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Mercedes Performance Improvements

About chip-tuning

About ECU re-mapping

Mercedes Service Perth Performance Power ImprovementAll vehicle manufacturers, including Mercedes, deliver their vehicles with a software and management configuration that is a trade-off. The balance supplied by manufacturers is to match the performance of the vehicle across global markets taking into account all driving conditions, temperatures, etc. Whilst this enables Mercedes to deliver a uniform product, it does not leave your vehicle operating at peak performance. Mercedes Perth Service is able to offer ECU re-mapping or chip-tuning to help you gain economy and performance improvements.

Performance enhancements for Mercedes models specifically designed for the UK market can be supplied by Mercedes Perth Service. This ensures that for the range of driving conditions, temperatures and fuel types used in the UK market that your Mercedes will operate at peak performance.

The graphs to the right show the improvement that is available with a software enhancement. Depending on the engine speed a power increase of up to 20% and torque increase of 20% can be obtained on Mercedes models.

The benefits this brings you are;

  • Save money through improved fuel economy
  • Better overtaking through increased power and torque
  • Easier and less tiring journeys through smoother engine performance and less changes appear
  • A more enjoyable driving experience with improved throttle response and increased acceleration

All of this is achieved through a software performance enhancement from Mercedes Service Perth that enables the vehicle management system to perform more appropriately for the driving conditions you will find in the UK.

For further details or to book your performance enhancement contact Sandy today on 01738 622416 or 01821 640368.

The resulting increased performance will vary depending on the specific engine characteristics but typically results in an increase of 15% to 20% on maximum power and a 15% to 20% increase in maximum torque.

Below you will find the Mercedes Perth Service guide that explains what chip-tuning and ECU re-mapping involves.

About chip-tuning

What is chip-tuning?

Mercedes Service Perth Performance Torque ImprovementsChip-tuning is simply remapping by another name, but involves the physical removal of the program chip from the main ECU in the vehicle and either re-programming or replacement with a new chip modified with a suitable remap. Technology developments mean that chip-tuning is rarer now, but is still the only way to programme certain vehicles. Today, most ECU re-maps carried out by Mercedes Service Perth are completed via the diagnostic OBD2 Socket, or direct into the ECU using special adaptors.

What are the benefits of chip-tuning?

Generally, any car equipped with an engine management system can be tuned, which includes both petrol and diesel engines. However, chip-tuning or re-mapping produces best results on turbocharged, or supercharged engines. Raising the turbocharger or the supercharger boost pressure, allows for much higher gains in power to be achieved, when combined with the correct ignition timing and fuelling adjustments. Normally aspirated (non-turbo) engines will only gain a significant improvement in power if the manufacturer also offers the same engine in a significantly de-tuned state by ECU software alone. With a remapped car you can expect:

  • An engine that responds more eagerly to your right foot
  • Smoother power delivery making town driving much easier with fewer gear changes
  • Improved acceleration for safer overtaking
  • Improved fuel consumption on diesel engine vehicles
  • Overall improved driving comfort leaving you less tired on longer journeys

What about fuel savings?

When Mercedes Service Perth re-map a diesel vehicle, especially when fuel saving is the priority we focus on improving the low end torque in particular and widening the power-band as far as we can. This increase in low end torque will mean less throttle pedal input is required to maintain cruising speeds, when fully laden or when on a gradient. It will also mean that the vehicle will be more comfortable in higher gears at slower speeds together with requiring fewer gear changes overall.

If you combine these factors with adjusting your driving style to make the most of the extra low end torque you will see an improvement in fuel consumption. This is most effective on turbo-diesel engines where the savings could be as much as 20%!

Is chip-tuning legal?

Yes, replacing the chip on a vehicle ECU is perfectly legal. Though we do advise that you should inform your insurance company of any alterations made to the vehicle.

What is the ECU (engine control unit)?

All modern cars and vans an ECU. This Engine Control Unit can be described as the vehicles' ‘brain’ and contains a processor that takes information from various sensors throughout the engine. It analyses information such as the engine temperature, accelerator pedal angle, oxygen content in the burnt exhaust gases as well as many more parameters. Using the information from these sensors it can then add the right quantity of fuel, at just the right time to provide a good mix of fuel economy, performance and emission control when pulling away, overtaking, pottering down the road or cruising down the motorway.

What is ECU re-mapping?

When a manufacturer develops a new car they have to take into consideration all of the conditions it may be subjected to in all of the regions in which they intend to sell this model. This means instead of just optimising the ECU’s program or ‘map’ to deliver the best performance or the most fuel efficiency, they have to make compromises to the map to take into account these potential differing operating conditions. These could include sub-standard fuels, extremes in temperature and altitude, differing emission laws and even the possibility that vehicles may not be serviced on a regular basis and in accordance with the manufacturers recommended instructions. This data is used to develop an ECU map for models that are based on the whole global market rather than the local conditions experienced in Europe or just the UK.

The ECU re-mapping process at Mercedes Perth Service requires a download of the ECU current programming and adjusting various parameters within the map such as fuel pressure, boost pressure (on turbocharged applications) ignition advance and throttle pedal control amongst others to release the true performance from the engine. It is a completely safe process as it is just giving the engine the performance it should have had in the first place before all the compromises were applied to the original programming. Every engine will have its own unique map and by adjusting this we can fine-tune the characteristics of the engine, thereby unleashing more power and in many cases reduce fuel consumption too.

Benefits of re-mapping

ECU re-mapping will not only improve the engine power and torque figures, it will also sharpen the throttle response and widen the power-band. This will make the power delivery a lot more linear, which in turn will make the vehicle feel a lot livelier to drive and the engine more flexible. Frequently, the vehicle power output is restricted by the manufacturer for no other reason than to ensure that the vehicle fits into a class to suit fleet buyers. As a driving enthusiast, you do not need or want such restrictions placed upon your vehicles ECU and its performance, therefore you can benefit from the hidden power and torque locked away within your engine management system. At Mercedes Perth Service we can release this potential to improve performance and economy.

The other main benefit of remapping will be a reduction in fuel consumption. With the extra torque, especially at the bottom of the rev range you will see a fuel saving, as it will require less throttle input to maintain motorway speeds, you can drive in a higher gear at a slower speed as well as helping

significantly when fully laden, towing or on gradients and even in start-stop traffic.

ECU re-mapping and Turbo Diesel Engines

Many see the modern crop of Turbocharged diesels as the future of road car tuning. These engines offer fantastic potential for reliable low cost tuning without removing any of the appeal of buying and running a turbo diesel powered vehicle, such as economy, reliability and longevity.

After your ECU upgrade to your turbocharged diesel engine, you will enjoy:

  • Increased horsepower
  • Increased torque
  • Better throttle response
  • Smoother power delivery
  • Improved fuel economy
  • Safer overtaking
  • Overall comfort improved

ECU re-mapping and Turbo Petrol Engines

Turbocharged petrol engines have always been regarded as the sports flagship engine for good reason. They boast far higher power & torque figures than a non-turbocharged power-plant with similar displacement and are usually fitted to the manufacturer's flagship models. They are also ideal candidates for re-mapping as the ECU also controls the waste-gate (turbo boost pressure control). Mercedes Service Perth are able to help you release the full potential of turbocharged engines.

After your ECU upgrade to your turbocharged petrol engine, you will enjoy:

  • Increased horsepower
  • Increased torque
  • Better throttle response
  • Smoother power delivery
  • Safer overtaking
  • Improvements in fuel consumption
  • Overall comfort improved

ECU re-mapping and non Turbo Petrol Engines

The normally aspirated petrol engine, whilst not being the easiest of engines to tune, can still benefit from a 8-15% power increase with added torque by careful reprogramming of various engine parameters within the map. Parameters such as the fuel and ignition curves can be fine-tuned to give better power & torque output. On some engines the camshaft timing can also be tuned within the map, giving additional improvements.

In many cases, 'after market' tuning items such as freer flowing exhausts, high flow air filters and re-profiled camshafts can only be fully utilised by the engine once the necessary adjustments have been made within the ECU. Careful recalibration of the correct maps can unlock the potential of your new engine parts. Further power gains may also be available when a higher octane fuel is used, allowing for more ignition timing.

Mercedes Service Perth can advise on possible gains on your Mercedes and other models of vehicle.

Saving fuel with an ECU re-map

When we re-map a vehicle, especially when fuel saving is the priority Mercedes Service Perth focus on improving the low end torque in particular and widening the power-band as far as possible.

This increase in low end torque will mean less throttle pedal input is required to maintain cruising speeds, when fully laden or when on a gradient. It will also mean that the vehicle will be more comfortable in higher gears at slower speeds as well requiring fewer gear changes overall.

If you combine these factors with adjusting your driving style to make the most of the extra low end torque you will see an improvement in fuel consumption. This is most effective on turbo-diesel engines where the savings could be as much as 20%!

What is modified in your vehicle in a re-map?

Mercedes Service Perth do not change any hardware in your vehicle, we just modify the operating parameters in the ECU’s program or ‘map’. In many cases the map stored on the ECU’s processor can be accessed via the on-board diagnostics port (OBD) in the vehicle, normally found under the dashboard. In some newer models the ECU will have to be removed from the vehicle and the casing opened, our technicians will then use specialised tools to read the original map straight from the processing chip.

The Mercedes Service Perth technician will then upload the original map to our map writing team who will adjust the parameters to maximise the performance, fuel economy or a clever blend of both. Depending on the vehicle and ECU type the remapping process can take under an hour and if at any time you wish to return your vehicles ECU to its original default settings, this can be done easily as Mercedes Service Perth always keeps a copy of the original software as a backup.

Is and ECU re-map legal?

Yes, the process of re-mapping is perfectly legal. Mercedes Service Perth does advise that you should inform your insurance company of any alterations made to the vehicle.

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