Your car comes with a factory-tuned engine control unit (ECU). As far as stock ECUs go, however, they only provide so-so performance. If you want to get the most power out of your car, you should go for a performance module.First, here's a look at some basics. Your car's stock ECU is designed to control key engine functions such as mixing air and fuel, timing of ignition, and/or cam profile for engines with variable valve timing systems, and recording mechanical or electrical failures. The main aim of stock ECU programming is a balance between optimum performance and fuel efficiency. What it doesn't give is maximum performance adjustments for racing applications.That's what a performance module is for-tweaking the engine's performance for maximum torque and horsepower delivery at all engine speeds and improving engine response. The module even diagnoses engine faults so you can solve them without paying for professional services. Excited? You should be.Carparts has a large inventory of performance modules for any car make and model.
• Tweaks engine performance for maximum torque and horsepower delivery
• Improves engine response
• Helps your car achieve peak engine efficiency depending on octane rating of fuel
Hypertech vs. Jet Performance: A Performance Module Showdown
If you want to boost your vehicle's overall performance, then you should consider purchasing a performance module. Connected to the electronic control unit (ECU), this part modifies fuel delivery and timing to improve your vehicle's speed and other important features. Because of its use, this part should not only be made of high-quality materials-it should be enginereed for your vehicle as well. Jet Performance and Hypertech, two of the industry's leading makers of performance modules, offer these benefits and more. So you won't have a hard time choosing between these brands, here's a guide that you can check out.
Performance modules under Jet Performance have prices ranging from 107 to 584 USD. On the other hand, those manufactured by Hypertech cost about 98 to 293 USD. With a difference of about 290 USD, car owners can save much with Hypertech.
Ease of installation
To compare the performance modules manufactured by Jet Performance and Hypertech in terms of ease of installation, we equipped them on our 1989 Chevrolet Corvette. Both modules were installed easily and fast. Also, no special tools were used to set up the parts.
WINNER: Hypertech and Jet Performance
After installing each performance module, we drove our Corvette to check if its overall performance improved. With the Jet Performance module, we noticed an increase in gas mileage of about 2 to 3 mpg. There was also a considerable boost in our Corvette's top speed. Likewise, with Hypertech, our vehicle gained a small increase in horsepower, and it's temperature ran a little cooler.
WINNER: Jet Performance and Hypertech
When it comes to warranty, Hypertech performance modules are covered by a lifetime limited warranty, while those manufactured by Jet Performance are also backed by the same warranty coverage.
WINNER: Jet Performance and Hypertech
Both Jet Performance and Hypertech manufacture high-quality and reliable performance modules. However, if you're looking for something light on the pocketbook then settling for Hypertech is a good idea. Nonetheless, before choosing which brand will suit you the best, carefully weigh all your options so you won't end up regretting your purchase.
Performance Module Buyer's Guide
- The performance module is an electronic device that adjusts how the engine control unit (ECU) runs the engine. It contains one or more “tunes,” a set of programs that regulates the engine’s performance.
- Performance modules either plug into the OBD-II access port or connect to the wiring harness.
- A performance module can also serve as a useful diagnostic tool for DIY car repair. It can scan for diagnostic trouble codes, keep track of engine parameters, and reset factory limiters.
- The terms “performance module,” “performance chip,” and “performance tuner” denote different devices that achieve the same goal through different means. They all modify the engine’s performance but take different approaches.
- A performance module can go for anywhere between $120 and $560. The cost varies according to the module’s manufacturer and its capabilities.
- Before you splurge your budget on the shiniest performance module in the market, take a step back and consider crucial factors like vehicle compatibility, fuel type, desired performance, and legality in your state and city.
Automakers strive to reach a certain level of engine performance while staying within legal emission limits, keeping the engine from exceeding safety limits, and achieving the best fuel efficiency possible. These standard settings suffice for the average driver. However, they won’t meet the more strenuous requirements of performance enthusiasts who take part in races, tow heavy trailer loads, or regularly hit the highways with their vehicles.
For those who want or need to squeeze every horsepower and pound-feet of torque out of the stock engine without replacing it, a performance module can bring out the engine’s untapped reserves.
What’s a Performance Module?
The performance module is an electronic device that adjusts how the engine control unit (ECU) runs the engine. It contains one or more “tunes,” a set of programs that regulates the engine’s performance.
Most performance modules plug into the vehicle’s OBD-II access port. Once hooked up to the port, the plug-in module can import its custom tunes to the engine computer, replacing the factory presets in the computer.
It’s possible to replace a custom tune with a different group of settings or even restore the original tune with a copy of the factory settings. However, modifying the tune can invalidate the vehicle warranty.
Other performance modules connect to the wiring harness that carries power and information throughout the vehicle. These add-on modules intercept the data sent by engine sensors and replace the readings with modified signals to compel the engine computer into adjusting various functions.
For example, the add-on module can persuade the computer that it needs to raise the pressure level in the fuel rail. More fuel goes to the engine thanks to the increased fuel pressure. Coupled with enough additional air from the air intake to burn all the fuel, the influx of extra fuel increases the engine’s power output.
What Does a Performance Module Do?
Myriad engine processes like fuel-air mixture, ignition spark timing, and cam profile determine how much power the engine produces. The ECU regulates these functions, and this computer’s base programming, called a “factory tune,” finds a balance between performance and fuel efficiency.
A performance module tweaks the performance of the engine through various ways. It can bypass the engine computer or even substitute a different “tune” program.
Many diesel performance modules fiddle with the vehicle’s common rail fuel-injection system. They change the engine’s timing, adjust the amount of fuel injected into the engine, and tweak the fuel pressure of the engine’s fuel supply. Depending on the settings, the diesel performance module can get more RPMs out of the engine or burn fuel more thoroughly.
Depending on the product’s capabilities, performance modules can also serve as a useful diagnostic tool for DIY car repair. These more versatile modules can scan for diagnostic trouble codes, keep track of engine parameters, and reset factory limiters.
Differentiating Between a Performance Module, Performance Chip, and Performance Tuner
The terms “performance module,” “performance chip,” and “performance tuner” denote different devices that achieve the same goal through different means. They all modify the engine’s performance but take different approaches.
This is a chip that replaces the engine computer’s stock memory chip. It contains one tune that changes the way the engine operates, leading to different performance. It’s easy to install and just as easy to remove.
The performance tuner improves on the older performance chip by allowing the user to directly adjust the settings in the engine computer. It can have multiple tunes and usually comes with a handheld device that makes it possible to switch between tunes or tweak a specific parameter. Tuners may also have a downloadable app to make it even easier to adjust the engine’s operational settings.
How Much Does a Performance Module Cost?
A performance module can go for anywhere between $120 and $560. The cost varies according to the module’s manufacturer and its capabilities.
Picking the Best Performance Module for Your Vehicle
Before you splurge your budget on the shiniest performance module in the market, take a step back and consider crucial factors to avoid having to return an incompatible product.
Not every performance module will fit on your vehicle or work well with the engine computer. Cars, pickups, and SUVs behave very differently, and sub-models of the same model or year model can have different engines. A performance module designed for a powerful pickup will probably not work with a more sedate car.
Our website makes it easy to find the right performance module for your car. Enter the year, make, and model of your ride in the filter bar, and you’ll have the most suitable module, performance chip module, or tuner for your vehicle at your fingertips.
Most vehicles run on either gasoline or diesel. Engines that run on one fuel type may have components not seen in their counterparts that burn the other fuel, although some engines will accept both fuels.
Given the different properties of gasoline and diesel, keep the fuel type of your vehicle’s engine in mind when selecting a performance module.
The way you want to drive your upgraded car will affect your choice of performance module. For instance, if you want faster acceleration and better responsiveness, get a module with racing-based tunes.
For those who plan to turn their pickup or SUV into a cargo hauler or towing vehicle, a module with torque-boosting tunes can deliver the engine performance for heavy-duty work. And if the factory tune doesn’t save as much fuel as expected or needed, installing a module with a fuel-efficient tune may resolve the issue.
Not all states permit the use of performance modules on the road, and some modules don’t meet the requirements. Consult state laws and city ordinances to determine if the performance module you’re eyeing is street legal.