When you’re looking to get a bit more speed out of your car, car remapping is one option to consider. But what exactly is remapping, how much does it cost, and are there any benefits? Additionally, will your insurance rates be affected if you opt for engine remapping?
What is remapping?
By remapping a car, you can overwrite the manufacturer’s factory settings in your car’s electronic control unit. This allows your vehicle to function as intended and may improve its performance.
What is an ECU?
An ECU is a computer in your car that controls the power of your engine. When a car is manufactured, the ECU is set to limit its performance capabilities to extend the life of the vehicle.
Two decades ago, manufacturers began incorporating on-board diagnostic (OBD) ports into their ECU designs. These allow mechanics to connect an external computer to the ECU and analyse problems. The OBD port can also be used for remapping engines.
What are the benefits of remapping?
Most drivers get their engine remapped to improve speed and power, but there are other benefits as well:
By remapping your car, you can not only save on fuel costs in the long run but also do your part in saving the environment.
A better ride
Your car will feel more refined and easier to handle when you upgrade the accelerator and engine response.
More pulling power
If you use your car to tow, remapping will give it extra power whichx in turn eases the workload when climbing or accelerating.
Are there downsides to remapping?
If your car has a turbo engine, then it will be the only one to fully receive benefits from remapping. If not, there will hardly be any change in bhp. However, there are other issues to consider:
Power gain, more strain
Remapping your car to increase its power can end up backfiring, as it puts more strain on the engine and other components. This means you may have to go to the garage for service and repairs more often than you’d like.
Upgrade your top-up
If you decide to get your car remapped, be aware that you might have to start buying higher-octane fuel. Higher octane fuel is usually pricier than regular fuel.
Your warranty may be invalidated if you get your engine remapped at a garage that isn’t approved by the manufacturer or an approved dealership.
Watch your speed
With comes greater temptation to break the law when you have a more powerful car!
Insurance implications of remapping
By remapping your car, you may be required to pay a higher insurance premium, but Adrian Flux- a specialist insurer who offers insurance specifically for modified cars- will give you a competitive quote. If you have been quoted more than £2,000 in the past, the team of brokers at Adrian Flux are confident they could provide you with a favourable deal on your policy. However; regardless of which insurer you ultimately choose, you must declare that your vehicle has undergone remapping or youry policy could become void.
Is remapping a DIY job?
Unless you know a lot about cars, it’s better to take your car to someone who is qualified to do the remapping. This process is becoming more popular because not only does it improve performance, but it also takes less than an hour.
How do I know if my car has been remapped?
It can be tricky to tell if a second-hand car has been remapped, especially if the previous owner or paperwork don’t mention it. Some remapping services leave a sticker on the ECU as proof of changes, but this is not always the case.
Checking your car’s acceleration and performance against the figures in the user manual is one way to confirm whether or not the ECU has been altered. However, if you’re unsure, it’s best to take it to a remapping service or manufacturers’ garage for review. Keep in mind that this will likely cost money; however, it’s worth declaring any remapping changes to your insurance provider as failure do so could affect future claims.