LAST UPDATED: September 27, 2020

The Best Performance Chips (Review) in 2021

Best Choice The Best Performance Chips (Review) in 2021 DiabloSport Car Fuel Management Module
Premium Pick Edge Products Insight Monitor Edge Products Insight Monitor
Best Value Range Technology Active Fuel Management Range Technology Active Fuel Management

A performance chip improves your vehicle’s fuel economy and provides more power. Plus, it can have a great effect on your vehicle’s efficiency. Since there are a variety of performance chips out there, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your car or truck. And, admittedly, it’s probably a bit surprising that such a power-up even exists. But here we are. In the buying guide below, we list the features of a great tuning chip and answer frequently asked questions, so you can choose the right one for your needs. So without further ado, let’s look at some of the best performance chips on the market right now.

The Best Performance Chip

DiabloSport is a well-known enterprise when it comes to providing the public with fresh new tuning programmers, and this item is one of our favorites. Compatible with a variety of trucks, you simply need an OBDII port in order to plug this in and get started.

This item focuses on the power and torque of your car by overriding the four-cylinder mode with the V8 option, allowing you to quickly and forcefully move when you need to. Just be aware that your vehicle will need to host the Active Fuel Management system in order for this performance chip to work.

Key Features
  • Connects to the OBDII port
  • Suits most domestic vehicles that feature Active Fuel Management (AFM)
  • Forces regular V8 mode
Specification
  • Brand DiabloSport
  • Model S1000
  • Weight 0.8 ounces
PROS

Very simple installation with no tuning or alterations required

Quickly resolves lagging problems often seen when changing from 4 to 8 cylinders

CONS

Not suitable for cars without AFM

No tuning of personalization abilities

A great option that meets the needs of a wide range of vehicles (providing they were registered after 1996 and equipped with an OBDII port), this programmer is perfect for a variety of vehicles. Whether you like to check out the open road, commute to work, or are a long-distance driver looking for maximum performance, the Insight Monitor from Edge Products is a popular option.

The easy-to-read screen displays all the information you need, making it easy to monitor your performance and to self-regulate. You should be aware, however, that this option does not come with any tuning abilities and acts as a monitor only.

Key Features
  • Suitable for vehicles with an OBDII (diagnostic) port
  • 5-inch screen
  • Range of on-screen colors and designs available
Specification
  • Brand Edge Products
  • Model 84130
  • Weight 12.8 ounces
PROS

Touch screen makes it easier to manage tasks and monitoring

Slimline and easy to carry when not in use

Great for monitoring and diagnostics

CONS

This is only a monitor, so no tuning capabilities

Screen can slow down considerably over time

A power chip that focuses on driving performance in high-load vehicles, this device works by disabling the four-cylinder mode, allowing your vehicle to regularly operate under V8 mode. As you can imagine, this provides extra power and torque where you need it most.

Since it’s so small, the change that this simple addition can make is incredible. It uses a plug-and-play style of installation, so you don’t have to worry about spending hours tinkering under your hood. You can even maintain your warranty with this option.

Key Features
  • Easy installation
  • Designed for high-load vehicles
  • Disables 4-cylinder mode
Specification
  • Brand Range Technology
  • Model FBA_RA003
  • Weight 3.2 ounces
PROS

Does not reprogram factory settings, maintaining your warranty

Ideal for vehicles with high-load requirements, such as tow trucks

Very easy to install with a plug and play system

CONS

Can result in “check engine” light coming on

Affects miles-per-gallon negatively

Another option that doesn’t void your warranty, the Throttle Response Controller from Pedal Commander does exactly what is promised on the packaging. Easy to install, you can plug and play this component quickly and easily, allowing you to improve fuel efficiency.

There are four adjustable modes that are pre-programmed into this tuner, which can also be altered to give you a massive 36 configurations to best suit your needs. It also comes with an app, which acts as your display and allows you to easily see the output and efficiency of your system.

Key Features
  • Improves fuel economy
  • 36 variations
  • Very easy to install and use
Specification
  • Brand Pedal Commander
  • Model Pc-18 Pc-30
  • Weight 7 ounces
PROS

Doesn’t void your car warranty

Very easy to install as a plug-and-play application

Comes with a phone application for easier controls

CONS

Very expensive

Does not provide the same positive results in heavier trucks

A handheld programmer that could easily be mistaken for an MP3 player, the Flashcal F5 Tuner from Superchips is an easy-to-use system that acts as a monitor for your vehicle. This is another plug-and-play device, although this particular option only works with a Jeep Wrangler JL.

Unfortunately, this option comes with very few, limited adjustments and mostly acts as a monitor. While you can alter it for tire size, axles, and so on, there are few improvements beyond this.

Key Features
  • Fits Jeeps only
  • Handheld, plug-and-play device
  • Works with upgraded equipment
Specification
  • Brand Superchips
  • Model 3571-JL
  • Weight 5.6 ounces
PROS

Ideal for those looking for the most personalized experience

Quick and easy to use

Hosts some nice features that customers appreciate

CONS

No overall performance enhancement

Suitable for Jeep Wrangler JL only

Another option from SCT Performance, this item is WiFi-enabled and therefore super quick and easy to keep up to date with all the latest tuning programs. This helps you get the most from your vehicle at all times with little to no effort.

The device fits a huge range of vehicles and can hold up to 20 custom tuning programs, allowing you to fully customize your driving experience. It also comes with a full-color display, so you can clearly and easily see your monitoring information during use and keep an eye on your fuel economy.

Key Features
  • WiFi enabled
  • Full-color display
  • Fits a wide variety of vehicles
Specification
  • Brand SCT Performance
  • Model 40490
  • Weight 15.7 ounces
PROS

Holds up to 20 individual custom tuning files

Provides clear information via the full-color display

CONS

Customer support is hard to reach with limited hours

This popular gadget from Bully Dog is one of the top products available due to its huge range of abilities. The dash-mounted display allows you to continually keep an eye on your performance management through the use of the power chip, and it comes pre-loaded with fuel-saving tuning, which is suitable for most cars.

Be aware, however, that the more complex the system, the more likely you’ll run into problems when things go wrong. This is especially true in this case as users note that when things fail it can be extremely hard to sort and resolve technical issues.

Key Features
  • Dash-mounted LCD display
  • Ability to diagnose and clear fault codes
  • Clear display uses day and night modes
Specification
  • Brand Bully Dog
  • Model 40417
  • Weight 1.02 pounds
PROS

Pre-loaded with fuel-saving tuning for most cars

15 performance parameters are displayed at once using the full-color screen

CONS

Some users note struggles with technical errors

Users note only marginal improvements overall

Suitable solely for Ford Powerstroke diesel engines, this performance chip is one of the best on the market. It is listed toward the lower half of our Top Picks as it is limited by the make and model when it comes to vehicle compatibility. It’s extremely easy to install and uses a simple six-setting knob that allows you to quickly switch between pre-loaded tunes even while driving (although this isn’t advised).

It does, however, negatively affect your MPG, and even the lifetime warranty isn’t quite enough to save this shortfall – although it’s definitely a nice little bonus to a popular and simple choice.

Key Features
  • Comes with six settings
  • Very popular product
  • Easy to install
Specification
  • Brand TS Performance
  • Model TSP1180401
  • Weight 4 ounces
PROS

Easy to switch between tunings

Comes with a lifetime warranty

CONS

Negatively affects MPG

Components can be sensitive and prone to blowing a fuse

This is another option from DiabloSport only it has a full-color screen that allows you to quickly locate and adjust your settings. Whether you’re looking for a tune-up or simply want to monitor your engine, this is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use option that works brilliantly for a wide variety of drivers.

Users appreciate the customization abilities as well as the pre-loaded programs, which make using this power chip even easier. The only real downfalls are the price (it’s twice as much as some other options) and the regularity of updates, which seem to happen constantly.

Key Features
  • Comes with preloaded programs
  • Highly popular among users
  • Plug-and-play installation
Specification
  • Brand Diablo Sports
  • Model 8245
  • Weight 6.7 ounces
PROS

Great for personalized motors

Very easy to install and set up

CONS

One of the most expensive options on our list

Frequently requires updates

Designed purely to read and restore your engine, the F5 tuner from Superchips is made for 1999-2016 GM gasoline and diesel engine Trucks. It analyzes fault codes and allows you to improve MPG. It also has the ability to adjust some performance settings in order to gain more power and speed – although there are many others on our list that are easier to work with in this capacity.

It will not work in customized vehicles, so swapping from another tuner to this option is not the best idea. It also gets slammed by users for the high price tag – an understandable qualm, considering the same programs can be covered by cheaper options.

Key Features
  • Two-year warranty included
  • Loved by customers
  • Compatible with 1999-2016 GM gasoline and diesel engine trucks
Specification
  • Brand Superchips
  • Model SPC-2845
  • Weight 11.2 ounces
PROS

Full-color screen is easy to diagnose, find faults, as well as tune

Sends power to Chevy Silverados, GMC Sierras, and other trucks

CONS

Won’t work with customized computing in vehicles

Many customers aren’t happy with the overall value

With the ability to work on all fuel types, this is one of the most versatile options on our list. This performance chip from Hypertech is popular thanks to its quick and easy usage as well as the wide variety of customizable options.

You should be aware, however, that many users have had problems with the customer support from Hypertech. Indeed, many have noted that this company is much more focused on the sales side, so you may find yourself having to upgrade once you start having problems.

Key Features
  • Plug-and-play installation
  • Award-winning performance chip
  • Works with regular, premium, E85 and diesel fuel types
Specification
  • Brand Hypertech
  • Model 2000
  • Weight 12.8 ounces
PROS

Plenty of options and tuning programs to choose from

Works with customized vehicles

CONS

Poor customer service

Only works on a maximum of three vehicles

Our next DiabloSport choice has a full-color screen and a quick-and-easy installation due to the plug-and-play design. This particular option works with a huge range of models and is best matched with larger trucks with up to and around eight-liter engines.

This is most likely because the additional 25Bhp that this item provides is best utilized by heavier vehicles that can handle the change in tuning. It even works well with customized vehicles and therefore is one of the most popular options.

Key Features
  • Best to use with larger trucks
  • Plug-and-play installation
  • Works with wide range of models
Specification
  • Brand DiabloSport
  • Model 7202
  • Weight 1.19 pounds
PROS

Provides up to an additional 25Bhp

Can be adjusted to fit a customized vehicle

CONS

The check engine light often appears when in use

Not designed for added throttle/Bhp

A great, basic option with an easy-to-read screen and a simple set up, this performance programmer is another popular choice. With three preset tunes, setting up this item is remarkably quick, and the effectiveness of these programs speaks volumes.

Almost all users have noted that there is a clear and direct change in overall performance after using this programmer. Most commonly, the transmission and shifting are much easier and smoother. Just be aware that fakes may be sold, and customer service may be subpar for any problems you may have down the road.

Key Features
  • Includes three pre-set tunes
  • Plug-and-play installation
  • Modifies rev and speed limit
Specification
  • Brand Jet Performance
  • Model 15008
  • Weight 12.8 ounces
PROS

Noticable gain in performance

Simple to set up

Three levels of power and easy to use

CONS

Customer service isn't that great

Fake products are prevalent

Our last option focuses almost entirely on providing your vehicle with increased speed and power. With increases of up to 35 horsepower and 50-foot torque, users extol the huge change in overall performance provided by this power chip.

This item only works with Ford F-150s, so make sure your make and model match the requirements. It also needs to be attached using the dash pod, which makes installation and set up a little awkward.

Key Features
  • Helps increase power
  • Comes with dash pod for installation
  • Customizable to suit your vehicle
Specification
  • Brand Edge Products
  • Model 15051
  • Weight 1.6 pounds
PROS

Provides significant gains in horsepower and torque

Can be calibrated to suit tire size

CONS

Overall MPG decreases

Can be awkward to fit as it needs to be attached to the dash

More expensive than many options on our list

Best Performance Chip Buying Guide & FAQ

What to Consider When Buying a Performance Chip

  • Vehicle Make and Model

Naturally, you’ll want a performance chip that is suited to the make and model of your car. Not all power chips are universal, so you should always check with the manufacturer before purchasing your next chip.

Amazon has a handy feature which gives you a good idea as to whether a new component will match with your current vehicle but it’s always better to be safe than sorry when spending hundreds of dollars on a new item for your car.

  • Fuel Type

Your fuel type will have an effect on which items you can buy for your car. Diesel performance parts are naturally going to be very different from standard gas components, and diesel tuning requires a different set of systems to gas tuning. Thus, in this example, you’ll need to be sure that you grab a diesel programmer that can match your fuel type. Just like the make and model, you need to be completely sure in order to be safe, so do get in contact with the company if you have any uncertainty.

  • Tuning

Each performance chip comes with its own set of pre-loaded programs, but there are also some that allow you to create and alter your own tuning programs. These are incredibly handy if you’re looking for a specific output to be increased and so on, but they are often more complicated and harder to get to grips with. Decide what you’re comfortable with first, before purchasing your power chip.

  • Monitor

Depending on how you like to check out your data, you may find that you prefer a smaller monitor that you only need to access during tune-ups – or a full-color monitor that provides details of every aspect of your vehicle.

Bear in mind that you may need to carry your new monitor around with you, while parked up or will have to find a place to store it when not in use, so be sure you’re comfortable with this before immediately choosing the biggest option.

Car mechanic team

Benefits of a Tuning Chip

  • Increased Performance

The main idea behind performance chips is that they improve the overall performance of your vehicle. Whether you’re looking for increased fuel efficiency or are more interested in the power and speed of your beloved truck or car, a good power chip will help you get the most from your engine, without the need for constant trips to the mechanic or shop.

  • Diagnostics

When something goes wrong in your car, it can be something or nothing. The worst feeling is when you take your vehicle to the shop, only to discover that the problem was only a minor fault in the first place and could easily have been fixed by yourself at a fraction of the cost.

With many performance chips, you’ll find that the system includes a diagnosis and reporting option. This allows you to skip past the line to the mechanic and check out the basic electrical faults for yourself, saving you from a red face and damaged wallet.

  • Monitoring

Regardless of what your main goal is, it’s always a good idea for regular road users to be able to keep an eye on their vehicles. Whether you’re a commuter or a long-distance driver, being able to easily see how your vehicle is driving gives you peace of mind and allows you to see any upcoming troubles and quickly spot even small issues and changes in your engine before they become even bigger problems.

  • Lower Running Costs

While some performance chips come with the ability to increase your power and torque, this can have a negative effect on your MPG. Others, however, are able to help you increase your fuel efficiency by giving you easy-to-read data that allows you to see when you’re using too much energy to get around, and so on.

By doing this, you become more conscious of your driving and therefore improve your overall MPG. Meanwhile, others provide tuning programs to help you gain the most out of your driving and help you to become more fuel efficient without even having to think about it.

Types of Programmers and Performance Chips

  • Control Modules

These plug into the electrical system under your hood, where they then become permanent fixtures. They are known for providing accurate, detailed information on a real-time basis, as they are continually reading and assessing your engine and computer system. They will then analyze the output and efficiency, adjusting your engine to suit the new tuning program.

  • Power Programmers

A power programmer works in a very similar way to control modules, with the main difference being a “plug and play” capacity, which allows you to easily add the performance chip to your car. Once you have added the gadget to your OBDII port, you will need to answer a few questions about your car in order to get the best set-up – so be sure to keep your manual nearby.

These should only need to be kept in for around 10 minutes, although they will likely need to be updated regularly. This helps to keep your cars tuning up to date and can be done via your desktop or laptop, usually using the same plug and play system.

  • Engine Management Systems

An engine management system allows you to gain full and complete control over the tuning of your car. Usually preferred by truck and SUV drivers, it can handle everything in your engine – from fuel injector systems to your idle speed. At which point all of the information should be made available to you, using a screen that allows you to flick between different tuning programs. They are, however, the most difficult to install in your vehicle, as well as being considerably more expensive.

Best Performance Chip FAQ:

Q: What is a performance chip and how does it work?

A: Performance chips, also known as superchips or power chips, are designed to be an aftermarket computing update for your car. Some of these will completely override your current computing system, while others work alongside it to get the most out of your car.

For some “the most” translates to the best speed, torque, highest power or even something as simple as a smoother ride and increased fuel economy. Each one runs on a different code, so the results are different, depending on which option you’d like to purchase.

Luxury SUV rear view

Q: Does a performance chip increase horsepower?

A: The majority of power chips don’t actually help by increasing horsepower. Instead, the focus is on creating a more economical drive. That said, there are a number of options that focus on providing a more impressive torque, while also improving the overall horsepower of your engine.

Before buying your next chip, be sure to check that your selection offers this, as you may be disappointed by some of the others if you’re looking for a more powerful engine. You should also be aware this increased power naturally comes with a reduction in your MPG.

Q: Will a performance chip damage my engine?

A: A good performance chip should never have a negative effect on your engine. It will, however, void your warranty and it’s likely that branded garages won’t touch your car after you have altered the computer within it. It is also likely to increase your emissions, meaning that you could fail your emissions testing. Finally, you should be aware that chips can lower the overall lifespan of your car, and these factors usually cause your insurance premiums to rise in kind.

Q: How do I install a performance chip?

A: Many of the options given on our list use a simple “plug and play” design. To install these, you’ll simply need to connect your performance chip to the OBDII port, and you should be good to go. The most complicated part of installing a power chip is actually beforehand – as many will need to be updated with your PC or laptop before being connected. In order to do this, it is always best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to get the precise tune you’re looking for.

Our Top Pick

We love the DiabloSport Car Fuel Management Module, as it can be used with a wide range of vehicles and enables plug-and-play installation. No tuning or alterations are required. It provides maximum power and performance by overriding your vehicle’s four-cylinder mode to achieve V8 mode. In addition, it won’t drain your battery and overall works as advertised.

Sources:

  1. How Does a Performance Chip Work? – It Still Runs
  2. Engine remapping and chipping: guide, tips and cost – Car Buyer
  3. How To Program Car’s ECU (Guide to Car Tuning / Chip Programming) – Total Car Diagnostic