How to Cost Effectively Get More Performance from Your Vehicle

Posted on: 27 June 2018

Modern-day vehicles are essentially computer controlled to ensure that they work as efficiently as possible and remain reliable. You may be surprised to learn, however, that the on-board computer is a relatively simple one. Many of the processes are handled by a single engine control unit (ECU), which features a chip microprocessor. If you want to get some more performance out of your vehicle, what can you do with the ECU for best effect?

Working with the ECU

Most car manufacturers standardise the production of an ECU so that it meets performance levels which they believe are ideal or which are set down by government regulators. These may be okay for the majority of car buyers, but for the aficionado they may be overly restrictive.

In this case, you should see about getting the ECU remapped so that the engine function can be modified, certain restrictions can be eliminated, and many of the manufacturer recommendations can be overridden. In combination, these mods can significantly enhance the vehicle's performance, no matter whether it is diesel or petrol powered.

Instant Improvements

When this is done correctly, you will get a broad range of usable power and torque bands will be extended through each gear range. The air-to-fuel mixture ratio will be improved and the ignition timing altered. You will be able to get more boost from the turbocharger and often remove any pre-installed limits here. Not only will you get better performance, but you can also improve the fuel economy and notice a considerable difference at the pump.

What to Do With the DPF?

Some tuners advocate that you should consider removing a device fitted to many modern diesel engines, known as the diesel particulate filter (DPF). While this will likely improve performance, you should check with your local jurisdiction first to see whether you are legally allowed to do that, as this does vary. Remember that the filter in question restricts exhaust pressure to a certain extent, as it tries to catch particles produced as a byproduct of the combustion process. Its use does restrict airflow considerably, leading to a loss of engine power, and it is also prone to blockage, which can be even more expensive.

Getting a Remap

Have a word with your mechanic and ask them how you can benefit from an ECU remap. This might be the least costly way of boosting your vehicle's performance without making any significant modifications to the engine or accessories.