You love raw power for off-roading and torque for hauling. That’s why you bought a truck. But what if your need for speed and power somehow becomes insatiable? That’s when you should consider performance chips for the Toyota Tundra.
These handy little devices install straight into the onboard diagnostic port and constantly work to improve torque, power, and even gas mileage. And all without adding aftermarket performance specs that cost you time and money.
Comparison of the Best Performance Chips For Toyota Tundra
What is a Performance Chip? Do Performance Chips Work?
Performance chips are a type of electronic device that works with your Tundra’s onboard computer. Once installed, the chip adjusts and boosts the effects of a turbocharger (if the vehicle has one), air-to-fuel ratios, and vehicle timing. The result is a truck with increased performance in a variety of circumstances and situations.
Depending on the quality of the performance chip, these devices have been proven to boost a vehicle’s power by anywhere from 25 to 75 horsepower on average. For a Tundra, this can mean a 10% to 30% improvement over the stock vehicle. Keep in mind that the effects of these chips can be more noticeable on certain trims of the Tundra than others.
How Do Performance Chips Work?
Every Tundra—and every vehicle for that matter—has a factory chip installed. Also known as a performance tuner or engine control unit, this chip accesses the vehicle’s computer or engine control module through a lookup table. Based on a manufacturer’s specifications, this lookup table dictates how an engine responds to different inputs such as how much power to provide during aggressive acceleration.
A performance chip changes these parameters to provide more impactful and powerful driving by increasing torque and horsepower, changing when the vehicle shifts gears and tweaking the timing of the ignition. In addition, some chips can also get better fuel economy by limiting the fuel-to-air ratio when coasting or on cruise control.
Why Did These Tundra Tuners Make Our List?
Every chip comes with a different blend of characteristics to accommodate different types of driving styles, tastes, and budgets. So when you’re searching for a performance chip, you want to make sure that it has all the features you require. In this list, we searched for tuners with various attributes that drivers crave. Here are some of the top reasons for their inclusion.
Fuel Economy Improvement
Just because a performance tuner improves your Tundra’s performance doesn’t necessarily mean that it wreaks havoc on your fuel economy. In most cases, it’s much to the contrary. Many of these chips have parameters that can do both. The bottom line is that you’ll save money at the pump, even with an uptick in overall performance.
Combustion engines in a gas-powered Tundra rely on a mix of air and fuel to power the vehicle. Ignited by a spark plug, this is what makes your engine run. However, many manufacturers—including Toyota—have limits on this air-fuel mix to meet various government regulations. But a performance chip alters these parameters in the computer, which tells fuel injectors to change how much fuel to use. The result is better performance in all gears and RPMs.
Furthermore, the air-to-fuel ratio is also greatly affected by ignition timing. When the timing is on, the power of your Tundra increases. When it’s off by even a fraction of a second, it decreases. By installing a performance chip, your truck gets the optimal spark it needs for enhanced performance.
Review of the Best Performance Chips For Toyota Tundra
Because performance chips don’t require a huge budget or DIY mechanic skills, they’re ideal for all types of Tundra owners. So whether you want a tuner that increases your fuel economy, a chip that turns your truck into a performance powerhouse, or something in between, you’ll find it in these reviews of the best performance chips for the Toyota Tundra.
Best Overall:Bully Dog GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic & Performance Tuner
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- Has 98 different user-adjustable options
- Can diagnose and clear dashboard warning lights
- Dyno-proven tune files to increase horsepower and torque
- Allows user to create up to 10 customized performance settings
- Included heads-up display lets driver monitor 15 different performance parameters
- Loud chirping noises for certain parameters can get annoying
- Some users report this chip less effective for gas-powered trucks than diesel ones (but this is expected)
What Recent Buyers Report
Overall, recent buyers report that the Bully Dog GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic & Performance Tuner is a quality device that improves both fuel economy and performance, especially smooth shifting and running smoother. Moreover, those with a manual transmission Tundra report an even more marked response. However, others also report that a loud chirping noise from the heads-up display sounds for minor warnings or no reason at all. Without a mute button, this can become a substantial nuisance.
Why it Stands Out to Us
One of the aspects that sticks out more than other units is the preloaded settings and 10 customizable settings. This is ideal for those that use their Tundra for a variety of purposes or experience four seasons throughout the year.
With 98 different adjustable settings, an easy installation process, and proven performance, the Bully Dog GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic & Performance Tuner is sure to take your Tundra’s performance to the next level.
Runner-up:Hypertech Interceptor Power Tuning Computer Programmer
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- Creates a responsive increase to acceleration
- An increase of 13 to 17 horsepower guaranteed
- Trusted brand name with over 35 years in the industry
- One-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
- An increase of 17 to 23 pound-feet of torque guaranteed
- Only one customized setting available
- Installation more involved as this chip mounts under the hood into factory harnesses
What Recent Buyers Report
The Hypertech Interceptor Power Tuning Computer Programmer receives mixed reviews from buyers. While some praised a noticeable impact in acceleration and performance, others found the installation process arduous compared to the actual results.
Why it Stands Out to Us
Despite being on the low end of the price spectrum, this performance tuner provides a noticeable boost to torque and horsepower without breaking the bank. In addition, the inclusion of both an under-hood and a gas-pedal module ensures that the unit monitors and improves the most important aspects of your Tundra.
For the budget-conscious or those that only require settings for one or two driving styles, few other chips can compete with the Hypertech Interceptor Power Tuning Computer Programmer. But those with a penchant for power may want to look at the Bully Dog instead.
What Are The Benefits of a Performance Chip?
The performance chips listed above have a variety of different benefits that should entice many buyers to consider them over other alternatives. Here are some of the top advantages of performance chips for the Toyota Tundra.
Easy to Install
One of the top benefits of performance chips is a quick, easy installation. In most cases, these chips plug straight into the onboard diagnostic port located below the steering wheel and dash on the driver’s side of the Tundra. Simply pop it into place, and that’s it. You’re ready to roll.
Bully Dog GT Platinum Gas Diagnostic & Performance Tuner
With a price range of only $300 to $600 on average, performance chips are a bargain compared to other options. Adding turbochargers, exhaust headers, cold air intakes, and other aftermarket parts can cost thousands of dollars, even without installation.
Enhanced Fuel Efficiency
With a worldwide push toward reduced fuel consumption and green energy, new performance chips emphasize fuel economy. As a result, a tuner can make a marked impact on your fuel economy, saving you even more money.
More Power When You Need it
As mentioned above, automobile manufacturers don’t fine-tune a vehicle to provide the best performance through the computer, simply due to environmental and governmental regulations. With a chip installed, your Tundra can alter the air-to-fuel ratio and ignition timing to provide the best available torque and horsepower.
Blue-Chip Performance is Just a Chip Away
With a plethora of benefits and upsides for a small price, performance chips can boost the overall performance of your Tundra to all new heights. That’s something that gearheads and the eco-friendly can both get behind.
People Also Ask
Although the concept of a performance chip—minus the overly technical computer part—is relatively simple to understand, you may have some other questions about tuners. Here are some of the most common questions people also ask about performance chips.
Are Performance Chips Legal?
In most cases, performance chips are legal. However, some chips may completely deactivate your Tundra’s emissions control. While law enforcement has no way of checking this when you’re driving, you won’t be able to pass emissions tests in various states—a condition you need to get new license plate tags. California also has strict emissions laws that may make certain chips illegal that are legal in other states.
How Do I Install a Performance Chip?
Most performance chips install directly into the onboard diagnostic port. Just snap it into place, and that’s all you need to do. Others mount under the hood and plug into the factory connectors to adjust the factory computer calibrations.
Do Performance Chips Increase Gas Mileage?
Not all performance chips increase gas mileage. But many brands have developed new tuners that improve both fuel economy and performance by altering the air-to-fuel ratio, as well as the ignition timing.
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