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Thread: How does engine re-map affect your Smart Fortwo?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Margate, Kent
    Posts
    36

    How does engine re-map affect your Smart Fortwo?

    Hello everyone,

    I am after some advice/opinions from you, if you can spare a few minutes.

    My 02 reg Fortwo with almond shape lights is due it's MOT and service in June. I think I will be going to Chequered Flag as I'm in Margate in Kent, and they're relatively close, and from what I can see, know their stuff. Whilst I am having it serviced, I have been tempted by an engine re-map. Question is, should I do it? What are the pros and cons of this? Also, should I get stage 1 or stage 2? What is the difference? How do they both affect fuel economy? What advantages/differences will I notice? Can anyone advise me on this?

    My car has done 46000 miles, and has a full Smart dealership service record, so I can only hope she was looked after before me, I would like to continue looking after her, and want to ensure I don't do anything that could bring her to an untimely end.... If anyone has any tips or suggestions, please share them.

    Many thanks

    James

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Margate, Kent
    Posts
    36
    Anybody out there able to advise me on this? What I really want to know is what the pros and cons are in your experience, I'm sure a lot of you have had this done. How did it affect your fuel economy? Will it adversely affect the life span of my car, and if so how dramatically? Is it worth doing? If anyone could advise I would be eternally grateful.

    Also, as I am in Margate, Kent, I see there is a Smart specialist in both Wingham, Kent and Chequered Flag by Bluewater, which would you guys reccomend going to, or neither? In which case, who would you trust with a C Service, MOT and remap (Stage 1 or 2)

    I am upgrading the brake discs to grooved and drilled, and getting red stuff pads, also thinking of the braided brake line upgrade to. I figure if the car is going faster, I'd also like it to stop faster.

    If anyone can advise, I thank you in advance. James.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Glasgow
    Posts
    154
    The text below was an answer to a similer question i asked a while ago.

    The thread was called remapping the CDI under smart for four

    Hope it helps

    Hazem

    Quoted text below

    Doesn't anyone realise why the manufacturers do a certain "map" for an engine?
    OK....they sell to many countries....different fuel/temps/etc.
    BUT...IF they could, they'd sell with the most power/eco available.
    You get a re-map.....warrenty is about 1000 miles behind you!
    My VW Transporter (2.5 TDI) IS remapped..and it's great...but I do a service at 10,000km instead of 15,000.
    Little Smarties only have small lumps to start with...they GO well for what they have, but we all know they don't last too long! Strain it...and you have to expect a re-build a LOT sooner.
    Rally cars are tuned/mapped to "perfection"...but then...they only do ONE rally per re-build.
    Anyone who thinks they can just get more power/mpg from a standard engine without consequences needs a major overhaul themselves!
    I'm not knocking re-maps, just beware of what it means to your pocket long-term.
    Just for info...after I re-mapped my DUB..it went from 38mpg to 47mpg (normal driving...taken over the 8000km trip to UK to get it mapped and back), and the top speed went to 128mph ("speedo"... in Germany..scary with a bus like the Transporter)....BUT..if I boot it, and run it like hell...mpg drops to around 24 !!!!!!
    YEAH...it leaves most Beemer idiots looking glazed at lights too.
    But I'm driving a "bus" that should last forever....with a re-map, I KNOW the engine will blow LONG before it should!

    Re-Map it...great...but SERVICE it more!!!
    Look after your loved ones.
    PASSION CDI, it is not just a car it is a statement

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    North Yorkshire
    Posts
    362
    I got my 700cc ForTwo remapped when I had it serviced at Sam's (McSmarts.)

    Performance went from circa 61 bhp to about 83!

    It goes really well now; uses a little more fuel now if I'm honest, but the more I step on the 'loud' pedal the more smiles I get...

    Next service I'll get a nice exhaust to go with it

    Well worth having it done IMHO
    Smart ForTwo 450 'Spring Edition' Cabriolet

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    3,124
    I think it actually makes them more efficient but people drive them harder which is why it drops. My mpg in my sig is unmapped. If that much extra power only uses 5mpg then that's very good.

    As for longevity, most Smart engines end up needing rebuilds anyway.

    Brakes are a good idea but then I find them very sharp to start with. It depends how far you go with tuning but the further you go, the more important things like uprated brakes and suspension becomes.

    As for how far to go, that's based on how deep your pockets are. Also check out Smartarse in watford, they have alot of info on their website and if you want to upgrade from 1 to 2, you only pay the difference so you can do it in stages.
    _________________________________________________


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Where Work Send Me
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    2,131
    Remaps alter fuelling and increase boost to release more power. This increases stress on the engine and turbo (and other drivetrain components such as gearboxes and clutches). They will, as a result, fail prematurely. This is 100% fact based on very basic scientific principles. What is unknown and often contended is HOW premature the remap will make these failures.

    The honest answer is nobody knows. My own opinion is that if you have a good engine with no preexisting faults or excessively worn components then you should be fine as long as you service more frequently, observe good warm up/cool down procedures and don't abuse it then it should be fine. :rules:

    If you have a bad one already, it'll break sooner. Nobody can tell you how much sooner I'm afraid...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Margate, Kent
    Posts
    36
    Thank you all for your replies, they are very useful!

    I service the car regularly, and have always ensured that I allow her to warm up before I am even slightly heavy footed. I read on here when I first bought my Fortwo Passion that it was wise to allow 2 temperature dots to show before going above 3500rpm, is this about right? Also, cool down practice, I am not familiar with this, can you explain this (I am not the experienced car owner, this is my 1st). Any advice on how I can ensure the best possible running and life expectancy of my little car would be very welcome.

    Based on everything I have heard so far, I shall definately be looking at a re-map, along with the brakes as mentioned, then eventually suspension. I will get the air filter upgraded at the same time as the re-map. Also, in the future, maybe a new exhaust system too. Would it be advisable to get the exhaust before they re-map, would replacing it after have any affect on the way the car runs?

    Thanks again everyone

    James

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Where Work Send Me
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    At the very least I'd change the oil more often if it was mapped...

    Yes, gauge warm before exceeding 3k rpm is ideal

    Cool down is essentially allowing the turbo to cool before turning off the engine. The turbo spins at silly rpm and as a result gets very hot. If you can allow the engine to run (say on idle) for a minute or so (my X-gauge is set to 60 second countdown) whilst the oil is still circulating but the turbo is not going silly you prevent the oil crystallising due to the heat when you turn the engine off.

    As far as mods pre/post remap you're onto a loser I'm afraid. Most Smart remaps are generic ECU reflashes rather than real time remapping on a dyno. as a result it is rare that the remap will cater for your mods. Some remappers have maps that were developed with certain mods on the car, so get the map that most closely matches your intended setup (unless it'll be 3 years before you finish the work) and once the mods are done it'll be less worse than a standard map - it'll never be as good as a rolling road map though...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Margate, Kent
    Posts
    36
    Thank you, I will take that on board starting today! I find it easier to stay below the 3000-3500 mark to start by staying in manual mode. I will leave the car running for a minute before turning off in future. How often do you guys change the oil? I have checked my oil level religiously, and it was fine, is the sufficient, or do you mean a complete change of oil regardless of levels?

    Just out of curiousity, given the sort of mods I am looking at, if you were to reccomend particular parts (brands, models etc), what would you go for? I've been looking at EBC discs and red stuff pads. But as for exhaust system and air filter? I found a full KNN Induction kit, would this be a good start?

    Do any of you have any experience of Chequered Flag in Kent, and their work? Or the Smart specialist in Wingham, Kent. Both offer re-maps, services etc, but I would like to know, which, if any, is best.

    I am sorry to ask all these questions, but, I promise, as I carry out these changes I will provide a full account of how they work out, what differences they make, and anything I learn.

    P.S. As a side note, I'm looking into vinyl wrapping at the moment, I like the idea of every panel on my Fortwo looking like carbon fibre.... I'm researching this right now, so if anyone has had this done, any reccomendations would be great. Failing that, if I find anything good, I'll let you all know.

    Thanks

    James.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Rugby
    Posts
    3,110
    Hey James,
    Will try and answer what I can to the best of my knowledge!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpecial View Post
    How often do you guys change the oil? I have checked my oil level religiously, and it was fine, is the sufficient, or do you mean a complete change of oil regardless of levels?
    As a general rule, the oil should be changed every 10k or year whichever comes first, I'm planning on changing mine every 5k following my (soon to be obtained) remap but I've got a very unreliable car so need to do what I can!


    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpecial View Post
    Just out of curiousity, given the sort of mods I am looking at, if you were to reccomend particular parts (brands, models etc), what would you go for? I've been looking at EBC discs and red stuff pads. But as for exhaust system and air filter? I found a full KNN Induction kit, would this be a good start?
    EBC have a pretty good reputation but be aware that you need to list this as a mod on your insurance and it will up your premium!
    Aftermarkets exhausts - Janspeed and Blindscheizsche are the most common, I've had both on my car and whilst there isn't a noticeable difference in power, the 'Blindy' is louder!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpecial View Post
    Do any of you have any experience of Chequered Flag in Kent, and their work? Or the Smart specialist in Wingham, Kent. Both offer re-maps, services etc, but I would like to know, which, if any, is best.
    Not speaking from experience but chequered flag have had poor feedback from other smart users. I'm not sure who the other is!?

    Good luck with getting your mods sorted.

    Stacey
    x

    Anastasia
    Mr Poo - 600cc Pulse
    Honky - 451 Passion Diesel



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