Getting more from your fleet - the benefits of ECU remapping for commercial vehicles

Oct 8, 2014
Getting more from your fleet – the benefits of ECU remapping for commercial vehicles 1

If you think having your vehicle ‘chipped’ is strictly for the performance enthusiast, then think again – ECU remapping is suitable for everyone, and can provide huge benefits to businesses running fleets of vehicles.

In this post, we explore ECU remapping and the benefits of re-flashing for economy, and outline the realistic savings businesses with fleet vehicles could expect to achieve.

What is ECU remapping?

Every modern vehicle is fitted with an ECU (Engine Control Unit), which is a computer that is responsible for managing and controlling several different engine functions.

The settings on this engine software can be changed to alter the way a vehicle drives, and the performance of the engine, and the process of altering these settings is known as ECU remapping, or sometimes reflashing/chipping.

When a vehicle is manufactured, the ECU is set to certain specifications, and whilst you might assume these would be the best, most efficient settings for the vehicle, this is rarely the case.

Manufacturers programme in safeguards for a variety of reasons, but generally, these are to protect engines from the dangers of misuse, neglect or the use of substandard fuels, or to artificially restrict performance to ensure that it fits into a certain class.

In essence, this means that you can safely optimise these settings to improve performance, economy, or a combination of the two, without affecting the reliability or lifespan of your vehicle’s engine.

ECU remapping for economy

By optimising the power, torque, fuelling, injection timing and injection pressure settings of the ECU, it’s possible to significantly improve the fuel economy of a vehicle’s engine.

Whilst the benefits vary from vehicle to vehicle, ECU remapping is particularly effective on turbo-diesel engines, making it a great solution for the majority of fleet and commercial vehicles.

On most turbo-diesels, an economy re-flash will deliver fuel savings of 7% and 10%, but on some vehicles, this can be as much as 15-20%. By improving fuel economy, an ECU re-flash will also make a vehicle more environmentally friendly.

Will ECU remapping for economy affect performance?

No. In fact, the reverse is often true, and it is actually possible to improve both engine performance and economy by balancing the ECU settings.

Savings explained - A real world example

Below, we’ve created an outline of the kind of realistic savings you could look to achieve on a single commercial vehicle:

If you were running a small commercial vehicle, like a Ford Transit, which achieved an average of 25MPG, and you did 20,000 miles a year in it, you’d be spending around £5000 a year on fuel at current prices (calculated at £1.37/l).

With an ECU re-flash aimed at maximising economy, you could realistically increase your fuel economy by 10%, saving you around £500 each year. When multiplied across a fleet of vehicles, it’s easy to see how quickly these savings could add up.

How AET can help

At AET, our experienced ECU remapping teams can offer a full, efficient and cost-effective remapping service for any number of commercial or passenger vehicles.

With a fully mobile service designed specifically to meet the needs of commercial customers, we can come to your premises at a time that suits you, helping to reduce disruption and minimise downtime.

We have access to the latest maps for a full range of vehicles, to ensure that we can optimise the engine performance of your fleet to help maximise the savings for your business.

For additional information on any aspect of ECU remapping, or to book, get in touch with a friendly member of the AET team today on 01924 588 266 or email

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