Power Programmers & Control Modules: What’s the Difference?

BY Thomas S.

You don’t have to settle for average performance and less-than-stellar power. If you’re interested in modifying your ride to surpass those average factory settings, there are plenty of options at your disposal.

But, before you modify your engine, you need to know the ins and outs of what you’re getting yourself into and the affect it can have on your car. Luckily for you, AutoAnything is here to help. Not only are we your one-stop shop for programmers and more, our site is home to a variety of helpful articles to get you started on your next DIY project.

To be specific, if you’re looking to take on a DIY project that’s sure to boost your performance, but can’t decide between a power programmer or a control module, keep reading to learn the differences.

Power Programmer

One of the biggest differences between a power programmer and a control module is the installation process and location. Convenient in every sense of the word, a programmer is not a permanent attachment to your car – simply plug it into your OBD-II port. It doesn’t stay plugged into your vehicle; all you have to do is plug it in and let it work its magic.

An additional difference is the amount of control and input you have over the tuning process. Once you plug a programmer in, you’ll answer questions such as, “Have you modified your vehicle before?”, “What fuel do you use?”, and the like. Based on your answers, the tuner uploads settings that are specifically tailored to your ride and your driving patterns.

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Control Module

Control modules, on the other hand, serve as a permanent installation to your car. A control module needs to be wired directly into your ride’s onboard computer, meaning it will mount securely inside your engine compartment.

Plus, once a control module has been spliced into your onboard computer system, it will easily run off its own programming without any of your own input.

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Now that you know more about the benefits and differences between a programmer and a control module, you’re ready to dive into your next DIY project and take your performance to new heights in the new year.