Tag Archives: Tuners

Modern Tuning Makes Maximizing Performance Much Faster


Putting some extra ponies into your daily motoring used to take entire days, cost hundreds of dollars in parts, and usually cause the loss of three or four knuckles. Not so in today’s computer-controlled vehicles, where tuning is about as easy as playing Tetris on a Game Boy. Let’s take a look at performance chips and programmers and how they’ve changed vehicle tuning.

Chances are you’ve seen the Saturday afternoon show geared toward squeezing every droplet of power out of a 50s or 60s classic. You know—the one hosted by two middle-aged guys, one with a toupee that may as well have “this is a toupee” painted on it. They spend the entire half-hour show with a bunch of time-lapsed shots taken of them tearing the engine apart to put in highly-specialized, insanely expensive parts. Once the project’s done, they fire-up the dyno and laud the 3hp gain they received for about 4 hours of total work. If you’re like me, that’s not exactly how you want to spend a weekend, all for 3hp that you may not even notice with your rear-o-meter.

Fortunately, you’re probably also driving a computer-controlled vehicle, like most of the ones sold for the last 25 years or so. That makes tuning much easier, because a set of programming determines the way your engine performs. Replace the programming with a set geared toward performance, and you have near-instant power gains. Don’t get me wrong—there’s a lot to be said for the virtues of a computer-free classic that you have full control over. But, when it comes to getting more power in just a few minutes time without ripping your hands to shreds or spending thousands on obscure parts, a computer-controlled vehicle has a distinct advantage.

How can you make these changes in minutes? With a power programmer or performance chip, like the ones made by Hypertech or Diablosport. These programmers are built to hold performance settings tested by experienced pros for your specific engine. All you have to do is plug it into the OBD-II port beneath your steering column. With simple yes or no commands, you can adjust how you want your engine to perform, upload the new programming, and you’re ready to rock with 25hp or more extra. The maximum time this will take to complete: just 10 minutes.

More Products that could feast the need for speed and ones that I found most promising in power gains are:

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stainless steel brake lines
big brake Kits
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dual exhaust
disc brakes
brake controllers
mass air flow sensor
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Many drivers who want the extra power are leery of this tuning method. “How can so much power be had so fast, when the TV pros spend hours to get few gains?” they ask. The answer is that automakers down-tune their cars for the masses. Engines are setup to work the same for you, the budding performance enthusiast, as they are for the elderly, who like to travel half the speed limit or through the occasional farmer’s market. You aren’t the average driver, and performance programmers aren’t average settings. It’s a perfect match for you; it’s not a perfect match for your mother.

Some drivers worry about warranty when they’re considering a performance programmer. Not only to the companies that make programmers take safety into account with their settings, they often give you ways to return to stock settings for service visits at the dealership. And, as with all performance mods, you’re protected by the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, a federal law that basically states that your vehicle’s warranty can’t be voided by mods unless the mods can be proven as the source of trouble. In other words, there’s no reason to wait—the true potential is waiting to be unlocked, and you can do it without breaking a sweat.

Maximize your ride with performance chips, available from time-tested brands like a Hypertech programmer and Diablosport.

Hype vs. Production: is the Hypertech Max Energy Programmer worth it?


The TV commercials, radio ads, and even magazine pages about Hypertech’s new Max Energy programmer are coming at auto enthusiasts in waves. Among the claims of huge horsepower gains and other handy adjustments, there are also big promises of gas savings. Does the hype measure up to the real-world results? Read on to find out.

Programmers have become all the rage in automotive performance upgrades. Thanks to the nature of computer-controlled engines, a little box is the best and fastest way to tune. Naturally, when the latest and greatest is released by one of the major programming companies, the ad blitz begins.

This time, it’s Hypertech and the new Max Energy programmer. The expectations have been ratcheted up this time, with big and bold claims of huge gas mileage savings, 50+ horsepower for gas vehicles and 120+ for diesels, plus the alleged ability to get big gains on low-octane gas. Enthusiasts who know less about cars and performance have been sent off drooling; gearheads remain quite skeptical.

Let’s look at the horsepower gains first, starting with the claimed 50+ boost to gas vehicles. Of course, you can’t get this with every vehicle the Max Energy fits. This dyno-proven gain belongs to the Ford Shelby GT. Vehicles with less displacement and considerably less performance equipment can’t expect to get even half that much of a gain. Most of the gas trucks will be in the 20 range. Only the Hemi-powered DC cars can get up to that mid-20s range too; smaller V6s won’t even get close. Because of the massive compression, diesels can see some unruly gains from this type of programming. The Max Energy also claims to keep these diesels from suffering high EGT damage, thanks to tuning that keeps power high without over-fueling, even when towing. And, it claims to not de-fuel and kill your momentum.

The big problem with the big power gain claim is this: huge, noticeable HP boosts only happen at RPMs most drivers won’t reach—especially if they have an automatic. Peak horsepower usually happens around 4500-5500 RPM. That’s not to say the smaller gains at lower RPMs won’t be noticeable, but the impressive power only happens when you’re really gunning it.

On to the gas savings claims. This feature is one of the main reasons programmers have become so popular in the two years since $3/gallon became the societal norm. Programmers didn’t previously sell themselves on mileage, but began doing so once the big pinch at the pump began. Hypertech reports test vehicles gaining up to 6 MPG, with others settling in the 1-2 MPG gain range. In terms of real-world experience with programmers and mileage, the gains are almost always more modest than the ad claims. A boost of 1-2 MPGs—if any gain is achieved—is the most common scenario. Many drivers see no mileage gains because they simply can’t keep their foot far enough out of the gas pedal.

Some features of the Max Energy are undisputable. The ability on most vehicles to change tire size for odometer and speedometer corrections is great. Reading engine trouble codes is a mainstay of programmers; it’s present here too. Fuel octane settings are also available for some models to help save some coin at the pump. But, it’s not available for performance cars, and as you adjust the octane down, the power also goes down.

The bottom line on the Max Energy: set realistic expectations before you buy. The massive horsepower gains in the ads are probably far from what you’ll actually get, but you will get enough of a gain in power to notice it everywhere you drive. For gas mileage, don’t expect this programmer to save you from all of your petrol peril. Gaining 1-2 MPG is realistic if you’re not racing; anything more is gravy. If you can also make use of the other cool features, this new programmer is a solid buy. If you were hoping to get 50 hp more, save 6 MPG and run all on ethanol, you may want to pass until a programmer that can do all of those things exists.

Performance chips like the Hypertech Max Energy Programmer, the latest Hypertech programmer, comes with much hype. Do your homework first.

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max energy
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