A plug and play diesel tuner also known as a programmer, can be one of the most powerful performance upgrades you can make to your Powerstroke, Cummins, or Duramax diesel truck. These small handheld devices work by connecting to your truck’s OBD2 port or engine wiring harness to access the computer systems and run programs that fine-tune your vehicle. They can boost power, improve towing capabilities, and even run custom tunes for other modifications like nitrous oxide, bigger fuel pumps and injectors, or a new exhaust system.
These handheld tuners can be as simple as a single module plugged into the OBD2 port or more complex like a multi-plug, diesel-specific tuner that plugs into the intake manifold and throttle body, such as the aFe Scorcher. While there are many tuners out there, the best tuners offer a range of features including gauge monitors, integrated driver coaching, data logging, and throttle sensitivity adjustment, among others.
Optimizing Heavy Duty Trucks: Exploring Performance Tuning for Enhanced Hauling Power
Tuners and programmers can come preloaded with a variety of programs to help you get started and can be updated as the manufacturer releases new software. More advanced tuners require a laptop and require more in-depth manipulation of engine-management tables to achieve optimum results, which is often referred to as “custom tuning”.
Some tuners can even unlock a significant increase in horsepower and torque from a simple factory-stock tune. Other manufacturers offer specific power-focused tunes or include a towing mode for hauling heavy loads. Still other options, such as the PedalMonster, are more focused on improving throttle response. Tuners are a great option for do-it-yourselfers because they can be installed quickly and easily. They do not alter safety parameters set by the OEM and can be removed before taking your truck in for warranty service.