Car Remapping

15 February 2021 /

Nearly all contemporary vehicles are equipped with an Engine Control Unit, a small computer that controls the mechanism of the engine. Before sending the vehicles out, the manufacturers usually set the software to factory settings because their cars are usually sold worldwide, taking into account the various climates, fuel quality, vehicle laws and restrictions that every country they cater to have. In simple terms, car remapping is the modification of the default software setting found on your car’s ECU. 


Car remapping overwrites the factory settings of your car, making sure it is optimised for maximum performance. This is done by connecting your car’s software with the on-board diagnostics port which adjusts your car’s engine map with a new version to enhance your engine’s overall performance. The ability to change the settings of your car engine through the OBD has brought the auto industry to new heights, with car remapping made even faster through flash tuning.


What will a remap do to my car?    


By modifying the Engine Control Unit software, your engine can perform to its optimum level by increasing its torque and horsepower by 20 per cent or even more. As a default, car settings are tuned down before they leave the factory due to noise regulation, emissions regulations, economy and reasons we have mentioned earlier. 

In addition, cars come with a warranty and the very last thing that manufacturers would want is to replace or rebuild damaged engines. For that reason, the factory settings of your car are kept within the capacity of your engine to perform. 

Car manufacturers are likely to release new versions of a car model after a few years. By modifying the Engine Control Unit settings on the new versions, the manufacturers can swiftly increase the performance of the engine without applying extra engineering.

If you are wondering if car remapping is just a software change, it really is. The process comes in many stages, with Stage 1 involving simple modifications on the software. Stage 2 involves more software modifications and supplementary hardware such as a high-pressure fuel pump or new exhaust system. Stage 3 and Stage 4 involves modifying your car’s supercharger or turbocharger. The further stages will involve more invasive modifications and fewer performance gains per pound compared to Stage 1. 

Changing the settings of your engine can drastically affect your car and if  not done properly, it can lead to danger or harm. Car remapping heavily relies on the software made by the manufacturer and how the car tuner sets up your engine. For this reason, installing your own car remapping software or installing software from an unreliable company is highly discouraged. 

There are numerous car servicing companies that can modify your Engine Control Unit software safely, tweaking it according to your engine’s optimum performance. Going to these companies is safer than making the tweaks on your own. It would also help to check out customer reviews and testimonials before booking their services. 

Can you remap a high mileage car?    


Numerous car owners have remapped their old cars. Although some are happy, some are unhappy with the changes. When you are considering remapping an older car, you should ask the car servicing company if it will hasten the pre-existing mechanical issues of your car, so make sure to have your clutch, engine, flywheel, gearbox and turbo checked before you make any changes.

If your car components are not in the best condition, they may advise you to replace them before going for a car remap. This is highly recommended because the last thing that car servicing companies would want is to ruin your car. It is better to be safe than sorry.  

If you really want to remap your old car, you can do so unless doing it will cause a major problem in the near future. In some cases, car servicing companies will turn you down if doing it means you will not get any benefits. This is to protect you as a customer and protect them as a business. 

If your old car is in very good condition, a car remap should be fine. A lot of car owners with a decade-old vehicle and more than 100,000 mileage have their engines remapped with no harmful side effects. As long as you take good care of your vehicle and have it serviced regularly, having it remapped as an old model in most cases should not pose any problem. 

If you think that your car is of lesser value and you have nothing to lose if you modify its engine, think again. As we have mentioned earlier, car remapping may or may not accelerate any pre-existing engine issues or affect the other mechanical components of your car. Prioritise your safety and the safety of other road users or you will end up with a big hole in your pocket.

So, is it safe to remap an old car? As long as it is well-looked after within its lifetime, it is safe.

Can you delete a remap?


Yes, you can completely reverse it without any trace. Car servicing companies will usually give you a few days to change your mind and bring the settings back to where it was. If you have an existing modification, it may not always enhance the software further so it is best to ask the car servicing company. If you intend to make further changes, they can help you plan it properly and even offer you various package deals for upgrading the performance of your engine.


Do you live in Swindon and are you looking to tune up your engine? Do you have any questions about car diagnostics or ECU remapping options? Get in touch with the car experts of Automax! To enquire, get a quote or book a service, feel free to call them on 01793 979034 or fill out the contact form today!