Engine Control Unit

A Subaru is quite poplar around the globe, exclusively with youngsters and the young at heart, primarily due to their sporty character and off road nature. Despite the stock cars providing decent performance, people want to take things a notch higher with various upgrades, the most common being a race ECU. Subaru being a very popular car company, aftermarket ECU kits are usually available at most car accessory dealer, or specialized tuners.

Available Upgrade Options:

ecu-wrxSome common ECU manufacturers for different Subaru models are Cobb Tuning, APS, EcuTek etc. They have standard issue upgrade kits for most models from Subaru, although you could ask them to get you the parts you are looking for on special request. Performance gains can positively be felt on upgrading your Subaru’s stock ECU, although, the kind of performance upgrade you get, depends on the kind of mapping that has been done on it.

Customizing Your ECU Settings:

If you are looking for any performance trend in particular, i.e. acceleration gain, top end power boost or additional fuel efficiency, you need to communicate with your car tuner for best results. ECU manufacturers label out their product depending on stock mapping and this helps customers understand what sort of performance gains they could be expecting post installation.

If you are unsure of what to expect, a dyno test should answer all your queries. Certain ECUs meant for Subarus, can be remapped, although they are usually on the pricier side of things. Get professional help for best results, although you could try it out at home, if you have the required tools. Dyno testing can be done at any nearby facility for a minor fee.

Replacing ‘Chips’ Not So Common Anymore!

The Subaru Impreza, or more recently, their WRX, are most popular due to their performance and major upgrades are usually possible for these models only. However, their Forester, Legacy, Outback and Turbo 2000 models are equally adept to ECU upgrades. ECUs for SUVs are quite differently mapped than performance coupes. Hence, you need to look for chips that complement your modification, before indulging in an offbeat product.

Most people refer to ECUs as chips. While this may work for certain models that actually use a chip, fitted within the ECU, most modern Subarus, have a built in chips. Hence, your complete setup needs to be replaced. Aftermarket ECUs vary in different climatic conditions. Hence, an upgrade unit available in China will be quite different from one available in Britain. The ECU controls the amount of air/fuel mixture headed to the engine. Hence, it is mapped according to the terrain.

Understanding ECU Settings:

If your Subaru operates mainly in high altitude, you will have to boost air flow, in order to gain maximum performance and increase fuel efficiency at the same time. The amount of oxygen decreases as we head up. Hence, more air needs to be pumped into the engine, to gain the same oxygen content. This is why most high altitude vehicles need a turbo charger, to extract maximum performance. You could work on an ECU replacement yourself, or opt for professional help.