Remap or Tuning boxes – Which should I choose?

Tuning boxes offer the same thing as remaps; but they go about it in a different way.

A tuning boxes plug into a car’s wiring loom and modifies the signals from the ECU. They are usually either very cheap (under £100) or very expensive (over £1000), with the cheaper tuning boxes being no more than variable resistors. These simply modify the signals sent to your ECU that control fuelling. The expensive boxes have computer-controlled variable resistors and do more than overfuel your vehicle, such as modify the throttle position. So the question is, do you choose a remap or tuning box?

Tuning boxes are, for the most part, online-exclusive products that are shipped out to you; they are easy to fit without mechanical knowledge and they can be removed at any time.

Some tuning boxes also come with turbo boost control and variable power outputs.

Remapping on the other hand is a replacement of the stock software on your ECU, rather than a modification of the signals sent to your ECU. A remap will modify boost, fuelling and sometimes other things such as MAF or even throttle position depending on the vehicle configuration. With a remap you will see a 10% – 15% gain in power and torque on a naturally aspirated engine and 20 – 40% gains in power and torque on engines with forced induction. While some tuning boxes can achieve this, they do so in a less efficient way.

Should I buy a remap or tuning boxes?

There are a wide range of high quality tuning boxes on the market that will not harm your vehicle, tuning boxes that will replicate a quality remap. An example is the EPC Powerbox Elite, but unlike a normal tuning box, this is customised to your vehicle upon installation.

What you need to avoid are the cheaper tuning boxes. From our experience, anything that retails for under £200 should be avoided. We say this because the technology used in cheaper tuning boxes leaves no room for alteration. Plus, they will not have extra features, such as variable power outputs where you can increase or reduce the power easily.

Of course, tuning boxes have some advantages over remaps. The key advantage being the fact that they can be removed easily. This may make them more convenient for some motorists.

For newer cars that cannot be tuned through the OBD port, the EPC Powerbox Elite are tuning boxes recommended by us. But when it comes to generic tuning boxes vs. remapping, there’s no comparison – remapping is better on new and older cars. We say this from a performance and reliability perspective because a custom remap is designed for your car and will be different to anybody else’s. And, we can say this from a customer’s point of view because you will be able to discuss your remap as well as othertuning stages you may wish to explore in the future with Hyperchips. You see it isn’t just the remap you’re buying into – it’s also the wealth of experience that a tuning company can offer.

Have you got any experience with tuning boxes? Perhaps you have tried a few out or you wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole? Let us know in the comments below or join the discussion on Facebook.