Can Tuners Improve Your Truck’s Fuel Efficiency?

A truck is a great vehicle to drive, and you can pursue a world full of customizations and improvements to take it to the next level. Some customizations are simple; others require unique technology, like a tuner. Tuners allow you to change some configurations in your truck, and when done right, they can even improve your truck’s fuel efficiency. However, this modification requires some finesse and understanding since many settings are quite fragile.

How Do Tuners Work?

Before jumping into how tuners can improve your truck’s fuel efficiency, let’s fully understand how a tuner works. In modern vehicles, an electronic control unit (ECU) monitors many small aspects of the engine you might not know about. Different operating parameters affect the way your engine works, including the following:

  • Turbo boost pressure
  • Fuel rail pressure
  • Coolant temperature
  • Airflow
  • Engine RPMs

These variables work together to keep your engine running, and the manufacturer limits what they can do to keep your engine in a safe operating window. They call it detuning, and you can alter these windows to boost your engine’s performance with a tuner.

Basic Improvements

Changing the air-fuel ratio in your engine to create more powerful combustions is a basic yet great improvement from a tuner. Similarly, you can alter the ignition timing to maximize combustion, creating more power and efficiency in your engine. Improvements like these allow the engine to consume less fuel while having efficient combustion. These tuners can help you get three or four more miles per gallon. This ratio may not seem like a lot, but the difference adds up.

The Risks

While you can change the operating parameters of your engine, you shouldn’t cross certain thresholds. Part of why the manufacturer detunes your engine is to keep you and the vehicle safe. They err on the safe side of caution so you can remain safe after tuning. If you change things too much, you can put yourself and your truck in danger.

Some changes can invalidate your warranty, and others can prematurely age components in your truck. It’s important to stay safe and keep things in check when tuning. A huge performance boost isn’t worth shortening the lifespan of your truck, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a higher performance out of it.

Tuners can improve your truck’s fuel efficiency, but you can easily impair it if you’re not careful. These items are fragile, so you need to know what you’re working with and get the proper tuner model for your engine. At Norcal Diesel Performance, we have a variety of tuners for different engines, including Dodge Cummins tuners, so you can safely give your truck the fuel efficiency improvements you’ve always wanted.

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