Chip Your Engine
Chipping or 'remapping' an engine is normally done to increase power, however it is now being used to also improve fuel economy. Some chipping companies even claim improvements of up to 16%. Having your engine remapped will improve the power so you will have to be careful not to end up using more fuel, restrain that right foot!
How it works
All modern cars use an ECU, which stands for 'Engine Control Unit'. This is a small computer which controls fueling as well as a wide range of other things. This is the all important part that is used to improve your economy.
Advantages of chipping
By having an expert remap it you can get an improved MPG. Chipping allows a car owner to customize the performance of their vehicle easily without installing costly upgrades such as exhausts, headers, or turbochargers. Often installing a chip is as easy as removing the factory chip and replacing it with a performance chip specially designed for your vehicle. Chip manufacturers can specially program chips to optimize power or fuel economy for most common car computers, or to give optimum performance with other upgrades an owner may have installed. An engine tuned for smoother power delivery and shifting may burn fuel more efficiently.
It isn't cheap to do, it will cost at least a couple of hundred of pounds. A quote on a Ford Fiesta 1.4l came back as £299 which does include VAT and fitting. Whether you get your money back on that over the long-term will depend on how many miles you do. A more powerful/economical car may be easier for you to sell over other sellers of the same car. Worth getting a quote, get your calculator out and work out how long it will take to get your money back in savings.
You also need to use due diligence. Remapping a car for performance can reduce fuel economy if done improperly. Chipping a car may violate the vehicle's warranty, so make sure you only chip a car that is out of warranty or buy a chip that cannot be detected by the computer reading systems at a dealership. Some chips may increase vehicle emissions and cause you to fail emissions testing. Real performance chips are also expensive, and there are many inexpensive performance tunes sold on the internet that at best do nothing and at worst may actually hurt your vehicle's performance. As always, buyer beware when purchasing vehicle upgrades online. Do your research and buy from reputable companies.