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Will my fuel consumption increase after re-mapping?

No, in fact quite the opposite. Even if you choose a performance tune for your vehicle, if you continue to drive the car in the same style as you did before the upgrade, then your fuel consumption will most likely improve. Of course if you choose to have have a track map installed on the vehicle and you are driving under the conditions with which a track map is intended you’re likely to find a slightly reduced mpg figure. Economy tuning can have a dramatic effect on fuel consumption, with considerable improvements being achieved along with huge money savings on fuel.

Should I tell my insurance company?

Whilst the upgrade is undetectable, we are a responsible company and answer to this question has to be “yes”, your insurance company should be notified. However, many insurance companies do not penalise you for upgrades of this nature, particularly if you’re tuning for increased economy.

Adrian Flux is one such company.

Can the process be reversed?

Of course if for any reason you would like your vehicle to be returned to its original settings maybe when your ready to change vehicle we can reverse the whole process and we will offer this service free of charge. But in most cases the enhanced performance may help the sale of your vehicle. Should you lose your modified software due to dealer actions or parts failure, we will be happy to re-install the map onto your car free of charge for as long as you own the vehicle.

Will re-mapping invalidate my vehicle’s warranty?

There are several ways to upload modified software to a vehicles ECU but due to our investment in the latest tuning hardware we are able to re program 99% of the vehicles we cover via the vehicles OBD port (on board diagnostics) and as such leave no physical evidence of our work behind leaving it completely undetectable. All codes and diagnostics that a dealer may read will remain exactly the same. We say it with confidence because of the rigorous testing regime all files go through, and we even give a lifetime software warranty to you. However in the case of some pre 2000 Vehicles or Bikes, Trucks, Agricultural & Marine applications it may be required that the ECU will need to be removed and reprogrammed direct if this is the case for your vehicles we will inform you before hand. BUT BE WARNED – not all tuning companies can say this.

Will re-mapping increase engine wear?

No, not at all with a Racecourse Remaps upgrade. Sadly some engines can be over tuned, “stressing” the engine, transmission, cooling systems, etc, and reducing the life span and reliability of the car. This is why it’s so important to choose the right company to complete your re-map. We take great time & care to ensure that all of our modifications have no detrimental effect on your car. In a lot of cases the economy tune actually helps to extend the life of components such as the clutch and gearbox by making the delivery of the power far less aggressive and smoothing the overall drive of the vehicle.

Can the original settings be re-installed?

We always backup the original file settings on our database so the original file can always be uploaded back onto the vehicle.

How is it done?

Most engines are controlled by an onboard computer (ECU). This communicates many things back to the car but importantly for us, it dictates how your vehicles drives. We are able to modify the way in which this communication happens to open the true potential without any performance compromises. 90% of vehicles from 1999 are programmed remotely through the diagnostic (OBD) port. The ECU is untouched and there is no replacement chip, meaning there is no risk of any damage during the procedure. A diagnostic check is always carried out before we start the remapping programming of the vehicle. The modified file is then loaded on to the vehicle. The vehicle is then road tested to make sure everything is operating as it should be. A final diagnostic check is then carried out to give the all clear for any fault codes or conflictions before handover.

Is there a limit to how many times a vehicle can be remapped?

There is no limit to the number of times a vehicle can be remapped. We are constantly improving our optimization software, and so further gains may be possible in the future.

Is remapping the same as chipping?

Chipping is an older version of what remapping is today. Chipping involves the ECU being physically opened, replacing the main microchip with a modified microchip. This invalidates the warranty. Our method means we never have to open the ECU. Remapping is much of a lesser risk than chipping as were building on the vehicles original map specific to that vehicle, rather than a generic map, which in turn may not give the customer the optimum performance they are after.

DPF – How do they work?

Diesel Particulate filters (DPF) or ‘traps’ do just that, they catch bits of soot in the exhaust.

As with any filter they have to be emptied regularly to maintain performance. For a DPF this process is called ‘regeneration’ – the collected soot is burnt off at high temperature to leave only a tiny ash residue.

Regeneration is either passive or active

Passive regeneration

Passive regeneration takes place automatically on motorway-type runs when the exhaust temperature is high. Because many cars don’t get this sort of use car manufacturers have to design-in ‘active’ regeneration where the engine management computer (ECU) takes control of the process.

Active regeneration

When the soot loading in the filter reaches a set limit (about 45%) the ECU will initiate post combustion fuel injection to increase the exhaust temperature and trigger regeneration. If the journey is a bit stop/start or you take your foot off the accelerator while the regeneration is in progress, it  may not complete and the warning light will come on to show that the filter is partially blocked.

It should be possible to start a complete regeneration and clear the warning light by driving for 10 minutes or so at speeds greater than 40mph.

If the regeneration is unsuccessful the extra fuel injected will not burn and will drain into the sump.  Oil quality will deteriorate as a result of this and the level will rise.  It is important that you check that the oil level does not increase above the maximum level on the dipstick as diesel engines can run on excess engine oil – often to the point of destruction.

If you ignore the warning light and keep driving in a relatively slow, stop/start pattern, soot loading will continue to build up until around 75% when you can expect to see other dashboard warning lights come on too. At this point driving at speed alone will not be enough and you will have to take the car to a dealer for regeneration.

Expensive repairs

If you continue to ignore warnings and soot loading keeps increasing then the car won’t run properly and the most likely outcome will be that you will have to get a new DPF costing at least £1000.

The ash residue which remains after successful regeneration cannot be removed and will eventually fill the filter.  DPFs are designed to last about 75,000 miles, but many, operating correctly, are achieving more than this.

DPF additives

The most commonly fitted type of DPF has an integrated oxidising catalytic converter and is located very close to the engine where exhaust gases will still be hot. This heat means that passive regeneration is more likely to be successful

Some models, across a wide range of manufacturers, use a different type of DPF which relies on a fuel additive to lower the ignition temperature of the soot particles.

The additive is stored in a separate tank next to the fuel tank and is automatically mixed with the fuel whenever you fill up. Only very small quantities are used so a litre of additive should treat around 2800 litres of fuel – enough to cover 25,000 miles at 40mpg.  It lasts about 70000 miles and is replenished during a service – at extra cost.

You will have to pay to get the additive tank refilled at some time in the car’s life – expect to pay between £150 and £200 including fluid and labour

Don’t be tempted to ignore a warning light showing that the additive tanks need refilling.  It’s absolutely essential this tank is refilled as without it regeneration is unlikely to be successful and a new DPF may be needed – at significant cost.  Fuel consumption can increase as a result of failed regenerations too.

Check the handbook

If you buy a car with a DPF it’s important to read the relevant section of the vehicle handbook so that you understand exactly what actions to take if the warning light illuminates and how, if at all, your driving style may need to be adjusted to ensure maximum DPF efficiency and life.

In most cases there is only a relatively short time between the dpf being partially blocked and becoming so blocked that it requires manual regeneration.

Our Experience shows:

We’re seeing some evidence of DPF systems failing to regenerate even on cars used mainly on motorways.

On cars with a very high sixth gear the engine revs may be too low to generate sufficient exhaust temperature for regeneration. Occasional harder driving in lower gears should be sufficient to burn off the soot in such cases.

DPF regeneration will be initiated by the ECU every 300 miles or so depending on vehicle use and will take 5 to 10 minutes to complete. You shouldn’t notice anything other than perhaps a puff of white smoke from the exhaust when the process is completed.

There’s no evidence in AA breakdown data that the problem’s going away – newer car models seem just as likely to suffer DPF problems if not driven ‘correctly’ as those built when DPF’s were introduced.