ecu reset, more performace?

StevieDB9

Road Burner
Points
72
From
(was) Allanton, Scotland
Car
Ford Focus 1.4
Hi all!

I recently bought a 2000 vw polo 1.4 8v. thought it would be pretty nippy but i was a little disappointed although the car is running fine.

A mate told me that the ecu actually learns how the owner drives and if some old fuddy duddy had it before me then the computer has learned that the car will be driven quite slowly. he said to disconnect the battery for about 20 minutes then reconnect it and take the car out and really go for it then let the car rest in the driveway while the ecu "learns" this new style of driving. he said afterwards the car will always be a little quicker.

Has anyone else heard of this type of thing and have you any tips if you have?
 

Freddie

Road Burner
Points
72
From
Surrey
I've heard similar things but I don't believe it is all that accurate to be honest. ECU's are designed to adjust to how sensors run rather than how the driver drives the car. You might notice some difference though, as you say, by 'resetting the ECU'. After you've left the battery disconnected, idle the car for 5mins or so until it's warm, take it out, driving slowly at first, then put it through it's paces. People don't generally tend to do this to make their car run 'faster'. more as a resolution to problems with electrical sensors on the engine.

ECU's also log faults which can be detected when put under diagnostics tests at garages. I think with most cars you can have these faults erased when you have a diagnostic test done which can free up memory and help the ECU to respond better, but generally wont boost performance a great deal.

Obviously cars have different ECU's and ECU's have different manufacturers so it's difficult for me to say. I'm sure James will correct me somewhere in this post!
 

the_names_james

Torque Junkie
Points
70
From
Surrey, UK
Nope :wink:

I will add something though. I've heard that the ECU's in most new(er) cars 'learn' from the first 50 miles put on the engine. It's not a great idea to thrash a brand new car though, as (obviously) the engine will need to be run in.

The only real 'self learning' ECU's are aftermarket standalone jobbies, and even then not all of them will come with this feature.
 
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