Is a tuning box worth the hype?

For those looking to improve car performance, you’ve likely had your head turned by a petrol or diesel tuning box. When it comes to performance, power is everything and has led to a massive boom in the car tuning box industry. As we learn more about specific models, it’s no wonder we’re looking for new ways to enhance performance. The diesel tuning box is one example making waves in the automotive industry, and we’re discussing the benefits and if they are, in fact, worth the hype.

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What is a diesel tuning box?

For those that don’t know, a car tuning box intercepts the signal between the ECU (Engine Control Unit) and the fuel injection system. The box enables the signal to ‘trick’ the ECU into injecting more diesel into the cylinders, thus increasing torque and power. It’s also worth noting that quality boxes will also enhance the turbocharger boost pressure.

For the diesel tuning box to work, the ECU calculates how much fuel to inject from the map tables, airflow, engine speed and the amount required of torque to boost. While these boxes and diesel tuning chips are only temporary, car remapping software is permanent. With tuner car parts, the ECU software is left alone, with the diesel chip tuning box plugged into the car’s wiring loom. In layman’s terms, the tuner car parts piggyback the sensors. Therefore, ‘tricking’ the car into enhancing performance.

You should also be aware of the ‘knockoff’ boxes available on the website. The difference between those and ‘proper’ car tuning boxes are staggering. Often, they are very cheap, resistor-based analogue units, with little testing or design. Essentially, your car is extremely vulnerable as the increased power and overfueling can cause lasting damage to your engine.

What do I need to consider?

In simple terms, diesel chip tuning is well worth the hype (and we are not at all biased). However, you must always consider the consequences for vehicle modification - particularly for those that have their car on lease.

For instance, always seek professional advice before buying any tuner car parts online - especially if you are cutting out manufacturers of the boxes. It’s easy to spot the effects of a bad job with a car tuning box, especially when you see a load of exhaust smoke. The engine generates sooty gases, which is a significant cause for concern and could even be illegal. The badly tuned box could lead to your Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) failing prematurely, potentially costing you thousands to repair on top of the original price of the car modification.

What are the benefits?

All vehicles are different, so the benefits will vary between models in terms of increased power. However, there are benefits across the board of a diesel tuning box. First things first, you can install the car tuner parts yourself. The average enthusiast will not struggle with the box, subsequently, your car won’t be out of action for long. You can also guarantee you’ll have more power and torque the next time you sit behind the wheel.

As mentioned above, a car tuning box is only temporary. As over 70% of us lease our cars, you might want to consider the box over car remapping software - permanently altering the ECU. You can remove the tuning box, should you get another, and the previous vehicle returns to standard. However, a manufacturer will spot the evidence of changing the ECU, likely voiding your warranty.

Those who use diesel chip tuning boxes may also find that the car runs better with the addition of a tuning box. The car tuner parts control the boost pressure and fuel delivery, thus making the engine more efficient.

Car tuning box vs remap

We’ve discussed the two routes you can take for improving car performance. However, you’ll find a tuning box a cheaper and less risky alternative to remapping. Particularly as the box can be reprogrammed and taken to your next car, while you will have to take the permanently altered vehicle back to the manufacturer (or inform those you sell your car on to).

Your warranty should be considered before opting for car remapping. The manufacturers will notice the changes and, often, the ECU is encrypted to protect from remapping.

You can find more info on tuning box vs remapping here.

Check if you're buying a quality box

You need to do your research when looking for methods to improve vehicle performance. Not all boxes are the same and, when installed correctly, can provide excellent results for your modification. However, always:

  • Check the supplier of the tuning box and any reviews on their website. Tread with caution if they don’t have any testimonials available.
  • Do they produce the boxes in-house and offer knowledge on installation. For instance, we manufacture and install the boxes for both petrol and diesel.
  • Look up internet forums for improving performance on your specific model.

You can check out more on our diesel tuning boxes here, or get in touch with our team directly.