ECU Remapping vs Performance Chips:
So, you’re looking into power upgrades for your vehicle? Maybe you want to try improve your fuel economy? Maybe you’re searching for an upgrade that can make towing easier or maybe you’re looking to improve your vehicles off roading capabilities – whatever your reasons for seeking more power, you’ve come to the right place.
When it comes to performance upgrades on a common rail turbo diesel vehicle the most reliable and cost-efficient methods are ECU remapping or the installation of a performance chip, both methods of tuning produce very similar performance results (We generally tend to see between a 10-15% increase in both power and torque) But which option is right for you?
Firstly, let’s look at how each method achieves these performance gains:
Diesel Tuning Chip (Unichip):
A diesel tuning chip, such as the Unichip is a supplementary engine management system and acts effectively as its own standalone ECU which piggy backs off the vehicles existing ECU. The module(chip) then gives the tuner (United Fuel Injection) full control over the timing and mixture functions, Boost Control, EGT protections, drive existing injectors, eliminate road speed governors and much more. Not only can mixtures and timing be set, but these parameters can also be set under various load and RPM conditions. This gives the tuner the ability to tune the vehicle for optimum performance under all throttle conditions. The Unichip is available in a plug & play version for most modern diesel vehicles, meaning if you ever sell the vehicle or wish to remove the chip for any other reason, you can easily unplug it. The vehicle’s tune will then return to the standard parameters set from factory, this flexibility and the capability to unplug and take with you or resell is the key difference between a remap and a power up chip. The other key difference between the two methods of tuning is the price. Performance chips, being essentially a stand-alone ECU are expensive to produce. Once purchase of the chip itself, time for tuning, installation and labour are accounted for, a normal performance chip is roughly double the price of an ECU remap at United Fuel Injection.
ECU remapping is the process of varying the parameters within a vehicle’s existing ECU to better suit the needs of the driver, the vehicle or to better compliment any existing modifications to the vehicle.
The ECU is accessed via a laptop and special software, various adjustments are made to some or all of the following parameters: the emission controls, torque limiters, injection timing and duration, rail pressure, boost pressure and several other minor parameters to increase the performance throughout the RPM range.
Another benefit that is commonly seen from ECU remapping is the elimination of any flat spots in the power and torque curve. It is common for modern vehicles, particularly common rail diesels to have a flat spot off idle making the vehicle feel ‘doughy’ or ‘laggy’ during acceleration from a stop.
Once these parameters have been adjusted and refined on the 4wd dyno, they are then ‘stuck’ in the vehicles ECU and cannot be removed unless brought back to the tuner. At United Fuel Injection, we keep every factory map on file so we can return your vehicle to standard at any time with no extra charge if for any reason you want to return the vehicle to the standard tune.
For most people looking for the most cost-effective way to increase the performance of their common rail turbocharged diesel vehicle, an ECU remap at UFI will often be the best option. If you are someone who is unsure how long you will keep the vehicle, or are someone chasing really high horsepower a Unichip would be the preffered option.
Give our performance department a call today for more information and to discuss which performance modifications will you, your vehicle and your requirements.