Who are we?
GotBoost is a remapping company that was spawned from the Motorsport division of the business. We provide all aspects of fast road car building, race car maintenance and support, standalone engine tuning, and are the premier workshop for remapping in South Wales. Our website here: https://www.gotboost.co.uk/ will tell you a bit more about us.
During our time as a tuning company, we’ve had our fair share of bewildered customers. This article is written to highlight the issues that are present in the industry and act as a guide for customers.
Why is remapping different?
Most customers when they take their vehicle to a workshop to have routine maintenance carried out, usually have a vague idea of what’s going on. Maybe they saw Ed China changing brake pads on Wheeler Dealers? Maybe they once helped a friend change their oil on a driveway? However, when it comes to having their car remapped, the customer has very little surface knowledge to go off. This is why the aftermarket remapping industry has for so long been an area of the industry has so much confusion surrounding it.
What is Remapping?
So what is remapping? Remapping is a term used to describe altering the way the car burns its mixture. Typically, remapping involves forcing more air into the engine through the aid of turbo or supercharger. Once there is more air entering the engine, the ECU or Engine Control Unit then has to add more fuel to maintain a target air to fuel ratio that is preset by the “Map”. The final variable that the remap on petrol vehicles change is called ignition timing, this is the point at which the ECU starts to burn the air and fuel mixture and is critically important to get right and continuously monitor. In diesel tuning, the same applies for forcing more air into the engine through the turbo, only the ECU now advances the injection timing, as well as increasing the rail pressure, this adds more fuel to go along with the new requested boost.
Remapping is often carried out through the OBD port on the vehicle, or through a process called bench mapping. OBD tuning is the most common as it is a quick and easy method of flashing the files as it requires absolutely no training to do whatsoever. Bench mapping however, involves removing the ECU from the vehicle, physically opening the ECU, and using probes, directly connecting on the ECU board itself. This method has a much higher risk of damage to the ECU if it is not carried out properly, however the writing process is more stable.
Here is a picture of the Bench tuning process:
When approaching remapping as a customer, carrying out research shows that there are more remapping companies out there than you know what to do with. So how are you supposed to choose? Looking through the main search medium of Google and Facebook, searching remapping in South Wales, you are bombarded with; pop-corn limiters, soot-city diesels, fault code deletes, promises of unrealistic fuel savings, Inflated power and torque outputs. Buy now pay later deals, and even mobile remapping so you don’t even have to leave your house. So what separates these companies?
The Problem with the Tuning Industry
The industry itself is partly to blame for this lack of clarity, companies have long gone unchecked as to what they are promising and offering. This article, I hope, can help shine some light on those dark areas, and help you decide who’s capable of tuning your car. These are topics that I feel are the most concerning:
Battery Support Units.
The use of battery support units are absolutely essential and can be just as important as the remapping tool itself. If you are unsure of what questions to ask the person who’s about to remap your pride and joy, you should absolutely ask about what (If any) battery support equipment they use.
So why are battery support units so important? Well they act as life support for your vehicle during the remapping process. They offer a constant stable voltage to the ECU while the tuning tool reads and writes the file. During this process the vehicle can draw up to 60 amps while writing. If the battery support unit cannot output the amount of current required, at the specified voltage, the process will fail.
In some circumstances the ECU will become stuck in a state where it cannot be recovered, and is now scrap. This ends up costing the tuning company lots of money to rectify. Not to mention the customer is now not only without the remap they turned up and paid for. But are now without a vehicle for a period of time. Here is an example of a suitable battery support unit:
Custom remapping is one of the most over used phrases in the remapping industry. Companies will often throw in the word custom to make their software seem superior than all those evil “Generic” files out there. This in-fact is absolute nonsense, and most of the time there is absolutely nothing custom about the file they are flashing to your vehicle, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.
The bottom line is all parts have their safe limit, turbos can only flow so much air and inter-coolers can only cool so much air etc. If the safe limit is reached using a £300 off the shelf file from a reputable supplier, or if you reach the limit after spending a day on the dyno and costing several times the retail price, What have we achieved?
Companies such as Revo, Quantum tuning, DNA Tuning etc do all the hard work in months of R&D, to deliver a product that is ready to go and is proven. However there is absolutely nothing custom about these files, but why is this a bad thing? Companies that undertake actual custom tuning will understand the heartache that goes into tuning a race car with a standalone engine management system from the ground up. Bottom line its expensive, takes time and requires a knowledgeable Calibration Engineer and a dyno to carry it out. Do you think you’re getting this out of the back of a van for £150 and 1 hour down time? I think not.
The not so good stuff.
This side of the industry is the naughty corner, this is the side of the industry that you as a customer should avoid at all costs. There are companies openly advertising fault code deletes, which is the easy way out instead of fixing faults on the vehicle. The software just permanently removes the fault code, and leaves the fault still on the car. This is not only poor workmanship, but gives the entire aftermarket automotive industry a bad name.
Likewise, we all know a local car park filled with people showing off their latest “Pop and bang” map that is like a machine gun firing. These customers are often driving around with the original CAT in place, or even as we have seen recently, the Gasoline Particulate Filter in place. These customers are completely unaware of the damage that this is causing.
Everyone is aware of the “soot-city” diesels. Those vehicles that drown everyone in black smoke the second they look at the throttle pedal. We do have to ask ourselves as an industry about the morality of allowing a customer to leave your workshop with that kind of tune on their vehicle. Should you take your vehicle to a workshop that is happy to put their name to this kind of tuning?
The final piece of madness I’ve seen while being involved in the remapping industry in South Wales is the term, “Mileage adjustments”. I mean really. If this isn’t openly advertising clocking of modern cars then I don’t know what is. Why would you need to adjust the mileage of your vehicle?
Has the ECU all of a sudden forgot its mileage? Those pesky modern computers….
As an industry, we need to clean our act up. Stop taking customers for granted.
Question advertising “Mileage corrections” and “Fault code deletes”
Stop encouraging the removal of emission control systems. Stop lying to our customers and instead go on training. Learn about tuning and calibrations in their entirety and be the best at what you do.
As a customer, do your research. Try search remapping in South Wales, and see who comes up;
- Ask what equipment they use?
- Who’s their software provider?
- Do they do advanced tuning work such as bench tuning or standalone tuning?
- Are the tools they use genuine or are they cheap clones?
- Are they well trained/qualified to tune?
- How long is the warranty period?
Make sure that when you hand your keys over, you are absolutely confident in their ability to undertake the work.