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2004 gmc envoy_sle_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
[Updated] PCMforLess Review

Overview

Alright after a few days of testing I've assessed the PCMforLess tune. I am very pleased. This truly does "wake up the engine". Totally worth the money. I chose the Core program. I however decided to keep the old PCM for that "just in case situation". My settings were stock tires; I6 Engine; Shift firmness: 2; gears: 3.73; Towing: >1500lbs; speed limiter: remove; and Rev Limiter: Tuner's Choice.

The installing procedure of the new PCM takes about 10 minutes with a ratchet, and can be done by anyone with little to NO engine experience. Anyone can do this. Like 99% of people I had to do the security relearn. This is relatively simple and takes about 30 minutes to do. I have yet to do the CASE relearn due to lack of local mechanics (not dealers) who are able to do it around here. The CASE relearn is not a big deal short term and will cause no damage or performance loss if not done.

The Difference in Driving

Immediately after installing the PCM, the difference was huge. I was skeptical at first as to how good this would really be, but boy was I wrong. I didn't even have to floor it and my tires chirped (and I have one of the heaviest trailvoy - Envoy XUV) without brake standing and brand new tires.

Acceleration is a huge difference as well. I've never felt any SUV accelerate so hard. Passing is easy now; going from 55 to 80 mph takes only 2-3 seconds tops.

Shifting Firmness

I selected a shift point of 2. These are the firm shift points. The shift from 1 to 2 is pretty firm and will cause the vehicle to jerk forward around 2000 RPMs. At higher speeds the shifting firmness is perfect, extremely fast shifting and no delay in waiting for it to shift.

If you are looking for the benefits of the tune but don't need a performance car I would recommend 1 as shifting firmness. 2-3 are for people who race or pass a lot. :laugh:

Mileage

15.959 MPG w/ tune. Several wide open throttles, hard acceleration etc.
18.201 MPG w/ tune. Coasting, light accelerations, 70% highway, 30% city, some passing, 2 wide open throttles.
20.041 MPG w/ tunes 85% Interstate, 15% metro city, 1 wide open throttle, and several interstate accelerations due to heavy Illinois traffic.
If anyone has any questions please post them below and I will answer them.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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so with the core program they just send you out a new tuned pcm, so you can keep you factory one and just install the new one? And how long did it take to receive the product from the time you ordered it. I'm glad to see you are enjoying it tho, reading more about it makes me want one bad.
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Informative review. I plan on getting a tune eventually and will probably get the shift firmness setting #1. I already have a very slight clunk at low speed 1-2 shifts and do not want anything to aggravate it


Post an update after a few tanks and let us know how the fuel trims and your MPG's level out. If I get just 1Mpg improvement, that will pay for itself. City 1.5-2MPG improvement. I would be in heaven
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_ss_lt
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I just got my tune as well..did the core program and kept ours too for warranty purposes, with same settings as yours but with no towing.

I am pretty pleased too, however it is hard to tell how great the tune will truly be when it is always hot and humid which drastically affects performance here. Once winter comes and the temps finally get down in the 60s and 70s and no humidity then this truck is really gonna scream...but for now it definitely pulls harder than it did before the tune.

MPG for us hasn't changed any really that I have noticed. I drive about the same as I did before and we seem to be getting about the same mileage, however I have exhaust and intake on mine so that might play a part in that.

when yours shifts from 1st to 2nd going full throttle does it almost seem like it's sliiiiiides into gear..but firmly? I'm used to the shift kit in my bonneville and the shifts are instant at full throttle....like it begins to shift at 40mph and is int he next gear by 41-42 mph...whereas the trailblazer with the tune at low speeds the shift it instant, but at full throttle it shifts from first say at 50mph and isn't into second until 56-57mph (these are just guesses)

To me it seems like the tranny now has firm shifts, but at wide open throttle they really aren't much faster like an actual shift kit would make them they just feel firmer.

overall though like I said I am pleased with it.
 

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2004 gmc envoy_sle_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, this is how their programs work.

Send it in - You uninstall your PCM, send it to them, they tune it and send it back. During this time you cannot drive.

Core - They send you a tuned PCM, you have the choice to send yours back in for a 50 dollar refund. You may also keep your original PCM.

Loaner - They send you a temporary tuned PCM, You send them yours, they tune yours and send it back and you return theirs. This way to can completely avoid paying for the CASE relearn. However this option does not offer a refund and is a bit more expensive.

And to Visual_Perfecti. It depends. When I'm lightly hitting the gas, the shift from 1 to 2 is a bit rough and it jerks forward upon shifting. However, when I shift from 1 to 2 when I'm romping on the gas, its a lot smoother but very firm shift, or as you put it, as if it slides into the gear, but firmly.

As for gas mileage. I will hopefully have some numbers for you guys next week where I will not go W.O.T. I will actually try to get good milage, but my numbers will be about 25% city and 75% highway. I will also post this week's number where I have been W.O.T and not driving efficiently. But I am already noticing a huge difference even when I'm driving aggressively.
 

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I love mine as well. Feels like a different truck and did net me a bit of mpg
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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You guys are really making me bang my head for missing the Labor-Day sale! :duh:
 

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2004 gmc envoy_sle_xuv
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You guys are really making me bang my head for missing the Labor-Day sale! :duh:
That sale is the biggest reason I bought it. For the price it was at, there was NO WAY I could say no. :laugh:

Maybe they will have another holiday sale coming up. Christmas isn't too far away ;)
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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Rather how about thanksgiving

Its sooner Would like to get a tune with shift 1 245/70/17 stock intake air so far I want better . Right now I notice shift point right around 45 mph and goes back and forth on a climb when holding , my speed in that range. Would like to get better millage than 12.5 to 13 and 15 to 17 if possible. But still keep power for pulling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Its sooner Would like to get a tune with shift 1 245/70/17 stock intake air so far I want better . Right now I notice shift point right around 45 mph and goes back and forth on a climb when holding , my speed in that range. Would like to get better millage than 12.5 to 13 and 15 to 17 if possible. But still keep power for pulling.
Haha good point. Yeah if you need to do towing do shift firmness 1, and less than 1500 lbs of towing, unless you do more than that. Keep in mind just because your tuned to less weight doesn't mean you wont be able to pull more weight; It just means the vehicle will be most efficient within that weight you selected. It's all tuned to what you do most often. It doesn't set boundaries for your vehicle except for the fuel, if you pick 93 octane than your stuck at that or 89, no lower. That is why I selected midgrade fuel, not a specific number, this was I can use both a higher octane and a lower octane and still get the benefits of the tune.
 

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I cant wait to get this pcm now, I will prolly wait to see if it goes on sale around Christmas, this will be an easy gift for my gf to get me, thanks for the helpful review
 

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I am really patient I guess...but I am getting anxious~!
I also unexpectedly ordered the PCM during their holiday sale, Since it was kinda on the back burner, but the sale changed that. So I had NO data as far as my fuel mileage goes, so I have not installed mine yet (7days) while I am collecting that information.. Right now as is, I am getting 17.7 MPG combined highway and city driving which I dont think is too bad. I have got this average over (2) half tank fill ups.
I ordered shift firmness 2 also, however I am now thinking maybe I should have gone with 1 since I do tow more than 1500lbs during the winter months (snowmobiles), and not looking for a jerky ride, or to race anything.
So I am looking forward to the install maybe this upcoming weekend...Keep you posted.
 

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You guys are really making me bang my head for missing the Labor-Day sale! :duh:
Me too. I don't think I will be able to wait for another holiday as I will be putting in my e-fan in less than 2 weeks. That would be a long time for the SES light. :bonk::bonk::bonk::bonk::duh::duh::duh::duh:

September 21 - Miniature Golf day
September 22 - First Day of Autumn
September 23 - Great American Pot Pie Day (Sponsored by Marie Callender)
...
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_ls
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pcm for less tune numbers

Im installing the pcm for less tune as we speak at the current completly stock gas milage 345 miles per tank 20.625 gallons (us.)
I have selected shift firmness 2 towing <1500 pounds tunners choice on redline, idle and mid grade gas i will update with a gas milage number by the end of the weekend for the first tank and again in about 3 weeks or 4 tanks of gas!

Ok in the truck at the moment I'm not one of the lucky ones but that may have been scary while doing the security relearn my check oil light is on while the truck is in run durring the relearn I'm going to assume because the oil is not circulating while the truck is "running". By the way I found while getting anxious it's a good time to put the go fast stickers use alchohol rubbing not beer and then whips dry then apply very little soapy water so ur go fast stickers don't have air bubbles and conk out on you in the middle of the Daytona 500
 

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Just traded my 02 with 160K for an 08 with 40K. Always wanted to get the PCM tune on the 02, but never did. I am thinking about doing a K&N drop in and a PCM tune to the 08. Seems that this is the best ROI you can put into a TB. I am really not wanting to gut the airbox or remove resonators at this point due to the 100K power train warranty.
 

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Just traded my 02 with 160K for an 08 with 40K. Always wanted to get the PCM tune on the 02, but never did. I am thinking about doing a K&N drop in and a PCM tune to the 08. Seems that this is the best ROI you can put into a TB. I am really not wanting to gut the airbox or remove resonators at this point due to the 100K power train warranty.
O wow jus got back from a little spin around the block i recommend driving it before and after aggresivly so you really get the whole feel of the tune and yes You really can feel the diffrence
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
O wow jus got back from a little spin around the block i recommend driving it before and after aggresivly so you really get the whole feel of the tune and yes You really can feel the diffrence
Yeah for sure. It's been raining a lot here in the last 2 days. So When I'm on blacktop I hardly have to touch it and even with my locker both of my brand new Michelin All Terrain tires spin out no problem. It's really fun actually. The tune really gets her going though.
 

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fuel milage

i just cant fathom how you people are gettin this high fuel milage,,obviously you all dont live in pennsylvania,,,i can see the milage if ya are out west where it is flat for the most part,,BUT you will not get above 14mpg in pennsylvania,,,i tried it with 93 octane before this ethanol crap came to be the only fuel around,,,new plugs,,fuel filter,,cleaned the throttle body,,,air filter,,,synthetic oil,,,i done er all folks,,,14MPG!!!! 2004 trailblazer ext and i was babying it,,,:duh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i just cant fathom how you people are gettin this high fuel milage,,obviously you all dont live in pennsylvania,,,i can see the milage if ya are out west where it is flat for the most part,,BUT you will not get above 14mpg in pennsylvania,,,i tried it with 93 octane before this ethanol crap came to be the only fuel around,,,new plugs,,fuel filter,,cleaned the throttle body,,,air filter,,,synthetic oil,,,i done er all folks,,,14MPG!!!! 2004 trailblazer ext and i was babying it,,,:duh:
City driving or Highway? If it's highway I would install a cold air intake. It's around the 50's-60's here right now in Minnesota. Helps gas mileage and power A LOT.
 
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