Will a car remap affect my warranty?

It’s fair to say that driving the same car for years and years can get mind-numbing. Not only will the limitations of your car’s performance become clear over time, but you will witness a wealth of new cars come to market that are faster and more efficient than your own. If you are experiencing this, a car remap is probably on the top of your to-do list this year to re-ignite that early love you had for your pride and joy.

An important consideration must be made before you get a car remap with regards to your warranty. The pleasure of driving a new car would not be complete without the peace of mind that should something go bang, then your car will be repaired for free by the OEM. Manufacturer warranties typically last for 3-7 years (or up to a certain mileage, whichever comes first) and for the most part a warranty will provide you with a hassle-free maintenance solution for your entire ownership period.

Will a car remap affect my warranty?

Quite simply, yes.

A car remap will void your engine’s warranty (including the turbo or supercharger), and it may also void your clutch and gearbox warranty too. If you have heard different elsewhere, then you’ve been lied to. Car manufacturer warranties clearly state that modifications to any components that are not approved by the OEM will void their warranty.

A car remap not approved by your OEM falls under this.

If your car is still under warranty, then, you should definitely consider this – especially if your particular car has had to have warranty work carried out on the engine before, as your car will be at a heighted risk of needing further maintenance in the future. Of course, your car may need no warranty work carrying out at all. In this case it doesn’t matter if you have had a car remap. But, it’s a risk if your car still has any significant warranty on it.

Can OEMs check to see if I have had a car remap?

Yes, they can.

But whether or not they will find out that your car has been remapped is another question.

The diagnostic equipment in most dealership garages is not sophisticated enough to check ECU software for discrepancies between it and the original software. A dealership will not find any fault codes if they plug in a diagnostic tool. However, if for example your head gasket has blown and your OEM faces a costly warranty repair, they may send your ECU off for further analysis. In 99% of cases, this further analysis will uncover your remap, and your OEM will have grounds to flat-out refuse to repair your car under warranty.

Can my car remap be removed for warranty work?

Yes, it can.

Hyperchips and other tuning companies can return your ECU to normal (i.e. the way it was before it was altered) to minimise the risk of your OEM checking that your car has been tuned. But this is not fool proof. Your OEM may still be able to see that your ECU has been altered if they have advanced diagnostic equipment. This is an aftersales service that we can provide free of charge to most of our customers. Most companies charge for this service.

Conclusion

Remapping will void your engine warranty and potentially your drivetrain warranty. There are questions to be asked about a dealership’s ability to check and confirm that an ECU has been tuned, but it’s a gamble either way. We have tuned plenty of brand new cars, such as the MK7 Volkswagen Golf R and they have performed exceptionally without any need for warranty work. On cars that have needed warranty work after being tuned, our experience is that in 90% of cases warranty work is carried out without question.

If you have any more questions about a car remap, we may have covered your query with one of our other blog posts, such as will a remap affect the resale value of my car? And is remapping an older car safe? If you have a unique question related to your car, please feel free to call us on 0800 458 1543 or from your mobile on 07590 196772.