You want to get the most out of your engine, but before you run out and purchase a performance chip, you want to make sure you know what you’re getting. Are performance chips really as good as people make them out to be? Are there any negative repercussions that come with installing one? Read on to find the answers you need to make an educated decision.

The pros of performance chips

As the name suggests, a performance chip is a chip that installs in your engine to give you more power and torque, as well as a smoother ride and improved MPGs. They’re offered in several different styles for different needs, epitomized by models like the Superchips Flashpaq Tuner and the Bully Dog BDX Tuner. No matter what you drive, you can find car and truck chips to unleash your engine’s full power potential.

The cons of performance chips

If you’ve made any prior modifications to your ride, choosing the correct performance chip may require additional research. Why? Because most are catered to those looking to improve stock vehicles. However, this type of information can be found by determining which changes were made and making manual calculations, as well as speaking with a manufacturer on applications. Just be aware of this moving forward.

How to check engine performance

Some tuners, like the DiabloSport Trinity T-1000, allow you to monitor your vehicle’s 0-60 times, the benchmark for vehicle acceleration comparisons. In plain English, what this means is that prior to modification, you’ll know how long it takes your vehicle to hit 60mph — perhaps six seconds. With a programmer like the Trinity, you’ll know how much of an improvement you’ve made after adding your mods, down to the decimal-point of your new 0-60 time.

Tuners also monitor other aspects, including exhaust gas temperature, air intake temperature, air-to-fuel ratios, ignition timing, tire calibration and other parameters that might prove useful in fine-tuning the performance of your ride.

Programmers from Bully Dog, like the one mentioned above, help draw the most energy out of your engine cylinders, leading to more powerful and controlled combustion and superior performance across the RPM range. DiabloSport and Hypertech programmers adjust ignition timing to improve engine efficiency by maximizing combustion. And, performance chips for diesel and gas applications allow you to adjust at will your vehicle’s onboard computer — just push a few buttons to modify the gauges and other systems for perfect, in-sync operation.

How to select the right chip

While you’re here, you should read up on our existing article, “Top Power Programmers and Performance Chips”, and be sure to check out our review page to see which chips car and truck enthusiasts are raving about. Top products such as the Banks Power Pack System or a tuner from SCT will make a difference quickly. Here at AutoAnything, we take pride in providing all the facts you need to inform your buying decision — and we like to think we make it easy.


Next articleKYB vs. Monroe Shocks: Which Suspension Brand is Best?
Mike Cote
My 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road Access Cab 4x4 offers bed space to camp in, haul my dirt bike around, and it's been done up to take on the trails. Favorite mods include my Icon coilovers to soak up the bumps. My Walker Evans 501 Legend wheels wrapped in Toyo RT tires give me the clearance from my upper control arms to fit (and they look darn good) and the over-sized tires take on rocks with plenty of traction. My Rigid Industries fog lights have kept me out of a ditch or two when night wheeling. Growing up going to car shows and helping my dad work on the family vehicles ignited my passion. My best memory was the first time I flushed the coolant. My dad forgot to tell me to keep my face out from under the drain plug. Never made that mistake again!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here