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Silverado Throttle Enhancement Modifications Explained

Written By: Zach Wright

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Throttle enhancement devices are the optime of plug-and-play. Plugging these tuners into your OBDII ports changes the throttle mapping of the stock fly-by-wire system to enhance your connection with your truck and to reduce the power delay when you smash the throttle.

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The Chevrolet Silverado is a true workhorse with enough grunt to get any job done; from towing a trailer to romping through thick mud. The Silverado can cut through the sketchiest of terrains and tow several thousand pounds without breaking a sweat. However, sometimes your truck can feel bogged down, depending on what you’re towing or what you’re hauling. Improving the throttle response of your Silverado will help it to accelerate quicker with less throttle input. This guide will go over all the basics and need to know info about throttle enhancement for your Silverado truck.

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What is Throttle Enhancement & What Does it do to Your Silverado? 

Throttle enhancement can be thought of as enhancing/increasing the position of the throttle to allow quicker acceleration. A throttle enhancer is a small device that plugs into your OBD II port and talks with your truck’s computer. It basically tells your truck that when you press on the throttle it is like you are pressing on it quicker and harder than you actually are; it enhances the throttle. 

Silverado throttle enhancers eliminate throttle lag and turbo lag for diesel trucks. This allows you to get going quicker, giving you a more responsive throttle and improved drivability.

Why Add a Throttle Enhancer to My Silverado & How Does It Work?

Your Silverado’s gas pedal is not hooked physically to a cable that runs right to your throttle body. Instead, the gas pedal is connected to a computer relay that goes to your truck’s computer. The relay receives the signal from the gas pedal (how quickly you hit the gas, how hard it was pressed) and relays that interpretation to the throttle body. The throttle body then opens the blade however far based upon the information.

The system described is called a “drive by wire” system. Virtually all newer cars use this technology, however it has its fair share of issues. One of the most common issues with drive by wire systems is throttle lag. Throttle lag is when you hit the gas pedal, but it will take two to three seconds for the truck to begin accelerating. 

The other issue that can occur is your truck not downshifting to accelerate unless you go wide open throttle (WOT). This is mainly an issue when you are on the highway and trying to get around someone. Technically this counts as throttle lag, but it is important to recognize this is also an issue with drive by wire systems. 

Adding a throttle enhancer will:

  • Increase acceleration
  • Eliminate throttle lag
  • Delivers improved throttle responsiveness and drivability

A throttle enhancer “tricks” you Silverado into thinking the throttle is more advanced than it is, meaning you don’t have to hit it as hard to get it to move as quick.

What Does a Boost Controller Do & Does My Silverado Need It?

If you happen to own a turbo diesel Silverado or even a standard gasoline powered Silverado with an aftermarket turbo then you will want to have a boost controller. A boost controller allows you to get a say in how boost hits your Silverado. 

If you are familiar with turbo systems then you are familiar with turbo lag. Turbo lag is when you wait for boost to build up so you have power; the larger the turbocharger, the longer the lag until the turbo is spooled. Boost controllers can help minimize the amount of lag your Silverado’s turbo has, giving you a larger bump in power earlier on in the RPMs. In addition to the early power, boost controllers can also help you to keep the power flowing in the higher RPMs as well. 

Boost controllers also have a slew of secondary features that are incredibly useful. A boost controller can protect you from over boosting, which is when you’re boost spiked above a predetermined amount that would be unsafe for your engine. Silverado boost controllers can monitor, map, and compensate your truck’s boost delivery, giving you incredible drivability.

Is a Silverado Throttle Enhancer the Same Thing as a Tune? 

A throttle enhancer is not the same thing as a tune for your truck. Tunes work by “flashing” your PCM with a new way for your truck to run, often made a requirement when you upgrade certain parts on your truck. A throttle enhancer does not write over or flash anything. All it does is work within the confines of what is already there to deliver improved drivability and acceleration. Think of it like tricking your car into thinking you are hitting the throttle harder than you are. 

A boost controller or throttle enhancer is no replacement for tunes whatsoever. If you happen to upgrade your Silverado’s engine parts, you will still need to get a tune to get them to work properly; a throttle enhancer is not a substitute.

How Hard is it to Add a Throttle Enhancer to My Silverado?

Installing a throttle enhancer on your Silverado is just about the easiest mod you could possibly do. All you have to do is order one on the internet, and then plug it into your OBD II port. On some models, you will have the ability to adjust the throttle response by turning a dial, but other than that, there is nothing else to do. Total install time on one of these is under 30 seconds. 

However, a throttle enhancer makes a huge impact on your Silverado and its throttle response. The cost of purchase and install time make this a no-brainer for any Silverado owner.

Will a Throttle Enhancer Void My Silverado’s Warranty?

While we cannot say definitively if a throttle enhancer will void your Silverado’s warranty, it will more than likely not void it. The choice to void your Silverado’s warranty comes down to the dealership and strange things can happen. However, a throttle enhancer is a non-permanent modification that can be undone by simply unplugging it; all the throttle enhancer does is trick your truck’s PCM into thinking you are hitting the gas pedal harder than you already are. 

With that said, you are still probably unplugging your throttle enhancer when you take your Silverado in for any service. Should you run into any issue with a dealership denying you a warranty claim for a throttle enhancer or any other modification, just remember the Magnusson Moss Modification Act. This Act states that a dealership must be able to prove that the damage you are seeking repair for was caused by the modifications your vehicle has and that they are responsible.

Fitment includes: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, LT, Z71, LTZ, WT, XFE, Hybrid, Custom, HighCountry, LS