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  1. #1

    Default Programmer vs. Custom Tune - What's the Difference?

    You know, I have to admit that I'm not 100% clear on what the difference between a custom tune is and getting a programmer.

    Not looking for the expected outcome ... what's the difference in the process of tuning? What does one offer that that other does not?

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  2. #2


    Steve every truck is a little different so a programmers standard tune is o.k., but a custom tune is tuned to your truck. With that said, IMO a custom tune is only worth it if the tuner can data log the truck either in person or via e-mail. What I like about the Diablo products is that you can have a programmer for minor adjustments and dianostics and can get a custom tune from a tuner like As I've said many times on this site I think Diablo has the best out of the box tunes.

    2005 Chevy Silverado Z71 Crew Cab
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  3. #3
    Sr. Engineer marko54's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    N.E. wisconsin


    As simple as i can put it. When you purchase a custom tune such as PCM tune for less or others, They Tune/program your PCM for you based on what you want while you use a loaner PCM. With a Programmer, you dash mount or hand hold it and select from different programs avail. and then you tune it yourself. with a programmer you can return your PCM back to stock before a dealership/warranty related visit and then reprogram back. I'm sure others will way in on this
    2007 Suburban 2500 Edge evolution CS leveled 265 goodyear Silent Armor Pro Grade Kenwood DNX6180 Nav.Radio

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  4. #4


    yeah, with the diablo predator, trinity, or intune, they all come with canned preset tunes on them for the particular vehicles, and are a "general" tune meant to give you some hp and tq increases, and are meant for generally stock vehicles....

    now, with the diablo products, you can get custom tuning done for them from a diablosport CMR custom tuner, like myself... and it can all be done via email... and there is no swapping of ecm modules or anything, since the diablo products are flash devices... on the newer GM cars and trucks, you don't want to swap out ecm's anyway, because there is additional info stored in them now, like the vehicles mileage, and if you swap ecm modules back and forth like when taking it to the dealer for service work, that mileage won't match up what's in the vehicles BCM / odometer, and they'll know.

    so flashing the ecm is the way to go for sure... and diablo's stuff leaves no watermarks once you restore original backup to the vehicle ;)

    now, the custom tuning... getting a custom tune done for your vehicle/diablo product gives you the benefit of having a tune created specifically for YOUR vehicle... I know when I do my custom tuning for people, yes - there are certain things that get done to all of the tunes, things that are applicable to all the GM trucks... but then, I ask for real-time data logs... steady cruise logs to check the part-throttle fueling, WOT data logs to check the fueling, timing, any KR, etc...

    and by getting things dialed in specifically for your vehicle, you gain even better/quicker throttle response and acceleration, stronger/harder pull, and usually even a little better mileage, if you can keep your foot out of it! hahaha...

    2014 Camaro SS - 2SS, RS pkg., short-throw shifter, NPP perf. exhaust, BMR strut-tower brace, Cold Air Inductions cold air intake

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