Is your vehicle accelerating slower than you’d like when you press the gas pedal?
When I bought my 2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, I noticed that there was a delay between when I pushed in the gas pedal and when my truck actually started accelerating. It’s a frustrating issue to have on a fairly new vehicle.
After reading extensive pedal commander reviews, I finally bit the bullet and installed one. TLDR; It made a huge difference in my Tacoma’s response time!
I know that it can be scary to install aftermarket parts on your beloved vehicle. You may wonder if it’ll damage it, cause safety issues, affect your warranty, etc.
So let’s dig into some of these concerns and discuss whether it’s worth buying a pedal commander for your rig.
What Is a Pedal Commander?
A pedal commander is a little plug-and-play device that improves your throttle response in your vehicle. They have designs for most vehicles you see on the market in the USA today—their full lineup of Pedal Commanders can be viewed on:
But how does the Pedal Commander work?
The simple answer is that it alternates the signal between your accelerator pedal and your engine’s ECU (engine control unit). It’s able to interfere with the signal between the two to bridge the gap between your pedal input and your engine’s response.
What we personally love about the Pedal Commander (and why I chose to use it in my 2018 Toyota Tacoma,) is that you can swap between four modes with the Pedal Commander app. This is a great way to get the most out of even budget overlanding vehicles.
It has different settings like eco-mode which is designed to help you get the most out of your gas mileage, city mode for your daily driving needs, sport mode for fast freeway driving, and sport+ for those who like the extra thrill.
When I bought my truck and felt the noticeable lag between when I pushed the gas and when the vehicle accelerated—I was a bit disheartened. But after reading through dozens of 5-star reviews, I decided to give it a go.
It definitely made a big difference in my driving experience, and just like so many of the Pedal Commander Reviews said, my accelerator pedal was much more sensitive.
How to Install The Pedal Commander
Photo Credit: Pedal Commander
The Pedal Commander is truly one of the simplest modifications you’ll ever make to your vehicle aside from maybe adding a car freshener (though plenty of people don’t read the instructions and actually use those improperly.) But I digress.
Before installing your own Pedal Commander be sure to check the official Pedal Commander installation guide, but here is the general gist:
First, you’ll want to prepare your vehicle for installation. This means keeping your key fob (if applicable) at least 35 feet away from you to prevent your ECU from picking up on any signal as you want it to shut down. For the same reason, you’ll also want to leave your door open for 15 minutes. This will allow your ECU to completely shut down.
Next, you’ll want to locate your accelerator pedal assembly plug and disconnect it. While it may look a bit different from vehicle to vehicle, you can see the general location in the photo below:
Photo Courtesy of Camero6.com
All you do now is remove the plug, plug in your Pedal Commander, and place your unit wherever you think it’ll look the best!
From there you can use your vehicle like normal and adjust the settings through your Pedal Commander app or on the device itself. Each unit comes with a mounting bracket and an alcohol wipe and velcro to make mounting it on your dash (or wherever you decide) easy and quick.
Pedal Commander Modes Explained
Like stated before, the Pedal Commander has four different modes—eco, city, sport, and sport+.
Here we will do a brief breakdown of what to expect from each mode:
Eco-mode is created for helping you get the most out of your gas mileage. It does this by decreasing your throttle response time.
It’s also helpful if you have others driving your vehicle that you don’t necessarily trust, putting it in eco-mode will help to slow them down on the roads. Pedal Commander also calls this “valet mode.”
But eco-mode is great for slippery conditions as well since it also increases traction and grip. This can be great for gravel roads, sand, snow, and sleet. It’ll also make your vehicle more capable on overlanding excursions as you switch from freeways to off-road trails.
City mode is ideal for those who are bothered by the lag in their vehicle. It helps give your lagging vehicle the opportunity to perform how you’d expect it to from the factory by increasing your throttle’s response.
This mode is perfect if you want your vehicle to be a bit more zippy for everyday driving, without suffering too much on gas mileage. I typically keep my Pedal Commander on this setting 90% of the time.
If you’re looking for an impressive amount of throttle response, Sport Mode is ideal for giving you a bit more sensitivity in your accelerator pedal.
Most Pedal Commander users say that this mode gives them the feeling of having more control and more power over their vehicle.
Sport+ Mode is ideal if you’re someone who likes to drive fast and get the quickest 0-60 MPH possible.
This is a performance tuning mode that promises an immediate response when you hit the gas pedal. If you like speed and want to see exactly what your vehicle is capable of, trying out Sport+ mode will be well worth the cost of the device!
Is the Pedal Commander Worth It?
It’s clear that the Pedal Commander works. Between my hands-on experience and the thousands of positive reviews on their website—the Pedal Commander without a doubt delivers what is promised.
But is it worth a few hundred dollars?
That’s where it’s going to come down to personal preference. Some of the less-positive reviews have nothing to do with the Pedal Commander’s ability to deliver what was promised, but rather, question the point of even needing one in the first place.
Some users state that it’s only designed for sixteen-year-old reckless drivers and sports racers. But I believe this is a personal stance and an unfair assumption.
Besides, if you do have a sixteen-year-old driver in the house and you don’t want them driving your vehicle recklessly, you can always change your throttle response to eco-mode which actually increases the delay between your accelerator pedal and your ECU.
If you’ve purchased a sporty vehicle and want it to perform at the top of its abilities—you’ll love the pedal commander! But if you aren’t someone who necessarily cares about zippy acceleration, you may want to skip it.
For those of us who want our vehicles to have a quicker response time and perform better overall, I think it’s a resounding yes. So if you have a few hundred extra bucks and a hankering for some better performance and control over your vehicle’s throttle response, I think you’ll be quite happy with your purchase.
The alternative is to purchase a computer tuning to modify the throttle response of your vehicle, but these can be even more expensive and have fewer customization options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions about the Pedal Commander:
Do Pedal Commanders Cause Issues?
There have been no reported issues caused by someone installing a Pedal Commander in their vehicle. This won’t turn on your check engine light, cause excess heat in your engine, or put extra strain on your motor.
It simply boosts your acceleration when you push the pedal in your car.
Will a Pedal Commander Void My Vehicles Warranty?
No, a Pedal Commander won’t void your warranty. It doesn’t affect your emission output or your factory power output. In fact, it doesn’t affect your engine at all. Some chip tuners will void your vehicle warranty, but they’re also illegal in some US states.
The Pedal Commander is both legal in all 50 states and guaranteed to not affect your vehicle’s warranty.
Do Throttle Controllers Increase Your Horsepower?
No. While it may feel like you’re getting more horsepower out of your vehicle, this device only works by increasing the sensitivity of your gas pedal to improve driving experience. It doesn’t affect your horsepower.
Will a Pedal Commander Affect My Fuel Efficiency?
Yes. There are so many factors that can affect your fuel efficiency, and how you drive is a big factor.
If you place your Pedal Commander in Eco mode you’ll accelerate slower and have a much gentler throttle response. This has been known to improve fuel efficiency by up to 20 percent!
However, if you change settings to Sport+ mode you could see an overall decrease in your gas mileage as it takes more fuel to accelerate faster.
There you have it—all of our thoughts on the Pedal Commander. We hope this helped to dispel any myths or concerns you had about this device and give you a clearer idea of whether or not it’s worth the cash.
We definitely don’t believe a Pedal Commander is worth it for everyone, but for those who crave the added control and want to enhance their vehicle’s performance—the Pedal Commander is totally worth it.