Diesel tuning is a process that optimises parameters in the engine control unit or ECU. Rather than replacing the engine or installing new parts it simply involves the software being reprogrammed. It is possible to improve power and torque, as well as fuel economy by using a diesel remap. Remaps work by forcing more air into the engine through the intake valve(s), injectors and turbo wastegate. This forces the fuel into the cylinders and allows them to burn efficiently. This results in a substantial power gain of around 30%.
Modern diesel engines use sophisticated fuel injection systems to achieve optimum performance. The ECM or engine control module uses data from sensors in the engine to calculate the appropriate amount of fuel and air for each cycle of combustion. It takes into consideration many conditions including vehicle speed, atmospheric conditions and throttle position.
Power Up: Strategies to Increase Diesel Performance and Get the Most Out of Your Engine
The result is a highly efficient fuel-burning process with lower emissions and improved performance. As a result of this, it isn’t as easy to make big gains with internal modifications such as cam/valve lift or air (fuel) flow.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to maximise a diesel’s potential, but it does require an understanding of the limitations and benefits. A diesel tuning expert can help you select the right options for your specific needs. For example, it may not make sense to optimize your diesel for off-road driving if you only take the 4motion Golf out once a year.