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Petrol Tuning


Electronic Engine Management - Petrol Engines


Vehicle technology has been rapidly developing for many years and, like other industries, has largely turned towards computer control for the regulation of important management systems. Along with advances in electronic ignition and fuel injection this level of control has allowed timing and fuel delivery to be precisely regulated and monitored, giving improvements in power, fuel economy and emissions.

Electronic engine management has now completely replaced the conventional carburetter and mechanical ignition systems that were the industry standard some years ago. As the modern engine runs, hundreds of measurements are taken and adjustments have to be made every minute.These are carefully monitored by the brain behind the whole operation - the vehicle ECU, orElectronic Control Unit.The ECU is a small computer in it's own right.

Inside the ECU can be information on all aspects of the vehicle, from simple data such as model, year and engine type to more complex data such as that used in the control of ABS or vehicle stability systems and engine operating conditions.. Also stored inside the ECU is information that relates directly to the control of fuelling and ignition timing.

Changing information is received from engine management sensors such as throttle position, air flow and engine speed, and the ECU uses these inputs to determine optimum values for how much fuel to inject and when to fire the spark. To do this the ECU compares the received information to large areas of predetermined reference data stored within a chip on the circuitboard.

These areas of data are known as memory maps - vehicle "mapping" as it is known. As the inputs are constantly changing during driving, so are the values returned from these memory maps, meaning that the settings for fuel and ignition will remain appropriate to any particular driving situation.



So what is chip tuning?

Modern cars use an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to manage ignition timing and also fuel delivery. These are the main determinate factors that govern the performance of an engine. The values for timing and fuelling as well as rev-limits and speed limits are programmed onto a chip held within the ECU : Chip tuning is the replacement of this original chip with a differently programmed chip


What will I gain from a Tune4Performance remap?

There are many varied improvements to be gained from a Tune4Performance remap. The most obvious gain is the significant increase in power. However it is often the case the driveability is improved as well. Better throttle response, part throttle pick-up and an increase in torque throughout the the rev-range all help to enhance the driving experience. In addition, rev-limits can often be raised and speed limits removed. Also, custom programs can be designed to accommodate any mechanical changes, such as reprofiled camshafts, made to an engine.


Why haven't the manufacturers done it?

When an engine in a mass produced vehicle is tuned, many compromises have to be made. The manufacturer has to allow for the engine being looked after in the worst possible way. Even if the car has not been serviced for months and poor quality fuel is used, the manufacturer has to make sure that there will not be any reliability or emission problems. Fuelling is often decreased to the point of destroying part-throttle driving in an attempt to improve Government fuel economy figures. Vehicle Manufacturers have some of the best Technicians and Engineers around - but they are working to goals that are different form ours and so the discerning driver loses out.


What will a Tune4Performance remap do for my Naturally Aspirated car?

At Tune4Performance when we create a new program for a car, our objective is to make it better than the original. Power and torque are the fundamental items for improvement and the increases are usually of the order of 10% with naturally aspirated cars. This increase on full throttle, coupled with the changes made to part throttle, make the car much more lively and responsive. The increased torque means that fewer gear changes are required. Annoying traits that often occur on ECU controlled vehicles, such as fuel cut-off hesitation on over-run and poor part throttle response, are eradicated by the new program.


What will a Tune4Performance remap do for my Turbocharged car?

On Turbocharged engines, the manufacturer's boost limit is increased allowing the boost pressure to be raised. The remapped chip matches the ignition timing and fuelling to match the modified boost pressure, which enables impressive gains of 20% more power and torque on some models. Whilst power gains may be impressive, Tune4Performance remaps have been designed to maintain safe parameters with the remapping to ensure long term reliability is retained

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