We all want our vehicles to function at their very best. Normally we rely on the manufacturers to tune our vehicles and do this job for us. However, when we feel our rides aren’t running as well as we’d like, or that we simply want to upgrade the performance after modifications, or merely monitor that performance, home tuning is a worthwhile solution.
Tuning has come a long way in the last twenty years, and now some of the very best performance chips are readily and inexpensively available on the domestic market.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the best as we find the perfect performance chips for you…
- Top 10 Best Performance Chips In 2020 Reviews
- 1 Sct Performance – 7015 – X4 Performance Tuner
- 2 Superchips 2845 Flashpaq F5 Tune
- 3 Range Technology Active Fuel Management Disable Device (Blue)
- 4 Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller
- 5 Superchips 3571 Flashcal F5 Tuner
- 6 Edge Products 84130 Insight Monitor
- 7 7.3L Ford Powerstroke Diesel 1994-2003 TS Performance 6 Position Chip
- 8 Diablosport 7202 Predator P2 Performance Tuner 2nd Generation Predator
- 9 Edge Products 15051 Evolution Programmer For Ford F-150
- 10 Diablosport 8245 Intune I3 Platinum Performance Programmer
- Best Performance Chip Buyers Guide
- So, What Are The Best Performance Chips?
Top 10 Best Performance Chips In 2020 Reviews
1 Sct Performance – 7015 – X4 Performance Tuner
The SCT Performance – 7015 – X4 Performance Tuner is designed to work with a wide range of Ford cars and trucks. You should, of course, check with SCT that your vehicle is compatible with the X4.
The X4 replaces the outgoing X-Cal 3 model and offers some serious improvements in tuning capability and ergonomics. This latest model features a 2.6” X 5.5” color LCD screen. It’s nice and clear, which makes it easy to read and navigate menus. However, despite the size of the screen, it’s still compact.
Download via WiFi…
The X4 Performance Tuner has built-in WiFi, which allows you to easily download all the latest tunes and updates without having to connect via USB. What’s more, there’s also a new and smaller connection via the OBDII port, making connection even less cumbersome.
The X4 comes preloaded with tried and tested tune files that can increase your horsepower, throttle response, torque, and fuel mileage. Also, the X4 can store an additional ten custom tunes giving you plenty of flexibility to load your own tuning preferences.
Other cool features on the X4 include its ability to limit your revs and top speed, initiate a four-cylinder only engine mode, plus lock the torque converter during deceleration. There are plenty of other additional parameters that can be changed, including; axle ratio, intake airbox, and idle adjustments.
We like the fact that this high level of functionality is also matched by the X4’s ability to clearly display a wide range of engine and performance data. Linked with its compact size and improved software custom tuning your engine has never been easier.
However, be aware that using this device will leave a trace on your ECU that may invalidate your warranty. Apart from that issue, this is one of the best Ford F150 performance chips, as well as for other Ford trucks.
- Large screen size.
- Easy to use.
- Easy to upload software updates.
- Ten custom tunes can be stored.
- WiFi compatible.
- Custom tunes must be purchased via SCT.
- Trace will be left on ECU.
2 Superchips 2845 Flashpaq F5 Tune
With over 30 years in business, this all US company has plenty of experience in auto-tuning. And the Superchips 2845 Flashpaq F5 Tune is suitable for use with all cars, trucks and SUVs.
The Flashpaq tuner measures 5” x 6” x 2.5” and weighs only 5.6 ounces. It’s a compact hand-held tuner that delivers multiple high-performance tunes and can additionally read diagnostic codes.
Quick as a flash…
This is simple and intuitive to use. It’s is a plugin and play device that can quickly and easily tune your powertrain for; increased levels of horsepower, improved optimal shifting, increased mileage performance, and drivability. There are also functions to calibrate both the speedometer the odometer.
What’s more, the Superchips 2845 Flashpaq F5 Tune can calibrate your wheels or tires shift points.
Small but perfectly formed…
Although the screen is relatively small, it is well laid-out, and you’ll have no problems in delivering increased horsepower to your vehicle without the need for tools. Despite the fact that it’s easy to use, it would be nice to have seen WIFI connectivity and more programmability. Considering its price, we don’t feel that’s unreasonable.
Finally, one of the big pluses with this product is that not only is it manufactured to high standards in the US, but it’s also backed by a two years warranty on the powertrain. It’s always good to see a manufacturer backing their product like this: well done guys and girls.
But be aware that this performance chip will leave a watermark on your ECU that may invalidate your warranty.
- Can be used for diagnostics.
- Excellent track record with tuning products.
- A limited two years warranty on engines.
- Easy and intuitive to use.
- No WIFI connectivity.
- Small screen.
3 Range Technology Active Fuel Management Disable Device (Blue)
This one is for you, GM V6 and V8 guys. The Range Technology Active Fuel Management Disable Device is a simple plug-in device. And it has been designed to override your engine management system to keep you firing on all cylinders all of the time.
Modern active fuel management (AFM) technology installed on V6 and V8 engines is designed to do exactly as you’d expect. Save fuel. There’s obviously nothing wrong with saving fuel, but unfortunately, this frequently comes at a price.
Get the full potential…
Unfortunately, taking out two or four cylinders from your engine is a recipe for sluggish, poor performance. Whilst you’re undeniably liable to save cash at the pumps, there’s no way you’re going to get the true potential out of your drivetrain.
The Range Technology Active Fuel Management Disable Device allows you to fully unleash the power of your engine, all of the time! And all you have to do is simply plug it into your OBD-II port. It takes seconds to do, with no tools required or no additional adjustments needed, just plugin and you’re good to go.
No more sluggish acceleration, throttle lag, or unpredictable power delivery. Additionally, it’s also been shown to reduce cabin noise with some after-market exhausts.
Maintain your warranty…
Since there is no reprogramming of the ECU, therefore, not only is this quick and easy to install, but there are also no tell-tale watermarks left in the installation process. Importantly, this means any warranty on your vehicle is not negated.
If you do experience any electronic or engine management problems with your vehicle during the warranty period, just be sure to unplug the Range device before you take it to your mains-dealer.
This is a great little device and is particularly suitable in conditions where; towing, extreme weather, off-road, or high-speed driving are involved.
- Easy to install.
- Installation does not invalidate the main-dealer warranty.
- Excellent in high-load conditions.
- Liable to reduce fuel economy.
4 Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller
The Pedal Commander we’re reviewing here is specifically for Dodge Ram vehicles between 2007 – 2018 though it’s is also available for Lexus LX/LC, Durango, and Jeep. It should be noted that Pedal Commander only is compatible with vehicles fitted with electric gas pedals.
Each unit is specifically designed for different engines, transmissions, makes, and models. Care should, therefore, be taken to ensure you get exactly the right one for you.
Pedal to the metal…
The Pedal Commander is a controller designed to improve the car’s throttle response. It works by increasing the speed of your gas pedal engagement, which in turn reduces the delay times of the signal sent to your electronic accelerator.
The Pedal Commander has plenty of different settings for every motoring situation. The four main modes include ECO, City, Sport, and Sport+. What’s more, each of these modes has an additional eight adjustable settings for pedal sensitivity.
Check this out…
The Eco Mode can save you up to 20% over manufacturer’s fuel usage making it one of the most economical performance chips currently available. This excellent potential fuel-saving undoubtedly makes it one of the best performance chips for mpg savings on the market.
What’s more, it can also be used to limit acceleration for newer or less experienced drivers.
City Mode gives you a 1:1 pedal-to-throttle ratio associated with old-style throttle cable set-ups. This is a nice and responsive mode for everyday city driving. While Sport and Sport+ allows for fast and high responsive acceleration for those times you need to get to the shops… in a hurry!
One of the key features of the unit is its Bluetooth compatibility. This allows you to quickly switch between modes from your phone. Once the Pedal Commander is installed, it can simply be placed out of sight. Where ever you’re driving and in whatever the conditions adjusting the modes couldn’t be easier.
Quick and easy installation…
Installing the unit takes less than ten minutes. It’s connected via OEM connectors to the CPU that enables it to give real-time speed calculations. Best of all, the in-line connection to your accelerator sensor leaves no watermark vehicle’s ECU. Consequently, your main-dealer warranty is in no way compromised.
Though it’s easy to install the unit, drivers may take a little while to find exactly their preferred level of pedal sensitivity for each mode. Be prepared to experiment and be patient. This is liable to be the most time-consuming part of your installation.
- Easy installation.
- Does not compromise the main-dealer warranty.
- A 20% fuel saving is possible.
- Four different driving modes.
- Eight different levels of pedal sensitivity.
- Bluetooth compatible.
- Does not fully tune or re-map your engine.
- It may take time to find your preferred pedal sensitivity settings.
5 Superchips 3571 Flashcal F5 Tuner
Here’s another performance product from our friends at Superchips. The 3571 is a handheld programmer that can be plugged into your Jeep in seconds. For use on late model Jeeps only, this is a product used for changing the settings on your vehicle that, unlike the Falshpaq series, are not directly related to the tuning of your drivetrain.
It’s able to recalibrate the setting on your Jeep in the event of you changing things such as tire sizes or gear ratios. What’s more, it has a number of other useful programmable options to upgrade your Jeep.
Let’s take a closer look at some of those additional upgrades that are available…
Flashcal 3571 can alter the sounding of the horn and flashing of the exterior lights when locking the doors with keyless entry. It can also install the lane-change function to automatically end the signal for lane changes after a set number of blinks. Plus, it can adjust the light options in daytime running for models between 2007 – 2016.
Headlights, accessory lights, radios, and any aftermarket accessories on the same fuse can have delay options reconfigured on models between 2001 -2016.
In four-wheel drive, for low-speed off-roading, in JK models only, the crawl setting can be tuned. And the locking axle options can be adjusted in the Rubicon model between 2007 – 2016.
Not only is this device quick and easy to use, but it’s also easily upgradable when Jeep releases new features to their models.
However, the coolest feature of all is the ability to download software from Superchips to convert your Flashcal to work in the same way as a Flashpaq. This is a paid optional download, but it does offer some great flexibility in the event of deciding to tune your powertrain.
- Easy to use.
- Software is easy to upgrade.
- It can only be used on one vehicle.
- No drivetrain tuning options without a paid software upgrade.
6 Edge Products 84130 Insight Monitor
If you want to closely monitor your car or truck performance without cluttering up your dashboard, then the Edge Products 84130 Insight Monitor could be exactly what you’re looking for.
The Edge Insight is a comprehensive multi-gauge monitoring system that is easily operated. And unlike standalone gauges, by plugging straight into your OBD II port. This is a monitoring only system, with no tuning capabilities, and is compatible with any vehicle manufactured after 1996.
State of the art…
The edge monitors all your drivetrain’s settings and readings. It then displays them on one easy to read state-of-art display screen. The great thing about the edge is that it gives you the same information as the old-style bulky analog gauges. However, it does it at a fraction of the cost and in a much more convenient and space-saving package.
What’s not to like?
The 5” screen is a high-resolution full-color touch screen. It’s a nice modern design and is capable of displaying multiple gauge layouts. The screens can be fully customized for colors, backgrounds, and gauge layouts.
Other features include; light-sensitive screen dimming, switchability between US and metric measurements, one-touch navigation, and the ability to update the unit via the internet.
There’s no doubt about it…
If you’re serious about monitoring the performance of your vehicle, Edge Products 84130 Insight Monitor will keep you fully and safely informed. It can even be configured to give visual and sound alerts to help protect your vehicle.
- Easy to install.
- Excellent touch-screen display.
- Visual and sound alerts available.
- Displays can be customized.
- No tuning capability.
7 7.3L Ford Powerstroke Diesel 1994-2003 TS Performance 6 Position Chip
This chip is one of the best diesel truck performance chips as well as for diesel engines. It’s certainly the most powerful and offers more increase of power to the rear wheels than any other chip currently on sale. This also makes it the best performance chip for horsepower we’ve reviewed here.
The chip we’re reviewing is specifically for 7.3L diesel Fords between the years 1994 – 2003.
When making a purchase, it’s essential you give the information asked by the supplier in full. Failure to do this will result in a unit with a blank chip being shipped. If a blank chipped unit is shipped to you, because you fail to supply all the correct information, there are a number of options available to rectify the situation. However, this will all be at your cost, you’ve been warned!
Plug and play…
The chip is a simple plugin and play device that, once installed, can be easily adjusted to six different settings. These are; high, idle, 50HP, 75HP, 100HP and 140HP +.
As well as improved power, the chip will improve torque and improve shifting. Gear changing will be firmer without the feeling of your truck slamming into gear.
But best of all…
The TS Performance 6 Position Chip leaves no 605 computer code or trace that can be detected at a later date by your main-dealer. There are very few performance chips that do this.
This TS chip delivers some serious bang for the buck. Here’s a product that is not only cheap and powerful but can also be transferred to any truck of the same make and model.
- It provides big power gains.
- Easy to install.
- It can be transferred.
- Cannot custom tune.
- Not upgradable.
- No display.
8 Diablosport 7202 Predator P2 Performance Tuner 2nd Generation Predator
DiabloSport is an all-American company that has been at the cutting-edge of high-performance tuning for close to twenty years. Self-confessed horsepower junkies, their first hand-held tuning device helped to shape the current landscape of performance tuners.
This latest Predator P2 Performance Tuner continues to show its strength as a market-leading product. And it is capable of delivering outstanding performance gains. It may look more like a computer game than a performance tuner, but this is one of the best performance chips on the market.
The Predator P2 can be used on either gas or diesel vehicles, though it’s only compatible with Chrysler, GM, and Ford. This is a hand-held plug-in device that both easy to install, through your OBD-II port, and is also easy to update via USB connection.
It has some great pre-loaded Predator tunes, and what’s more, it allows you to set-up and store your own custom tunes, and you can easily restore factory pre-sets. Now we like that.
Versatile and functional…
We also really like the sleek design and bold looks of the Predator. Plus, the fact that it’s both easy to use whilst also offering plenty of functionality. It can access data logging capabilities and deliver a wide range of adjustable options. These include; tire size, gear shifting, gear ratios, and more. It can also be used as a diagnostic code reader and clearer.
In short, this is a small but powerful unit that can add impressive instant horsepower gains to your vehicle, together with instant economy savings and with plenty of functionality on tap.
- Excellent performance gains.
- High functionality.
- Can store custom tunes.
- Diagnostic reading capabilities.
- No Bluetooth.
- Leaves detectable trace on the Vehicle’s ECU.
9 Edge Products 15051 Evolution Programmer For Ford F-150
The Edge Evolution is a multi-performance chip unit that will not only increase the horsepower and smooth running of your vehicle. But will also provide you with real-time data of your vehicle’s performance.
When ordering your Edge Evolution, be sure to give accurate information relating to the make, model, and year of your vehicle. The product we’re looking at today is suitable for Ford F150s’.
Sleek and ergonomic…
The Edge Evolution is a ground-up designed product with sleek and ergonomic looks. The edge plugs straight into the ECU with no wires showing and can be installed in minutes. Fitted to your Ford F150, it sits neatly on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel and looks like a factory fit item. And the Edge is easily updatable by USB straight to your computer.
It has a very clear and easy to read screen capable of displaying up to four parameters at the same time. Some of the 19 different readings it’s able to display include; five different temperatures, fuel rail pressure, manifold airflow, engine load, turbine shaft speed, and so much more.
This small compact device is so much more flexible, contains much more information, and is considerably cheaper than using a fraction of the old-style analog dials.
But that’s not all!
The Edge Evolution can also be programmed to sound alarms in the event of pre-set minimum or maximum values being breached. Additionally, you’re able to keep track of performance indicators, such as; 0 – 60 times, ¼ mile times, max RPM, and max speed.
Best of all, the Edge Evolution is also a performance tuner that can deliver up to 35 horsepower and 50 feet of torque increases. Custom shifting, adjustable speed, and rev limiting, plus other customized options, can also be linked to the drivetrain tuning.
This device can really do it all, and we believe it’s the best Ford F150 performance chip currently available.
- Sleek ergonomic design.
- Easy to read screen.
- It can display multiple engine parameters.
- Has powertrain tuning capability.
- Easy to update.
- Leaves a readable trace on your ECU.
10 Diablosport 8245 Intune I3 Platinum Performance Programmer
This is another performance chip from our friends at DiabloSport. The Platinum Performance Programmer is the very best and latest in cutting-edge, high-performance pre-loaded tuning. Best of all, it has the capacity to load highly sophisticate customized tuning.
The DiabloSport 8245 inTune i3 Platinum Performance Programmer is compatible with GM vehicles and with either gas or diesel drivetrains. It’s a hand-held device that’s a simple plug and play unit, via the OBD-II port. The programmer is easy to install and also easily updatable via a USB connection.
Simple to use…
It has a host of basic data logging options and a vast range of adjustable parameters. Additionally, it can be utilized for both diagnostic code-reading and clearing. It has high levels of functionality, and like all their range of Platinum Performance Programmers, it’s easy and intuitive to use.
There’s plenty to like about this performance chip…
But the best part is its ability to customize and tailor power settings according to hard-part updates and aftermarket modifications. In conjunction with DiabloSport CMR software, whatever new parts you invest in your car, be they; new cams, turbos, fuel injectors or superchargers, the Platinum Programmer gives you the capacity to custom tune your vehicle to the very highest level.
Though the CMR software must be purchased separately, it really opens the door to endless possibilities to take your ride to a whole new level. This makes the i3 Platinum Performance Programmer truly standout amongst the competition.
- Easy to hook-up.
- Has diagnostic and diagnostic clearing.
- High functionality.
- Class-leading customized tunes with CMR software.
- It’s expensive.
Best Performance Chip Buyers Guide
Performance chips can basically be categorized into four different categories; drivetrain tuning, customized drivetrain tuning, non-drivetrain tuning and drivetrain, and vehicle monitoring.
There’s plenty of variation in the degree of performance and functionality to be found within these subdivisions. Consequently, before looking for a specific tuner, it’s worth carefully evaluating your performance goals and look for a device that best meets your tuning criteria.
Now let’s take a look at those four categories of performance chips…
Drivetrain tuning can, of course, involve custom tuning, but for now, we’ll set that aside, and look at the standard tunes you can expect to find from the best performance chips we’ve looked at in this review.
Performance chips will routinely offer standard pre-set tunes, usually with a few options available, tailored to specific driving requirements. The pre-set tunes are ideal for people with less experience in tuning. Though most performance chips offer some kind of custom tuning, the novice would be well advised to show caution in their use.
There are units such as the Pedal Commander, and the TS Performance 6 Position Chip, that offer drivetrain performance enhancements without the ability to custom tune but with the advantage of not leaving a tell-tale watermark on the WCU.
Custom Drivetrain Tuning
The best performance chips will supply the option of being able to load pre-set and custom tunes for the drivetrain. This will be with either pre-loaded software or with software added after purchase.
The level of complexity now available for custom tuning is staggering. For those after the very highest level of customized tuning, then look no further than the DiabloSport 8245 inTune i3 Platinum Performance Programmer with loaded CMR software.
Non-drivetrain tuners, such as Superchips Flashcal or the Range Technology Active Fuel Management Disable Device, will increase vehicle performance without direct drivetrain tuning.
These performance tuners are designed to change parameters such as; lights, radios, aftermarket accessories, crawl settings, and gear or tire ratios. They are useful when modifications are frequently added to the vehicle.
These devices generally do not add a detectable trace on the ECU.
Drivetrain And Vehicle Monitoring
Where the vehicle has possibly already undergone some powertrain performance upgrades, these units are ideal for keeping check on the performance of the vehicle.
Previously analog gauges were used to keep a check on things like temperatures and pressures. However, the fact is that these old-style gauges are both expensive and difficult to install. Further, they take up a lot of space and look ugly.
The newer monitoring performance chips are able to monitor much more information, are easier to install, and are cheaper. What’s more, there’s also no watermark left on the ECU.
The best monitoring chip we looked at was Edge Products 84130 Insight Monitor.
Some of the performance chips will leave a detectable watermark or trace on your vehicle’s ECU. This is usually the case with chips that are designed to, in some way, increase the horsepower or torque of your drivetrain.
It’s important to check if a trace will be left on the ECU, before deciding to use a performance chip, as this will potentially invalidate the main dealer’s warranty, particularly on newer vehicles.
The warranty conditions are there for good reason, so regardless of the terms and conditions of your vehicle’s warranty, it’s worth taking extra care to ensure any tuning device you use is fully compatible with your ride. You should also take extra care to ensure that any tuning you undertake will in no way cause any damage to your drivetrain or vehicle.
You don’t want a botched tune that will only end in tears!
Though sometimes it’s possible to have it all, frequently tuning will be a compromise of what can or can’t be achieved. With more extremes of tuning, it’s unlikely that high levels of increased horsepower and torque are going to be linked with increased fuel economy, and vice versa. Where more moderate goals are sought, then more power and better fuel economy may well be achievable.
The message is to be both clear and realistic about what you want to achieve.