Banks Performance: New Banks iQ receives accolades at the 2009 SEMA Awards |

Banks Performance: New Banks iQ receives accolades at the 2009 SEMA Awards

When you're towing that trailer or off-road vehicle with a diesel pickup, it's not all about power. Sure, revving up that enhanced engine sounds fantastic but unless you're paying close attention, that extra power can really damage the other components of your truck.

You better be a good multi-tasker because you'll need to avoid high exhaust gas temperatures (EGTs), keep the engine from bogging, and make sure your wheel brakes don't overheat all while keeping an eye on your tow load and trying to enjoy the trek.

The Banks iQ makes this a thing of the past. Embracing modern technology, this Banks tuner is actually a micro-computer that provides the driver with enhanced control of any Banks performance products. At 2009 SEMA where they launched this revolutionary product Gale Banks said, "I'm a futurist and electronics are the future."

If that's true then the future is now. All you have to do is look around to realize what a computer-based world it has become, and now Banks is taking it to the diesel world. Once you install the Banks iQ you'll be able to operate your engine tuners, control exhaust brakes, run vehicle diagnostics, perform GPS-calibration, and much more. This thing is so advanced that you can even watch movies on it! (Although we don't recommend doing so while driving, of course)

Banks thought of just about everything when they created this masterful tool, and we should know. Sure 4 Wheel Parts is a seller of off-road products, but we're also full of real life off-roaders who know what it's like. We too have been out to Lake Tahoe, steering through the Sierras in a one-ton dually Ram with a Cummins turbo diesel. We too have had to navigate the switchbacks with trailers and boats attached to our backs. We know that you have to keep an eye on that dual-needle aftermarket gauge, just waiting for the moment when the EGT hits 1200-degrees and we have to disengage the overdrive to kick out that excess heat. And as you get older, those tiny needles get harder and harder to read.

This is just another way this Banks tuner has improved on the parts of old. A clear, bright 5-inch display makes it incredibly easy to read the EGT and boost levels, but the best part is how customizable it is. You can choose whether you prefer a digital or gauge format, plus which colors and lighting are easiest on your eyes. We got to check it out for ourselves on a late-model Chevy pickup and the difference was astounding.

But it's not just visibility that has improved. As we mentioned earlier, the iQ is designed to let you control the different Banks performance products on your diesel pickup. Take, for example, the Banks six gun. Back in the day, the six gun was a fantastic new product that potently boosted your power, but what a pain it was! The only way you could dial up the ignition timing and fuel delivery was by twisting a knob on your dash. They've since improved the experience with the Palm Pilot, but the Banks iQ takes it to an entirely new level.

All you have to do is hook up the iQ and you can program the levels for your Banks six gun and tell which setting is active just by glancing over. This same degree of control applies to your exhaust bake, allowing you to set whichever downhill speed you need. It would take pages to cover all of the amazing things that can be done with the Banks iQ, but suffice it to say that you'll find this tool invaluable for keeping your diesel healthy and running smoothly. Don't forget about the Banks Air Intake to get even more performance out of your ride.