FOR high-mileage business drivers, the rising cost of fuel – as the value of sterling has nose-dived – has become a major headache. But a new Huntingdon-based company believes a simple modification to a vehicle s engine management system can pay for itsel

FOR high-mileage business drivers, the rising cost of fuel - as the value of sterling has nose-dived - has become a major headache.

But a new Huntingdon-based company believes a simple modification to a vehicle's engine management system can pay for itself in less than a year.

Traditionally, engine tuning has been aimed at increasing performance. But Jason Wilderspin, who founded JWE Automotive Services last year, says eight times as many clients are now asking for the same technology to be used to optimise fuel consumption rather than performance.

Typically, re-mapping the vehicle's on-board computer - the engine control unit (ECU) - can save 15 per cent of the fuel used by a turbo-diesel vehicle and 12 per cent for a turbo-charged petrol engine, he says. The figures for normally-aspirated engines work out at around eight per cent.

With re-mapping, which takes around a couple of hours with a laptop computer, costing from £300, the savings quickly mount, Mr Wilderspin told The Hunts Post.

"We just change the settings the manufacturers use to make the vehicle run more efficiently. We can re-map most modern cars, vans, motorbikes and some HGVs, tractors and fork-lift trucks. If it has an ECU, we can re-map it."

The business emerged from redundancy last October, when Mr Wilderspin was 'let go' by a commercial printing company for which he had been servicing clients across the UK and Europe as an electro-mechanical engineer.

"With a name like mine and the family connections with Fen Drayton, it was pretty much inevitable that I was going to end up in the motor trade around here. I always had a passion for working with cars, and re-mapping was my first choice. It's quite simple to do, but you need some knowledge of cars."

INFORMATION: JWE Automotive Services currently operates from Wilderspin Garage Company, Oaktree Road, Fen Drayton CB24 5SS, but will soon move to new premises at Phoenix Court on the Stukeley Industrial Estate in Huntingdon. Call 0845 519 3674 or e-mail info@jwe-automotive.co.uk