturer’s default settings and software on the ECU, replacing it with new software which can be tweaked and customised to the owner’s specifications (within legal limitations).
When a vehicle is remapped, the old ECU software is overwritten when the customised software is plugged in to the car’s serial port (sometimes referred to as an OBD port). This simple functionality has made the process of tuning a vehicle considerably easier, and has created many jobs for tuning engineers and specialist ECU software developers.
What does ECU remapping do?
As mentioned above, remapping allows you to alter the performance of your vehicle by altering how the engine drives the car, however, it’s how the driver chooses to use the tuned car that ultimately decides what effects the ECU tuning will have.
For example, it’s a common belief that remapping a vehicle has no effect on fuel economy, however, this technically isn’t true. As the result of ECU remapping, a car usually sees an increase in power, which can come at the expense of higher fuel consumption. Owners will often drive their cars more ‘enthusiastically’ after remapping, accelerating quicker when possible to enjoy the noticeable difference in output their car has, and therefore, further increasing fuel usage.
On the other hand, if the driver chooses to change their driving habits to make the most of the increased power and torque throughout the ‘rev range’ and gear changes, then fuel economy can be improved. It really comes down to how the driver chooses to use the tuned car which decides how economic it becomes.
Remapping a vehicle can also have an immediate effect on speed and power; in some cases, remappers claim to have increased horsepower by 30-40bhp, and torque up to 80nm!
A car’s engine can also become more responsive, allowing the driver to overtake more easily. This can also cut down on the number of gear changes the driver has to make, allowing them to handle situations that require more torque without dropping down to lower gears. Again, this can help boost fuel economy if used strategically.
Should I remap my car?
Many people might wonder ‘Is remapping a car good or bad?» As with all car modifications and maintenance, remapping a vehicle does come with risks and downsides, so it’s worth bearing these in mind before you decide to go ahead with the process.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that not all cars can be remapped, usually due to their age. Typically, cars produced before 2000 are too old and don’t feature the car remapping software needed to optimise the vehicle’s performance.
If you aren’t an expert in the industry it is not advisable to remap your own car. Choosing a reputable company to carry out the remapping is a good way to reduce the risk of anything going wrong. More established businesses that provide a remapping service will offer a lifetime warranty on the replacement software, giving you a safety net should you notice any issues in the future.
Remapping can also affect your insurance premiums. It’s very important that you inform your insurance company of this (or any other) modification, so you do not risk leaving your policy invalid should you need to make a claim. Some insurers refuse to insure a vehicle that has been remapped, so it may well be worth checking with them beforehand to see how the process would affect your premiums, and if the increased prices are worth the increased performance!
If you are looking for a way to get the most from your current vehicle, a performance remap may well be the answer. The process has many benefits as well as downsides, and a reputable remapping company will be more than happy to explain those to you before you decide to go ahead.
If you’re planning on buying a new car and tuning it for optimal performance, find out how much your old car is worth by entering your number plate into the car valuation tool. From there, you can sell your car quickly and easily at one of our 250+ UK branches; with an average drive-time of just 13 minutes from anywhere in the UK, selling with webuyanycar couldn’t be easier!