The Freelander has always been Landrover's underdog compared to its siblings the rugged defender, sporty and luxurious range rover and all-rounder but very large and heavy discovery.
But the Freelander is a great vehicle in its own right as an everyday runner with towing capability when needed. I personally own a facelift Freelander 1 HSE and yes, it’s been remapped. Of course, it has!
Before I remapped my Freelander, it was somewhat a lazy landy. It did not like going up hills or pulling away, the 2.0l diesel BMW engine was only producing 110bhp and 260nm of torque. The 4x4 steel managed to tow my 6m rib fine but after having it remapped, she doesn’t even notice her friend tagging along behind. Remapped the 2.0l Freelander 1 has an increase bhp of 26% to 140BHP and increased torque to 340nm 30% more grunt to get you up steep hills and confidence to overtake.
I was astonished by the difference. Before the Freelander was remapped, I was considering selling the old girl but she is now a keeper. To the point she is now sporting personal number plates.
The Freelander does just as much as her siblings now maybe just maybe even a little better. She is more comfortable then a defender that's for sure, she tows just as well as a discovery and she sprightly now like a Range Rover -well almost- but you don't worry about her in car parks that is for certain.
It’s not only the Freelander 1 that benefits from remapping the Freelander 2 really bridges the gap between the Freelander and range rover. Freelander 2 are full of gadgets and luxury same as the range rover but more affordable to run and with a remap for a few hundred British pounds you can have more power. The average increase for the Freelander 2 models is 20% increase. For example, the 190Bhp 2.2 diesel would remap to 226bhp, the new most common 3.0tdv6 range rover is 253bhp and weighs more so power after remap is on par.
In the last few years we've seen an increase in manufacturers dropping their larger capacity engines in favour of smaller 3-cylinder engines with turbos. Having grown up around big V8’s and turbo track cars I'll admit that at first, I was a little negative but more than a little curious. Recently we have had a large increase in the number of small engine petrol turbos that we remap; the most import lesson is again don’t think "that sewing machine isn't worth getting done"!
Most of these small capacity turbos actually gain a surprising amount of torque as well making them so much nicer to drive. The additional torque is what you notice when driving a car, it's the thing that pushes you back in the seat. Even some of the big manufacturers such as Audi, VW and Ford are dropping there 2.0tfsi in favour of punchier 1.3 and 1.5 turbos. Fiat did this when stopping production of the 2.0turbo in the coupe and now have the 1.4 turbo in the Abarth’s an 124s and they are amazing cars.
I'm sure if you’re of a slightly older generation you'll have fond memories of the old RS turbo escorts, fiestas and cars like the Fiat Uno turbos, punto GT’s and even the legendary Renault 5 Turbos. But it appears that cars like that are making a comeback, with the likes of Hyundai's i30n, Abarth 500, Fiesta ST, Polo GTI. Amazingly Toyota have just released the with a 1.6 3cylinder making 265bhp 265nm.
Still enough of all the hot hatch stuff the best bit is the non-sporty versions are fitted with exactly the same engines only they have been down tuned.
So, you know what you need to do... yes that's right get it remapped and unleash all that power and performance!
This is where the remapping the likes of BMW’s 114 can move it from 102bhp to 220bhp!! That is an impressive difference in drivability and performance. In short do not be put off with not being able to get a 2 or 3 litre engine car, just go and test drive one of this new breed before making up your mind and lastly don’t for get them booked in for a remap when you've bought it.
From the moment you complete your booking we at Remap Kings are in the background starting the process. Our IMI trained technicians carry out pre-checks on your vehicles spec, so we know which is the best tool and process for your vehicle. Upon arrival after a little meet and greet we get straight to work continuing the pre checks getting information on your vehicle’s history. We will run a full diagnostic check on the ECU for any hidden faults that may not be showing on your dashboard. Once this is completed and there are no engine faults that may hinder the remap we continue with the next step there are three different ways to complete a remap, the most common way for us to access a vehicles ECU is via On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) port; in obd mode 90% of the time we retrieve a full read of the ECU, the remaining 10% is known as a virtual read. This is where specialised equipment is used to extract the important engine data from your ECU, this then enables a complete comparison to a vehicle.
At this point information is sent to our remapping team, back in the office who compare the data to an existing file previously created using a dyno. However in virtual read we cannot tell if a vehicle has previously been remapped this is where we rely on your experience with the vehicles history, bear in mind though even if a vehicle has been remapped prior to your ownership, 99% of the time we will have a more up to date version as our team at head office are constantly updating the files so that our customers receive the best remap possible.
Another option would be to remove the ECU and carry out a process referred to as bench mode which requires removing the ECU without splitting the casing. This process enables direct contact with the ECU, this is not only good for us in the field but also great for our remapping team back in the office to build a bigger and better file, bench mode is a fast and direct full read of your ECU using state of the art equipment.
The third and final way of remapping is called boot mode, this requires splitting the ecu apart to gain access to the PCB (the brain) using a special frame to support the ecu and special pins or solder we can then start the extremely delicate process of boot mode. There is always a certain risk in doing this as one pin in the wrong place can render the ECU a useless ‘Brick’ and cost thousands to replace. To reduce as much risk as possible with boot mode we don’t attempt this in the field partly due to being out in the elements and not having a nice clean warm dry office to carry out the work. Remap Kings do offer an office-based service where we remove your ECU and have this sent to our technical department; this process usually takes approximately 72 hours depending on the location, there is also an additional fee for this service.
The myths about remapping
If you’re in the know or have been searching around for a remap you would have heard the term generic file or custom remap, every remap is customised to the car. Another myth is that you can't remap a car without a dyno, this is not true. These are all terms created from the saying ‘a little knowledge is dangerous thing’. Every trust worthy remapper will agree that their remaps are all created on a dyno in the early stages after which they go through rigorous testing on a dyno and on the road, after which they are then passed out to be sold to the public.
Some companies will tell you they are doing you a custom map on the dyno, in reality you are paying extra for a dyno printout before and after having the same flash files you get from us and other reputable mobile remappers, this Is due to most modern ecus are not live mappable meaning they cannot be adjusted whilst the vehicle is running, the term full custom map is based around standalone aftermarket ecus which can only be adjusted live.
Dynos are a diagnostic tool they were created to enable road testing in a safe standstill environment, they were not really intended for power read outs their main use is to replicate driving a vehicle on the road for tuning an mapping they do give a power printout but this is not a given truth as there are too many variables that can change the power figure such as outside air temperature, time of day/year height above sea level and overall location an company that built it.
A dyno running the same car in summer and winter will have a different power figure due to outside air temp and density of the air. This Is more noticeable if you watch the Pikes Peak challenge in the U.S. the vehicle go through such dramatic air density changes they have different maps for each time they climb higher on the circuit, this is due to the air density changing affecting air/fuel mixture they actually change horsepower the higher they go.
Ever noticed your car goes a little better on a cold winter morning and not so well on a hot summer’s day. So now we have cleared up a few myths I hope this will make your decision easier when making the choice on getting your pride and joy remapped.
Starting from a normal booking of a Smart ForTwo 0.9L Turbo I wasn’t expecting a huge difference in performance from such a small engine and a 17bhp and 52Nm gain doesn’t sound like a lot.
However, in a small car like this a very minimal gain makes a bigger difference than you would expect, not just in terms of power but also in the delivery of the power and the improved driveability which is a major factor when considering remapping a car.
The reason this particular vehicle stood out from a lot of other cars I have remapped was the change in driveability, from a small 3 cylinder engine normally when first pulling away they can be very unbalanced and judder due to the way a 3 cylinder engine runs, and the need to in effect, wind the engine up before it smooths out and gets going. Once remapped the torque came in a lot lower down the rev range and allowed the take up of power to come in smoother and made a night and day difference when accelerating from lower speeds.
This also unlocked a lot more power from the engine, although only minimal the increase in power and torque took the smart car to above the levels of software and power that Brabus use on their special edition smart car which also costs a lot more in its basic form.
The power and torque figures are not the only thing to concentrate on, or the main factor when remapping a car, as with this vehicle by todays standards with production cars coming from the factory with upwards of 600bhp in some cases, the power figures for this vehicle are low in comparison and if the main reason for a remap is chasing power figures or numbers then driveability of the vehicle can be compromised.
We do not remap cars purely just for power figures but also for fuel consumption improvements and improved driveability and as with the Smart ForTwo even the smallest of gains can make a huge difference with the way the car reacts and performs to driver input.
The VW Transporter 2.0 litre TDI is a very popular vehicle and certainly the go to van for the many. The Transporters uses are endless from work vehicles for tradesman and couriers, people carriers for growing families or as a base for camper-van conversions. Little wonder it’s in the top three bestselling vans in the UK. So, its baffling to why Volkswagen would sell a van that slow and with little get up and go.
Obviously, it is far cheaper for VW to use the same engine across their different model range. It also makes a larger profit selling the more desirable high spec vehicle with a better power output; however, the power difference between the higher and lower range models is staggering, to say the least.
The T6 is very underpowered from factory at just a 102BHP as standard, but can be remapped up to 175BHP; that is a whopping 72% increase in power...72%! or in other words a whole VW polo 1.4 TDI BlueMotion.
The results are astonishingly good, not only does the increased horsepower make these vans quicker of the mark but combined with the 44% gain on torque they pull like a train; say good bye to your uphill struggles. Remapped the transporter goes from 250nm to 360nm. That is a huge 110nm gain.
The smoothness of the map makes these vans an absolute pleasure to drive be it your camper on holiday or your humble workhorse. I was blown away with the results.
The good news
The great thing about knowing Volkswagen's tricks of the trade is it can help save a bundle of money. Power specifications on model can be the difference of thousands of pounds and you can release the same power with a ECU remap for a few hundred. Now that cannot be a bad thing.
And the remap also smooths out the flat spots what makes for a much more nicer driving experience.
Although it seems criminal for Volkswagen to sell the Transporter so underperforming, it does mean that customers can save money when next buying one of these vans because please don't get me wrong the VW transporter is a great van and it has been since the first one landed back in 1950 and VW have sold over 12.4 million’s vans so they must be getting something right.
Just not the horsepower as people have been trying to get more power out of their transporters for years with people putting larger capacity engines in the back of the early vans even Porsche and Subaru blocks.
But the engineering and technology are far superior these days and a simple remap your power prayers are answered.
So, Amen to that!
The BMW 330D built from 2012 onwards is no slouch in standard form, so what are the added benefits of remapping this already powerful German saloon? In standard form this car is pushing out a healthy 258bhp and 560nm of torque, after writing the ECU (the brain of the vehicle) with our performance map these figures change to an impressive 310bhp and a mighty 650nm of torque.
At Remap Kings we have three different systems that allow us to talk to a wide variety of vehicles, covering most makes and models. These different systems are utilised in one of two ways, through the OBD2 diagnostic port or a method known as ‘Bench’ whereby the ECU is removed from the vehicle and the changes carried out on a bench wired directly to the ECU pins – the BMW in question uses the later.
Before starting any work, the vehicle is checked over for any faults or issues, including plugging in a state of the art OBD diagnostic machine. This bit of kit will read the ECU and associated modules fitted to the car for any stored or current fault codes and displays them. With no faults present work can commence on removing the ECU ready for the read/write process.
Removing the ECU
With most modern BMW’s the ECU is located in a plastic box in the engine compartment, easily accessible with the bonnet open. A lid is secured on top with a series of screws, once the lid is removed the ECU is visible in all its glory. Two plugs connect the main harness to the ECU itself, this slide and pull off with ease, the unit itself is then pulled out upwards from its box.
With the ECU now safely on the bench it’s time to connect our tuning box and load up the necessary software on the laptop.
Talking to the ECU
With the ECU now removed from the vehicle we can start the process of extracting the current data, also known as ‘reading’. First, we select the correct hardware version on the remapping software, this allows the software and ECU to ‘talk’ through the tuning interface. Once the correct option is picked it’s time to connect the cable to the ECU, this requires carefully reading a diagram of which different colour wires connect to which pins.
Once all the equipment and cables are connected the current data and parameters are read and backed up in case there is the need to revert to original settings.
It’s file time
After all the above has been carried out it’s time to select a performance remap file for the vehicle. In the case the customer requested that his sports display (a digital BHP & torque read out display) is altered to show the extra increase in power and torque – something that we can do.
Once the correct file has been selected, in this case a Performance Map, it is downloaded to the laptop ready to be written to the ECU. The write process does exactly what it says on the tin, writes the tuned file to the ECU.
The final steps & one happy customer
Once the remap file has been written to the ECU it’s time to refit it back in the car. After refitting, the car is started and the OBD diagnostic machine reconnected to check for any faults before road testing the vehicle. Instantly the customer noticed the transformation to the car after carrying out the work, smiling like a Cheshire Cat the whole time! With more low-down torque, sharper throttle response and generally more power in all gears, it’s no wonder why BMW 330D’s are such a hit with Remap Kings!
Remap Kings is the leading provider of remapping services in the UK. We’ve supplied thousands of remaps, and we have the experience to know when it is worth remapping your vehicle. This means that we know ECU remapping can have many benefits: then again, it probably shouldn’t surprise you that a remapping company is telling you that. The question is, is remapping worth it for you?
Unlike some of our competitors, we at Remap Kings believe that it is vital that our customers are able to make an informed decision. That’s why we’ve put together this blog so you can work out if getting a remap is worth it for you.
How many miles has your car done?
If your car has done over 150,000 miles, then there’s a risk that a remap won’t be worth it. While you will see power gains, both in terms of torque and horsepower, by this stage in its life cycle, the vehicle will already have lost much of its initial power. This means that the power gains from your remap may not reach the original values for the vehicle.
When was your car made?
Not every car has an OBD port to plug into: this can make remapping the ECU very difficult. While all modern vehicles will have one, the same is not true for vehicles made before 2000.
Is your vehicle still within manufacturer warranty?
If you remap your vehicle and it is still within the manufacturer warranty, a remap may not be for you. In the event of any electronics fault, the first step taken by the producer of the vehicle will be to interrogate the ECU meaning they will likely be able to detect your remap. This means that the vehicle warranty will be voided.
To your knowledge, has your vehicle ever had a remap or any other tuning conducted upon it in the past?
If your vehicle has had a previous remap or other modifications made to it, we cannot remap it. This is because we do not know what the previous remap or modifications may have done, so the risk of something going wrong is increased.
Dead spots in acceleration removed.
The biggest advantage of a remap is that it smooths out dead areas in your vehicle’s power curve. This ensures you will have an immediate response when you put your foot down. This will make driving more enjoyable and much safer, so if you’ve had experience of dead spots in your acceleration curve, we can’t recommend a remap strongly enough!
Getting a remap will increase the horsepower available to your engine, all while staying well within safety margins. Vehicle manufacturers purposefully de-tune engines for marketing reasons, allowing them to create a range of differently powered models of the same vehicle. Our remap will simply allow the vehicle to access the power that the manufacturer has locked away and unleash the full potential of the engine.
Not only will the horsepower of your vehicle increase, but so will the torque. This is where you’ll feel the true improvement. By increasing torque, the frequency of gear changes will be decreased, and the car will have improved acceleration. Combined with the removal of dead spots and the increased BHP values, it’ll feel like a far smoother and more enjoyable driving experience.
Increased fuel efficiency
A remap will potentially lead to an increase in fuel efficiency, assuming you do not change your overall driving style. This is because, due to the decrease in necessary gear changes, the vehicle will be able to maintain more efficient transfers of energy from combustion of fuel.
Can increase strain on your vehicle
Especially in older vehicles, the increase in power and torque can create problems in the drive train. This is because the improved values will be placing increased stress on the vehicle, and can increase the speed at which parts are worn down.
Some manufacturers are already highly tuning their cars
Some cars are already highly tuned, for instance Hondas. Because of this, a remap may only increase the power available to your car by a very small amount, potentially meaning a remap wouldn’t be worthwhile for that vehicle.
In some cars, it can be risky
Not every car can be remapped through the OBD port. This means that the ECU, the brain of your car, will have to be removed and physically modified. This can be done safely in a sterile environment, but when you’re out on the road like our team, it’s just not a good idea.
We hope that this checklist and guide have given you the answers you need to decide if a remap is worth it for you. If you have any questions or want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 0800 061 4326 where we’re always happy to help!
Searching for remap
Be advised that in the unlikely event that your dealer ‘detects’ our remap, this may invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.
You are legally obliged to tell your current or prospective insurer of any and all modifications made to your vehicle.
Be aware that if your vehicle is purchased through a finance plan, such as Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) or Hire Purchase (HP), that you are the ‘keeper’ and not the ‘owner’ of said vehicle. You are therefore contractually obliged to contact your lender and obtain written permission from them for any non-standard modifications.
Please remember that every vehicle is unique and manufacturers will sometimes put different ECUs into the same car and many vehicles have unusual configurations or modifications which are only apparent when reading the ECU. As such, we recommend that you discuss the potential gains and tuning options available directly with our engineer.
Remap Kings tuning database is constantly being refined, amended, updated and expanded. Remap Kings is confident that its data is amongst the most comprehensive ECU tuning and remapping data currently available anywhere in the world.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the data in above table is up-to-date and accurate, it should only be used as a guide. It is possible that the economy and performance gains available are in excess of those stated above, conversely actual gains may be less than the current data suggests.
A non-refundable deposit of £50.00 is required. Money is off full priced remaps only. No cash alternative is available.