As time has progressed Diesel cars have gained a certain popularity amongst many and gone are the days when they were slow, noisy cars which were no fun. Today's diesel cars come strapped with a turbo and are more or less the same fun you get from a petrol of equal calibre.
Definition of a turbo : "Exhaust gases go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens, and you go faster."
Now this witchcraft nowadays is controlled by the ECU. The ecu controls various parameters which controls the way the car reacts to various throttle inputs. And since it's human tendency to want more , we enthusiast want more Powaaa for all our vehicles be it a High revving Petrol or a low Revving diesel.
So for the diesel cars currently the stage1 step would be either of these two methods :
Advantages of the above :
*more BHP & Torque
*in certain cases more FE
*a big smile on your face
What are the hidden costs or disadvantages of remap/tuning box ?
You will have to be prepared to keep the car serviced more often as the service intervals specified by the company is for the stock tune. And due to the extra power the car generates and the load on it's parts you must be prepared to replace components that fail due to extra work they are doing. All the above also means oil life will reduce. Also you will limit your self to high quality / low adulterated fuel since a car after the remap is more sensitive to fuel quality. i.e car will be faster than stock car on same bad fuel. But car will be way better on good fuel .
When an engine is tuned to give more power , you are also creating more stress and strain so things will start to fail sooner than stock but not to worry too much as even though they fail sooner they will last for as long as we might use them (3L KMS +/- ). So let me start off with how these work.
The above work by changing various parameters on the ECU which controls the air and fuelling and timing which on editing can invariably make your car go faster or slower.
One of the main points to be noted for this method of making your car faster is YOUR TUNER BETTER BE GOOD AT HIS JOB
So let me start off with what little i know.
In india we now get it from few companies.
- Race Dynamics Diesel Tronic
- Pete's tuning box
- Spider Tuning box ( RRP )
- Superchip Germany
As you will have seen in the adverts, Diesel tuning boxes are very easy to install. Often just 2 plugs, ready and matching the original car loom. All you need to do is unclip a plug near the back of the engine somewhere, connect in this box, and it's done. Although you can pass a lot of data down 2 or 3 wires, that isn't what happens in this case. The plug that the Tuning box connects into is for the Rail Pressure sensor. As mentioned above, diesels aren't too fussy about Air/Fuel ratios, they will often continue to make power when incredibly rich, and producing huge clouds of black smoke. In OEM
Diesel tuning for the road, the limitations are usually based on the amount of smoke produced, and the amount of power the chassis can handle. But tuning boxes dont really bother much about that so these parameters are mostly not given too much head.Big BHP figures on a diesel are easy to make, and choosing the Tuner with the highest figure can sometimes be just picking the bravest. It's easy to be brave with someone else's engine.
Intercepting the Rail Pressure sensor is the key to Tuning Boxes. The ECU/engine will control the pressure, and it uses its sensor to confirm this. This figure is vital for the ECU to known the fuel quantity.
Adding a resistor into this sensor circuit passes the wrong information to the ECU. What was 1500bar is now reported as 1400bar, so the ECU will activate the high pressure injection pump to raise the pressure by 100bar above the sensor value. The extra pressure will force more diesel through the open injector, and as mentioned, for a diesel, more fuel = more power. There is safety factors and tolerances built in, but in all cases, the Injector pump is now doing more work providing the extra pressure, and the Injectors are now holding back greater forces. The Torque and Smoke limiters have been bypassed as the ECU doesn't realise the greater fuel flow, and more interestingly, the MPG is screwed!
Tuning boxes cant accomplish too much. They can give you some more power but not too much. And not as much as a remap can do within safer conditions.
Tuning boxes give you only about 50-60 % of what a remap can do. You could also day driving a car with a tuning box will feel almost incomplete after driving a remapped car.
I have driven quite a few cars with tuning boxes ( figo , swift, rapid, cruze, etc. ) and have driven the same cars in its remapped avatar and the remapped ones are better ( that is if your tuner is a tuner and not a tooner).
Pro's of a tuning box
*Easier to install/remove
*Fuel Circuit(injector, pump etc) gets more wear.
*Reduces engine life due to extra load on components
- Many people will tell you that the last point is wrong but it's not. Common perception is that when something like say the injector goes kaput when you run a car using a tuning box within the warranty period is that you can remove the box and go to the ASS as if nothing happened and claim warranty for the part.
But that isnt the case with the ecu on most of the cars . ECU's have certain counters and registers. There is something called a violation register . What happens here is when one of the parameters have been violated ( i.e the rail pressure is too low or too high etc the ecu loggs this on to the memory ) So essentially when you take it back to ass
any good technician on seeing the registers can tell that the ecu has been fooled or tampered with. It's just that the Indian ASS
people aren't that great with tech and cant figure this out and still give out warranty to the parts spoiled due to the mods.
There are many companies now remapping cars, some of them are
- Code6 tuning.
- Tune - O - Tronics
- TDI Racing
- Red Rooster Racing
- Wolfmoto Performance
So what is a remap ?
Electronic ignition allows the manufacturer to fine tune economy at popular road speeds such as 20Kph , 40kph, 80kph etc where most cars spend a large proportion of their time. It is now possible to advance the timing if the throttle is wide open to give more power or back off timing when cruising at constant speed.
Manufacturers do not want people breaking down sufferening premature failure of parts to get a reputation for uneconomical cars so they build in a wide margin of tolerance. And i mean a WIDE tolerance. Most countries use different grades of fuel and having adverse diferrences between various laces and various and adverse weather cars will behave differently. Hence all these factos has to be kept in mind to keep all the cars working well across the globe.
It is also a fact that manufacturers use the remap to produce different power versions of the same engine and get lower insurance cover ratings and better FE. Other things the manufacturer builds into thier map is the equation of possibility of users neglecting their car. i.e. infrequent servicing, dirty filter elements not cared for, etc.
Now let me tell you the basics differences between Remap & Tuning boxes So what does a remap do differently?
Well, for a start, it will be clear and honest with the ECU right from the start. For the average Diesel Remap, the fuel injection quantity is raised, but by telling the ECU to inject more, and the ECU will handle the rest. In most cases, it is holding the injector open for longer. The Rail Pressure may have modest increases which can help fuel vapourisation and economy, but the main method of increasing the Injection Quantity is with a collection of tables from 'driver's wish' to 'Torque Conversion' maps, which puts less stress on the expensive Injection Pump, and the Injectors. The Torque conversion map is used on more advance diesels which treat all the requests in Nm of torque, and then use Torque Conversion to look up how much diesel to be injected to reach the desired figure. Fine tuning can also be carried out on the Phase of Injection to keep Exhaust Gas Temperatures down, and Pre and Post Injection too.
The Turbo Boost pressure is often increased too, and this will provide more air (and oxygen) which will further allow greater Injection Quantities without becoming too rich and smoking. The torque limiters can be raised to monitored levels under full control of the tuner.
Finally of course, the Injected quantity is correct, and the MPG displayed is still accurate. The increases seen with a Remap in economy are true and can be trusted, unlike with a Tuning Box, which can only provide great looking false data.
What about the more expensive tuning boxes?
Well, if all that is intercepted is the Rail Pressure Sensor, and it is external to the ECU, it will work the same way. You can have devices where the resistance added is adjustable by a small potentiometer on the outside, but it still is just a resistor in a large, expensive box. Extra circuits may be added, more complex methods may be used, but it still will come down to adding resistance into a circuit and fooling the ECU.
Even real time adjustment of the falsified Rail Pressure Signal would require more inputs for the engine speed, and the Torque Request, and any big or fast changes would be immediately spotted by the ECU. In those cases, if the rail pressure sensor suddenly starts to show dropping pressure from a Tuning Box altering the signal, a failure in the pump, or a Rail Leak will be assumed by the ECU. Who should remap ?
Anyone who has a engine with a turbocharger and a ECU should consider a remap. Also the person with the remapped car must not be a neglectful owner.
Who should you go to ?
*Pete's and Kiirus, APR India, IMO
have only a single map which isnt custom. Custom remaps take driver preferences and driving style into account to give you a tailor made map. Pete's and Kiirus dont offer that so you get a one map for all kinda deal so these maps aren't as fast as the custom maps and play it over safe. Both these tuners have only slave tool's so they are relying on their tuners abroad to give them the map which they will simply load onto your car.
*CODE6, TOT, Wolf moto have master tools and are very good. Have driven car's by each of them and they are all good and have thier own advantages and disadvantages.
The above tuners have knowledge and posses the master tool which helps them to read and edit maps so you can actually get a custom map for you based on your desires and driving style .
Who shouldn't ?
If your car does not have a turbo there's very little to be gained from a remap alone - perhaps a few BHP so My recommendation for non turbo cars is to modify everything else first (cams, piston, intake, exhaust valve's etc. ) after these have been done you can consider a remap which will calibrate the engine for the parts gone in and will help you get full benefit of the parts that you have changed/added.