News flash: You aren't getting as much out of your engine as you could. There's a whole slew of power and torque hiding under your hood, but something keeps it from getting out. It's not old spark plugs or a dirty air filter, either - it's your on-board computer's stock settings. Luckily, Power Programmers and Performance Chips are available to help you reprogram your computer and unlock the power you need for towing, racing, and high-speed street performance.
There are a lot of Performance Chips and Power Programmers out there for a wide variety of vehicles and applications. Before you start shopping for a chip, read on and learn how Performance Chips Work, check out the many different types of Power Programmers and Monitors out there, and learn how to pick the best Performance Chip for your vehicle.
- How Do Power Programmers Work?
- Types of Programmers and Performance Chips
- How To Choose The Best Performance Chip For Your vehicle
Every modern car, truck, or SUV is equipped with a built-in computer that controls functions from air/fuel ratios and gear shifts to ignition timing and gauge calibration. Your vehicle is programmed at the factory to accommodate everyday drivers who are focused less on performance and more on convenience. If you want to maximize your performance, whether you're racing, towing, or dominating the highway, the way to do it is by hooking up a Performance Chip.
Performance Chips and Engine Control Modules alter the way your on-board computer communicates with your engine's vital systems. By tweaking ignition timing, gear changes, and other systems, these chips pull extra power out of your vehicle and maximize your engine's potential.
To put it simply, your engine provides power by creating small controlled explosions in your cylinders. This process, called combustion, relies on an igniting element (like your spark plugs) as well as a carefully-balanced combination of fuel and oxygen. Your on-board computer tells your fuel injectors how much gas to send to the cylinders, which determines your air to fuel ratio. Unfortunately, your factory settings aren't tuned for maximum power, and you aren't getting the most out of every piston cycle.
Jet Performance Chips, Bully Dog Programmers, and other modules fine-tune your oxygen and fuel mixture to draw the most energy out of your cylinders. The result: more powerful and controlled combustion and excellent performance across your entire RPM range.
About Your Warranty: Hooking up a Power Programmer or Performance Chip won't void your vehicle's factory warranty. Warranty laws state that you can install aftermarket parts and remain under warranty unless your dealer can prove that the new part directly caused damage. Still, be careful when you dial in new rev/speed limits and other settings - If you aren't careful with your performance tuning you can cause damage to your engine that won't be covered by your warranty.The combustion in your engine not only depends on your air/fuel mix - it's also highly dependent on timing. When fuel gets sparked at its optimal time it generates a powerful explosion. Change the spark timing by a fraction of a second, however, and you'll lose a considerable amount of power.
The rev limiter on your car or truck is programmed to restrict your engine's RPM range and automatically upshift to a higher gear when you reach a certain engine speed. This feature is designed to protect your engine from damage, but it's often set too conservatively and robs your vehicle of power potential.
By hooking up Superchips Programmers, Diablo Sport Programmers, or modules like the Hypertech Sport Programmer you can reprogram your rev limiter and gain access to your engine's full RPM range for more horsepower across the board. This also means your automatic transmission upshifts at a higher RPM, giving you more low-gear power for rubber-burning acceleration.
Like a rev limiter, your speed limiter is designed to protect your vehicle from damage. All tires are rated to safely operate up to a certain speed. Most cars and trucks are equipped with a speed limiter to keep you within your stock tires' safe speed range. If you upgrade to faster high-performance tires, however, your stock speed limiter will hold back your vehicle's potential. Power Programmers and some Control Modules let you re-adjust the speed limiter and take advantage of your high-speed tires. The Edge Evolution Tuner and Superchips Cortex let you alter or eliminate your speed limiter for restriction-free racing performance.
Recalibrate for Tire/Gear Changes
On-board computers don't automatically know when you modify your rear gear ratio or bolt on a set of bigger rims. Changing tires or gear sizes alters your gauge readings as well as your automatic transmission's shift points, throwing off your vehicle's fine-tuned performance. Every time you make these kinds of modifications to your vehicle you need to let your computer system know to ensure you're getting the most out of your upgrades. Performance Chips for diesels and gas vehicles make it easy to adjust your computer to accommodate for these changes. By just pressing a few buttons on the Hypertech Programmer or DiabloSport Tuner your modified vehicle's gauges and other systems will all work together fluidly.
Enhance Your Fuel Economy
Don't think that reprogramming your onboard computer for more power automatically means that you'll be guzzling more gas. In fact, many of our Power Programmers improve your engine's combustion so much that you get more power and burn less fuel to get it. There are also modules that are dedicated solely to cutting down on your gas consumption. The Hypertech E-Con and Superchips Mileage XS Fuel Economy Programmer fine tune your engine to save money at the pump.
Virtually all Performance Chips and Power Programmers are remarkably easy to install and use. Most, from Superchips Performance Chips to Edge Programmers are simply "plug and play" devices and work right out of the box. Check out the video below, which explains how the Jet Performance Programmer can upgrade your speed and power in just minutes:
There are a few different ways you can tap into your onboard computer and tweak your performance. Each programmer type offers different levels of flexibility and control over your vehicle. Here are some of the different chips and programmers we offer:
Control Modules give you a "hands-off" way to upgrade your performance. These devices simply plug into your electrical system under the hood and do their work invisibly. They receive the data coming in from your vehicle's sensors and analyze it to determine the best adjustments to make. It then sends its own commands to your ownboard computer to make the changes needed for superior performance. Simply plug it in and forget about it - the Control Module does all the work for you.
Control Modules are handy because they constantly and automatically communicate with your onboard computer without you having to input any data of your own. Each one is custom-programmed to your exact year, make, and model vehicle to ensure maximum performance and efficiency with all of your stock gear. They install in under 15 minutes, without having to do any cutting, splicing, or soldering. Many Bully Dog Performance Chips, Jet Performance Chips, and Edge Performance Chips come in a variety of stages or power levels to suit your driving and performance needs.
Rather than connect under the hood, Power Programmers plug in to the OBDII port under your vehicle's dashboard. These programmers let you punch in some info about your vehicle, including the type of driving you want to do and what kind of modifications you've made to your car or truck. Power Programmers then talk to your onboard computer with commands tailored to your needs.
Power Programmers make a great tuning upgrade because they give you more control over your vehicle's systems than Control Modules. You can use programmers like the Superchips Flashpaq and Hypertech Performance Chips let you update your gauges and calibrate your vehicle when you make changes to your tire size and gear ratio. Plus, you can tune your performance engine with a Power Programmer to run on regular octane fuel instead of expensive premium grade gas. All this control and power comes from a module that plugs into your port and takes only 10 minutes to program.
If you want to know every little thing that's going on in your engine, hook up a Performance Monitor to your vehicle. Our Performance Monitors display all kinds of information beyond just what your gauges tell you. These parameters include pressures, temperatures, and levels for your fluids and exhaust gases as well as air intake temperature, mass air flow, and transmission temperatures. You can choose which gauges you want to display at all times, as well as access the info you need with the touch of a button. Performance Monitors like the Bully Dog Watchdog Monitor can also run performance tests on your vehicle for stats like horsepower and torque, and you can use them to keep track of your 0-60 and 1/8-mile times, keeping you informed about every aspect of your car or truck's performance. Some monitors even have special software that trains you to adjust your driving habits for better fuel efficiency.
Many Performance Monitors also offer some tuning capabilities, making them both a handy gauge display and a power-enhancing Control Module. Units like the Hypertech Hyper Pac and the Edge CTS Programmer let you view your vital stats while tuning your engine for higher performance, stronger towing, or enhanced fuel efficiency. Many monitors are also embracing state-of-the-art touchscreen technology, like the powerful Banks iQ Dashboard PC.
There are many different Performance Chips and Programmers out there. How do you choose the best Performance Programmer for your vehicle? Here are some factors to consider:
Our Power Programmers are custom-designed to your vehicle for supreme performance, whether you like to haul 5th wheel trailers in your big rig or zip around the track in your sport compact. Each vehicle's computer has its own finely-tuned parameters and settings, so you should make sure you're purchasing a tuner that's made for your exact car or truck. The best way to ensure this is by using the Vehicle Selector on our home page or the Performance Chips page. Once you choose your make, model, and year, we'll only display the programmers and monitors that work with your engine.
Driving Style and Desired Performance
Helpful Tip: We can talk your ear off about how great our programmers are, but you're better off hearing about them from your fellow drivers. For real-world testimonials about these products, read our Performance Chips Reviews, written by power-hungry enthusiasts just like you.Once you've narrowed down the chips and programmers that work for your vehicle, it's time to think about how you drive and what you want out of your engine. Let's say you drive a 2008 Ford F-150, which has several programmer options. If you're looking for more acceleration and quicker performance, look into a race-inspired programmer like the DiabloSport Predator. If high torque for heavy-duty hauling is what you're after, consider upgrading with the Jet Performnace PCM (Power Control Module). This replacement PCM boosts your power and torque across the whole RPM band for more towing power.
Many drivers simply want to tune their engines for higher fuel efficiency or to use 87-octane gasoline rather than some vehicles' recommended 89 or 91-grade fuel. If gas economy is a concern, consider a Superchips Tuner. Their easy-to-use programmers optimizes your engine to draw the most power out of every drop of gas and can calibrate your vehicle to run on lower-octane fuel. You can also improve your economy the help of a Performance Monitor. Monitors like Bully Dog Monitors analyze your driving habits and give you advice on how to drive in a more efficient manner.
Finally, you need to consider any air intakes/exhausts, gear ratio changes, or other performance upgrades you've made to your vehicle. A standard Control Module like the Edge EZ Tuner may be great for stock vehicles and lightly modified engines, but if you've made significant changes to your car or truck you need a programmer with a few more options. Modules like the Jet V-Force Plus and the Bully Dog Triple Dog offer a variety of tuning mods that let you dial in the optimal performance based on your aftermarket upgrades. When properly paired up with your mechanical upgrades, a Power Programmer can tie your modifications all together to turn your vehicle into a high-power, high-performance machine.
We hope this Performance Chips and Power Programmers Learning Guide has taught you a little more about how to upgrade your vehicle's electronic systems. If you have any questions about the information in this guide, please feel free to call our knowledgeable Customer Service Team at 800-663-1570.
This page was written by Packy AutoAccessoriesGarage