The Evolution CS from Edge is a tuner that reprograms a truck’s computer to improve performance, in-cab controller, monitor, and digital gauge display features a full-color, high-resolution 2.4-inch, button-controlled screen. The CS features a ruggedized case, user-friendly buttons, an easy-to-navigate menu, and a light sensitivity meter that automatically adjusts the brightness for improved viewing for day and night driving.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Engine Programmers

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Just drop in a magic “chip” and your car or truck is able to accelerate quicker or even achieve better gas mileage. Too good to be true? Not necessarily. Owners of a dizzying array of vehicles already enjoy improved performance and economy by installing a programmer.

“I have always liked horsepower, so I have been using an engine programmer on my last two vehicles,” says Kevin Johns of Hymark Farms, Aberdeen, Idaho. “I love the enhanced performance. What is surprising, though, is that no matter how high the horsepower setting, I have always gotten a little better fuel mileage, as much as eight percent more.”

Given today’s price of gas and the escalation of “car wars” power supremacy, vehicle owners are searching for even the slightest of improvements. So, do engine programmers really deliver the goods? We take a short look. There are many manufacturers and we offer only a sampling of products available.

What exactly are these things and how do they work?

Whether known as programmers, engine performance tuners, chips, or gauge tuners, these small electronic devices are used to manage and optimize engine performance on cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, minivans, and even big rigs.

The term “chip” derives from the fact that a silicon integrated circuit acts as the heart of the device. “Programmer” refers to the ability to go beyond the vehicle’s firmware to adjust the engine’s “tune” to the specific needs of the driver. Some models offer a “gauge” that the motorist can view while driving to see exactly how the device is helping.

Purchased as an after-market item, a programmable tuner is essentially a single-purpose mini-computer that includes an on-dash or window-mounted monitor and control panel, along with the necessary leads to connect with the stock engine control module.

These devices operate by monitoring turbo boost pressure, engine RPMs, coolant temperature, air flow, fuel rail pressure and other operating considerations such as vehicle load, and then balancing these parameters by changing the electronic tuning characteristics of the engine management system to yield optimized performance.