Engine Tuning: Improving Performance and Your Wallet

Engine Performance

The importance of proper engine maintenance cannot be stressed enough. Preventative measures and scheduled upkeep can save you thousands in the long run.  Neglecting or overlooking engine tuning can cause an array of problems.  The problems can be poor performance and a shortened engine lifespan. When it comes to heavy truck engines, maintenance becomes even more essential.  Long hauls and delivery schedules demand that your truck is in great shape without unnecessary downtime.  Learn how to avoid downtimes below.

Engine Maintenance is Important – and Unavoidable

The main advantage of consistent upkeep is the increased life of your engine.  However, all of the heavy-duty truck engine parts that keep your engine fully operational and efficient also benefit. The advantages of a well-maintained diesel engine also extend beyond performance.  You can avoid the hassle of unexpected repairs that could keep your truck in the garage with good tuning.  Overall maintenance can reduce the possibility of accidents due to mechanical problems.


Repairs and accidents are not unavoidable.  Take preventive actions now.  Then you are less likely to have to deal with them in the long run. Safety and savings are critical components to life on the road.

Make and Meet an Engine Maintenance Schedule

A maintenance schedule is vital for the long-term life and performance of your engine. Manufacturer recommendations are a good place to start for scheduled maintenance.  They will give you an exact mileage and/or time when certain repairs need to happen. Additionally, seasonal engine maintenance routines help ensure recurring, timely inspections to identify any issues before they become costly.


Everything from fluid changes to major overhauls will be on this schedule, and you should stick to it religiously. Heavy duty truck engine parts are built to last, but they’re not indestructible.  A maintenance schedule will help you increase the long-term life of the major and minor components on your rig.


Another recommended tip that goes right along with a schedule is a maintenance log. This can be as simple as keeping a pen and pad in your truck.  Log the mileage and date when each and every repair occurs. A digital log is also easy to create.  Use any common spreadsheet software to help keep records for an entire fleet organized and accessible.

Heavy Truck Engine Tuning

Engine tuning is another aspect related to maintenance.  This can help you get the most out of your semi truck engine. Tuning is often overlooked.  It isn’t necessarily a critical maintenance task, but instead a way to achieve increased performance from your engine.


The benefits of engine tuning include:

                  • Increased fuel economy
                  • Power and torque gains
                  • Extended engine life
                  • Less downtime due to longer service intervals (scheduled maintenance always recommended even with tuning)
                  • Savings on maintenance and fuel cost

Tuning works by tweaking and recalibrating a number of parameters to achieve the benefits seen above. Most performance diesel engines come out of the factory with constraints on how much fuel gets into the engine.  They may also have set points for injection timing of which can impact power and fuel efficiency. By modifying these and other parameters via engine tuning, it’s possible to customize your engine to perform better overall.  Engine tuning is done by hooking up a tuner to the diagnostics port of the engine control unit (ECU). A high-quality performance tuner will simply plug into the ECU.  From there, use the small, hand-held device to quickly set your tuning preferences.  Then, the benefits appear almost straight away.  Check out PDI’s tuner to get started Or learn more at their website.

Recommended Heavy Duty Truck Engine Parts

There are plenty of products to choose from when it comes to tuners and other heavy duty truck engine parts. Many of these will fall short of providing the best increases in performance and long-term savings. However, there are a few options that stand above the rest.


The PDI Big Boss Performance Tuner is a high-quality engine tuner that will work with a wide variety of diesel engines. This unit is easy to operate.  Simply plug it into your diagnostics port.  Then follow the instructions to customize your tuning parameters with the press of a button. The Performance Tuner will allow you to match your desired performance and efficiency considerations with your driving style.


Another heavy duty truck engine part that comes recommended with tuning in mind is the PDI Big Boss Intake Manifold. Letting your engine breathe properly is another critical component of increased performance. The Big Boss opens up your manifold in key areas.  As a result, there is an increase in the airflow by up to 35%. This increase results in lower air intake temperatures that will directly result in increased horsepower.


Equipping your performance diesel truck with these recommended heavy duty truck engine parts will let you tune your engine properly.  Allowing your engine to breathe properly with the PDI Big Boss Intake Manifold can save you a ton of money on top of the inherent savings afforded through proper engine tuning.

Engine Tuning and Maintenance Can Save You Cash

Engine tuning is for any modern performance diesel engine. There are many benefits.  It is an easy way to help your truck operate at its best.  It can also save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Regular maintenance alongside utilizing the benefits of engine tuning with the right parts provides peace of mind.  You are doing everything in your control to get the ultimate performance out of your rig.

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Truck Engine?

LKQ Heavy Truck’s used heavy truck engines and parts are sure to satisfy your needs without breaking the bank. Explore the most popular brands of semi truck engines including Cummins, CAT, Detroit, International, Mack, Volvo, and more. Shop now.



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