The engine management system controls the injection of a car, camshaft position, ignition timing, turbo pressure and injection pressure. The calculations for the management are performed based on the engine speed and load and the instructions for operation are written in the ECU in “folders”. In order to adjust the operation of the engine, we need to change the folders and this is often referred to as remapping.
The way to access the ECU for the purposes of reading the current settings and rewriting them is through the OBD port. Sometimes access to this port is restricted by the manufacturer, so we can opt for direct connection to the ECU, or a complete chip replacement. This is where the name “chiptuning” comes from. Generally speaking each of these methods will breed the same results.
Borders of safe remapping
It is extremely important for car manufacturers to create engines that have a huge safety margin. The car must be able to perform well under maximum load at 50 degrees Celsius and -30 degrees Celsius and all that with the worst fuel quality and under adverse conditions. Additionally, they have to take into account very diverse driving habits of their customers.
Some cars, for example, have their throttle response set up to be a bit later, for greater comfort that even novice drivers can enjoy. However, if you are a more experienced driver, or more enthusiastic about driving performance, adjusting the throttle response to a more sensitive settings can make a huge difference in driving experience.
Due to the fact that we have excellent fuel quality in Europe, performance of our engines can be greatly improved without jeopardizing safety. These safety margins are clearly determined from the parts used on the car, their capabilities, and real time datalog measurements during test runs on the road, or dyno.
Each and every car is extensively tested on dynamometers. With thousands of cars we tune every year and experience that has been growing since 2002, we definitely know to achieve an ideal setting for your car.
Every remap is unique
If a tuner promises to deliver the same amount of power as another tuner, this does not mean that you get the same quality. Most people choose a tuner based on the promised power gain and this is a completely wrong criterion for making such an important decision.
Power rating is not everything. It is far more important how the car drives after it has been tuned and how the performed changes are adapted to work in harmony. This will ensure power gains, but also safety and reliability and it depends on experience, expertise, extensive testing and refining the remap.
The aim is to reach a well-balanced and refined engine running, and power and torque build-up. There is a world of difference between a bad and good remap. In some cases, this is not something that you will notice in the first few kilometers, but certainly in the course of time.
Claims without a test bench
There are countless tuners on the internet and they all have their own claims of performance gains, but most of them do not even use a test bench. These promises of power increases are often completely unrealistic. We tend to see these things differently and we always present you with completely realistic figures on our website. Our golden rule is: tell it like it is!
The test bench
The term “power test bench” is not actually the best term for the thing we use. Our bench provides us with much more than just measuring the power. We use it during the development of remap and perform comprehensive simulations on it. It is an indispensible tool in the process of finding solutions to seemingly “unsolvable” problems.
The ZIPtuning test bench is a perfect tool that enables us to simulate situations on the road. This enables us to make diagnoses that would be impossible without a test bench.
Secrets become unraveled
Our dynamometer is an ideal tool for providing us with quick and easy solutions to any problem, including things like ignition, combustion and pressures. With a good test bench, all of these problems are a thing of the past.
Fortunately, we don’t always discover problems on the dyno. We also use it to improve the car by finding the best shifting, the best fuel mixture and perfect air-fuel ratio. Many newer cars are set up so that their engines do not provide the best possible results. After our adjustments, we make it as capable as it can be within safe margins. In some cases, remap can also lower fuel consumption along with providing more power.
Measuring is knowing
If you are repairing a car, or adding aftermarket performance parts like a new exhaust, a dynamometer should be used for pre- and post- measurements. This is a standard procedure with remap and it makes any performance improvement transparent. For each upgrade we can see what kind of power and torque benefits it produces.
A major advantage of the ZIPtuning test bench when compared to other test benches is its accuracy. Using the single roll system greatly improves accuracy, since the car is on the rollers and not between two rollers, as it is with the cheaper dynamometers. The double rollers create a friction that does not mimic real world conditions well.
The single roll system is so accurate and reliable that almost every carmaker uses it for development and adjustments of their engines. Our test bench is also a four-wheel model with an axis between the front and rear rollers. Because all four wheels rotate at exactly the same speed, we can simulate a real ride on the road and prevent problems that arise with most other test benches which do not generate correct road conditions, resulting in readouts and adjustments that do work well on the test bench, but are completely wrong for the road use. In addition, we also prevent problems with ESP, ABS, 4x4 systems and differentials. In addition, we also prevent problems with ESP, ABS, 4x4 systems and differentials.
We control various aspects of the remap environment such as ambient temperature, barometric pressure and humidity. A temperature that is too high results in lower engine power. According to the DIN standard is the ideal temperature is 24.85 degrees Celsius, the pressure 1 bar and a humidity of 30% and this is the standard that the manufacturers use. Any deviations from this have to be takes into consideration when assessing the performance.
Choose a good remapper
Re-adjustment of an engine requires a lot of knowledge and specific tools such as a test bench and original, high-quality diagnostic tools. This is why it is important to choose a proper tuner.
If a remap is well executed the results can be absolutely amazing and this is what makes tuning our passion. It is immensely rewarding to make people happy and to see their surprise when they first try their tuned car that performs so much better that it seems as if another engine has been put in it. We work on all cars with pleasure and expertise. See you at one of our branches!