Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of things we’re asked on a regular basis. If you have a question or something you’re not sure about read below. If you can’t find your answer, drop us a message below or on facebook, or call the office – we’d be glad to help!
When people say Re-Mapping they are often referring to Engine Tuning. This is basically changing the Software within the Engine Control Unit (ECU) for more Performance. The term “Re-Mapping” though can actually mean ANY changes to the Software – so being specific will help us assist you correctly.
The first stage is (oddly enough!) is Stage 1. When manufacturers write their software performance isn’t top priority, many things are accounted for – from emissions to user error. We define Stage 1 as the maximum achievable power from a standard engine without compromising safety and reliability. To go beyond this the Engine or Components need to be improved. This is vehicle dependant based on your needs or budget.
Two things make this impossible to answer:-
1- There is no way to accurately measure MPG.
2- There are so many variables which can effect MPG so testing wouldn’t help, even if it was possible.
Torque is a measurable force which acts upon an object causing it to rotate. In Vehicles, this is (very basically) the Engine turning the wheels. In doing so, to move forward at speed it must also overcome all forces acting on the vehicle whilst driving on the road. More torque means a better ability to do this. You’ll need less throttle to do the same driving, and less gear changes. Staying in a higher gear at lower RPM can have an improvement on fuel consumption. This has a much greater effect in TDI vehicles (which have the ability to generate much more torque lower in the RPM range) than Petrol variants. Petrol vehicles in most cases don’t gain much if any economy, some will lose MPG with the offset of greater performance.
Of course, this is all theoretical – we can’t measure the real world forces individual to each vehicle. There are literally hundreds of variables which effect this in different ways – for example tyre pressure, vehicle combined weight, quality of fuel…etc. The main variable is your right foot however, so of course if you drive “Spiritedly” you won’t see any gains.
We define Stage 1 as the maximum achievable power from a standard engine without compromising safety and reliability – nothing needs changed at this point. We don’t really follow “Stage 2/3/etc” so beyond Stage 1 (…which is the same process for every vehicle) the hardware which limits the initial power gain needs changed (…this is different for every vehicle, so contact us to discuss your needs.)
Yes – but do you need it? If you have a car with a setup we have never seen before, we will need to develop software for your application. It is priced based on re-selling vs cost of development – so prices can start around £960 and take two of the team 2-5 working days.
This is very vehicle dependant, and varies constantly as more protocols become available. Normally our pricing will reflect each method. However, if you arrive and the vehicle can be done at a lesser cost because of an easier method being available, you will only pay the relevant lesser cost. If for some reason it will be more expensive we will communicate this first so there is total clarity. (This difference may effect your position with warranty or other factors.)
There 3 main ways we can communicate with a vehicle:-
- OBD – The most common method, plugging the vehicle in via the OBD port to read and write the software.
- ECU Pins – Sometimes we can communicate with the ECU, but the vehicle doesn’t allow it. In these cases we can probe the connector pins on an ECU to read and write our software. ECU’s of this type will incur additional labour costs included in our pricing.
- ECU BDM – In the event we cannot use either method above, the ECU will be tuneable by opening the ECU in what is know as Background Debug Mode (BDM). This may involve soldering onto the ECU to read specific information, bypassing the OBD and ECU Pin variations above. ECU’s of this type will incur additional labour costs included in our pricing.
This is a moral question – not something we can answer. Should you? Yes. If you’ve not priced your car from some of the specialist tuning companies it’s definitely worth it. In some of our personal vehicles a tuned quote is actually cheaper than a standard car on price comparison sites. Many people decide not to tell their insurance, based on the fact it’s incredibly hard to detect and can returned to factory easily, or could have been done even before they bought it – it’s really your call.
90% of Vehicles can be modified by plugging them in to the OBD Port. This is a plug in the vehicle which allows us to connect a laptop and communicate with the ECU directly. First we read a copy of the “map” onto a laptop. We then email this file internally to whoever is in the hot-seat that day! During or before this, the customer or team member will discuss what we’re doing with the Software. Once we finish we email the file back and write it into the car.
If we can’t do it down the OBD Port, the ECU can be removed to do the same process as above. This can be a little more time consuming, therefore more expensive and you should check with us if this is likely to effect any warranty you have.
DPF Deleted Downpipe, no other way. Simply gutting the DPF creates an empty silencer – this does not work.
Yes. We won’t do anything that isn’t totally safe for your vehicle. It’s not to say we don’t get the odd slight issue, but this is entirely dependant on the vehicle itself. (i.e. two of the same cars will be tuned the same way – if we do ten of these cars and one has an issue, it’s highly unlikely to be software!)
A good example – if the Clutch is worn on the vehicle increasing horsepower may cause it to slip. On all vehicles replacing it with an New Original Clutch will work perfectly – the issue being with the wear and tear not that the Clutch itself can’t cope with the increase.
We can guarantee nothing on the Software side will change, unless it’s reprogrammed by someone else (or a dealer). We can’t give you any warranty on your car, simply because we only see the car for a small amount of time, and you’re responsible for it’s maintenance. Just like the MOT, you can pass one day and a component fail the next day and we can’t accept responsibility for that. In most cases issues can be avoided by owning a car for a few months beforehand, with regular servicing by a good mechanic, who will thoroughly check over any issues and highlight anything needing fixed. Bear in mind it also wouldn’t make sense to 100% check every single component of the engine – the labour cost would be astronomical! Finally, if you’re really not sure about it – then don’t do it.
Generally, for Stage 1 we don’t need to Dyno each one. When your car was originally sold, the Dealer wouldn’t have Dyno’d it to check it, in the same way we don’t. Two vehicles with the exact same engine will both be set up the same way, this consistency is what creates a reliable product. Of course, if you want to Dyno your car to see the figures – that’s why it’s there. Check when booking to find out what this cost is for your car.
We’ve looked at this in great depth and many of the big branded tuning companies follow this process, APR, Revo, Mountune to name a few – and we think it works. Everyone gets a test drive before paying, and we’re happy to Dyno your car if you don’t think it’s performing as it should. On top of that, if you’re not happy most cars have a 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee. Just ask us for details.
Absolutely not. Re-mapping is only something you should do if you’re sure about it! You can only be sure by doing the relevant research, and we’re here to help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ever. What we find is people who are unsure but do it anyway plague us afterwards with the wrong kind of questions. Since what we do is largely “witchcraft” to the eye of the beholder, it’s easy to misunderstand the limitations.
For example, the age old favourite “my mechanic says” and “it’s only started doing that since you remapped it.” We don’t want that kind of customer, we want a customer who understands. So when things happen, logic from knowledge is used – not just “quick lift the phone, my electric mirrors don’t work and Auto-tune are responsible!!” When we work with an ECU (Engine Control Unit) it doesn’t care if the car even has electric mirrors, windscreen wipers, seats or even doors…it only controls the engine, nothing more. (…but we still get these calls, this is an actual example!)
My best advice, if you’re unsure – don’t do it. That means either it isn’t for you, or you’ll ask questions in the hope to understand more about it then make a wiser decision. We are always glad to help.
Yes, all the time – and as much as we like to be serious, we have a laugh too. Truthfully, there’s no such thing as a silly question so we’re working on a tongue in cheek look at some of these in a section called “Funny as FAQ” – Coming Soon
If you have a DPF/GPF – the unburnt fuel from the cut ends up clogging the Filter. With this “gutted”, an empty silencer is created which kills the sound. The solution is to fit a DPF/GPF Delete downpipe, so the sound can be heard with no filter issues. We don’t supply these, and fitting and software starts £360 on most models – a lot of hassle for a sound. Is there any other way around this? NO!
If you don’t have a DPF, or have a Petrol – A decat is advised.
Can I sit in a Car Park and bounce off the limiter stationary? – Sure, but we have no sympathy for your lack of mechanical sympathy.
This happens when an Engine ECU doesn’t have the ability for the ACTUAL software stored within it to be read via OBD. Instead, when we read the vehicle we will have a copy of the ORIGINAL (Factory) software, undoing any changes previously made.
Example: A Virtual Read Car tuned by a previous owner will lose the tuning if it was brought for an EGR delete by the new owner. This is because the Virtual Read will be used to do the EGR delete, not the actual software – as above.
Virtual reading occurs on 99% of cars from 2009, it is always safer to assume it will apply to your vehicle. In some cases there are workarounds available for this, so feel free to give us a call if this situation applies or effects you.
In terms of tuning – there aren’t different options if your hardware is factory standard. We define Stage 1 as the maximum achievable power from a standard engine without compromising safety and reliability.
We find this question comes about from others offering “Eco” maps and “50-50” maps. This is just clever marketing in many cases, selling one product to a wider market. When your car is standard you can decide how much Economy or Power you want by changing how much pressure you use on the accelerator, this is the same once tuned. We can change the map to promote less accelerator usage through some clever tricks, but we reckon our customers are clever enough to do this themselves.
(Remember:- there is 100% no map that can make your car run on less fuel. It’s a case of having more torque than you need to use, this is the basis of fuel economy.)
This section deals with a lot of our common APR enquiries:
- Was that price for APR?
Unless a customer specifies APR when enquiring, all prices will be our Software. APR is a product we sell, and priced by APR HQ. All pricing can be found at www.goapr.co.uk
- Do you not write APR Software?
No, APR is a product we sell. Like any product, it is created elsewhere and sold by the APR Dealer Network. All Figures, Pricing and Details will be on www.goapr.co.uk Auto-tune will handle the booking, dyno, and logging the car as appropriate.
- Can I get APR Stage 2?
APR announced Stage 2 again in October, quickly followed by an apology that some conditions apply. One example which will effect most people is software for DTC removal for De-Cat downpipes. (…previously known as Test-pipes Software) This is no longer available, so EML’s may result and APR will not remove DTC’s.