ECU Stage 1 remap

Ed Miller

New Member
Hi All,

I recently got an ECU stage 1 remap for my Audi A3 saloon. 2013 plate and it has done 53,000 miles. BHP went from 138 to 170, and torque from 250 to 300 - so about 20% increase.

I won't name the company yet but they seem to be a big company, and part of what they call the 'Quantum Tuning Network' - I don't know much about remaps so not sure if this is a big deal or not.

After 10 mins of driving, I put the pedal fully down and after getting to about 70mph the car suddenly lost nearly all power, and there was a white cloud of smoke out the exhaust.

Turns out the turbo has blown, and some of the engine piston rods are bent. Which will cost £1000s to fix.

I'm no car or remap expert, and while I've seen online a stage 1 remap should be fine, it seems like far too much of a coincidence that the first drive after the remap the turbo and the piston rods get broken immediately.

Im wondering if any more experienced / knowledgable people may be able to advise if the stage 1 remap has caused this (in which case I will speak to the company that did it), or if I have just been very unlucky timing wise and that the two parts were probably damaged and on the blink before the remap?

Also would anyone be able to advise if the damaged rods then caused the turbo to go, or or is more likely the turbo blew which then lead to the rods being damaged?

And help is much appreciated.

Cheers,
 

desertstorm

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Wow not good. I presume the engine was a 1.4 TFSI 138bhp. Was the engine run on a dyno when it was mapped? . Did they do pre checks on the car to make sure everything was good before they started?. When you use a company to tune the car that is part of an organisation like this then quite often the person mapping the car may not actually be very skilled in car tuning. They basically copy your existing map, upload it to the tuners site where it's modified and then made available to download. Usually stage 1 maps are fairly safe as you are not stressing components excessively. If there was a pre existing condition with the engine and this wasn't seen then you can have issues.
https://www.quantumtuning.co.uk/car-remap-tuning-remapping.aspx?make=Audi&range=A3 Saloon
Was the car taken for a test drive by the person who mapped it?.
I would say that if you hadn't of had the engine tuned it would still be running. There is too much of a coincidence.
Unfortunately I don't believe you will get much satisfaction from the company that tuned it. If it only cost you £299 then they aren't going to be going out of there way to put a new or second hand engine in your car.
 

Ed Miller

New Member
Thanks for the help. Yes you're correct it was that engine. That link you post seems to be the same remap I had, and a very similar price. The company has lots of good reviews, and (they say) they have put the same remap into many cars (of course who knows if this is true or not), and I was told I had the standard, tried and tested remap for my specific car & engine.

But no the car was not taken for a test drive, and I'm not sure how much or if any testing or checking was done. It took 45 mins, he came to me and did it in my office car park rather than me taking it to a garage where they may do tests - and for the £250 I paid I expect it doesn't come with many checks.

Yes I think the remap was like that, it re-programmed the current software in the car, rather than installing a completely different software.

I also think the same as you, I'm sure the issue wouldn't have happened without the remap, but maybe the turbo would have gone in a few thousand miles anyway (maybe I just tell myself this to make the costs less painful). Turbo going is one thing, but bent piston rods sounds for sure like overpressure and overstress, surely due to the remap. I dont know if the turbo may have blown which affected the pistons, or vica versa, seems like they would both be related if they went at the same time.

I will probably stay away from remaps now, not worth the risk, and get a car with a bigger engine if I want more power :(
 

desertstorm

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It is quite often difficult to decide what has actually caused a failure. Usually a turbo failure won't cause an issue in the engine itself. I know the earlier 1.4 engines around 2009-10 had issues with pistons breaking up and if something like this happened that can put shrapnel out into the exhaust manifold and take out the turbo.
You can pick up a good used engine for that car for around £500 off fleabay. Find a good independent VAG garage and you could probably have it back on the road for 12-1400 pounds. A lot less than that if you do the work yourself. I personally wouldn't be tempted to try and rebuild it if the rods and pistons are damaged and the turbo has failed. Could have been due to an oil pump/pressure issue which would probably still exist if rebuilt.
 

Ed Miller

New Member
Okay, I was interested to know which may have broken first, but I can see how its difficult to tell, and in any case the end result is the same. I went to the garage its at this morning who also said it would be better to buy a second hand engine and install that. They said they would have a look and see what they can find and let me know. I haven't heard from them yet but those numbers you mention are really useful, and I'll have a look on that website myself. I won't be doing the works myself so no savings there.

Originally they thought maybe it was just an off timing belt stopping the engine started, so I have already had the turbo refurbished for about £300, plus spark plugs (old ones got oil in the them) and a timing belt and the garage's work making it just over £1000 so far. But that was before they found out the engine was also wrecked.

If I have to pay for a second hand engine, should I expect to still also need and hence pay for the new timing belt and spark plugs or would they come with a new engine? (sorry if this is a very basic / stupid question).

Thanks,
 
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