Remap or Tuning Box? What’s the Difference and Which is Best?

When it comes to getting the most out of your vehicle's engine, you may have come across two terms—remapping and tuning boxes. While they both sound similar, there are key differences that make one more effective and reliable than the other. In this blog post, we will break down what exactly a remap and a tuning box are, what their respective benefits and drawbacks are, and which one is best for your vehicle.

What is a Remap?

A remap is when an expert technician reprograms or “remaps” your vehicle's ECU (engine control unit). This involves writing new hardcoded instructions for your vehicle, covering a wide range of parameters including limiters like boost and torque.

Depending on the vehicle in question a remap could alter 40-50 different parameters in the map data, offering extremely fine and accurate changes to enhance your vehicle's performance and efficiency.

What Is a Tuning Box?

A tuning box is a device that allows you to change certain settings on your engine without having to physically reprogram the ECU itself. The tuning box tricks the ECU into thinking that certain settings are different from what they are, to increase performance.

While this can be helpful in some situations, tuning boxes cannot provide the same level of detail as a professional remap because they do not write new parameters into the engine management software like manufacturers would with a remapping update process.

Although some tuning boxes do improve performance up to a certain rev range, they cannot overcome hardcoded limiters within the engine management software. That means that when the extra power delivered reaches a level where limiters kick in, the tuning box cannot deliver any more torque or power but on the other hand a professional remap can because the software has been given new instructions including allowing more torque or boost for example.

Benefits & Drawbacks of Remaps & Tuning Boxes

Remaps provide superior results compared to tuning boxes due to their ability to rewrite instructions into the ECU as opposed to simply tricking it into thinking something else. However, remapping does require an experienced professional who knows exactly how to adjust parameters without damaging your engine or compromising its safety features.

Tuning boxes offer very limited customization options, They also don't require professional installation but be aware that sometimes even higher quality ones cannot always deliver accurate results due to incorrect calibration or poor installation methods used by inexperienced technicians who don't understand all aspects of these devices properly.

Additionally, since tuning boxes rely on tricking rather than rewriting instructions into the ECU, they often cause errors within its settings which can result in unexpected problems down the line with reliability issues among other things so bear this in mind too when considering whether or not this type of upgrade is worth it for your particular vehicle model or engine set-up requirements.


In conclusion, both remap, and tuning boxes have their pros and cons depending on what kind of upgrade you're looking for; however, if you want maximum performance gains without any risk then opting for a professional remap would be best overall. Remaps offer superior results compared with tuning boxes thanks to their ability to rewrite instructions directly into your vehicle's ECU rather than simply tricking it with devices like tuning boxes.

IMI Certified Tuning Specialist

MPG Tuning Ltd
Unit 44 Rumerhill Business Estate
Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 0ET

 Tel: 01543 466662


MPG Tuning Offer Professional ECU Remap and Tuning services including but not limited to ECU Remapping, EGR Delete, DPF Solutions, VAG Emissions Recall Scandal Rollback, Tricore Processor Programming, Boot Mode, and Traditional Chip Tuning.

MPG Tuning is based in Cannock Staffordshire but serves customers from further afield typically from the following areas, Lichfield, Burntwood, Rugeley, Stafford, Brownhills, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Tamworth plus many more areas throughout the West and East Midlands.

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Choosing a Good Tuner is as important as choosing a Good Doctor.

You will be presented with a bewildering selection of companies, all claiming to be the best in the industry. Unfortunately the industry has been flooded with “Get Rich Quick” merchants all desperate to take your money from you. In many cases the “Get Rich Quick” operators have invested in “Cloned” counterfeit remapping tools off the internet. They have little “if any” industry knowledge, experience or liability insurance…

Don’t get sucked in by a good story and what appears to be an incredible price. Instead of taking the word of self-acclaimed tuning experts, a search on google will reveal some very interesting, yet disturbing facts about a few “so called” professionals. Unlike some testimonials “Bert for Bognor says we are Brill” our customers are real people. Don’t take our word for it, ask the people that know best “Our Customers”

I went for a remap on my T5 as it had an awful flat spot around 2800 rev's I got great personal service and its like having a new engine in the van smooth power and greater economy.... Highly recommended wish I'd done it months ago it would have paid for it self already thanks a lot hills are no longer a drag.

Adrian McManus

Popped in to see Mike on Friday to have my A4 2.0TDi 170hp remapped. Have to say I was a little pessimistic at first having being told by another firm that remaps on these were a nightmare so was expecting the worst! Thankfully, nothing of the sort, straight in, one error message unknown but Mike worked it out and all done in no time. Straight out for a test run and the drive is very different, certainly mid ranged (where these engines seem to suffer) pulls away nicely and can definitely feel the benefit. Best money I've ever spent on a car in, well, forever! Thanks again Mike

Mark Patterson

Had the ECU my 320D remapped by Mike yesterday. Very impressed with the results. Noticed it straight away after having it done. Service was also great, talked me through all of it to get exactly what I wanted out of it. Highly recommend mpg tuning.

James Aston

Took my Civic Mk VIII 2.2 CDTI to Mike following a recommendation from a friend who's had his last few cars remapped at MPG., professional service and answered any questions I had. Customised remap that gave me a good balance between performance and economy. Mike was happy to let me watch the whole procedure and explained what he was doing. Makes a good brew as well! Would highly recommend, Will definitely bring my future motors here.

Dan Wright

Just had the ECU on my BMW 320D remapped and it is absolutely superb the power is unbelievable and the service is outstanding would recommend it to anybody he has transformed my car from 160 bhp to 207 bhp no smoke at all and the power delivery is awesome throughout all of the gears really happy.

Tom Dawson

Had my Astra 1.9cdti remapped here with EGR delete for a great price, I have now got the full power and yes it's rapid lol.... Mike was helpful and talked me through it all and also good after care as well. Thanks again.

Scott Walker

Had my T5 remapped today. Over the moon with the results! Really reasonable price and customer service is second to none! Would highly recommend!

Ethan Tunnicliffe

I had my car remap done and I'm really pleased with MPG Tuning. Great atmosphere, great service and I will recommend it to all my friends. Thank you once again. Renault Megane 2.0 Turbo petrol with 165 hp standard

David Wojtasik

Took my Astra estate for a ecu remap, excellent job feels a lot more responsive!

Umair Khalid

Mike remapped my car. Perfect professional service from start to the end. For less than 2 hours everything was done. If you want a different feeling when you are driving MPG Tuning is your place to go.

Dimitar Dimitrov

My boyfriend has exactly the same car as me 1.5 diesel fiesta, had his remapped and was over the moon with it. I had never thought of having a car remap but after driving his, mine felt heavy and slow so decided to get mine done too, now I am converted I love it even more and I am getting about 80-90 miles per tank better than before, very happy , great friendly service and awesome cuppa while we waited

Kelly Williams

Had my renault van remapped at mpg tuning, awesome power, can now keep up with pigeons, thanks Mike for an excellent job 👍👍



Our lead technician has over 16 years’ experience in the tuning industry and long term connections with some of the Worlds most experienced data programming and tuning specialists. We are extremely passionate about our customer satisfaction and strive for a perfect result every time.

Contact MPG Tuning today to discuss options for a professional ECU remap or Call Us: 01543 466 662