A decade or so ago, diesel performance tuning was all the rage. Aftermarket tuners offered big horsepower gains that could improve the ability of trucks, SUVs, and commercial vehicles to accelerate quickly and haul oversized loads with ease. They did so by modifying engine computers to alter how much fuel is injected into each cylinder and when.
Unfortunately, emissions regulations soon made the use of these aftermarket tuners and other performance enhancing devices a liability. By tampering with emission control systems, diesel tuners caused engines to produce higher than normal levels of pollutants that contribute to poor air quality and smog. These devices also violate federal emissions standards, which can result in expensive repairs and even vehicle revocation.
The Diesel Drivetrain: Enhancing Performance from the Ground Up
The good news is that advances in technology have allowed for more refined and safe ways to tune a late-model diesel truck. A reputable professional can now tweak a diesel powertrain computer to deliver the desired driving experience, reducing turbo lag and making it easier for the vehicle or truck to get the engine’s full power to the road.
One popular option is the installation of a diesel chip, which connects directly to a vehicle’s PCM/ECM. It offers a selection of performance levels and can be adjusted on the fly while the vehicle is running. These types of diesel tuners do not require the removal of the factory ECM and can be installed in-vehicle without causing the vehicle to be out of warranty.