Best Performance Chips For Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi – 2021 Guide

Shawn
| Last Updated: March 13, 2021

The Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi provides extraordinary V-8 power, making it one of the top-selling pickup trucks in the country. But for gearheads, stock components may not satisfy their insatiable need for performance. And that’s what makes performance chips for the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi such an exciting option.

With simple installation, better fuel economy, and improved torque and power, these amazing little devices are the accessory that you’ve always wanted but didn’t know you needed.

Our Top Picks for Best Performance Chips For Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi

  • Better fuel economy
  • Versatile unit
  • Easy to install
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  • Improves performance
  • Easy adjustments
  • Improved towing
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  • Best for the Money
  • Versatile unit
  • Quick installation
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Comparison of the Best Performance Chips For Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Will easily safe up to 20 percent on fuel consumption
  • Adjustable to up to 36 selection options
  • Quick and easy plug and play installation option
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  • Drastically improves overall performance of your vehicle
  • Power levels can be easily adjusted on the go
  • Will easily improve towing performance of the vehicle
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  • Best for the Money
  • Compatible with a wide range of Dodge models
  • Very easy and quick installation in only 15 minutes
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  • Can be installed on a wide range of vehicles
  • Pre-loaded with with proven tunes for performance improvement
  • Easily customizable error codes to fit your preferences
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How to Choose a Performance Chip or Tuner

Because not all performance tuners are created equal, you must analyze the features of each one and how they appeal to your wants and needs. Before you buy a performance chip, check out a few of these characteristics.

Legal Specifications and Warranty Issues

Automakers set the parameters of stock chips to adhere to emissions and mileage specifications set forth by the government. However, some aftermarket chips have been known to deactivate these settings, eliminating the emissions settings that a truck needs to be legal.

In states with more stringent emissions laws—such as California—this may lead to problems with passing emissions tests and keeping your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi within legal emissions levels. Furthermore, some chips may also void the warranty on your truck, so make certain that the chip won’t do this before installation.

Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller with Bluetooth

Fuel Economy Boosts

Although a performance chip can significantly boost acceleration, horsepower, and torque, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will reduce mileage. In fact, many of these chips are a wholesale performance booster, meaning that you may see increases of up to 1 to 2 mpg after installation. If you’re looking to save some money at the pump, search for performance chips with this fuel economy listed as one of the features.

Horsepower and Torque Improvements

Most Dodge Ram 1500 owners get a performance chip for one reason: power. But this doesn’t just happen like you installed a turbocharger. Instead, it alters the air-to-fuel ratio and ignition timing. By doing so, the engine fires at a perfect rate that’s just a few fractions of a second different from the stock timing. Plus, the updated mix of air and fuel can result in better performance regardless of the gear you’re in or whether you’re towing or hauling.

Review of the Best Performance Chips / Tuners For Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi 

Without the need for professional installation or an expansive knowledge of automotive anatomy, performance chips and tuners are an excellent choice for Dodge Ram 1500 owners of all types. So no matter if you want a significant improvement in power, an improvement in fuel economy, or a blend of the two, these performance chips should do the trick.

Pedal Commander - PC31 for Dodge RAM Trucks (2007-2018) Fits: 1500, 2500, and 3500 (3.0L 3.6L 5.7L 6.4L 6.7L) Gas & Diesel | Throttle Response Controller

PROS

  • 36 different modes in total
  • OBD2 design for quick plug-and-play
  • 20% better acceleration over stock chip
  • Can customize and switch modes through your smartphone via Bluetooth
  • Four different modes (Eco, City, Sport, and Sport+) to accommodate all types of driving styles and scenarios

CONS

  • Can sometimes cause dashboard warning light to turn on
  • Some users report a glitch that causes acceleration without pushing the gas pedal

What Recent Buyers Report

A vast majority of buyers report that the Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller with Bluetooth is one of the most effective performance chips on the market. They cite ease of use, customization, and noticeable impacts in power and fuel economy as the top reasons for the high rating. However, a few had problems with warning lights turning on, as well as their vehicle accelerating without warning.

Why It Stands Out to Us

With a massive increase in acceleration, this performance chip can take the Hemi V8 to the next level. The Bluetooth feature is also a rarity among tuners, allowing users to select from four standard modes (Sport, Sport+, Eco, and City) with ease. And with 36 modes in total, there’s a setting for every type of driver.

Bottom Line

The Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller with Bluetooth makes a strong case for the best performance chip available today. And while it has some minor glitches reported, the plug-and-play installation, Bluetooth feature, and great increases in horsepower, torque, and fuel economy, every Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi owner will be satisfied.

Edge Products 32450 Inline module, 1 Pack

PROS

  • Improves power by 15hp to 30 hp
  • Boosts torque by 15 lb-ft to 30 lb-ft
  • Eight selectable performance modes
  • Can adjust power levels while driving
  • Connects directly to powertrain control module, eliminating the need for additional wiring harnesses

CONS

  • Doesn’t have the acceleration that some drivers require
  • Not compatible with Apple/Mac computers for updates

What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, the reviews are positive on the Edge Pulsar Inline Module with many buyers praising the noticeable boost in power, especially when towing. Also, the eco mode is ideal for improving fuel economy, as well as a way to reduce reckless driving among teens and younger drivers. A few buyers have less positive things to say, with some stating compatibility issues with Apple computers, as well as weak acceleration in certain modes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Under-hood inline modules can be a pain to install. But with Edge’s step-by-step directions, you can go from unpackaging to driving down the road in just about 30 minutes. Plus, it lives up to its claims, offering exceptional towing and hauling power, as well as improving fuel economy.

Bottom Line

For a non-OBD2 performance chip, the Edge Pulsar Inline Module is simple and quick to install while also checking all the boxes on power and mileage. And with eight selectable modes, there’s no terrain or situation this device can’t handle.

Innovative Performance Chip/Power Programmer compatible with Dodge Ram 1500 3.0L, 3.6L, 3.7L, 3.9L, 4.7L, 5.2L, 5.7L HEMI, 5.9L and 8.3L - Improve Fuel Mileage, Save Gas & Gain MPG, Increase HP & TQ!

PROS

  • Won’t void Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi warranty
  • 100% money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty
  • Handy quick connectors allow installation in 15 minutes
  • Doesn’t change any settings on the ECU or onboard computer
  • One of the most modestly priced chips available on the market

CONS

  • No noticeable impact in fuel economy
  • Isn’t a “true” chip in the sense that it just changes the intake air sensor temperature detected by the vehicle

What Recent Buyers Report

For the money, few other performance chips have as many positive reviews as the Innovative Performance Chip/Power Programmer. Users praise the super-easy installation and interestingly, the lack of settings, which provides simple operation without guesswork. However, other buyers state that it doesn’t provide any noticeable improvement to mileage or fuel economy, even after weeks or months of use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With a lifetime warranty and a money-back guarantee, Innovative stands behind its product, putting the customers’ minds at ease. And with only a 1 mpg or 2 mpg increase in fuel economy, this chip will pay for itself in just a few months.

Bottom Line

Despite its lack of customization options, the Innovative Performance Chip/Power Programmer is an excellent choice for apprehensive buyers. But those that want a more hands-on approach may want to check out one of the other options on this list.

SCT Performance - 40490 - BDX Performance Tuner and Monitor - Diagnostic Preloaded and Custom Tuning

PROS

  • Custom tuning
  • Has 20 different tuning modes
  • Stores factory settings for an easy restoration process
  • Records data in real-time on an easy-to-read heads-up display
  • Uses Wi-Fi to download updates or upload performance numbers

CONS

  • Little to no impact on fuel economy
  • May have to send in your powertrain control module (PCM) to the dealership or manufacturer to unlock it for use with this product

What Recent Buyers Report

According to a majority of buyers, the SCT Performance BDX Performance Tuner & Monitor is a quality performance chip. Those that loved the product described acceleration as exuberant, as well as a discernible boost to overall power. Naysayers described the product as doing little to nothing, as well as having to unlock the PCM, which can put your truck out of commission for days or even weeks.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product is the best of both worlds, providing an informational LCD screen and a heads-up display that’s separate from the performance chip itself. As a result, you can monitor what modes work best for your driving style.

Bottom Line

Although some compatibility issues linger, the SCT Performance BDX Performance Tuner & Monitor provides two products in one, making it a great value. Budget-conscious buyers may shop elsewhere, but for performance enthusiasts, few other chips can compete.

What is a Performance Chip and What Does a Performance Chip Do?

Also known as performance tuners, performance chips are electronic devices that work in unison with your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi’s engine control unit (ECU). An ECU is a set of actuators that optimize the performance of your engine. However, manufacturers often limit the performance of vehicles via the ECU to align with governmental regulations regarding fuel economy and emissions.

Depending on the maker of the performance chip, these devices can increase overall power by anywhere from 20 hp to 75 hp. This translates into a 5% to 18% increase in horsepower for the 395-hp Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi. By itself, a performance chip provides a sizable boost which is even more noticeable when used with other aftermarket components such as a new exhaust system or a cold air intake system.

How Do Performance Chips Work?

While all Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi trucks contain a chip, performance chips optimize, alter, and monitor the programmable memory of the ECU. As a result, the chip delivers the perfect amount of pep and spritely performance when you need it most. To do this, it changes gears at the ideal time, delivers more horsepower and torque, and changes the air-to-fuel mixture for better ignition. Besides, the chip may also improve fuel economy due to the improved ignition of the air and fuel mix.

SCT Performance BDX Performance Tuner & Monitor

Are All Performance Chips The Same?

Performance chips are not all the same. They come in a wide array of prices, as well as how they interact with the ECU or the Hemi’s onboard computer. Some chips maximize horsepower and torque while others focus more on fuel economy and optimization in certain scenarios, such as when you’re towing or accelerating.

Yet the most pronounced difference between chips might just be the installation process. The easier of the two most common chips simply plugs into the onboard diagnostic port below the driver’s side steering wheel. These are known as OBD2 performance chips. Other chips may require an under-hood installation, making the process a bit more taxing for newbies or novice mechanics.

Pros and Cons of Tuners

On the whole, performance chips have a great upside with little downside. Nevertheless, you should know both the advantages and disadvantages of each before you plug one into your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi.

Pros of Performance Tuners

  • Enhanced fuel economy

  • Improvement in torque, horsepower, and overall performance

  • Ease of installation compared to other aftermarket performance accessories such as exhaust systems, turbochargers, and other components

  • Programmable settings that allows the driver to control and customize the chip for their favorite mix of performance attributes

Cons of Performance Tuners

  • May void the warranty from the dealership or the manufacturer. For this reason, you may want to review the Magnuson-Moss Act for more information about voided warranties and your rights as a truck owner.

  • Although rare, some chips can turn off the emissions control of the vehicle, leading to problems with emissions testing or the legality of the truck.

Comparison Overview 

While many performance chips offer the same types of upgrades to your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi, some tuners may also vary depending on the type of manufacturer. Here are some comparison overviews that will guide you to the perfect chip for you.

Stage 1 vs Stage 2 Performance Chips

Stage 1 and Stage 2 performance chips each have their own benefits, with both kinds targeting a specific aspect of performance. Stage 1 performance chips optimize fuel, air, and the ignition firing to improve the overall fuel economy. Stage 2 chips target horsepower and torque maximization.

Cold Air Intake vs Performance Chip

Cold air intake systems are another type of aftermarket performance component, yet it functions far differently to get the same results as a performance. While a performance chip goes through the ECU and an onboard computer to improve overall performance, an air intake takes a more mechanical approach.

Simply put, a cold air intake moves colder, denser air into the engine, which mixes with fuel. This is a more optimal mix than warm or hot air that an engine uses without a cold air intake. The result is also more power and torque, as well as fuel economy. When used together, cold air intakes and performance chips can provide a sizable improvement to the overall performance of your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi.

Innovative Performance Chips Installation

Innovative Performance Chips are some of the most popular tuners available on the market. However, installing these is a bit trickier than others, as it goes under the hood rather than in the OBD port. Here is a quick guide on how to install one.

  1. Disconnect the battery and leave it disconnected for about two hours.

  2. Locate the IAT sensor on the Hemi. This is located just below the engine cover that reads Hemi 5.7 V8. You should notice two wires coming out of it, and it’s the only component plugged in this area.

  3. Innovative Performance Chips come with quick connectors, so you don’t need to alter or cut any wires.

  4. Open one of the quick connectors, place it on one section of the existing wire, and close it so the metal clip of the connector rests just above the wire.

  5. Next, grab a pair of pliers and squeeze the connector into place until you hear a click.

  6. Repeat this process with the other wire, and you’re done.

If properly done, the entire installation should take only about 10 minutes.

Plug and Play Your Way to Ultimate Performance

Performance chips come in a variety of prices and with a number of performance parameters. But compared to other types of aftermarket components, the ease of installation is a huge bonus. If you’re searching for a boost to power and efficiency without all the hassle of complex installations, plug and play your way to an ultimate performance with a performance chip.

Recap - Best Performance Chips / Tuners For Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi

Here's a recap of the best performance chips / tuners for Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi:

  1. Pedal Commander Throttle Response Controller with Bluetooth
  2. Edge Pulsar Inline Module
  3. Innovative Performance Chip/Power Programmer

People Also Ask

Despite the ease of use and simple installation, you may still have some questions about performance chips. Here are a few of the most common questions that people ask.

How Much HP Does a Performance Chip Add?

Although each performance chip manufacturer offers different claims, most companies claim that their product can boost horsepower somewhere between 20 and 75 horsepower.

How Can I Get Better Gas Mileage in My Dodge Ram 1500?

Performance chips can certainly give you better gas mileage. But if you’re searching for other alternatives, you have plenty of options. Some ways to increase the gas mileage in your Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi includes:

  • Exhaust system upgrade

  • Cold air intake

  • Get a tuneup

  • Regularly check the air pressure in the tires

  • Clean or change the air filter

  • Avoid excessive idling

  • Accelerate more slowly

  • Remove extra weight from the bed or cabin of the truck if it’s unnecessary

Is the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi Reliable?

As one of the top-selling trucks in the country for decades, the Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi is one of the most reliable trucks on the road and includes a loyal legion of owners, fans, and enthusiasts. If properly maintained, these trucks have been known to run for up to 300,000 miles.

How Much is a Performance Chip?

Depending on the type of chip and manufacturer, most performance chips cost between $300 and $600 with a handful going for slightly above or below that range. But because these chips are easy to install, you don’t have to pay a professional to install them for you, saving you hundreds of dollars over other types of aftermarket performance parts.

Shawn

An ex-salesman of industrial equipment, Shawn used to drive nearly 60K miles a year just commuting to clients. He also has a little project Miata build going on the side. Safe to say, Shawn has slain a few tires in his days. He knows all about horrid road-noise, hydroplaning risks, and how much damage a bad alignment can do to your wallet. He enjoys helping us out and Chris always values his opinion when designing something new for the website.