best flash programmer

5 Best Flash Programmers For Tuning 2018

Improving your cars performance can be achieved via a range of different methods. Using a flash programmer can increase a vehicles horsepower, torque and throttle response by optimizing the ECU.

The best flash programmer is the Superchips 1845 Flashpaq F5, which allows users to perform a range of performance adjustments. For those with a larger budget, the Edge 85450 CTS2 is the ultimate custom tuning device with live monitoring.

For car enthusiasts that add turbochargers, superchargers and other performance modification, a custom tune will be required in order for the best results.

Best Flash Programmer For Car ECUs

Flash ProgrammerLive MonitoringOur Rating
Superchips 1845 Flashpaq F5No4.9
Hypertech 32501No4.8
DiabloSport I2030 inTune i2 TunerNo4.7
Bully Dog 40417 GTYes4.7
Edge 85450 CTS2Yes4.9

Investing into a premium flash programmer is advisable because using cheap models could cause costly issues to arise if there was a problem with the unit during the middle of a programming session.

Like most OBD2 Scanners, the flash programmer connects via the OBD2 port to form the connection. It can be fairly simple to tune your yourself using a flash programmer with the latest intuitive interfaces for easy usage.

To get the best results from your performance modifications, it is paramount you tune the car to optimize their benefits. Below is a list of the best flash programmers to increase horsepower, torque, throttle response and more.

Superchips 1845 Flashpaq F5 Tuner


The brand name itself explains the purpose of this device and it is to increase the performance of your vehicle. You will have the ability to use the following and more:

  • Alter speedometer calibration
  • Adjust top speed limit and rev limit
  • Tune shift points, firmness and TQ management
  • Active fuel management control

The 1845 is an impressive flash programmer and easy to use with a 2.8 inch HD color screen. It is a small handheld device but packs a large amount of functionality, which can increase  your cars horsepower in a matter of minutes.

For peace of mind, Superchips has the backing of an industry exclusive 2 year powertrain warranty. This benefit is enough to pay the extra over the majority of cheaper alternative that also do not have the functionality of the Superchips 1845 Flashpaq F5 Tuner.

Overall, it is the best flash programmer for tuning your car at a reasonable price. The impressive warranty is a standout feature and the optimized tuning functions will certainly add plenty of extra performance to your vehicle.

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Hypertech 32501 Max Energy Power Programmer


The Hypertech is a strong contender for the best flash programmer with all the functionality you need to improve the performance of your car. From adjusting the top speed limiter to changing the firmness of the automatic gear change.

The 32501 model focuses on adjusting the speedometer for a different tire radius and rear end gears. This is a common issue for those switching to non-stock wheels and could even result in accidental speeding if not recalibrated using a flash programmer such as the Hypertech.

Although it does have the ability to perform custom tune up of your car, it is even better at speedometer calibrations. It is the best flash programmer for tire size adjustments and it can be done fairly easily by the average tech savvy driver.

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DiabloSport I2030 inTune i2 Tuner


DiabloSport are the direct competitor to the Superchip models and both are excellent value for money. The I2030 is preloaded with a range of performance custom tunes to improve fuel efficiency and increase the horsepower of your vehicle.

This flash programmer also doubles up as a diagnostic tools to remove error codes and look up log vehicle data. Anything regarding the vehicles ECU, the i2 Tuner will be able to retrieve information.

The unit itself looks great and has great compatibility with Windows and iOS over WiFi connection. The DiabloSport I2030 inTune i2 Tuner is the best custom tune programmer for those wanting to go into more complex alterations.

For the average car owner looking for more performance, the “Easy Tune” will increase performance at a click of a button.

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Bully Dog 40417 GT Platinum Tuner


The “placebo” effect may contribute to feeling that the car has had its performance improved. The only true method of proving that the custom tune by a flash programmer has worked is by putting it on a dyno machine.

Bully Dog have pre-loaded custom tunes that are proven via dyno test results for peace of mind. An increase of power, torque and fuel economy are evident and even better, there are virtual gauges to monitor live data as you are driving.

Alongside the custom tunes, the 40417 GT Platinum device can read and clear error codes such as the engine management light as well as view critical vehicle data. It is a great all rounder albeit expensive but the amount of features makes it worth paying the extra.

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Edge Products 85450 CTS2 Gas Evolution Programmer


The Edge flash programmer is the most expensive within this article and many people may mistake it for a car satellite navigation. The design is simple and fully touch screen with a range of functionalities from custom tuning to performance testing.

It connects to the vehicles computer via one OBDII connector to the port. Once a solid connection has been formed, you are able to simply upload the stock files to the Edge and replace the Edge recalibrated custom tuning.

There are a range of performance power levels to choose from and they can be installed within minutes for instant torque and power increases. The ability to stay connected whilst driving to view live engine data is a huge bonus and the main reason for the price increase.

It is the best custom tuning device with live monitoring you can buy. It is an investment that you take with you from car to car and it is highly rated across the US.

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Flash Programmer Buying Guide

Configuring your vehicle to drive using optimized performance tunes is a simple yet affordable upgrade. The majority don’t even require you to mess around with your engine or other components and simply connect to your OB2 port.

The devices themselves offer a range of benefits from an increase in horsepower, torque, fuel efficiency and much more. Many offer the capability to alter the speedometer based upon your tire radius so its more accurate.

Flash programmers are aimed at enthusiasts wanting that little bit extra from their cars. Like most electronics, there are many factors to consider as below.

Compatibility

A huge issue that comes with purchasing a flash programmer is compatibility. Manufacturers will state the vehicles that the device will work with and also the age range. After all, classic cars have limited stock computer on board and the custom tuning will have a limited effect.

Some vehicles may even struggle to use all of the features that a flash programmer has. Many include hundreds of features to perform more alterations to your vehicle from speedometer modifications to gearbox adjustments.

You may also notice that a brand will separate a gas flash programmer to a diesel alternative. This is a common mistake made, so be sure to check both the car manufacturer and the fuel type before buying.

Performance Upgrades

The majority of buyers want a flash programmer for the main purpose of increasing their cars performance. Improving the horsepower and torque using a custom tuning software can be done within minutes using one of the best flash programmers mentioned above.

However, not everyone wants the extra power but better fuel efficiency instead. Improving your fuel economy with a economic tune that increases the torque at a certain RPM and horsepower at a latter stage is what is needed.

Many flash programmers have several pre-loaded custom tunes that you can pick and choose from based upon your requirements.

Tire Radius Modification and Other Features

Adjusting the speedometer to match the rolling radius of your new wheel and tire setup is crucial for accurate readings. By increasing or decreasing the rolling radius of your new non-stock wheels will almost certainly effect the speedometer. Many flash programmers include the functionality to adjust the speedometer fairly easily and with great success.

Many of the high end flash programmers have the ability to remove error codes just as you would with a diagnostic tool. It is fairly common for an Engine Management Light (or similar) to popup after a custom tune but this can easily be removed.

Live Data Logging and Gauges

Watching your engine statistics as you drive is fascinating and can be found on many premium flash programmers. It is also an excellent method of proving that your custom tune has worked successfully by doing a comparison of the live data.

Conclusion

The main purpose is to increase the cars performance without spending a large amount of money at a tuning company. If you can confirm that the flash programmer will work with your cars computer, you are onto a winner.

It is highly advised to avoid the cheap flash programmers and look for the devices with proven dyno results and other drivers opinions.

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