ECU Tun­ing

NZ Performance Car - - Tuning Guide -

By far the best upgrade you can do to your Mazda3 MPS is to in­stall a de­vice able to re­tune the ECU. The most com­mon op­tion here in New Zealand is the Cobb Ac­cess­port. This al­lows cus­tom per­for­mance maps to be up­loaded, which you can first down­load on­line for vary­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els from a range of e-tuners all over the world, in­clud­ing Pur­ple Drank and Freak Tune. They will take your data-logged in­for­ma­tion and, within the hour, send back a suit­able tune.

Cobb has five dif­fer­ent per­for­mance pack­ages avail­able on­line, with tunes to suit. Stage one, for ex­am­ple, is a sim­ple re-flash with an up­graded panel fil­ter. As you upgrade your car, you can sim­ply add the up­grades into your Ac­cess­port, and it will ad­just the tune to suit, then self-learn to en­sure it’s per­fect. The Cobb Ac­cess­port also reads your en­gine pa­ram­e­ters in real time and dis­plays them as gauges on the LCD screen. This elim­i­nates the need for bulky gauges, as you’re able to cy­cle through sev­eral gauge com­bi­na­tions on screen. If you’re into rac­ing, the Ac­cess­port al­lows you to set up flat-shift shift­ing and launch con­trol, so you’re best able to build boost pres­sure on the line at the drag strip or main­tain boost pres­sure be­tween gear changes. In fac­tory trim, the ECU closes the throt­tle elec­tron­i­cally near red­line by as much as 80 per cent. This was done to re­duce wear on driv­e­line com­po­nents, but, if you look at a dyno sheet for a fac­tory ex­am­ple, you can clearly see the power­band drop off. Once the Cobb is fit­ted, that will be reme­died, and you’ll have 100-per-cent throt­tle right un­til red­line. Note that in fac­tory form, the MPS has a boost-con­trol limit in first and se­cond gear.

An­other ben­e­fit of the Ac­cess­port is the abil­ity to load ‘valet’ and ‘an­titheft’ maps.

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