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Facelift 2.0T (MED17) remap review – Vagcheck Stage 2

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by Bergy, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Bergy
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    Bergy New Member

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    [Mar 4, 2009]
    Ok, the forum may not need yet another remap review but I’ve taken the time to write this one because there is precious little out there about the facelift cars fitted with the new MED17 ECUs and the remaps available for them. Hopefully it’s a useful read for some.

    I took delivery of the new 2.0T Quattro S-Tronic a few months ago and had already made up my mind about a remap based on the abundant information from VW and Audi forums (particularly this one). I had originally intended to plump for the S3, but because the car was a joint purchase between myself and my DSG loving girlfriend, I had to compromise - go for the 2.0T DSG and hope to improve the performance. I should add that, at the time, my Audi dealer informed that there “was no way the S3 was coming out with a DSG box” :huh: . This guy really knew his stuff - also informing me that the engines were identical to the outgoing models and that it’s purely a cosmetic change for 2009...

    I quickly found out that this wasn’t the case after excitedly unwrapping my newly purchased Bluefin, plugging it in and watching in disappointment as error codes flashed up on it’s little digital screen instead of the “remap successfully applied” message I was expecting. A phone call to Superchips revealed that I would need to bring the car to them to get it sorted while they updated the Bluefin product to work with the new cars. A 2 hour drive to Buckingham and 2 hours in the workshop only yielded an apologetic Jamie who conceded that they clearly hadn’t mastered the new ECU in these cars yet:3sadwalk:.

    With that, I hit google and the forums and began searching for info about these new cars and trying to find someone who had actually remapped them successfully. The usual names came up and I was initially tempted by Revo, but put off by the lack of knowledge of the dealers combined with the comparatively high price for a generic mapping. Luckily I came across a detailed post from the guys at Vagcheck expressly detailing their solution for the MED17 ECU and posting some impressive bhp figures too. Some reassuringly technical email exchanges with Morgan convinced me that he knew what he was talking about and the challenges with the new chain drive engines - I booked myself in...

    This should be the point where I start talking about how smoothly things went from now on – but unfortunately they didn’t. My car refused to respond to the new maps and displayed the same behaviour that Superchips found with a failing security checksum preventing the car from starting more than once :(. Fortunately, Morgan and his code developer refused to give in and I was sent on my way; assured that their experience and some R&D time would get us somewhere with this particularly stubborn car. Well, it did, and last week I spent a morning with Vagcheck successfully applying the Stage 1 and Stage 2 remaps.:o.k:

    Stage 1.

    Stage 1 was initially put on the car to test that Vagcheck’s work had paid off and for me to initially experience the more subtle and “economically focussed“ version of the software, which only increased stock by 20% or so to ~245bhp(!). I can’t comment too much on this version as I only went out for a short data logging run with Morgan, but it was an obvious improvement which gave the car a nice positive edge over stock. It’s definitely something I would be more than happy with but it’s hard to gush too much about this version as I’ve been driving stage 2 since then...

    Stage 2

    I’ll admit that another factor of contacting Vagcheck was the mention that ~262bhp was achievable from an OBD port remap. Most tuners offer 240-250 so I was pretty excited by the prospect, if a little sceptical if I’m honest. So, on went the stage 2 software and off we went with Morgan sitting beside me with his laptop logging what’s happening, which as it turned out, was a good thing. The gear changes seemed initially rough at low speed and the first time I gave it full throttle the car started to misfire . However, I knew that this is the rub when you are having custom remap enabling higher than average gains and hoped it could be fixed by looking at the logs from my particular vehicle.

    In about 10 mins of analysing the log data, Vagcheck’s developer had identified an issue with the ignition timing and a new tailored file was uploaded and off we went. The results are nothing short of astonishing. I’ve never had a remap before but the power gains seemed immense to me and my driver’s seat was shoving into my back continually once the turbo spooled up, giving a little extra hit each time the DSG flicked to the next gear. This was all starting to be very worth the hassle. :)

    Morgan recorded an air mass reading suggesting ~270bhp which you would confidently say made the 262bhp claim a realistic ball park. It certainly feels like it, and the power is there continually right up to, and past, speeds that are going to get you in serious trouble. I could wax lyrical about the confident overtaking and big smiles, but that’s kinda obvious with those sorts of figures. Delivery is impressively smooth and predictable (well, predictable once you’ve got over the initial shock and are used to it!).

    What about everyday driving? Well, two things I don’t like in the stock car are that when in Drive mode, the DSG box tends to change up at very low revs making the car feel a little laboured at times. The other issue is that Sport mode always tends to hang on to the gears a little too long so you end up screaming the engine when you really don’t want to. There’s no happy medium for me. The map gives higher low down torque so Sport mode now seems to change up a little earlier while the engine is making more of a nice new “growl” rather than the scream, and you obviously have more usable power at those revs too. Predictably, D mode now also changes up at lower revs which perhaps exacerbates the original problem with it being a little bogged down, but it’s fine for sedate driving and makes it easier to keep the fuel bills down too. I certainly prefer it as I rarely need to use the paddles to force an up-change when in sport mode and the engine-revs and noise are a little reduced for my normal motorway speeds in D mode.

    I hope this has been interesting for anyone looking to remap one of the new cars and anyone thinking about using Vagcheck. I really don’t think of the car as a compromise anymore and I’m loving the performance gains. It’s pretty unusual to find your expectations exceeded these day too. They aren’t the biggest name but I doubt I would have found better technical ability, professionalism and dedication elsewhere and they seem to have an exceptional product here too. I know Morgan and Wak are better known for their work with TTs and anyone with a new 2.0T engine model should definitely give them a call as this Stage 2 on that car would be awesome.
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  3. S3-N
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    S3-N ?

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    [Mar 5, 2009]
    Couldn't agree more. Vagcheck have remapped 3 of my cars now with stunning results. You can trust these guys with your baby, they won't let you down.

    Told you you would love it Bergy :)
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  4. Morgan-VAGCHECK
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    Morgan-VAGCHECK Foot to the floor

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    [Mar 6, 2009]
    Hi Bergy,

    Wow what a fantastically detailed review !

    I am pleased you are happy with our service & product, & thank you for your patience in allowing us time to resolve the initial checksum issue encountered with your particular MED17 ECU HW/SW variant, & which is now of course fully rectified.

    The indicated gains achieved with your A3 were very respectable, & really do transform the vehicle as you have found :)

    Kind regards
    Morgan
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  5. S3 Rav
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    S3 Rav Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 6, 2009]
    did you have any readings that might suggest what power the car was makingg pre-remap?
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  6. Morgan-VAGCHECK
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    Morgan-VAGCHECK Foot to the floor

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    [Mar 6, 2009]

    Hi S3 Rav,

    Indeed we did, & it would appear the factory is possibly being a little conservative with stock numbers.

    The lowest indicated/calculated stock measurement was 205bhp, & the highest 211bhp.

    It should be remembered this is only an approximate calculation of power based on the data in the logs we make.

    Kind regards
    Morgan
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  7. emzino
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    emzino Active Member

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    [Mar 6, 2009]
    An excellent, well written & detailed review. Well done and congrats on your new found love =)

    Cannot wait to get my clutch problems out the way so I can remap my TDI140 so I can get some smiles
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  8. p1tse
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    p1tse Member

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    [Apr 18, 2009]
    Bergy, awesome remap

    I have had experience with Vagcheck with my previous 1.8T Audi TT. Met Wak and Morgan, and Morgan looked after me and the car very well. I have since sold the TT and looking for something else (maybe mk5 gti or r32 if funds permit).

    if i had the gti i would no doubt have to save up to go visit Vagcheck and Morgan again, especially reading this too.

    As you said not the biggest name in the market, but the quality of product, service, pre and post sales support can not match others i feel with maybe less enthusiasm, knowledge, paitence.

    how does the wife find it now?

    i drove a 2.0T manual today (gti) and found it lacking in punch compared to my previous car. not a fair comparison i know, but i hope if i did end up with a 2.0T it would be similar to the end results i had from the 1.8T
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  9. emzino
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    emzino Active Member

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    [Apr 18, 2009]
    The 2.0T FSI engine in the A3 & Golf GTI is, from what i've read, an engine full of technology and potential.

    I was only thinking about trading in my 2.0TDI for a Golf MK5 GTI yesterday but running costs hinder that somewhat. Not sure what MPG I would expect in town driving especially with traffic in Croydon getting worse
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  10. anton2015
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    anton2015 Member

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    [Apr 19, 2009]
    Where about are you in Croydon ? we should have a mini meet one day, maybe a run down to Revo in Purley Way for some remaps ;)
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  11. Bergy
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    Bergy New Member

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    [Apr 19, 2009]
    She wasn't too keen on the whole remapping idea on our new car so I may have accidently "forgot" to keep her fully informed of my activities...:detective2:

    Cue a phone call to me after her first drive - "have you done something to the car?".

    Obviously, this could have all ended very badly for me, but luckily she liking the new power and changes to the dsg drive. She didn't quite buy it when I tried to pass it off as a secret romantic gift though!...:meeting:.

    I asked Morgan at the time about 2.0T maps for the older ECU, common to the a3 and GTI, and apparently he can get the same gains and probably more besides.
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  12. emzino
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    emzino Active Member

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    [Apr 19, 2009]
    Selsdon so about 5-10minutes from central Croydon. There's a Revo in Purley Way?! lol
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  13. p1tse
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    p1tse Member

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    [Apr 20, 2009]
    bergy, that's classic

    what's her response to it now from a not so car minded person. does she mention anything specfic to the drive, performance, dsg etc.?
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  14. Bergy
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    Bergy New Member

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    [Apr 22, 2009]
    She's certainly not much of a petrol head so didn't offer a lot of insight. The first thing she noticed was that the DSG delay had got better when pulling away and she also describes there being "more of a whooshh" when accelerating(!)...

    By now, I'm not sure how much real effect the remap has had on the dsg delay or whether it's the combination of the remap and how you drive the car. The trouble with a lot of these things is that you forget what stock was like so quickly that it's hard to compare.
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