Clients who wish to perform emission deletes on their trucks send us emails, phone calls, and live chats every day. All of these customers have the same issue: their automobiles require frequent, expensive maintenance, and they are fed up with it. I truly sympathize with them; many of them have had traumatic situations and are simply searching for a way out. However, before we delve too far into the weeds, there are a few fallacies that we commonly encounter.
Myth #1 Deleting or Tuning a Truck is Legal
There is no way around it; tampering with or modifying your truck’s emission system in any manner is completely unlawful. It is not a state or local law (though such do exist), but rather a federal law. The first thing clients remark when we discuss it is that “it’s only for off-highway use” or “it’s for tractor pulls.” They believe that by doing so, they will be able to avoid any laws, but this is far from the case.
Yes, your emission system can be lawfully removed from your vehicle, but it will require recertification by the manufacturer and the issuance of a new emission label and certification. You can’t just sign a piece of paper and declare that your engine has been recertified. You’d have to pay to have your engine re-certified by the original equipment manufacturer, which is a costly process.
Myth #2 There are no EPA Police
This is technically correct. A federal emission law, on the other hand, can be uploaded by any state or municipal government. This misconception is similar to someone declaring, “There are no IRS cops,” despite the fact that the IRS can collect and enforce laws from a building thousands of miles away. The extent of testing and enforcement will differ depending on your state and county.
Myth #3 – The EPA doesn’t go after the little guys
Another prevalent misunderstanding among clients is that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not target small enterprises. For your convenience, the EPA maintains a list of every single resolution filed against the Clean Air Act for cars, organized by year. Cases range from tuning equipment providers being taxed over $4 million to a single owner doing a DPF delete on a single car.
If you think you’re “too small” to be noticed or cared about, rest assured that you’re wrong. It only takes one employee or service provider to report the problem, and you’ll be in serious trouble in no time. If the removal/tuning has been done frequently or on a wide scale, the cases might be both civil and criminal.
The fines can quickly mount, as the EPA has the authority to levy civil penalties of up to $7,500 per day for major violations and $37,500 per day for minor violations.
Myth #4 – Only California Cares about Emissions
We get calls from county and state governments asking for a software solution to detect pollution manipulation on commercial trucks on a regular basis. We don’t have a response yet, but I can assure you that someone is working on one right now. There is a sizable demand for a device like this. The reason for this is that the fines are so high that a government agency might pay tens of thousands of dollars each month for that software and still make a profit.
California isn’t the only state with this problem. Several counties in Texas already require emission testing on commercial trucks, and states like Minnesota, as well as New York, are following suit. They’ll find a means to collect fines if there’s money to be made!
Myth #5 Deleting my emissions will solve all my problems
This isn’t even close to being accurate. Your first task will be to find a competent “tuner” to assist you, and based on our experience, there are more incompetent ones on the market than good ones. To be honest, the truly outstanding tuners aren’t promoting because they know what they’re doing. In terms of technical expertise and capacity, the ones that do advertise are often at the bottom of the totem pole. They frequently clone one ECM software to another without thoroughly inspecting the intricacies.
So, what exactly does this imply? It indicates that if your engine is tuned by a bad tuner, you will have serious issues. Poor engine performance to your engine flinging a rod through the block are all possibilities. Inexperienced tuners, for example, will often remove the EGR on the PACCAR MX engine. The EGR, on the other hand, cools the combustion chamber. With the EGR removed, your head will shatter, and you’ll be dealing with a far worse problem. Modern engines are built to work in harmony with all of their components, and changing one component might lead to more serious issues. If you think it’s just MX engines, consider this Facebook user who had an ISX removed:
Aside from these urban legends, there are a few more things to consider.
Finding a Shop to Help You
You’ll have a hard time finding a franchised dealership to help you once you’ve removed your emissions. They don’t want to take on the risk of working on decommissioned emission equipment, and they can’t guarantee the work. That means you’ll have to find a qualified independent facility willing to work with you on your own. Even if the engine problem you’re having has nothing to do with your tune or delete, as most of you know, seeing them on the open road can be challenging at best.
Reselling Your Truck
If you ever consider selling or trading in your truck, you will almost certainly run into problems. If you sell it with parts removed, the individual who buys it or takes it in trade will have a legal case against you. You made an unlawful change without informing the customer, and now you’re facing legal (and financial) consequences. You will very certainly have to pay to restore all deleted components to their original configuration. Even taking your truck to an auction doesn’t exempt you from liability, as one forum user pointed out. Law enforcement frequently attends public auctions to guarantee that no illegal activities are taking place. Note:
There are two basic approaches for emission adjustment, according to the “economy.” The first option is to save money by learning to do it yourself. Because it requires downloading ECM information to your laptop/computer, updating the software, then pushing it back, you should have a foundation in computer science and how diesel engines work if you go this route. The actual “tuners,” who are subject matter experts, do exactly that.
These folks, on the other hand, are often hard to discover and are aware of the risks indicated above. They gain money in a different way, by selling the “tunes” to repair shops. Do you remember the guy who advertised on Facebook and Craigslist that he would do a tune for $1,000? That individual has no idea what he’s doing. He’s buying tuning files from real specialists, marking them up, uploading them to your ECM, and then walking away from you for good.
That’s all we know about eliminating and optimizing your engine. Our recommendation is to avoid it and instead work with a local, experienced repair shop that has access to necessary diagnostic instruments and repair information. You’ll be alright if your engine is well maintained and you can locate a qualified repair facility that can effectively troubleshoot emission difficulties. If you can’t find one, we recommend taking advantage of our hands-on aftertreatment diagnostics training class.
Why is deleting a diesel illegal?
To put it clearly, any diesel pickup’s emissions equipment should not be removed. It is a federal criminal to remove any factory-installed emissions equipment, regardless of local or state testing regulations. The factory warranty on the vehicle is also void when emissions equipment is removed. Before you say anything, there is no way to prevent a dealer from discovering that emissions equipment has been removed. Even if the hard parts are replaced, the ECM will still show signs of adjustment.
When did it become illegal to delete a diesel?
When Did Getting Rid Of A Diesel Become Illegal? Here are a few reasons why “deletes” became such a widespread practice so long ago. All vehicle manufacturers sought compliance with more rigorous exhaust pipe emissions requirements in the summer of 2007.
Has anyone been fined for DPF Delete?
So, what about the $22,000 question: is it legal, and can you get penalized for erasing the DPF? In a nutshell, yes, you can be penalized, and no, it isn’t legal. We spoke with the NSW Environmental Protection Agency, who confirmed that it is unlawful (because you’re tampering with a car’s pollution control system), and that the corresponding on-the-spot fine for driving a vehicle with a DPF delete is $300. However, an individual’s maximum court-imposed sentence is $22,000!
Is deleting a diesel a felony?
Is It Illegal To Remove A Diesel? Tampering with, removing, or purposely weakening the DPF system in a truck is prohibited, according to Section 203 of the Clean Air Act. To put it another way, you could face fines for both the method and the modification.
Is DEF delete illegal?
It’s not difficult to find someone who can modify or remove the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (or DEF) emissions systems on your agricultural equipment if you look hard enough. Given the openness with which this service is provided, a farmer could be forgiven for thinking DEF alterations are permitted.
They aren’t. The EPA Clean Air Act forbids anybody from removing or rendering inoperable an emission control device on a motor vehicle in the United States. Under a different name, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Canada has essentially the same statute.
Even though it is forbidden, DEF tampering occurs. What is causing this, and what are the potential consequences?
Early DEF systems, according to Kevin Rossler, Sales Manager for Markusson New Holland Ag in Regina, could be problematic.
“There were early concerns in agricultural equipment as it developed into Tier-Four emissions or DEF systems,” explains Rossler. “An error code from a sensor failing at seeding time could cause you to lose power, which is quite inconvenient. As a result, several operators wanted to get rid of their DEF systems or purchase DEF delete kits to avoid having to utilize them.”
Interfering with a DEF system can get you in trouble with the law, but that’s not the only danger. It will also nullify the manufacturer’s warranty on the equipment. When equipment with tampered DEF arrives at a dealership as a trade-in, it must be returned to its original DEF settings before it can be resold. That’s $5,000 to $7,000, according to Rossler’s experience.
He advises equipment owners to let go of any remaining misconceptions regarding DEF, stating that current versions of the technology work significantly more consistently. DEF systems are unlikely to cause problems in the field, but they’re excellent at what they’re supposed to do: regulate emissions from agricultural equipment and help farming keep its good environmental reputation.
“Early DEF systems are nothing like what we have now,” says Larry Hertz, WEDA’s Regional Vice-President for Canada. “Today, you could place your face right close to the exhaust pipe and nothing would come out. DEF is required by legislation in order to maintain air quality. That’s all the more incentive to leave your DEF alone and let it do its thing.”
Can a dealership sell a deleted truck?
A dealer is not allowed to sell a deleted automobile under federal law. It’s better to put it back on so they don’t refuse the transaction or value drops by up to $6k because it was removed.
Will a deleted diesel pass emissions?
If you’re erased, you must restore the truck to its original state (exhaust and tuning) in order to pass. If you’re using emissions-compliant tuning, you may need to revert to the stock tune or the tune with the fewest features.
Can you legally delete DPF?
Unfortunately, it is not legal to remove a DPF. This is due to the fact that a DPF is required in order to regulate pollutant emissions. The filter collects soot and exhaust gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
As a result, removing the DPF is banned in order to control automobiles in an environmentally responsible manner. The MOT law and the DPF check were made much tighter in 2018. The law, however, has a flaw in that it only requires a visual examination. Even during a check, many users are able to remove the DPF and keep it hidden.
How much is the fine for a deleted diesel?
Diesel particulate matter is efficiently prevented from escaping and contaminating the environment by the Diesel Particulate Filter system. As a result, the EPA will levy fines starting at $2500 for each customer truck with a tampered or uninstalled DPF.