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The complexities of ECU (engine control unit) remapping in vans are often underestimated and can in some cases be re-occurring. It’s a wise question to ask is ECU remapping always worthwhile or should I sell the van instead?

What is the ECU in a van?

The ECU stands for the Engine Control Unit and is effectively the brain of the van. These days vans are largely electronic and the ECU acts as a computer which seamlessly co-ordinates the electrical operations of the van.

What is ECU remapping?

Remapping is a form of tuning where an increased optimal performance of the van is achieved by over-riding the default settings for the ECU provided by the van manufacturer. This is a software exercise where an engineer reprograms the ECU in a task, which takes from 30 minutes typically up to two hours. A remapping exercise is usually straightforward, but not in all cases. Sometimes, remapping can be undertaken due to a software fault, which can be costly and tricky to diagnose/fix.

 Costs and hassles of ECU remapping

As well as having potential benefits, there are also many potential costs and hassles of ECU remapping. We have listed some below:

  • Using reputable/knowledgeable engineer – only skilled engineers (ideally with lots of experience) should program an ECU. In the past we have found that owners are a) ill-informed to know if an engineer is suitable and b) inherit a van with ECU faults, which appear to have been caused by a low-skilled engineer
  • Insurance invalidation – be careful, car remaps can cause a van to invalidate its insurance. It’s always wise to check with your insurance company, “better to be safe than sorry”
  • Warranty invalidation – although usually only applying to new models, remaps will invalidate manufacturer and possibly third-party warranties – it’s always wise to confirm if this is the case before remapping is undertaken
  • Repeated cycles of ECU remapping – sometimes ECU fixes can be tricky to fix and can require repetitive ECU remapping and lots of time in the garage!

For vans nearing their end of life why fix a faulty ECU?

Many vans with faulty ECU’s are nearing their end of life. As fixes can be difficult to achieve, we would ask any van owner – “why bother?” It’s often simpler to sell the van to an organisation like We Buy Broken Vans saving both time and hassle.

Van with a faulty ECU – selling might be right for you!

Never underestimate the complexities involved in fixing a faulty ECU. Many van owners find that sunken costs of remapping still haven’t fixed the issue. Why not save yourself the hassle by contacting us today on 0121 285 9859?

If you prefer, text or call us on our mobile, which is 07582 859 859.  We Buy Broken Vans are committed to our customers and can help any owner of a faulty van.

Image Credit: Wikipedia