The brain (ECU) of the car is responsible for pretty much everything electronic in the car, so also for making the engine run. In some cases, tuners choose to use an aftermarket kit to control parts of the engine and drive system, in order to better manage the extra power gained from a tune. Sometimes the aftermarket ECU completely replaces engine management, and sometimes it only corrects signals going to various parts of the engine , such as the MAF sensor signals, fuel pump or ignition (piggy back system). Piggy-back fuel controllers are popular because they allow users to modify stock fuel injection without replacing the entire ECU. They operate in various ways. Some of them modify the injector duty cycle control signals as they travel from the ECU to the injectors. Others modify input data to the ECU (like MAF for example), effectively “tricking” the ECU into delivering more or less fuel at a given RPM. Using flex fuel in many cases also demands aftermarket ECUs.
Engine Control Unit (After market ECU), EFI and piggyback systems
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