Tuningbox vs. OBD-Tuning

the direct comparison

You bought a vehicle some time ago and are not satisfied with its performance? You have decided on the less powerful model for cost reasons and would now like to retrofit?
Irrespective of the background, drivers have several questions about the desired increase in performance. A very explosive one, which divides the tuning industry into two camps, is that of the choice of tuning. The question arises again and again: Do I have a chip tuning via the OBD interface or do I buy a tuning box?

Right off the bat: there is no clear winner in this “duel”. Because there are simply two different approaches. If you want to draw parallels to sport, you can roughly compare this to a direct and an indirect free kick in football. The Tuningbox is an additional control unit, which is installed in the engine compartment, while the increase in performance is achieved by overriding the software in the engine control unit. To the exact function modes of the two chip tuning types somewhat later more.

Tuning boxes and their controversial reputation

Especially the hardliners of the classic chip tuning method are considered as hard critics of the so-called chip tuning boxes. But how did the bad reputation of the chip tuners offering tuningboxes, which has arisen in some parts of the scene, come about?

The answer is quickly found. Poorly optimized chip boxes can be produced with hardly any effort and at very low cost. Dubious chip tuners have therefore started to sell such boxes at unrealistically low prices at petrol stations, flea markets and via various online platforms. Such “tuning boxes”, which do not deserve the name in reality, have only one purpose: Fast money making.

Such products reach after the installation on the test stand partly
even minimal worse values than in the original condition. In such cases, the performance increase promised by the >/span>
>span style=”color: #000000;”>span style=”color is definitely not possible.

…the speech. And this is still the lucky chance, because in the worst case even large parts of the engine can be destroyed by NoName boxes at a ridiculous price.

such suppliers have damaged the general reputation of the tuning boxes wrongly and due to the flooding of the market also the serious and reliable chip tuners’ life is made even more difficult. Therefore we can only strongly advise against buying a box from such suppliers who offer far below the usual market prices.

Tuningbox vs. OBD – the installation

Apart from the mode of operation, the installation is also an essential element, which is the difference between these two chip tuning methods.

Modern tuning boxes such as those from Maxchip can usually be completed in around 5-10 minutes without outside help, thanks to innovative technology and instructions in pictures and text provided.

A little bit different is the OBD chip tuning installation. However, also in this area has developed in recent years to the positive. So it was until recently still necessary to visit the supplier directly or a partner workshop for OBD tuning. In the meantime, the technology has also progressed so far in this area that you can install an OBD tuning comfortably from home. The procedure is also quite simple, although it involves several steps:

Step 1


with a reputable supplier for OBD tuning.

Step 2

Receipt of the product

including instructions on the following working day.

Step 3

Connect to OBD port

and read out vehicle data

Step 4

Read out data

via Windows device and send it to the file database.

Step 5

Optimized data

get back optimized data within 72 hours (in exceptional cases slightly longer).

Schritt 6

load data

Upload data via PC back to the product, connect via OBD port and transfer to the vehicle.

short break-in...

... and profit from the merhleistung!

Between order and use of the Chiptuning lie thus in the ideal case 4-5 working days, while with the purchase of a Tuningbox already few minutes after the supply the full achievement profit can be used.

Which chip tuning is the right one for me?

Particularly people who are gaining their first experience with the topic of tuning and performance enhancement often ask themselves whether it is better to use a tuning box or OBD tuning for your vehicle. Here, too, it is difficult to almost impossible to make a general statement, as it depends strongly on the respective vehicle model as well as the individual driving behaviour of each individual, with which of the two methods the performance gain is greater.


The purchase of a tuning box, for example, is always the better option if it is planned to sell the car again at a later date or to use it only temporarily. In this case it is sufficient to remove the chip tuning box from its slot and for the buyer the vehicle is directly back in its original condition. On the other hand, the production of the standard condition is associated with a little more effort, since the original data must first be imported back into the vehicle via the OBD interface.


If you are unsure which of the two types of chip tuning is the right one for you, it is best to contact the chip tuner you trust. An honest and reputable tuning provider will explain to you in detail which tuning measure would be best for you and why.

Where do I save more fuel?

This question is also justified and can be read again and again in various forums and social media. Basically, it should be said that both with OBD tuning as well as through a performance increase via the box, a decent fuel saving is possible. The differences between the two variants are not so exorbitant in this area, but by using a tuning box, at least in theory, more fuel can be saved.

With this tuning product, the injection timing and injection pressure are specifically adjusted via the additional control unit, among other things, so that optimized fuel consumption is possible.

How high these savings actually are, however, is difficult to predict in most cases. Since despite the adjustments, the respective driving style still has a corresponding influence on whether and to what extent you can benefit from the fuel savings.One Depending on the chip tuning and vehicle selected, savings of between 5 and 15% compared to the previous consumption are within the realistic range.

The operating modes

of Tuningbox and OBD Tuning

Let’s take a closer look at the different modes of operation of the two chip tuning variants. First of all to the tuning via box. Here we have to differentiate between Common-Rail Turbo Diesel vehicles and models which have the pump-nozzle technology.

With a common rail turbo diesel, a sensor measurement is carried out, which ensures that different instructions for the appropriate situations are forwarded to the individual vehicle components via the engine control unit.

Our Maxchip Chiptuning Tuningbox serves as an intermediate control unit, takes the individual measured values and adjusts the values, such as boost pressure or injection quantity, so that these are optimally forwarded to the engine control unit and as the next step to the engine. Which components are changed and to what extent depends strongly on the respective vehicle model. This is because each vehicle requires individual adjustments to achieve maximum performance enhancement and the possibility of reduced fuel consumption.

If necessary, diesel vehicles with integrated pump-nozzle technology can be tuned via an additional control unit. In this case, we achieve a gain in performance by increasing the injection quantity and boost pressure within safe limits.

In contrast to common rail vehicles, the tuning box is installed directly at the injectors. An immediate readout from the engine control unit is thus possible, which aims at optimizing the various components. These optimized values lead to a recalculation of the engine control unit including the transfer of individually adapted data to the engine.

For all vehicles that are optimized by means of the Tuningbox, the 100% control of the engine parameters remains exclusively with the engine control unit of the manufacturer.

The function of OBD tuning

The OBD tuning for this in direct comparison takes place without the installation of additional hardware. Because with this form of tuning, the data is not optimized by an external device, but directly via the software. As a customer, this saves the installation of a box or other devices or conversion work directly on or around the engine. In contrast to this, there is a direct intervention on the data from the control unit.

For this purpose, the OBD interface, which is now installed in every vehicle, is used for reprogramming. The standard data from a vehicle is read out via a dedicated OBD-2 cable. These are then overwritten and individually adapted by a professional chip tuner using special software, so that the individual engine parameters are ideally matched to the customer’s wishes. There are many different options available for this purpose, from changing the sensitivity of the accelerator pedal to KAT deactivation. Contrary to a Tuningbox thereby already each customer receives by default on a Tuning product cut to him.

OBD-Tuning for one – Tuningbox for several vehicles usable

Naturally it may be very pleasant for the final consumer, if he receives a performance increase and adjustment already cut to his vehicle. However, this is also associated with a significant disadvantage.

Because due to the high degree of individuality, such OBD tuning is only applicable to the vehicle for which it was programmed. In direct comparison, we have the Tuningbox.

This works with integrated AI technology and thus automatically adapts to the vehicle intended for it after installation and connection. Thus it is sufficient to buy a single chip tuning box from Maxchip and this is then also actually usable for more than 30,000 different vehicles from the following brands:

For this it is already sufficient to remove the Tuningbox from one vehicle and plug it back in another.

With an OBD tuning, however, after the purchase of a new car for example, a new, individual adjustment to exactly this vehicle is necessary.

Other differences

between OBD and box

As already mentioned above, in classic OBD tuning, the optimization and adaptation is carried out in advance for the respective vehicle. These fine adjustment possibilities are not provided in advance in this volume with a tuning box, but with the help of an app control the engine behaviour and the tuning can be adapted to the desired situation. For example, the tuning mode of a box can be conveniently changed using an app. This is particularly practical if you are planning to drive a few kilometres in the city after a long motorway journey. In contrast to OBD, the Tuningbox also offers a so-called boost mode.

This enables a short-term surplus of power and thus makes it easier, for example, to overtake other vehicles. Another difference between the two tuning variants is the VMAX cancellation. This option is only available to customers as part of an OBD tuning.

However, there are also a few points that unite the two measures. So neither of the two provides for a subsequent increase in taxes, just as the exhaust emission values are maintained there as well, so that you as a customer will never have problems with the exhaust emission test.

Conclusion: Tuning is versatile!

As already mentioned at the beginning, this is in no way intended to be an “evaluation” of the individual tuning options. However, we also drastically resist the opinion held in small parts of the tuning industry that tuning boxes have no right to exist. With a professional chip tuner like Maxchip, depending on the vehicle, up to 35% performance increase can be achieved. If you would like to inform yourself additionally about a reliable OBD tuning, we can recommend our partner OBDFlash.de.