What tuning and remapping software is best?

What tuning and remapping software is best? When you are first looking at writing software and moving from a slave tuning tool, into a master tuning tool. T king your first steps into writing your own tuning and remapping software files and maps. The first question you are going to want to know is what tuning and remapping software is best for you to start out with.

Much like tuning tools, there is quite a lot of options and choice when it comes to remapping software. Here we will go through some of the main players in the tuning software arena covering some of the pros and cons of each.

EVC WinOLs Tuning software

evc winols training
Winols Tuning and remapping Software

EVC WinOls tuning software is often seen as the daddy of the remapping  software’s. It is what most experienced tuners will use to write their tuning files. So, it’s the only one to buy right? Well its certainly very good, WinOls gives you write access to all areas of the ECU data you can extract with a read file. Therefore its ideal for performing deep and complex tunes including stage 2 and 3 remapping files.

What’s not to like? WinOls is not the easiest software to use if you have not got quite a lot of tuning experience. The main reason for this is WinOls does not break down and “label” the ecu data files for you. As such, you have to know how to find and identify the data areas you want to change to construct your new tuning file. To the inexperienced, this can be much like looking at the data in the film “The Matrix” streams of data that could mean anything. It can be intimidating and frustrating to new tuners trying to fine their way to wring a tune file.

But, contrary to what some may tell you. WinOls is not impossible to learn, far from it. With a good WinOls training course and teacher you can soon pick up the basics. And then work on developing your knowledge. Be prepared for it to take around 12 months to fully understand the software with practice. And for this reason. WinOls may not always be the best place to start to write tuning maps, if you are new to it.

Alientech ECM Titanium

Alientech ECM titanium software training
Alientech ECM titanium software

Made By Alientech, the same manufacturer as the popular Alientech Kess3 tuning tool. The Alientech ECM Titanium tuning software is nice and easy to use. One of the main differences between ECM and WinOls is that Alientech ECM does “breakdown” and “de-code” the original ecu data once you load it into the software. Meaning you don’t have to know all the data tables and formats to start writing your own tuning maps and software displays.

The Alientech ECM software very nicely presents you with the maps and tables it thinks you will want to see. For example boost maps, fuel tables, spark advance, torque limiters and much much more.  So the software does much of the hard work for you. Because of this the ECM software is nice and easy to use and can be picked up by new tuners very quickly.

And the decoding and “drivers” for the software are free and included in one yearly update, so if you have ECM software, and you have an active subscription for it, you can decode and tune as many tuning files as you like and you pay no more, meaning it is very cost-effective software to operate.

What’s not to like? One of the downsides of the ECM software is it only decodes the areas of the original software it thinks you will want to see. For most tuning this works just fine. But for more advanced tuning files, such as stage 3 tuning the “Driver” may not show you the maps and data tables you need. The ECM software is also not very strong for DTC, and function deactivation files, such as EGR, DPF, PPF etc.

Dimsport Race 2000 Tuning software  

Dimsport Race Software Training 2
Dimsport Race Software

The Dimsport Race 2000 tuning software was one of the first to “de-code” and breakdown the original software file and name it for the tuner to use. Much in the same way as the Alientech ECM tuning software does. The Race software is nice and easy to use in the same way as ECM and so it’s also ideal for those new to the concept of writing their own tuning files.

This made the Dimsport Race 2000 tuning and remapping software very popular from around 2005 – 2012.

What’s not to like. Unlike the ECM software where the drivers are free. The Race software charges the tuner for every new software version they require access too. With literally thousands and thousands of software variations, all chargeable between £40 and £120 each. As such the Race tuning software running costs can quickly mount up compared to alternative software options, making it much less popular to operate than it used to be.

Swiftec Tuning and Function deactivation software  

Swiftec tuning software training
Swiftec tuning software 

The Swiftech software is a bit of a curved ball when compared to the others here. But there is a very good reason its made the list. Swiftec is a tuning file editing software, but unlike the others on the list here, its strength is not in traditional tuning file creation. But rather function activation / deactivation, and fault code ( DTC) deletion. As far as these custom add on tuning file addition go, no other software really comes close to what Swiftec can offer.

This list of addons the Swiftec tuning and remapping software can add to a tuning file is very significant, from “sports dials” to EGR, DPF, PPF, AdBlue DTC deletion, hot start and cold start fixes.  Vmax, swirl flaps, rev limiters, speed limiters, pops and bangs, burbles, popcorn limiters, etc etc.

Some of these files can be really quite complex to write in traditional tuning software. But with Swiftec most are just a “tick box” exercise. Fast and efficient with good back up and support.

What’s not to like, it comes with a price. Swiftec have done a great job in making timely and difficult tuning files quick and easy for even novice tuners. But as the software is quite unique, it comes with a premium price.  But time is money as we all know. 

Summary of our thoughts

A bit like tuning tools, in an ideal world you want a range of options, no one tuning tool covers all cars and they all have their pros and cons. Tuning software is the same, each has some great features. If you are new to tuning file writing, we would probably suggest starting out with the Alientech ECM software, its quick and easy to learn and will give you a great introduction to file writing. As your experience grows, and especially if you move into more advanced staged tuning, Be ready to take on and study the WinOls software. EVC WinOls training courses are available online or in class, as can the Alientech ECM Training. 

And if you need fault code deactivation, or to add or remove engine functions and features, you will want to add the Swiftec software for fast easy addons.

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