Diesels are known for their reliability, durability, and power, but maybe you are someone who desires a little more get up and go in your ride.
One of the most common aftermarket upgrades on a diesel truck is a tuner. Known as a programmer, tuner, or chip, these are small electronic gadgets that help control and optimize the performance of the engine.
When the box is plugged into your truck it analyzes the Engine Control Unit (ECU) signals and alters them. To get technical for a moment, this allows changes in the opening times of the injector, which increases or decreases the fuel rate to exactly the amount that it is programmed to. This results in more torque and power. The tuner monitors critical engine parameters like turbo boost pressure, engine RPMs, fuel rail pressure, coolant temperature, airflow, and the engine load. It then adjusts the electronic tuning characteristics of the ECU to yield better performance.
When adding this additional power, it's important to be able to monitor how it's affecting the engine. Many models come with a gauge that you can view while driving to see how the engine is performing. It will also alert you of any malfunction.
So why would you want a tuner?
1. Improved throttle response, and increased torque and power
It's not uncommon to have an additional 200 lb-ft of torque and up to 120 of horsepower. Do you have trailers to tow? Having this increase in power and torque helps make towing easy. You can cruise over mountain passes with ease with your trailer behind you. (But make sure that your truck has the needed upgrades to handle this extra power.)
2. Improved fuel economy
Who doesn't like better fuel mileage? Some tuner companies boast 10 to 20 percent increase in fuel economy. More miles to the gallon is surely a plus!
This is an easy-to-install standalone multi-gauge display unit. Is it time to give your diesel a little boost?
Here's our favorite tuner: