There are a plethora of tuners and programmers out there these days, but which ones are capable of giving you the most value for your hard-earned money? That is the million-dollar question. The answer will vary depending on who you ask. My answer is simple. The best tuner or programmer for your Jeep is contingent upon what you’re trying to accomplish. What are your goals? What do you want, and how fast do you want it?
Are you looking for a weighty improvement in power and gas mileage? Do you want to keep an eye on your engine functions? If that’s the case, a programmer should fit the bill.
Perhaps your main focus is to tap into your automobile’s inner workings to make modifications, regulate your speed limiter or enhance distance traveled to fuel expended. If so, a tuner could certainly be the missing piece to the puzzle.
Best Tuners and Programmers for Jeep JK (Updated February, 2020)
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Seems simple, just go out and buy any ole programmer or tuner, right? Well, not exactly.
See, you still have to distinguish what brand and model will get you to your desired outcome. Otherwise, you’re bound to waste precious time and cash, commodities none of us enjoy frittering away.
Since not all tuners and programmers are created equal, the search for the perfect one can be quite nerve-racking. But no worries, I’ve done some of the legwork. The five correlated products listed below have been reviewed and all picked apart—just for you. May these candid assessments bring you one step closer to choosing the right option for you and your ride.
By the way, if you’re a car connoisseur or a vehicle-performance enthusiast, it’s likely you’ve heard of or have had dealings of some kind with what I call “the big 3”: Superchips, Bully Dogs, and DiabloSport. After all, they are the frontrunners for engine tuning, electronically speaking, so I’m sure you’re not all that shocked to see them frequenting and dominating the list. All right, now that all that is out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Wow! Where do I start? Perhaps I should discuss the interactive gauges or the increase in input and output gains. And if not those perks, then maybe I should call attention to that all-too-convenient maintenance manager or the custom-built display. No matter how you slice it, it’s a beaut.
Yep, I’m referencing Superchips’ Jeep TrailDash2.
This 42050 Windows compatible model is truly a force to be reckoned with; it’s puissant in its own right and accurate in every aspect. Plainly put, it’s a cost-effective solution to tuning your engine.
It allows you to accrue potency in the areas of torque and good old-fashioned horsepower, swiftly. I’m not talking weeks, but minutes. Furthermore, it’s able to decipher (DTC) error codes, and it does speedometer alterations for your axles and tires. From my understanding, they make the same corrections to your gears. To be honest, the smorgasbord of pickings is astounding.
On top of that, the TrailDash2 42050 carries four variations of tunes: economy, crawl, performance and tow. In my estimation, it’s a tie between performance and economy for several sets of very different reasons. I’ll abandon that train of thought for now and continue linearly. OK, back to the goods.
The gauges are digital and client-centered and right up my alley. Secondarily, the device is mobile and fairly lightweight. Superchips didn’t sacrifice quality for sake of aesthetics, either. It’s a good-looking, polished product, magnetizing, even. For this reason alone, it will continue to sell in droves.
As a bonus, it comes ready to use with your vehicle’s backup camera. It would behoove you to take advantage of this unexpected privilege.
The TrailDash2 42050 has a sleek outer shell. The screen is high-resolution and somewhat touch-sensitive. There are pros and cons to that, of course. The display settings are full of an assortment of hues for playing around and customizing your gauge arches, for lack of better words. You can also change your backgrounds if you’re in the mood for it.
Speaking of screens, you should check out the accelerometer on this thing. It has a host of functionalities; pitch and roll is one of them. I’m a fan of it because it gives you the upper hand over unlevelled and tricky terrain. Knowing Superchips factored in consumer safety makes me feel valued and protected, like I’m more than just a number, you know? I see them as even more reputable than I had beforehand.
I hate to make far-reaching, sweeping statements, but this thing will, in a sense, recreate your engine, at least operationally. Your Wrangler won’t stay the same. And forgive me for revisiting the power gains aspect, but you should see incredible advancement in this area, a night-and-day difference. It truly delivers.
While we’re paying repeat visits, I might as well remind you about the maintenance manager again. It is one of those accompaniments that seems small and insignificant initially but slowly starts to win you over. If you’re forgetful, like some of us super busy and on-the-go folk, this maintenance manager/virtual personal assistant will jog your memory. It keeps you abreast of upcoming oil changes and other similar reminders.
All in all, Kudos to Superchips. It takes a lot to impress me, and so far, I’m smitten with the TrailDash2.
Here are a few other takeaways:
- Custom color mixer for gauge arcs, needles, and backgrounds
- Includes suction mounter for easy use and compacted storage
- One-Touch lane change
Akin to the TrailDash2 and many other homogeneous devices, the DiabloSport T2 EX has a similar screen. Calling it a cutting-edge, performance-enhancing programmer just doesn’t do it justice. It’s much more than that. It’s also a monitor and date logger, so ultimately, you’re getting more bang for your buck.
The DiabloSport T2 EX administers productivity tests to keep your automobile operating gloriously.
I won’t be shy about it. The gains are measurable. Almost immediately, you should witness a marked difference in speed, in a good way. Your horsepower should kick up a series of notches, and that’s no joke.
The T2 EX is handsomely designed. I especially like its user-friendly settings and interface. I give DiabloSport credit for its first-class HD graphics. They are not to be slept on, that’s for sure.
The gauges on the T2 EX strike me as well-thought-out and innovative. Beyond the surface, this programmer packs a punch, an effectual one.
The USB cable it comes with will be of assistance when it’s time to get set up online. It’ll keep you up-to-date so that way you won’t miss out on anything, like software updates. A simple swipe will get you to navigation, just like that. The menu is really uncomplicated. It’s as seamless as it sounds.
The T2 EX leaves room for various amendments as needed. For example, you can change the display or background and trick up your gauge shades to coordinate with your vehicle’s upholstery. That’s if you’re feeling frisky and decide to add a little something special to your surroundings.
I can’t think of too many alternatives on the market that could give the T2 EX a run for its money, not at its price point, anyway. Well, except for the TrailDash2 or the Flashpaq.
As far as coverage goes, the T2 EX complies with safety standards all across the United States, making it legal to use everywhere from Alabama to Wyoming, even California, whose emissions and other standards tend to be a bit stringent. Feel free to zoom through all fifty states with your programmer in tow if you want, it’s all good, just don’t forget the speed limit.
This particular model is outfitted with multitudinous vehicle allowances. Yes, you heard right, multiple licenses. If you own more than one car or truck, you are going to love being able to tune them individually with this one device. Now isn’t that something to shout about?
Moreover, the T2 EX offers rapid reading and writing abilities as well as tuning for day-to-day drives. It comes with loads of goodies, like maps, and the opportunity to get custom maps for “incompatible” vehicle makes such as Jeep, if apposite.
Here are a few other notes I’d like to add:
- Up to 100 HP and 250 torque (diesel)
- 90 HP and 90 torque (gas)
- Day and night modes
- Add-on sensors or switches
The GT Gas Tuner 40417 acts as a monitor for your automobile, and quite frankly, a gauge. It will undoubtedly add to your peak horsepower and suggest to you, the driver, current and imperative diagnostic-related concerns, taking the guesswork out of it. Can we agree? Life doesn’t get much easier than that.
It includes this nifty thingamajig called Driving Coach. We’ll discuss that later.
The aforementioned diagnostic feature surveys and sifts through collected data, in a nutshell, messages and coding, and compiles shorthand explanations from it if applicable. The relevant datum will appear on the monitor. I merely see it as troubleshooting.
The 40417 offers a whole range of other “watchdog” features, which improves your vehicle’s all-around degree of competence and “show” on the road, among other things. The movability of this device makes it ideal for travelling. It doesn’t get in the way because it’s compact; that’s one less headache.
The GT Gas 40417 yields some of the finest results on the planet, in keeping in line with Bully Dog’s qualitative standards and bar they’ve previously set. This specific model covers just about every inch of electronic engine tuning, careful to enhance everything from horsepower and torque to RPM and the like. Without fail, you’ll notice your throttle behaving.
On top of that, this specific model would be faithful to impart you with an up-to-the-minute report, eventually bettering fuel economy and other vital aspects, not just temporarily but for the long haul, taking the pain out of it. You, as the user, will discover more clear-cut acceleration, pretty much immediately; and that’s without dabbling with performance tuning and all that.
The 40417 also helps you track depleted fuel and energy. All I can tell you is, be prepared to experience phenomenal gas mileage. It even fares well during off-road implementation. It comes with a one-year warranty.
Now, let’s go on to the Driving Coach feature I can’t stop raving about; it’s not exactly new; refinements have been made to it that make it feel revamped, though. It’ll keep you in check and help you tweak your driving habits where needed, which will help you save a ton of money over the course of a years’ time. I won’t lie. It can be a hassle to set up, or maybe it’s just me; but once you get it up and running, you’ve found a staunch and loyal friend in it indeed.
Long story short, the GT Gas 40417 is likely to identify and, in turn, fix the vast majority of your diagnostic debacles.
Here are a few other benefits you can expect:
- Coolant Temperature
- Timing Position
- Engine Oil Temperature
- Fuel Rail Pressure
- Injection Control Pressure
- Transmission Temperature
Satisfactorily-priced, Superchips F5 Jeep Flashpaq 3874 is quite possibly the people’s choice, and the price is right. Besides that, installation is incredibly facile. It has a faster processor. You can alter the length of delay on your headlights in no time. This is one of those things that you may brush off and take for granted, but every bit counts. Every hallmark goes a long way.
This device operates just fine with an automatic transmission as well as a manual. It delivers a better-quality throttle response, no lag. I’ll admit it. It exceeded my expectations there.
It allows you to check and delete codes when things go wrong under the hood or if sensors glitch and activate for no rhyme or reason. Many times, a simple recalibration will do the trick. The F5 Flashpaq’s screen is HD color and measures about 2.8 inches. It’s attractive and has straightforward navigation.
I’m happy to announce that it helps boost your tires’ performance. Don’t worry about it. Your gears will not be left behind. Their progress will be furthered right along with the tires and other parts due to F5’s assistance. It increases about 30 HP and even adjusts your cooling fans, not the temperature, however. This model is under a warranty.
You will receive real-time shifting analyses after the calibration is allowed to run its course. It’ll do the same for your speedometer. When you get a chance, be sure to ameliorate your tire pressure monitoring system so that in the future if you hit a snag of any kind or if your tires get low in compression because of a change in temperature or anything of that nature, your display will be up-to-date and running accurately, ready to inform you of what’s happening.
There are a host of accessible tunes, even crawling off-road. If you tow, the F5 Flashpaq will work for you. You will find that the tow tune makes the most of torque when weighed down, for lack of better words. These are just examples of the various tunes available, each housing potential gains. Your vehicle will run much smoother, overall. With all this supernumerary power, it’ll be tempting to floor it, to put the metal to the pedal. You will have to convince yourself repeatedly to drive responsibly.
As an aside, the ECM will have to be unlocked in order to proceed with the aforesaid processes, so look into that first.
This programmer will perform online updates for you and has all the tooling necessary to transfer the upgrades to your personal computer. All it takes is a quick click to download the Ignition software. This is advantageous in every way and very accommodating on Superchips’ behalf. Unfortunately, this feature is not compatible with MAC.
Here are a few other points about the F5 Flashpaq:
- Audible Lock Options
- For Windows Users
- Performance, Crawl and Tow Tunes Available
- Customizable Options
- Only for 2012-2014 Wrangler Models
Is it time to recalibrate your Wrangler? You can’t go wrong with the Rough Country Speedometer Calibrator.
At the end of the day, Jeep already jam-packs their vehicles with amazing amenities, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for advancement or restoration. It’s as simple as this: slapping bigger tires and rims on your Wrangler could throw off the speedometer.
Inevitably, that stubborn little exclamation mark, better known as a tire pressure symbol, flashes on the dash and winds up getting stuck there—seemingly forever. It’s maddening, to say the least. But we’ve all been there, haven’t we?
What do we do? Cover it up with tape. The old “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy. Or, what’s worse, we attempt to erase it ourselves and end up messing up something else in the process, and the saga continues.
This is why we must lionize Jeep for the Rough Country Calibrator. What a brilliant move on their parts.
They’ve made it not only so you can avoid all the D.I.Y. drama but also so you can bypass the dreaded visit to one of those money-hungry dealerships where you have to wait a quarter of the day to be serviced and end up paying an arm-and-a-leg (and sometimes a toe) for the technician’s labor. You know exactly what I’m talking about.
End of rant, now let’s get into the specs on this thing.
The Rough Country Calibrator is safe, reliable, and weaponized with comprehensive technology and sufficient memory. It’s versatile and holds the key to a wide-scope of diagnostic solutions. It’s moderately easy to install; should take about 15 minutes, give or take ten minutes.
It’s wired to trigger your DRLs which, for the time being, upsurges the idle speed of your engine. This helps for winching purposes. As stated, the Rough Country clears the tire pressure icon, but it also expunges other pesky engine codes. It can even line up your vehicle for enhanced street performance.
I’m most pleased with how much it costs. I’m pleasantly surprised Jeep didn’t hike up the price tag. I had to grab one as soon as I saw it, while it was still affordable.
Here are my final words regarding the Rough Country Speedometer Calibrator:
- ROHS Compliant
- Easy to Use Switches
- Allows tire size to be adjusted as often as needed
After much deliberation—actually more like vacillation than deliberation—I’ve chosen my top pick. And the winner is, Superchips F5 Flashpaq. I was leaning toward it anyway, but the tipping point for me was the price point. I mean, you have to love great value wrapped up in affordability. I’m a sucker for a good, solid deal, no catch. This describes the F5 Flashpaq to a T.
Finally, in my travels, I’ve noticed people using the terms programmer and tuner interchangeably. I accidentally do it from time to time. It’s really no biggie. Technically speaking, however, they are two totally different beasts. They just have a whole lot in common. I am confident that whichever one you choose, whether a tuner or programmer, it will end up being the answer to your prayers. Regardless, either of these viable options will leave you and your Jeep with a more customized and personal experience. That’s what matters most.