“The ability to tune your vehicle’s performance through the use of a program is one of the benefits of the modern automotive age. Whether you call them programmers or tuners they perform essentially the same function, they optimize the performance of your vehicle by altering the programming of its computer.”
A lot of people complain about the presence of computers in vehicles today, lamenting the time when everything you could adjust on a vehicle could be done with a handy toolkit. While we admit there is a point to be made there, new marvels have resulted from the inclusion of this technology in our vehicles.
List & Comparison of Programmers for GMC Sierra 1500:
|HP Tuners MPVI2 (M02-000-00)||More Information|
|DiabloSport 8245||More Information|
|HP Tuners M02-000-04||More Information|
|Bully Dog 40410||More Information|
|Hypertech 2100||More Information|
|HP Tuners M02-008-02||More Information|
On top of enhanced sensors letting us know what’s going awry with our vehicle, built-in WiFi, and overall improved performance, there are also opportunities to push our vehicles to even greater levels.
Programmers and tuners can optimize the behavior of multiple systems in your car, configuring it to get better performance, enhanced gas mileage, and even more power depending on the settings. Not all programmers are created equal, however. As part of my career as a mechanic, I dipped into the world of commercially available programmers to see what the public had at their disposal.
These represent the ones I found that performed the best for their given year.
Review of the Best Programmers for GMC Sierra 1500:
This versatile and high-quality programmer for the GMC Sierra is packed with a variety of features that make it one of the best options on the market. Its gauge display can be customized to suit your needs, and you can even export the data from your vehicle to an excel file to modify it.
This programmer is capable of connecting, reading, editing, and writing to your vehicle’s computer in addition to being able to perform other tasks. Calibrating, scanning, logging, and diagnosing are all a breeze with this tuner.
This tuner is one of the most exceptional finds I came across while exploring these devices. It is a robust system that is capable of performing a dizzying number of operations on your vehicle while also being able to read and record data from it.
Not only does it come with preexisting settings you can use to enhance the performance of your vehicle, but it also allows you to create custom modifications that in skilled hands will ensure your vehicle performs how you need it to. Not a unit for the inexperienced.
- Connect/Read/Write your vehicles systems
- Configurable gauges
- Custom programming options
- Plug and Play design
Explicitly designed for non-e-assist or hybrid vehicles this tuner is optimized for combustion engines of every design. If you have a passion for racing, horsepower, and the ability to tune your vehicle, then the DiabloSport is going to be the unit you want.
This tuner is capable of providing a high-performance experience suited to vehicles that are regularly pushed to their limit, as well as the casual town car.
Auto-tuning options are available for most common aftermarket modifications in addition to its custom tune option that lets you specify exactly what you need and want out of your vehicle.
While limited to pure combustion engines only I have to say that I was otherwise really impressed with this tuner. It comes preconfigured for a striking number of options and was specifically designed with aftermarket units in mind.
This makes it useful for both the casual driver and for those who want to do something a bit more remarkable with their devices. No matter what kind of enhancements your ride may have, this tuner is designed to handle it.
- Plug and play design
- Multiple pre-loading tunings
- Customizable Tuning
- Designed for use with aftermarket modifications
This MPVI2 Tuner from HP comes with four universal credits suitable for ECU tuning only. The unit possesses Bluetooth connectivity for syncing with your favorite devices. The internal memory is large enough to contain multiple log and calibration files.
The device also has a proprietary expansion port. The unit is capable of accommodating numerous types of input requirements as well as tracking voltage, digital, and analog sensors.
This was a powerful tuner that had some great features available and made it possible to tune the vehicle exactly as you desired. The ability to connect to laptops and Bluetooth made it stand out from the rest, as well as the clear indications of ongoing upgrades and emphasis on its development.
There is an impressive collection of tunings for this, with options available for just about any configuration you can imagine. The Track Addict software that you can get to accompany it provides exceptional tools for the logging, scanning, and transmission of data.
- Bluetooth Enabled
- Configurable out of the box
- Multiple software suites available
- Incredible support
An excellent tuner that comes with a suite of options, including the ability to accommodate multiple makes and models of vehicle. Among those included are Dodge, GMC, Cadillac, Ford, and Nissan, just to name a few.
Compliant with the emissions requirements of all 50 states, and has a built-in Heads Up Display that can be mounted on your dash, window, or pillar. It comes with a suite of included tunes to get you started, and can help you diagnose and clear trouble codes to let your engine perform flawlessly.
I was thoroughly impressed with the design of this thing, including how convenient it was to use. The ability to mount the HUD on my dash had to be one of my favorite features.
In every other way, it functioned like most of the devices I’d experimented with, but the fact that it contained custom tuners for all 50 states for each of the vehicles it supported was decidedly impressive.
When applied to the test vehicle, it helped smooth out some issues we were having with involving vibration, all it took was a mild alteration to its idle rate, and it vanished.
- 50-state compliant
- Compatible with a broad range of vehicles
- LCD Screen mountable on dash, pillar, or window
- Can create custom tunings
A powerful tuner that comes with a USB cable and CD full of tuners to fit just about any vehicle, and an auto-updater that keeps it supplied with the newest ones available. While you can include your custom tuning programs, the stock program is always saved on the device.
The newest version of the MaxEnergy is certified to meet the requirements of all 50 states. It is also capable of calibrating your speedometer, limiting the RPM rev, and making adjustments to your automatic transmission. Truly a full spectrum device.
This device was tested on several vehicles to adjust everything from the shift points on the automatic transmission to the idle rates. In every case, the vehicles showed incredible improvement in ride and stability. The gas mileage saw an almost three mpg improvement following the installations.
I was impressed to see not only the stock tuners that came with the device but the range of ones that were available when it finished updating. Truly an impressive tool.
- 50 State Compliant
- Multiple adjustment Options
- Can improve gas mileage
- Can adjust automatic transmissions
This HP Tuner comes with two credits already available, so you don’t have to go out extra to use it on your vehicle. It comes with the ability to perform Stand-Alone Logging, Bluetooth Flashing, and Data Broadcasting, and can also log your accelerometer.
This model uses the new universal credits from HP, rather than the previous make specific credits that came with their previous models. It’s also compatible with other HP units like their Expander Hub, Pro-Link, and other tuners.
This tuner was another great example of what HP has to offer and was very useful when we applied it to the vehicles we had available. It performed quite well each time, and we saw notable improvements in the handling of the ride, the gas mileage, and the overall power and torque of the vehicles.
These kinds of adjustments used to only be possible with hours of work and specialized equipment on vehicles before computers came along, now it’s possible to make these adjustments in just a matter of moments.
- Logging features
- Compatible with other HP units
- Access to expansive collection of tuner options
- Universal credits rather than by Make credits
How To Pick A Programmer For A GMC Sierra 1500
When you’re looking for a Programmer for your vehicle, there are many things to consider, among them is the make, model, and year of your vehicle. You want to be certain that the computer you’re selecting is compatible with your machine. You also need to know what kind of performance gains you’re hoping to get from the programmer.
Some programmers will deliver high torque, horsepower, and fuel economy while others will not only improve the gas mileage and power of your vehicle but will also provide diagnostic codes and monitor a host of vital engine functions.
Some programmers even have multiple settings to let you optimize your vehicle at a moment’s notice for the next task they’ll be called on to perform. In addition to these considerations be certain that your programmer is capable of adjusting for custom jobs such as different sized tires or new pinions.
If it can’t accommodate these kinds of customizations, you may need to look for another model.
So there you have it, the collection of tuners that I explored to see what the layman has available. I have to admit that some of these blew me away; they are fully capable of everything the ones at my professional garage is capable of in almost every case. The improvements in performance that they can bring can save you money, improve your vehicles handling, and generally make your vehicle better at everything it does.