Ever since we picked up our Toyota Fortuner it has lacked power and that oomph you expect in a new car.
However with the amount of power modifications available today there is no reason it needs to stay this way. With reliability in mind, it was always going to be a battle between a diesel power module and a remap.
Diesel power module vs remap
Essentially they both change the mapping of your fuel injection and boost. The idea is to create more torque and power which will in turn make your 4wd take off quicker, struggle less and be more drivable.
How do you know what’s right for you?
At the end of the day it will come down to personal preference. So let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each.
~ More power and torque.
~ You are dealing with a reputable company that invests in research and development.
~ Support from dealers around Australia.
~ If something goes wrong with the module it can be unplugged.
~ Can be installed at home with a plug and play installation. Can also be tuned on a dyno.
~ There is potential to get the installation wrong if doing it yourself.
~ Some only increase the fuel rail pressure, this is linked to early injector failure.
~ More power and torque than a power module.
~ Custom tune specific to your vehicle.
~ Increase of backyard tuners has made it hard to know if they’re reputable. Or if they really know what they are changing and the affects it’s going to have.
~ Normally a one man show. No support around Australia which means if something goes wrong with the re-map you will be on a tow truck.
~ Can not be reset to factory setting simply.
~ If the tune isn’t correct the ECU will be telling the engine to do it regardless of the affects.
Weighing up the pros and cons of each, it’s simple to see what option we are going to choose. If you do decide to go for a tune, make sure you do as much research as you can on the tuner. Find out all the good, bad and the ugly so you don’t end up becoming one of the tuning horror stories.
When looking for the best option of diesel power modules / chips available it quickly becomes daunting. The way we narrowed it down quickly was any modules that modified fuel rail pressure were eliminated immediately. Why is this no good you ask? There is potential to damage the fuel pump and injectors by just increasing the pressure. This will also take away from the reliability of your 4wd.
Now left with many less options, we looked straight at reputation. Again this narrowed the field dramatically.
Now keeping in mind we need reliability with the places we go, if by chance something did go wrong who would be able to help us?
With all these factors combined, it became pretty easy to see what was best for our needs.
Steinbauer have a world renowned reputation. Their module has been tested and proven in every possible environment and in more than just 4wd’s. The Steinbauer power module receives the injection and boost signals from the ECU, modifies them and sends out the new map. It does not touch fuel rail pressure. And if by chance something does go wrong, it can be removed easily by unplugging. If you need help, there are over 200 dealers Australia wide.
The main reason we chose Steinbauer over everyone else is the module has built-in safety features to protect our engine. Firstly there is a warm up period once the engine is started. From here the module is constantly monitoring what the engine is doing. If it is working too hard (like towing up a long hill) and EGT’s start to climb, the module will start to govern the power back at 1% a second until it’s at 50% or the EGT’s reduce. On top of all this, Steinbauer have the support from the professionals in diesel injectors, Diesel Care.
Review, why I’m still smiling
After having the Steinbauer power module installed there was always going to be the WOW factor of more power and torque. But yet every time I get in the car I still notice it. As cliche as it sounds, our Fortuner is a completely different car to drive.
What has actually changed? In normal driving, the acceleration is much smoother. When you put your foot down, it gets up and goes. It gets moving much quicker and there always seems to be power there when we need it. Overtaking slower vehicles no longer requires a massive run up. Hell just not being the slow vehicle that everyone is trying to overtake is nice in its own right. With the camper trailer hooked up we now barely notice it’s there.
Off road in the hard technical stuff we are now sitting lower in the rev range. Knowing that the power is there should we need it means we can comfortably crawl slower through the technical tracks, not having to worry if the engine is going to stall because there’s not enough power.
On the beach in the soft sand it is unreal. Cruising along and the soft sand starts to take hold, putting your foot down gets us moving easily through the stuff we used to struggle with.
Having now experienced the Steinbauer power module firsthand, it has quickly become an essential modification. Your 4wd doesn’t need to struggle and work hard to do anything.
I can’t recommend the Steinbauer power module enough; the change in drivability is game changing.
Disclosure: We are Steinbauer Performance ambassadors.
However all opinions are our own.