TECH: AUTO TRANSMISSION REMAP
SOUNDS great in theory, right? And it is, except the factory doesn’t always get things right. One of the worst offenders is the LC200. Out of the box it performs reasonably well from first gear all the way through to fourth, then it all falls apart. The torque convertor locks in way too late, then it holds fifth gear from 70km/h to around 120km/h before it’ll finally lug over into sixth. If you’ve got larger tyres, you’ll rarely use sixth. This is where ECU remapping comes into play.
“What we do is read the factory calibration in the ECU,” Paul Farrell told us. “We can then go through and change whatever needs attention.”
With the factory file pulled out of the ECU, the tuner can change the transmission’s behaviour. The most common changes are locking up the torque convertor earlier, making it hold gears longer and making it click over into a gear earlier to use the full range of ratios through normal operation. These remaps shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise either; they’re essentially what happens when you kick your stock auto shifter over into sport mode and it holds gears. A good tuner will leave one of the stock maps alone so you can always kick back to factory settings if you’re concerned.