With the advent of modern technology, even the cars have been made smart and their performance tuning has been made even simpler. Now a days engine tuning can be performed via computers. Car engines can be made more efficient, producing more torque and power and become economical as well as far as fuel consumption is concerned. This all results can be achieved by remapping your car's ECU settings.
Now a question arise what actually is ECU remapping?
Before telling you about it lets talk about some fundamentals. Different car's performance parameters are now judged by sensors embedded at various places in the car. These parameters may include ignition timing, fuel consumption, air flow, throttle position, crank position e.t.c. All these are closely monitored via sensors and their performance reports are send to car's engine management system or electronic control unit (ECU). So ECU basically is a software program which process the signals send by the sensors and helps in better performance of the car in any given condition.
Having said that, the question is automatically replied that why you should have your ECU remapped. Of course for better engine performance. The car manufacturers do not always tailor make their ECU settings at sports performance level. It may sound weird for all car enthusiasts but its a fact. The logic behind it is that why would a granny still able to drive or a mother who drives along with her kids, would require a high performance engine. So they address the concerns of all the end users and make sure that their product is well enough for almost every conditions.
So ECU remapping can be done by just over writing the existing software program of your car and replacing it with a more tuned software, best fitting your conditions. The remapping, until recently was done by removing the existing chip containing the software. It has been made easy after the advent of serial port remapping, and now ECU remapping can be performed by just plugging and overwriting engine map by a better sports performance version in to the serial port.
Tuning ECU is a simple performance upgrading but it may become complicated if you are not aware of your car's specification and would end up in creating a mess if you do not pay consideration to the conditions, the car will have to endure. If you are a newbie and want to perform a rather non professional remapping, I would advise you a simple tool best fit for this purpose. It is known as "Galletto" and use to read your car's ECU tuning file. It's available at more or less $100 from the internet. You need to connect this tool with the obd socket and can be used to diagnose any fault in the car. When the information in the ECU tuning file is retrieved you need to edit and amend it according to your desire using a better tuned software program. But be careful here as the information would be in the form of binary numbers. The software programs which are used to edit these information can be either "race 2000" and "winol". Don't forget to put back tuning file back in to the ECU after you are done.
ECU remapping do have some fuel implications if you are looking for an increase in engines power and torque. However an car can be tuned to an optimum level to save fuel and raise the power and torque as well. The results of the ECU tuning vary according to the engines on which you performed the remapping.
For a turbo charged petrol engine, you can achieve an increase of 20-30% in power and 20-40% in torque. The increase is about 10-15% in power and 15-20% in torque when there is a normally aspirated, non turbo petrol engine. Similarly turbo charged diesel engine ECU tuning may yield a result of 25-50% and 50-75% rise in power and torque respectively. With all these engine upgrading, high power, more torque and better fuel efficiency, why would you not go for DIY ECU remapping?