Power Club

The TDI Tuning Blog

Will a tuning box damage my engine?

Our featured article this month is all about how a TDI-Tuning Box box interacts with your engine. How does it work? Does it damage anything? If you would like to have clarity on any of these questions, then read on.

How does a tuning box interact with the engine?

A TDI-Tuning Box connects to your engine sensors. It does this by using a custom made vehicle harness unique to your make/model. This vehicle harness takes the signals being sent from your turbocharger, fuel sensor, and RPM sensor to the TDI-Tuning Box. The signals are optimised here and sent onwards to the ECU (Electronic Control Unit). This is the brain of the vehicle, it chooses how much fuel and air is sent to the combustion chamber. It also handles hundreds of other tasks. Take a look at the graphic below to further understand how a TDI-Tuning box interacts with the engine.

chip tuning diagram

Pre-ECU / ECU Changes: What's the difference?

A Pre-ECU change is altering the value of a parameter before it gets to the Electronic Control Module (ECU). Like a TDI-Tuning Box. The huge benefit of altering the values before the ECU is that the manufacturer settings remain in full control of the engine. No hard-written rules have been changed. Remapping the ECU means the brain of the car has been permanently altered. Take a look at the graphic below to understand how an ECU works.

example chip tuned ecu

As seen above, the ECU works like a reference table. If the turbo pressure is a certain amount, then a certain amount of fuel and air will be sent to the combustion chamber. Rewriting or remapping these values are what generates additional power from the engine. However, this route is much more intrusive and problematic than a TDI-Tuning Box. The remap will completely rewrite the calculations in the reference table, this means the manufacturer is no longer in control of the power output of the vehicle. In turn, your warranty is now null and void. So what can be done to prevent voiding your warranty, and is this alternative method safe?

tdi chip tuning

What is safer: Remap or tuning box?

As the TDI-Tuning box is a Pre-ECU modification. The manufacturer ECU is still in full control of the engine, and, how much power it creates. This means a TDI-Tuning box is the safest, and easiest, way to tune a vehicle. Reputable remappers will be able to generate more power than a tuning box on some occasions. This is because the ECU has been fully re-written. But should something go wrong, the manufacturer will know the vehicle has been altered and will not cover anything under warranty. With the TDI-Tuning Box, if something goes wrong then you may get an engine management light (EML). This is the ECU notifying the cars on-board-computer that something is not functioning correctly. It is at this point that you can remove the tuning box and take it back to a dealer for them to fix. The main point is that the manufacturer safety settings have not been altered or tampered with. The ECU is still in full control. It is for this reason that the TDI-Tuning Box is completely safe. This is not to say a remap is not. It is always best to speak to a reputable remapper before going ahead with anything at all.


If you are looking for a safe, reliable, and, traceless engine modification, look no further. The TDI-Tuning Box is 100% safe when installed correctly. We have been supplying customers tuning solutions since 2004! Our systems are under constant development to ensure they are the best, and the safest options for tuning avaliable.


Find your TDI-Tuning Box here