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What is Car Engine Remapping?

Car engine remapping is an innovative way to increase engine power and optimise other performance aspects, such as fuel consumption.

The primary focus of car enthusiasts when remapping is enhancing the power. The remapping is done by modifying your car’s computer, also known as the ECU (Electric Control Unit). The modification involves the installation of new or better software.

Is There a Need to Remap New Engines?

You may think that when new cars are rolled out of the factory, their engine performance is at its peak because of being new. However, many mass-production cars and some sports cars are rolled out with standard performance tuning, which may not unleash the engine’s real power and may also have low fuel efficiency. Therefore, new cars need engine remapping more than the old ones. If your engine is tuned to give maximum performance and fuel efficiency from the beginning, it may enhance the engine’s life. Remapping unleashes not just the maximum performance ability but also improves fuel efficiency.

Can Old Engines Be Remapped?

All old cars with an onboard computer can be remapped electronically. Those without computers must be tuned manually, although tuning and remapping are different. Your old cars can benefit from engine remapping. If you feel that your car’s engine power has reduced over time and the fuel consumption has increased, engine remapping can help you enhance your engine power and reduce fuel consumption.

How Does Remapping Work?

Engine remapping involves overwriting the existing software in your ECU with a new one. Technicians will plug their laptops into your car’s OBD port and install the latest software. He will then perform several tests to ensure that the software has been installed and achieves the desired functions. This is not a DIY task for non-experienced people and should be left to professionals.

Advantages of Engine Remapping

  • Low Cost

Engine remapping is not a costly service. The price may vary depending on the car you have and the software to be installed, but it won’t go out of your reach. It will range from £200 to £400 unless you have a highly exotic car and are looking for special software.

  • No Physical Upgrading is Required

All engine remapping needs is updating or overwriting the existing software. No other physical changes or modifications are required. However, please note that if you have installed any aftermarket parts, you may require to remap your engine. Engine remapping after installing performance upgrades will unleash the true potential of these parts.

  • A Reversible Process

If you carry out engine remapping but want the old feeling back or you are not satisfied with it, the process can be easily reversed by reinstalling the previous software.

Are There Any Disadvantages of Engine Remapping?

The advantages of engine remapping outweigh the disadvantages. However, remapping is more of a personal preference than an obligatory requirement. Some of the disadvantages of remapping are mentioned below:

  • Invalidation of Warranty

Unless specified in your insurance policy, engine remapping will invalidate your insurance policy, as many companies consider remapping an alteration. The best way to avoid this is to check your policy before you decide to carry out engine remapping. Although remapping does not involve any physical changes and is not visible, your insurance policy will become void if your car software is checked and found to be something other than the original one.

  • High Insurance Premium

If you are looking forward to insuring a modified vehicle, you can expect to pay a higher insurance premium. If you do not mention it and your car runs into an accident, you may not be able to make any claims.

  • Trade-off

Though engine remapping will increase your engine power, it will also put more pressure on it. This may have a negative effect on the durability of your car parts and may shorten their life.

What is the Cost of Remapping an Engine?

Car enthusiasts will spend anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of quids. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend on Performance upgrades. Remapping can cost you anywhere from £100 to £1,000, depending on which type or stage of remapping and what physical modifications you carry out.

Are There Different Types of the Remapping?

Remapping is often carried out in multiple stages. Usually referred to as stage 1, 2, or 3 remappings.

What is Stage 1 Remapping?

Stage 1 remapping is the least expensive. Stage 1 remapping is specifically designed for stock cars. The boost levels and ignition timing are kept at a point where they do not produce too much heat. It is ensured that the remapping does not exert too much pressure on the engine. Additional hardware, such as upgraded engine mounts, air filters, and exhausts, can be installed with stage 1 remapping. While the purpose of stage 1 remapping is to give you a slight power boost, remapping can also be used at this stage for higher fuel economy.

As a part of stage 1 remap, parts like catalytic converters and DPF regen are left untouched. Stage 1 remapping can cost you anywhere from 100 to 200 quid.

What is Stage 2 Remapping?

You can take your engine remapping one step higher with stage 2 remapping. This update, along with supporting modifications, will add more power. Parts such as advanced air filters, cat back exhaust, and induction kits are added to enhance engine power. Remember, stage 2 remapping cannot be done without these parts. These modifications can cost you over £1,000.

What is Stage 3 Remapping?

Stage 3 remapping is where the real fun begins. This remapping is a lot more than just a software update. The software upgrade requires considerable customisation and time to achieve the best results. Dyno tests have to be carried out to check the vehicle’s performance.

A complete custom package is usually offered by experts because the remapping has to include physical modifications from stages 1 and 2 remappings. The intake kit, intercooler, full exhaust, and silicone couplers are the prerequisites for stage 3 remapping. Additional parts include superchargers and turbo pullies, injectors, fuel pumps, regulators, camshafts, and exhaust manifolds are some of the parts required. Additional parts can include nitrous or water meth injection, catch cans, and oil coolers. In short, stage 3 is where everything becomes personalised depending on your requirements and preferences. The cost also increases substantially, but the final result is an incredibly powerful machine.

Most Common Questions About Engine Remapping


Does Remapping Affect Safety?

Engine remapping is usually a safe upgrade and does not affect the safety or integrity of your car. However, it will exert higher stress on your engines, and you will have to maintain your vehicle to keep it in the best shape.

Can All Cars Be Remapped?

All modern cars can be remapped, but vehicles with no computers or with very old software cannot be remapped.

Can Remapped Cars Be Insured?

Remapped cars can be insured, but make sure you disclose that the car is remapped before insurance.

Can Remapping Invalidate Insurance?

Remapping your car can invalidate the insurance policy.

Who Can Remap a Car?

Several companies providing automotive services can perform engine remapping. Make sure you take your car to someone experienced and well-known for remapping. The workshop should be fully equipped with the latest tools and equipment.

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