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What You Need to Know About Performance Chips

Many people hear about performance chips and tuners but don't fully understand them.  Often, people will purchase performance chips with high expectations, only to find the boost to their truck's performance is minimal at best. It's a good idea to have a little knowledge of the capabilities of performance chips before you make a purchase.

What Exactly Are Truck Performance Tuners?

Most modern vehicles rely heavily on a computer to control the engine and other vehicle functions. Your truck's computer chip tells the engine how to behave in a number of ways. It can do things like regulate ignition timing or control the fuel-to-air ratio.
The chip sits in your truck's electronic control unit. Because the chip makes use of flashable read-only memory, it's possible for it to be flashed with different instructions or parameters. It's also possible to set up controllers to make adjustments to the existing parameters.
In these ways, it's possible to add instructions to modify or completely change the existing instructions of the chip. Some performance tuners can completely change the chip's performance. Some others can only make smaller modifications. There are various types of performance tuners out there, and each has differing capabilities.

Why Doesn't Everybody Use Truck Performance Tuners?

Truck manufacturers build their vehicles to internal specifications. The manufacturer's instruction set exists to maximize comfort and maintain consistent quality. Unless you're sure you know what you're doing, it's not a good idea to just go purchase performance chips or tuners to upset the existing balance of your truck.
It's possible to void a vehicle's warranty if you mess with the computer. It's also possible to add additional and unnecessary wear to a vehicle if you choose the wrong performance chip. Performance chips and tuners aren't for people who don't have a good understanding of their vehicles and their vehicle's capabilities.

So Is It Okay to Use Truck Performance Tuners?

Yes, it's okay to use truck performance tuners. It's not okay to use them blindly. You should do your homework and ask questions first. Generally, you should use performance chips if you can identify a need for improvement to your vehicle.
Performance chips aren't one-size-fits-all. Even programmers and tuners designed for your make and model may not help much if they're poor quality. That means you need to choose chips and tuners that can offer you real and tested value.

What You Can Do with Performance Chips and Tuners
Here's an idea of what it’s possible to do with performance chips and tuners:
  • Increase horsepower
  • Increase torque
  • Improve fuel economy
  • Run diagnostics and erase diagnostic trouble codes
  • Monitor performance
You can also increase your truck's individuality. The modifications achieved through the performance chip are unique to your truck. You'll know that no one else's vehicle is quite the same as yours.
Adding performance can also help if you use your truck for business purposes. Getting more performance out of your truck can translate to having the ability to do more with your business endeavors.

How to Choose the Right Truck Performance Tuners
Once you're certain on your decision to purchase a truck performance tuner, you'll have to show some care. You’ll want a high-quality product, preferably from a trusted brand. You'll also need to do some research and gather some facts on the brands and products you're considering.
Stay clear of places that don't have a firm focus on vehicles and vehicle performance. For example, purchasing a generic performance tuner from an auction site isn't a good idea.

The Leer Truck Accessory Center offers real, high-quality truck performance tuners. Contact their store for more information, or visit one of their locations in Chula Vista, Murrieta, or San Diego.