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Car Remapping – What Are The Pros And Cons?

September 2, 2022

Car remapping is a modern way of increasing a car’s overall performance. If you are a car enthusiast who wants to get the most out of your current vehicle, you are in the right place. I suggest you consider all the benefits and downsides and then make a conscious decision about it. Improving your car’s capabilities sounds tempting, but you should always keep a cool head. First of all, find answers to your questions –,, Do I need it ?  Is it good or bad? Or does it affect my fuel economy?”
Let’s discuss and find out all the necessary details you need to know.

What is ECU remapping?

Sometimes called ‘chipping’ – It is a convenient and practical solution that implies replacing microchips in a car’s ECU by overwriting the existing settings with third-party software. The electronic engine control unit (ECU) is the heart of the engine management system that is responsible for controlling the fuel supply, airflow, fuel injection and, ignition. When the settings of a car’s ‘engine control unit’ (ECU) are altered it allows you to go beyond the limits set by the manufacturer and get the most out of the engine. Moreover, it is beneficial for a specific purpose: a car’s power, torque, MPG during the normal drive. Shortly, ECU software reprogramming is considered one of the best solutions for many car owners.

ECU remapping - definition

What are the benefits of remapping my car and will it work for me?

The benefits of this modification are significantly appreciated among car geeks. It mostly depends on what types of vehicle you have: Non-turbo petrol car, turbo-petrol car, or turbo diesel car. Even though it is only possible to get the most out of remapping for turbo-powered engines, you can also benefit even if your auto doesn’t meet this criterion. Hence, if you are looking for the best way to boost your vehicle’s capabilities, it is superior to its alternatives. The main advantages are the following:

  • Improved horsepower and torque   
  • The car is more responsive: Better control and drivability.
  • Improved throttle response
  • Enhanced rev range

Does vehicle remapping improve fuel economy?

According to popular belief, car remapping provides fuel economy, but the driving habits of car enthusiasts speak volumes. That’s why it depends on the individuals. The majority of drivers who are eager to remap their car, do not miss a chance to use their car’s full potential. They enjoy boosted speed and drivability and therefore ignore increased fuel usage.

Another factor affecting fuel economy is an ultimate need to buy higher octane fuel for your newly remapped vehicle.

The potential impact on your insurance premiums

As with any vehicle modification, you will have to declare ECU chip tuning with your insurance company, mainly because keeping it to yourself is illegal in some countries. You may be thinking they are unable to discover your secret but do not risk it, they have the special departments that deal with such cases. As soon as they catch you in a lie, they will invalidate your policy and refuse to payout. If you honestly inform your insurance company, they will ask you what the power increase is in percent and make a final decision whether continue insuring you or not. 

Taking into consideration the fact that you are reading this article, it is highly likely that you are a skilled driver who considers remapping to use the full potential of the vehicle. However, there is also someone who just wants to increase the speed of the vehicle directly after acquiring the driving license. What if an insurer is willing to cover despite car remapping? Insurers use a rough guide in this case and you should expect a noticeable rise in the cost of your car insurance premium. Learn about other factors affecting auto insurance.

How does it impact on insurance premiums

Things to consider before you make a final decision

ECU remapping, often called Stage 1 tuning, implies a simple ECU software change that can bring you obvious positives. However, you should carefully think about all the details that are related to this. what should I need to know before I remap my car? Read through the checklist and bear those in mind before you go ahead with the modification:

  • Do careful research and choose an authorized company for vehicle remapping. Make sure that qualified professionals provide this service without the risk of damaging your engine. Some untrustworthy companies may take out emission-limiting hardware from your auto, which will be resulted in failing MOT testing.
  • Consider your car’s warranty. Overwriting the manufacturer’s factory settings with new software may invalidate your warranty.It can be reversible in many cases, but dealership technicians will likely spot this kind of ECU modification.
  • Manufacturers intentionally limit vehicles’ capabilities to meet certain regulations. By  ECU reprogramming engine function at its full potential. Hence, there is more wear and tear of the car parts and more pressure on the engine. The fuel economy is not guaranteed. If you are interested in one thing – drive faster, you will be unable to improve fuel economy. Try changing your driving style. The more smoothly you drive, the better you reduce fuel bills.
  • Insurance premiums go up! Think twice if the increased prices are worth the increased performance.


Thus, we’ve learned ECU chip tuning basics and the ultimate purpose of this modification. It can be a cost-effective and less intrusive way to boost cars. However, before you make a final decision, it is reasonable to estimate all the advantages and disadvantages in advance and make sure it is worth it.

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