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Power Programmer Guides

Increase in road performance can be achieved by installing a premium power programmer. Make sure your car is equipped with only the best power programmer.
Your car's potential is meaningless if you can't harness it. You need the right equipment to bring out your vehicle's maximum performance. So how do you milk every single ounce of power from your engine every time you drive your car? You purchase a Power Programmer that turns your vehicle's potential into a reality.
Power programmers give you absolute control over your engine's fine-tuning for better fuel combustion and maximized engine function. These electronic components may be small enough to fit your palm, but once inserted into your ride's diagnostic port, they instantly become miniature computers. From your ride's identification number to your car's exact powertrain, transmission, and drivetrain specifications, the programmer quickly shows you all the numbers. It then downloads a Power Tuning program that will allow you increase your engine's torque and horsepower. It can also calibrate changes in your gear ratio and fuel-to-air ratio. Once proper adjustments have been made, you can experience a significant increase in your car's performance. Plus, you can also go back to factory settings anytime you choose.
With a high-quality Power Programmer, boosting your car's performance is only a push of a button away. Harness your car's potential by fine-tuning every aspect of your vehicle's specs and ensuring efficient performance from your ride at all times.

Power Programmer Buyer’s Guide

Summary

  • The engine power programmer, also known as a tuner or performance chip, is a handheld device used to push the engine to its full potential.
  • Power programmers feature an easy plug-and-play installation. 
  • Tuning nowadays is more complex in terms of how you can extend the performance of your vehicle regardless of the factory spec. It is, however, digitally guided as most of the tuning will be done on a computer.
  • While it is true that modern power programmers are designed for less complicated tuning, a slight miscalculation can still cause a system to perform below ideal specs.
  • You should, at least, know what upgrade you want to do in your vehicle, compare and research the parts you are interested in buying, and back up your research by talking to a professional tuner.
  • CarParts.com offers power programmers or tuners with affordable prices that start at $250 and go all the way up to $630.

Modern cars feature an onboard computer known as the engine control module that holds various data like the engine’s timing, air-fuel ratio, emissions, and tons more. It controls how your car performs through multiple sensors for each system. This computer calculates and adjusts certain areas in your car to answer the varying demands of daily driving.

As you know, computers are programmable, and the electronic control unit (ECU) is no exception. Programming the ECU can help your car achieve many things, and adding more horsepower is one of them. However, don’t be too quick when it comes to tuning your vehicle.

To avoid headaches, plan and research before you make final decisions. Much better, let a professional tune your car. Professional tuners have the best know-how when it comes to proper tuning. For starters, here are the things you need to know before you purchase a power programmer for your vehicle.

What is a power programmer?

The engine power programmer, also known as a tuner or performance chip, is a handheld device used to unlock an engine’s full potential. One way of pushing your car to the limit is by unlocking its hidden horsepower. Apart from the additional horsepower, it can also help your car achieve better fuel mileage and torque. Power programmers feature an easy plug-and-play installation. 

The engine power programmer is the answer to a more advanced and complex tuning. Thanks to the introduction of the onboard diagnostics standard known as the OBD-II, you won’t have to upgrade hardware to tune your car, you simply need to plug in a device and use your fingertips. However, although it’s a lot easier to tune your car now, it’s still best to bring your car and have it tuned by an actual tuning garage.

What is tuning?

Before cars were equipped with onboard computers, tuning a car was relatively hard and required a lot of work. The only way to tune a car back then was to replace existing factory hardware with aftermarket replacements. Tuning in the past was also limited, as you can only work around the factory peak torque of a vehicle at one given point in the curve and adjust it to a certain RPM range to your liking.

Nowadays, tuning is more complex in terms of how you can extend the performance of your vehicle regardless of the factory spec. It is, however, less complicated as most of the tuning will be done on a computer. Most systems in your vehicle are now computer-operated, such as the variable valve timing and ignition. Working around systems like these will require digital tweaking. Make sure a professional tuner does that for you.

If you’re DIY-ing, make sure you’re consulting a mechanic until the very end of your project. Tuning requires precision and the right combination of variables. While it is true that modern programmers are designed so that owners can tune their ride in their garage, a slight miscalculation can still cause a system in your car to perform below the ideal specs. This can also put you in unpleasant situations so be wary.

As mentioned earlier, bring your car to a tuning shop to avoid any mishaps.

Things to consider before getting a power programmer

If you already have specific tuners in mind but can’t make up your mind about which one to buy, let us help you out. Here are three things that will help you finalize your decision on which power programmer to get:

Know what upgrade you want

Before anything else, the first thing you have to know is the improvement you want to be done in your car. Most plug-and-play power programmers work on a wide array of modern vehicles. However, there are tuners designed specifically to enhance one area in your vehicle.

By knowing which areas to improve, such as fuel management (you can decide whether to improve your fuel economy or add extra power), deciding what programmer to buy will be a lot easier.

Review your existing modifications

The second ideal thing to do is to check for any existing performance modifications you have in your car. Knowing this will help you map out exactly what you can achieve after the upcoming upgrade. 

Compare products and do your research

There are tons of products out there without a doubt, all being marketed as the best. It is your duty to pick one that you think will suit your needs the most. You can do this by picking out all the products you are interested in and pitting them against one another. Comparing different tuners will reveal their advantages and disadvantages, ranging from design, functionality, user interface, and user-friendliness.

You may also check different forums but do so at your own risk. Do extensive research and find out what other people have in their cars. It would also be better if you can find a forum specific to your vehicle model.

Have a conversation with your trusted tuner

Sometimes, research alone is not enough, especially online, as there’s a lot of inaccurate information that you can freely access. The workaround here is to talk to a professional tuner. Look for a local tuning shop and get in touch with them. Tell them what you want to be done to your car and consult if you have your plans all set. It’s always good to get knowledge from people who really know what they’re doing.

How much is an engine power programmer?

CarParts.com offers power programmers or tuners with affordable prices that start at $250 and go all the way up to $630. You can select from the different series under several brands to narrow down your list. For a more specific search, input your vehicle’s year, make, and model in the filter tab under the search menu.

The Automobile Basics: Power Programmer

Better engine operation is a matter of having the right devices in your car. One of the most effective ways to enhance an engine's performance without necessarily modifying the entire system is through the use of a reliable power programmer. As its name implies, this device is designed to fine-tune the engine to maximize the car's power, fuel efficiency, and torque. What it does is it plugs into your vehicle's port (usually the diagnostic port) and modifies the various factors affecting your engine's efficiency. Most power programmers are capable of adjusting your vehicle's ignition timing, tire size, odometer, speedometer, and air and fuel ratios. Doing so enables the power programmer to bring out the best performance out of your vehicle. Now, while increase in torque and engine power may vary depending on the type of programmer used in the vehicle, a good programmer should give your engine a power boost of at least 100 horsepower. That's a pretty big power boost, making this programmer an ideal add-on for street and strip applications. Another excellent feature of great power programmers is that they can also be used to monitor your ride's various sensors. This type of power programmer is usually capable of reading diagnostic trouble codes-making it easier for you to troubleshoot your car for problems. Because of the many benefits offered by power programmers, auto enthusiasts are encouraged to invest in this type of device.

The Automobile Basics: Power Programmer - Part II

Problems are bound to arise from your vehicle. But to find out what solution you should take to solve these problems, you need to be able to diagnose them properly first. And there's no better way to do that than with a scan tool and code reader. This device helps you diagnose the trouble codes given off by your engine's computer. It comes with a CD software that contains most of the diagnostic codes used by today's technicians. By giving you the proper diagnostic codes, it allows you to determine how to go about fixing the problem at hand. What makes this gadget an effective tool is its easy-to-use interface and display screen. Since you can navigate through it with ease, you won't run into any problems trying to make the scan tool and code reader work. Plus with its clear display screen, you won't have a problem reading the diagnostic codes given off by the device. Remember that as a vehicle owner, you're bound to run into some engine problems somewhere down the line. So to make it easy for you to diagnose them and find a solution, it's best to invest in a scan tool and code reader. This will help you find ways to fix your car and resolve problems more efficiently.

Important Facts You Need to Know About Power Programmer

Thanks to the auto engineers behind power programmers., you can enhance your car's power and performance without crawling under the hood. Now, it's easy to boost your ride by increasing its horsepower and torque. Once plugged into your vehicle's under-dash diagnostic plug, the power programmer reads your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to obtain crucial information on the engine, transmission and drive train. Upon recognizing the power train, the power programmer will then display a series of yes or no questions that require your inputs. Once you put all your answers in, the vehicle's computer will be then reset to unleash the engine and drive train's maximum horsepower, torque and efficiency. A topnotch power programmer can improve your vehicle's fuel economy. Enjoy all these benefits just by plugging in a superchip power programmer. Get one today from CarParts.com!


• Ensure maximum horsepower and torque gains

• Can save you money by improving mileage and fuel economy

• Features a hassle-free plug-and-play installation

Choosing the Right Power Programmer

The manufacturer had your convenience in mind when it made your car. Therefore, it made a computer for your car that calibrates your vehicle's performance so you can focus more on driving. Every modern vehicle comes with this built-in computer that controls functions like air-fuel ratios, ignition timing, gear shifts and gauge calibration. Some questions still remain, though: is the computer allowing the engine to operate at its peak? Is your car at its peak horsepower, torque and fuel efficiency level? If you feel like you aren't getting enough performance out of your car, it's because your factory settings aren't tuned for maximum power. This is the job of a power programmer-to boost your vehicle's capability by giving you more control over your vehicle.

Vehicle type and desired performance

Are you towing, racing, or do you just simply want to improve your car's fuel efficiency? Buying the right power programmer would depend on how you want your car to function. You might be eyeing a power programmer for a truck that you want to use for towing, and you choose one for your make, model and year. You have to make sure, however, that it is one that improves hauling capability. A power programmer is custom-made to fit the needs of a vehicle type, as well as the function you want it to perform.

If you're looking for more acceleration, there are plenty of race-inspired programmers to choose from. If you really just want to tune your engine for higher fuel efficiency, then a programmer that focuses on gas economy is the right one for you. There are ones that optimize your engine, allow it to draw the most power out of every drop of gas, and even calibrate your vehicle to run on lower-octane fuel.

Other factors to consider

Choosing the right power programmer will primarily depend on your driving style and what you want out of your engine. However, there are also quality power programmers that give you the ability to calibrate and update your gauges when you make changes to your tire size or gear ratio. They should also be able to accommodate future changes you want to make to your air intakes or exhausts.

Are you able to take advantage of the true performance capability of your car? Install a power programmer, confidently say yes, and be confident in knowing that you are on the right track to meeting the needs of your car and improving, among other things, its character.

5-Minute Power Programmer Installation

If you think your system is limiting the power of your engine, get a power programmer. This device upgrades the performance parameters set for the automobile without ?the works'. All you have to do is plug this into your On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) system, let it download the perfect codes for your ride, and it's all set. It is very easy to install. With these easy steps, you can get the job done in five minutes.

You'll need:

  • 8mm socket and ratchet
  • 1/4" flathead screwdriver
  • anti-freeze coolant

Safety tips

  1. Charge your battery fully.
  2. Allow your engine to cool before plugging this device to your OBD port.
  3. Do not disturb the power programmer's cable while the installation is in progress.
  4. Never leave your vehicle untended.
  5. Use your owner's manual as reference.
  6. Keep yourself from operating any electrical parts or systems in the vehicle to prevent any untoward incident.
  7. DO NOT start your engine while programming.

Step 1: Connect one of the supplied cable ends to a black plastic adapter of your new power programmer and the other to the device.

Step 2: Tighten the thumbscrews of the cable.

Step 3: Find the Data Link Connector (DLC), which is typically near the driver's right knee under your dash panel.

Step 3: Plug the assembled adapter into the DLC.

Step 4: Set your parking brake.

Step 5: Turn your ignition key to ?RUN' without starting the engine.

Step 6: Press the arrow on your programmer and follow the instructions that appears on the LCD.

Step 7: As soon as the programmer identifies your automobile and its settings via its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), a series of applications will be shown on the LCD. It will download program applications for engine tuning, rev limiter, cooling fans operating range, top-speed limiter, tire size, rear-gear ratio, transmission shift point mph & rpm and shift firmness for automatics, and programming. Press the letter or indicator that matches your answers. Generally, ?Y' means yes and ?N' means no.

Step 8: Once the installation reaches 100%, which is expected to run for a max of 5 minutes only, turn the key to ?OFF' for 30 seconds.

Step 9: Press ?Y' or any letter suggested by the programmer before removing the cable from your DLC.

NOTE:

  1. Check your engine. Start the engine and let it warm up-the engine should run smoothly. Expect the ?Service Engine Soon' to come and go off the moment you crank up your engine.
  2. Check for detonation. If you hear a pinging sound at heavy acceleration, back off the throttle and call your dealer.

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