The Difference Between Tuners and Modules

Posted on March 16 2021

The Difference Between Tuners and Modules

Your diesel engine has a shocking amount of power that's being stored instead of used. The main reason behind this is the down-tuning that's performed so manufacturers can meet required emission standards and legally sell their vehicles. Thankfully, there are two ways to reverse all this downgrading and give your diesel engine the performance and fuel economy you were expecting from it. You might have heard of tuners and modules before but struggled to see the difference between them. Tuners and modules have a lot of surface-level similarities, but they're much different than you'd expect. In this guide, we'll explain the difference between tuners and modules and help you select the right power upgrade for your vehicle.

What's a Tuner?

A tuner is a device that connects directly to the engine's Powertrain Control Module, Electric Control Module, or through the OBDII system. They have a direct link with the engine control module, which allows the driver to choose from a selection of performance levels and adjust them accordingly while they're on the road. A tuner won't reprogram the control module. They can only adjust various parameters in real-time. While tuners are a quick and easy install, they also come with a variety of downsides. They're capable of blowing your motor, will usually leave a trace or water mark that's detectable by dealerships, and may void your warranty.

What's a Module?

A module is a device that's installed under the hood of your vehicle. It intersects various sensors, including the fuel pressure and manifold pressure sensors. This allows the module to read one operating parameter but deliver a different one to the PCM/ECM. A module essentially "tricks" the engine's control system into making adjustments that boost performance and fuel economy. For example, a module might read 5 PSI of turbo boost but deliver an operating parameter of 10 PSI to the PCM/ECM. As a result, the engine will deliver more fuel to match the airflow tthe module tells it that it's getting. Modules take slightly more effort to install than a tuner but come with various benefits that a tuner doesn't. The main difference between tuners and modules is that modules won't blow your motor, won't leave a trace that's detectable by dealerships, and won't void your warranty. A module can add anywhere from 60 to 70 HP and 100 to 120ft/lbs of torque, all without increasing emissions. It can also create a 10 to 20 percent increase in fuel economy, allowing you to drive longer and farther while wasting less fuel.

If you want to remove the overly constrictive controls that are holding your diesel engine back and unleash its true potential, Dr. PerformanceRX's Ford Powerstroke performance parts can help. Our modules will improve your vehicle's performance in a way that's safe and dependable, ensuring you're getting the most out of your engine without the hassle and downsides of tuners.

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