What is ECU Remapping?
Engine remapping, stage tuning, or ECU (Engine Control Unit) remapping is a popular car modification among car enthusiasts and involves tweaking the software controlling the engine to enhance its performance. Different stages of remaps offer varying power gains and require different hardware modifications.
What are the stages of car remapping?
Technically speaking there is no such thing as a stage 1, 2, or 3 remap, these are just terms that have been used to attempt to group a wide variety of modifications, the generally accepted groupings are as follows:
This is the entry-level remap, focusing on software tweaks without needing any hardware changes. It offers modest power gains and is suitable for most stock vehicles.
A step up from stage 1, this remap involves some hardware modifications like upgraded exhausts or intercoolers. It provides a noticeable boost in power and torque.
Stage 3 Remap
Stage 3 is an even larger step up from stage 2. This level 3 remap involves significant hardware modifications to ensure the car can handle all the new power safely and perform optimally.
What does a Stage 3 remap do?
Unlike the earlier stages, which primarily focus on software tweaks, a stage 3 remap is a comprehensive overhaul of both the software and hardware components of a vehicle’s engine. You can generally expect the following to happen with stage 3 remapping:
Significant Power and Torque Gains
With a stage 3 remap, vehicles often experience substantial increases in power and torque. While exact figures vary based on the vehicle and the quality of the remap, it’s not uncommon to see increases of up to 40% in power and 30% in torque compared to stock figures. This translates to faster acceleration and a more responsive throttle.
Enhanced Driving Experience
With the increased power and torque, drivers often report a more exhilarating and enjoyable driving experience. The vehicle becomes more responsive, making overtaking and highway driving more effortless.
Potential Fuel Efficiency
While this might seem counterintuitive, some drivers report a stage 3 remap improves fuel efficiency. This is because the engine can operate more efficiently at lower RPMs due to the increased power.
Strain on Engine Components
It’s worth noting that while there are many benefits of stage 3 remapping, it can put additional strain on the engine and related components. This can lead to increased wear and tear.
What’s needed for a Stage 3 remap?
A stage 3 remap isn’t just about tweaking the software. It requires significant hardware upgrades, including:
Hybrid turbos are designed to provide a balance between stock turbos and full-performance turbos. They offer a larger compressor wheel and improved turbine design, facilitating a greater volume of air to be forced into the engine. This enhanced airflow is crucial for the increased power outputs expected from car remapping.
An intercooler’s primary function is to cool the compressed air coming from the turbocharger before it enters the engine. As you boost your vehicle’s performance, the turbocharger works harder, compressing more air and, consequently, generating more heat. An upgraded intercooler is designed to handle this increased volume of air and dissipate the additional heat more effectively. Cooler air is denser, which means it contains more oxygen. This makes for a better air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber, leading to extra power and improved efficiency.
High-performance Exhaust System
Stage 3 tuning aims to boost an engine’s power, necessitating enhanced airflow management. Performance-oriented exhaust systems are designed to support this by reducing excessive back pressure and managing increased heat from the engine. While these systems improve performance, they also appeal to car enthusiasts for their sportier sound and aesthetic upgrades. These exhausts ensure compatibility with other hardware modifications typical of a stage 3 remap.
Can you go straight to Stage 3 remap?
Yes, you can go straight to a stage 3 remap, but it’s essential to understand what this entails. A stage 3 remap is the most aggressive form of engine tuning, aiming for maximum performance gains. Here’s what you need to consider:
Unlike stage 1 or stage 2 remaps, which might only require minimal or moderate hardware modifications, a stage 3 remap often demands significant hardware upgrades.
Due to the extensive hardware modifications required, jumping straight to the tuning stages of a stage 3 remap can be considerably more expensive than the earlier stages. It’s not just the remap software; the associated hardware and potential labour costs can add up.
Not all tuning shops have the expertise to correctly implement a stage 3 tune. It’s vital to choose a reputable tuner like Viezu with experience in stage 3 remaps for your specific vehicle make and model.
Many insurance providers consider a stage 3 remap a significant modification. It might increase your insurance premium, or in some cases, some insurers might refuse to cover a heavily or moderately modified vehicle.
How much HP does a Stage 3 tune add?
The amount of horsepower (HP) added by a stage 3 tune can vary widely based on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, the specific modifications made, and the expertise of the tuning companies.
Typically, a stage 3 tune can result in a horsepower increase of anywhere from 20% to 40% over the stock figures. For some cars, this might mean an additional 50 HP, while for others, it could mean an increase of 100 HP or more.
The starting horsepower of the vehicle plays a significant role. For instance, cars with a stock output of 150 HP might see an increase of 30 to 60 HP with a stage 3 tune. In contrast, a vehicle with a stock output of 300 HP might gain the most power with further increases of 60 to 120 HP.
Car remapping often goes hand in hand with extensive hardware modifications. The quality and extent of these modifications will significantly influence the potential power gains.
How much does a stage 3 remap cost?
A stage 3 remap cost can vary considerably based on several factors. Some vehicles, especially high-end or rare models, might be more expensive to remap due to the complexity of their engine management systems or the exclusivity of the tuning software.
A stage 3 remap isn’t just about tweaking the software; it involves significant hardware upgrades. The cost of these parts, combined with the labour to install them, forms a substantial portion of the overall expense.
With something as extensive as stage 3 remap, you often get what you pay for. Opting for a cheaper service might save money upfront but could lead to more significant expenses down the line if the remap is poorly executed.
Why choose Viezu for engine remapping?
When deciding who to trust to remap the engine of your car it’s important to choose a reputable & highly experienced garage. Here at Viezu we are stage 3 remapping specialists and have won multiple awards for our work. We are one of the leading providers of car remapping services in the UK, offering 35 years of industry experience and a history of tuning over 100,000 cars!
Ready to get started? Contact us using the form below, call us on +44 (0) 1789 774444 or get in touch via email at email@example.com.