The World Of Diesel Tuning

Diesel engine tuning is one of the few modifiers that make bold claims about power boosting that can actually be backed up. Due to their very nature, diesel engines have large stores of untapped potential which can be unleashed after a few calibration tweaks and the right devices installed.

Diesel engines are unique in the world of motoring because generating more power from them can be achieved by simply adding more fuel. Unlike petrol engines (where air is the limiting reactant) diesel engines typically have a surplus of air supply and are only limited by the amount of fuel present in the cylinders.

The first example of diesel tuning dates back to the BMW 524TD- the first electronically controlled diesel car made in 1986.

The main function of a diesel tuner is to control two things: fuel delivery and of course turbo boost (if electronically controlled). Since compression ignition engines make power linearly to the volume of fuel they consume so by increasing the amount injected power can be increased (in most applications).

Most tuners however, recalibrate the stock boost controller to increase the power. When combined, an increased boost pressure and fuel intake will of course result in more power.

There are several types of diesel tuning devices and methods available with the most common being diesel tuning chips, modules and tuners/programmers.


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Diesel tuning chips/boxes

Diesel tuning chips (or ‘boxes’ as they are sometimes referred to) are easy to install devices that can be simply implemented into a car’s engine bay to increase the engine’s power, torque and fuel economy. An actual chip refers to the after sale replacement ECM (Electronic Control Module) which usually requires removing the vehicles ECM and replacing the circuit board.

The benefits of diesel tuning extend beyond just an increase in power. After installing a diesel tuning box you can expect a much better fuel delivery and economy. Diesel tuning boxes adjust and streamline the engine’s fuel injection parameters; timing, pressure and amount of fuel added.


These devices have the ability to reprogram and recalibrate the standard factory circuit board inside the Electronic Control Module (ECM). The unit communicates with the onboard computer by connecting through the onboard diagnostics port (OBDII port). Once installed and the factory program is saved in the programmer/tuner and the performance tuning is uploaded, the unit can then be disconnected and stored away.


These devices plug straight into the vehicles wiring harness and aren’t usually removed until the owner wishes to return it to its factory tuning.

TDI tuning is a UK-based business specialising in the diesel tuning boxes and other diesel tuning products.

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