The best Duramax tuner is capable of making adjustments to increase horsepower or improve the fuel economy of your favorite truck. Duramax 6.6L turbo-diesel engines are popular because of its capability, but there’s so much more that can be done with these motors. We will look at the top 6.6L Duramax tuners for your pickup.


Preview

Model

Compatible Vehicles

Monitor Size & Display Type

Check Price

Edge Products 85401 CTS2 Diesel Evolution...

Edge Products 85401 CTS2

2001-2010 6.6L Duramax

5-inch color touch screen

Edge Products 85400 CTS2 Diesel Evolution...

Edge Products 85400 CTS2

2001-2016 6.6L Duramax

5-inch color touch screen

GDP Tuning EZ LYNK Tuner Monitor Compatible...

GDP Tuning EZ LYNK

All Duramax engines

5-inch screen

Bully Dog - 40420 - GT Platinum Diesel...

Bully Dog - 40420 – GT

2001-2015 Duramax engines

2.5-inch screen

EFI LIVE Custom Tune 2011-2016 Chevy LML 6.6...

EFI LIVE Custom Tune

2001-2016 Duramax engines

Color screen


How Engine Tuners Work

The Duramax 6.6L diesel engine tuner changes vital settings to help the motor perform better. Depending on what setting adjustments you can make, you will be able to optimize the performance and create a better fuel economy. You can make adjustments to improve towing, or it’s simple to add more horsepower.


Benefits of Tuners & Programmers on Duramax Engines

While the Duramax engines provide plenty of performance on their own, you can do much more with sophisticated tuning. Increase the horsepower to gain the full potential out of the engine or to maximize the towing ability.

You can also adjust the engine settings to improve the fuel economy and save money at the pump. With an engine tuner that reads codes, you can tell when something is wrong with the Duramax engine.


How To Choose The Right Duramax Tuner

Compatibility

While some diesel engine tuners work well with multiple models, you don’t want to assume that’s the case. The best Duramax engine tuner is the one that works perfectly with your truck model. Read through the product description to determine what truck years and models your unit will work with.

Ease of Set-Up & Use

If you don’t have a lot of experience with engine tuners and chips, you are going to want a simple machine that plugs directly into the OBDII port. With this capability, you can expect a seamless setup and operation that doesn’t require a lot of expertise. You should also read the Duramax tuner reviews to find out what other customers thought about the operation.

Power Levels

Many Duramax tuners come with pre-configured tunes available. You can choose Performance and Eco options that make the modifications simple, without any customization. With these power levels, you get the choice to adjust the settings without fiddling too much with the options. Look at how many power levels are offered and what each one provides.

ECM Download Time Frame

When you are finished making your settings, you want to upload the data to the computer for the changes to go into effect. Some machines do this quickly, while others take longer. If you don’t want to wait around, you should read the reviews to find out how long this operation takes.

Storage

When you create custom tunes, you want to save them for later use. Each machine offers a different amount of storage space to hold these tunes for you. Read the specs to determine if there is enough storage to accommodate your custom tuning needs. Some of the lower budget models don’t come with any additional storage.

Monitor Size

Do you want a compact monitor that fits into the tiniest spaces, or are you looking for a large monitor that you can mount on the dashboard? In addition to the size, you want to look at the screen's capabilities and extra features. Having a touch screen makes operation easier, but also tends to cost more.

Data Monitoring Capabilities

If you want real-time data on the Duramax engine, it helps to buy a tuner that monitors this information. With real-time data, you gain access to the status of the motor at any time. This versatility allows you to see when trouble exists and gives you the chance to correct it before engine damage occurs.

Versatility

Are you hoping to simply increase horsepower? If so, you can probably get away with a basic Duramax tuner. However, if you hope to read DTCs, access real-time data, and make custom tunes, you will need a more sophisticated machine. Of course, with each function you add, the higher the cost will go.


5 Best Tuners for Duramax Engines Reviewed

1. Edge Products 85401 CTS2

Best Tuner For LML Duramax (Top Pick!)

Compatible Vehicles

2001-2010 6.6L Duramax

Monitor Size & Display Type

5-inch color touch screen

Storage

10

ECM Download Time

Unknown

Warranty

1-year

If you want the best tuner for LML Duramax, you can join with the overwhelming amount of customers that enjoy this programmer from Edge Products. It works on all 2001-2010 Duramax engines but is also usable for some Ford models as well. This in-cab controller includes a digital gauge display and a full-color high-resolution five-inch button-controlled screen. It’s completed with a rugged case and a light sensitivity meter.

You can use this tuner to increase fuel efficiency, upgrade towing ability, and adjust the performance to your tastes. Add more horsepower or torque to fit your application better. Five custom gauge screens allow you to monitor the truck's parameters. You can see increases up to 180 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque.

You are going to spend a little more to get your hands on this Duramax tuner, but it’s well worth the additional expense. If you want complete control over your engine and the pickup’s performance, you can’t afford anything less. With your purchase, you receive the mounting hardware and an HDMI cord. In addition, you get a one-year warranty, which provides some extra peace of mind. If you want to take your truck to the extreme, Edge Products has the tuner for you.

Pros

  • Allows custom tuning
  • Provides real-time data
  • Large five-inch screen
  • Allows big horsepower gains

Cons

  • Expensive

2. Edge Products 85400 CTS2

Best Duramax Tuner For Towing

Compatible Vehicles

2001-2016 6.6L Duramax

Monitor Size & Display Type

5-inch color touch screen

Storage

10

ECM Download Time

Unknown

Warranty

1-year

If you want to stick with Edge Products, this is another option for you to consider as the best Duramax tuner for towing. It works with any 2001-2016 Duramax diesel engines, as well as some Dodge and Ford applications. With the ability to reprogram your stock computer, you can add up to 180 more horsepower, as well as raise the torque by up to 440 lb-ft of torque.

You can choose the pre-configured power levels to adjust the settings quickly, or you can custom calibrate your own settings. Correct the speedometer or adjust speeds and rev limiters instead. The five-inch color swipe screen makes it simple to make adjustments and track vital engine data. This screen remains mounted in your truck cab to have access to real-time monitoring while you drive.

As you would expect, this level of capability does increase the overall price. Because there is so much you can do with this tuner, you will never need another model. Plus, the company puts a one-year warranty on the apparatus, so you won't have to worry about anything going wrong. If nothing short of the best is what you want, you should opt for an Edge Products Duramax tuner.

Pros

  • Pre-programmed or custom tuning
  • Access to real-time data
  • Large five-inch screen
  • Increase horsepower and torque

Cons

  • Expensive

3. GDP Tuning EZ LYNK

Best In-Cab Monitor

Compatible Vehicles

All Duramax engines

Monitor Size & Display Type

5-inch screen

Storage

0

ECM Download Time

Unknown

Warranty

1-year

If you want to save money and don't need the ability to tune, but instead want to monitor the condition of your Duramax truck, this might be the best option for you. This particular model is an in-cab monitor that gives you access to real-time data while you are driving. The monitor was specifically designed to withstand hotter temperatures in the cabin. On top of the ability to monitor your engine performance, this device also features built-in navigation, an SD card slot, and a 1080P camera.

If you are looking for something that can make custom tunes, this model won’t serve you well. It’s more designed to monitor the pickup. The negative reviews are often customers that expected more from this machine than what it offers. If you understand the limitations, you won’t be disappointed in the quality or ability.

Still, for the low price, it’s well worth the expense, especially if you need to see what’s going on with your Duramax engine and your pickup. The company also includes a one-year warranty, which offers further peace of mind about the construction. Use this monitor to connect with EZLYNK and gain access to all of the data you need to make better driving decisions.

Pros

  • Provides real-time data
  • Easy to install
  • Large five-inch screen
  • Works with EZLYNK

Cons

  • Doesn’t tune the engine

4. Bully Dog - 40420 – GT

Best Duramax Tuner For Fuel Mileage

Compatible Vehicles

2001-2015 Duramax engines

Monitor Size & Display Type

2.5-inch screen

Storage

10

ECM Download Time

Unknown

Warranty

1-year

If you have a 2001-2015 6.6L Duramax, you will find a lot of success with this Bully Dog model. It also fits a variety of Ford and Dodge diesel models. Choose one of the preloads to save more fuel during your longer trips and around town commutes, making it the best Duramax tuner for fuel mileage. Several other downloadable features are available that make your adjustments easier than ever.

With the easy to read heads-up display, you can monitor more than fifteen performance parameters. The dynamic LCD is easy to mount on the dash, window, or pillar. Aside from the multiple preloads, you can also utilize up to ten custom tune files that match your performance and vehicle needs. The best thing about this device is that you can diagnose and clear DTCs to ensure that the engine runs at its best.

This Bully Dog programmer has many of the same capabilities of the Edge Products devices, but for a slightly lower price. The only trouble is that the reviews aren’t as exceptional, with some people complaining that the tunes don’t do what they should. But, the company does provide a one-year warranty. This falls in line with the other top companies.

Pros

  • Provides real-time data
  • Simple to use
  • Reads and clears codes
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Some poor customer reviews

5. EFI LIVE Custom Tune

Top Of The Range

Compatible Vehicles

2001-2016 Duramax engines

Monitor Size & Display Type

Color screen

Storage

0

ECM Download Time

Unknown

Warranty

1-year

If you want the best Duramax tuner and money isn’t a concern, you might consider having a custom product from EFI LIVE. This company uses your VIN to create a program specifically for your truck. It comes with four custom tunes and a free transmission tune (which is valued at $300). The company claims to have dyno-proven and tested the tuning on thousands of other trucks.

You can choose from the Tow setting to add 30 horsepower, Eco setting to add 180 horsepower, Street setting to add 120 horsepower, or the Race setting for 150 horsepower. You can also choose the stock setting to revert everything back or opt for the MAXX tune to gain 200 horsepower. To utilize this setting, you will need a lift pump.

With these settings, you can create increased line pressure, add a new shift strategy, customize an earlier downshift, and manage the torque. It works with a 2011-2016 6.6L Duramax. While the price might be overwhelming, consider the money saved by not going to a shop for custom dyno tuning. It's a real bargain when looked at in that light. Still, it's important to note that not all of the customers find the support team easy to work with. Read through what others have to say for yourself before making your decision.

Pros

  • Custom fitted for your truck
  • Lots of tuning options
  • Includes free transmission tune ($300 value)
  • Cheaper than dyno tuning

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Poor customer service

All About Duramax Engines

General Motors have produced Duramax engines since 2001. These turbo-diesel engines are in various pickups, SUVs, and van models. There are Duramax motors with four-cylinders, six-cylinders, eight-cylinders, as well as inline (I) and V configurations.

The eleven global Duramax engines include the 6.6L V-8 LB7, 6.6L V-8 LLY, 6.6L V-8 LBZ, 6.6L V-8 LMM, 6.6L V-8 LGH, 6.6L V-8 LML, 6.6L V-8 L5P, 2.5L I-4 LD25, 2.8L I-4 XLD28, 2.8L I-4 LWN, and the 3.0L I-6 LM2.


Engine Tuner Compatibility

While some Duramax tuners will work with every model from the above lineup, you can't assume that's the case. Instead, you want to make sure that your diesel tuner is designed explicitly for your Duramax 6.6L engine. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make the adjustments necessary. You can find this information on the spec sheets from each manufacturer.


Installing A Duramax Engine Programmer

Before you install a Duramax engine tuner, make sure you read the instructions first. Not every model is created the same. For the most part, you will plug the apparatus to your OBDII port. From here, most machines offer the instructions to move forward on screen for convenience.

If you prefer to learn by watching, consider viewing this installation of a Stealth Performance module on the Duramax 6.6L. Notice this tuner doesn't get plugged into the OBDII port, but rather under the hood, but it still doesn't require any expertise.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What year Duramax engine has the best fuel mileage?

The smaller Duramax engines get better gas mileage than the 6.6L. These small turbodiesels are found in the Canyon and Colorado. If you are looking for the most fuel-efficient 6.6L Duramax, you can find several models that achieved around 15 mpg. Choose from the 2009 GMC Sierra 3500HD, 2003 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, or the 2002 Chevy Silverado 2500HD.

What vehicles have Duramax 6.6L LML engines?

The Duramax 6.6 LML engine was used explicitly in the heavy-duty trucks from GM. This includes both the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra lineup.

What are the common issues of Duramax LML engines?

Some of the Duramax 6.6L engine issues include fuel starvation, air in the fuel lines, water pump failure, injector failure, glow plug malfunctions, and turbocharger oil ingestion. 

Can these tuners monitor engine function and prevent damage?

If you choose the best 6.6L Duramax tuner with real-time monitoring, you gain access to the information needed to ensure your engine is running correctly. With this data, you can make adjustments as needed to prevent engine wear and damage.

Can engine tuners void car warranty?

Most engine tuners claim that they will not void your warranty. If this is something you are concerned about, make sure you choose something that doesn’t leave behind a footprint and that you can unplug before heading in for repairs.


Conclusion

If money is no object, we highly recommend investing in the Edge Products 85401 CTS2. It features some exceptional capabilities, allowing you to fully customize the power coming from your 6.6L Duramax engine. Just read the customer reviews for more affirmation that this is the right product for your GM pickup.

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