If you’ve ever wanted to get the most out of what your car has to offer, then you may want to consider learning ECU tuning. It’s a fun way to learn how to “Remap” and program your own car to peak performance – and for car enthusiasts like you, it’s definitely a joy to learn.
Knowing how to tune a car’s ECU means you can:
• Fine-tune your car’s fuel economy, especially if you know at which speeds it spends much of its driving time;
• Get more horsepower out of your car’s build
• Make the engine more responsive to acceleration
• Smoothen your engine’s power delivery, so you don’t need to switch gears as often
• Save money on gas bills by improving fuel efficiency
Can You Tune Your Own Car?
Everything that your car does is controlled, managed, and maintained by its ECU – or, more specifically, the programming that’s been written on it (sometimes called a “map”). Every single car line has a specially made ECU and map for it, which is usually updated every few months by the car manufacturer.
To tune your engine, you first need to know the vehicle’s year, make, and model. Every ECU comes with its “stock” tune (its factory default). As the months and years go by, the car’s manufacturers come up with more updated, more improved maps for their car lines, which they then distribute to their dealers all over the world.
Car manufacturers tune their cars’ engines through “flashing,” or erasing the map written on the ECU, and then replacing it with an updated map. It’s like updating the firmware on your mobile device, opening up new features and improving performance.
Presently, car manufacturers update their car lines’ maps every few months, after a lot of studying, stat-crunching, and compiling data. It’s highly advisable to take in your vehicles for a tune-up every year, as it keeps it in tip-top shape.
That said, can you tune your own car? You definitely can – especially if you’re the type of car enthusiast who adds performance parts and modifications to your ride!
Normally, you don’t need to “self-tune” if you’re just adding new exhausts, top-mounted inter-coolers, or cold-air intakes – the engine’s stock tune usually self-adjusts to the minimal changes these modifications make.
However, you DO need to self-tune when you add new cylinder heads, camshafts, and other performance modifications that change the data that goes through the ECU. The more modifications you make, the more important tuning your engine becomes – but to the true car enthusiast, the process is enjoyable (and even addicting to some).
Manipulation – ECU Tuning Software
Updating and changing the map on a car’s ECU is done with special software, which you can manipulate on a computer or similar interface device. You might notice that when you take the car to the shop for a service, the technicians plug in a laptop to your car and fiddle with a special program.
As mentioned earlier, car dealers usually just update the stock tunes on the car lines they’re licensed to service. But when you’re a car enthusiast, heavy modder, or tuning hobbyist, you’ll want to learn how to tune the ECU yourself.
The tuning software usually lets you change variables in the ECU map, which include:
• The fuel-to-air ratio
• The spark timing
• The variable valve timing
• The engine rev limit
• The vehicle speed limit
One such tuning software is Quantum tuning’s Remapper. The Quantum Remapper is a hand held personal remapping tool that allows the user to read the tuning file on their vehicle, have that modified by us and then upload the new tuning file to their vehicle to see substantial improvements in a car’s performance.Quantum re-mapping through the Remapper enhances and optimizes the power of the engine within safe limits, not beyond them. Extra power will also result in fewer gear changes. Manufacturers have to build in a tolerance for the parts in the engine, to manage the effect of wear and tear, production variations, and to ensure their warranty claims during their warranty period normally 3 years, are kept to a minimum.Just click here to learn more about Remapper and ECU tuning.