Power Club

The TDI Tuning Blog

Should I buy a second hand tuning box?

Answering our customers questions is something we care very much about. Our customers are ultimately the only reason we are able to offer such a refined and technologically advanced system for so many years. Constant research and development is undertaken every day, month, and year, and it starts with customer feedback! One of the most popular questions we get asked is, can I just buy a second-hand box and get TDI-Tuning to reprogram it. The answer is a little complicated, so have a read through!

tuning box

What's in the box? (The TDI-Tuning Box we mean)

Every TDI-Tuning box is custom programmed for any one of over 6000 vehicle variants. Even if you happen to find one for your car on a third-party website, it may not be exactly right. For example, if you drive a BMW 420d and you were purchasing a new TDI-Tuning Box. We would need to know: The power output, if it was 2wd or X-Drive, if it is automatic or manual, and if it is a MHEV or not. As we offer tuning boxes for all these combinations, even if you found a 420d tuning box online, it might not be for your one! Using an incorrect tuning file on a vehicle can cause serious problems. They are fine tuned for your specific engine. When you buy a TDI-Tuning Box from us our technicians check your vehicle details against a reg number (UK) or VIN number (International). They install the exact tuning file required for your vehicle onto the TDI-Tuning Box. But, you could always buy a tuning box second hand and get us to reprogram it, then it would definitely have the right tuning file. But, what else do you need to watch out for?

sent tuning box

Some engines use digital, some engines use analogue

Not all tuning boxes that we provide are the same. You may have seen the word "SENT" written in places. This is a type of engine technology that uses digital engine sensor readings. The circuit boards and interior workings of a SENT tuning box are different to an analogue one. This means if your vehicle uses digital readings, a TDI-Tuning Box with the analogue circuit board will not work. The good news is, a SENT box will work on almost any make/model, so if you find one and it's advertised as that, we can reprogram it for you. If you buy a tuning box that we cannot reprogram for your car, then we wont be able to help you out! It's always best to check with us before you buy, so we can let you know if we can reprogram it for you.

new tdi tuning box

Buying a second-hand box: Do's and don'ts

We would strongly recommend buying a TDI-Tuning Box directly from us. It means we can confirm that everything is working as it should. It also means that you have a full 5-year warranty on your tuning box from the date of supply. If you have bought a TDI-Tuning Box, and you have issues with the install or running it on your car, the first question we will ask is your order number or email address. This is so we can locate the vehicle instructions and all the other information from your customer account. This information will also tell us when the box was originally supplied. All internal components, casing, and harness are covered for the duration of the 5-year warranty. If any fault is identified a repair or replacement of the product will be offered. However, if you are not the original purchaser of the product, we will not supply a replacement product. Buying a reprogramming service does not start the 5-year warranty from fresh, it is always from the date of supply.

If you want to buy a second-hand tuning box from a third-party website, we cannot prevent you. We suggest buying it directly from us so you have the best experience possible. If you do buy a second-hand box, we have some do's and don'ts to follow, along with some further information:

Do NOT plug the tuning box in if you are unsure what's on it. Always contact our team first.

We will also be able to check if we can reprogram the tuning box for your car. Although, there is only so much we can check when you buy a used system. (Bear in mind, if the box turns out to be faulty, we cannot provide a replacement under warranty)

ALWAYS reprogram your second-hand tuning box with us. When we reprogram a tuning box, our technicians put it through rigorous testing to ensure it's working as it should. They also provide you with detailed instructions, and the correct tuning files and vehicle harness for your EXACT car. Even if you think the tuning box is for your car, always send it to us for reprogramming. We don’t want you to damage your car with a box that’s not designed for it.

Do check on our website for your vehicle first, it might be £50 or £100 more expensive, but you can be 100% confident it's for your exact make and model. 

- Can we tell what tuning file is on a tuning box from the serial number? No, we can't. The serial numbers on the box are used to track and monitor batches of the tuning box. They are NOT used to determine what tuning file is on the box. To determine this, we use a customer order number or email address.

- What do the different colour seals on the tuning box mean? In most circumstances, blue is a standard tuning box, red is a SENT tuning box, and grey is a Bluetooth tuning box.


However, you choose to buy your TDI-Tuning Box, we would like to welcome you to the TDI-Tuning family. As with any reputable company, we want you to have the best experience possible. When you buy from us, that’s completely in our control. When you buy from a third-party, we don’t know where that tuning box might have been! Happy tuning!

Find your tuning box on our website today