With the advent of “Engine Control Unit” or ECU controlled engines, it has been possible to upgrade the performance output of petrol and diesel vehicles by reprogramming or changing an EPROM chip in the ECU, to achieve better performance, whether it be more power, cleaner emissions, or better fuel economy.
Throughout, Chip Tuning’s development in the late 1970s, 80s and 90s, to change the programming of an ECU, you would have to remove the appropriate chip from the circuit board and reprogram (Re-map) it while it is off the ECU.
Since 1999, all European vehicles are equipped with On Board Diagnostic Ports or OBD1 and OBD2 and with the introduction of OBD1 & 2, it has been possible to update software via the these ports without the need to remove chips. This procedure is commonly referred to as engine or ECU tuning.
As technology has advanced, so have car’s electronics. The ECU in a modern automobile, together with advanced engine technology, makes it possible to control many aspects of the engine’s operation, including spark timing and fuel injection, electronic throttle control (drive-by-wire), valve timing, boost control (in turbocharged engines), ABS, the automatic transmission, and the electronic stability control system.
An additional function which may enable an increase in performance is changing fuel maps with the stoichiometric ratio for gasoline combustion. Often manufacturers can limit performance by tuning for optimum emissions and fuel economy considerations.
Here at Cartronics, we individually tune your ECU to give maximum power from the fuel you supply your car with, whilst not affecting your average low-speed MPG (in most cases it will improve your MPG).
Changing your ECU map can also improve performance for vehicles with “bolt-on” modifications, for engine, intake, or exhaust. These alter the way that the engine flows, often causing the air to fuel ratio to change and without re-mapping the fuel tables, some of the performance gains from these may not be maximised.
Your ECU will be tuned for optimal torque at all RPM ranges, so there is no reason to “de-tune” the ECU for varied driving courses (such as race tracks). Once an ECU is tuned we road test all our programs thoroughly (a poorly tuned ECU can result in decreased performance, driveability, and may even cause engine damage).