Are you contemplating the idea of an EGR delete for your diesel engine, or wondering if keeping it as the original manufacturer intended is the best route? This decision often stems from questions like, “Is EGR Delete Good or Bad?” The subject has become a prominent issue for many diesel engine owners, particularly when weighing the possibility of enhanced performance against potential long-term harm to the engine.
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) valves have gained a bad reputation over the years, leading to many stories about the problems they can cause. Some even consider these valves unnecessary. Frustration due to expensive repairs and the desire to avoid downtime and service costs associated with EGR issues have driven many drivers to delete their systems. This solution might address one problem, but it may create additional issues, especially if done improperly.
In this article, we will guide you through the reasons people choose an EGR delete, what problems that decision might lead to, and the potential costs involved. We aim to provide a comprehensive view on the topic of “EGR Delete: Good or Bad?” to assist you in making an informed decision for your diesel engine.
What is the Diesel EGR System?
The diesel EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve helps recirculate exhaust gas back to the engine’s intake system. This recirculation helps enhance the engine’s efficiency and decreases the emissions of NOX (nitrogen oxides).
How Diesel EGR Systems Work
There has been much talk about the unreliability of EGR systems. When they were initially introduced, they were prone to leakage, leading to excessive soot and carbon buildup. This often resulted in significant engine issues, necessitating frequent and costly repairs. To circumvent these continuous problems, many engine operators decided to remove or “delete” the EGR system from their engines.
However, with time, the technology has seen substantial improvements. The components involved in EGR systems are now much more reliable.
EGR System Improvements & the Lasting Bad Reputation
Today’s EGR systems, complete with improved EGR valves and better variable geometry turbos, are far more dependable. Regrettably, the old reputation lingers, and many individuals still believe that deleting the EGR system from their engines is the best way to ensure optimal performance. This approach is seen as a permanent solution to avoiding the replacement of EGR coolers or valves.
What is often overlooked, though, is that while deleting the EGR system may ward off certain costly repairs, it might also lead to major issues in other parts of the engine.
The improvements in EGR systems are substantial, but the old beliefs and misconceptions about their reliability persist, leading some to make decisions that could negatively affect their engine in the long run.
EGR Delete Good or Bad?
This article is divided into two sections, one each for why EGR delete is good or bad. We get it – the thought of deleting can be very tempting. But you need to understand what you are getting yourself and the vehicle into before proceeding. EGR delete does come with pros and cons every diesel vehicle owner needs not to overlook. The considerations can be both on legal grounds and performance levels.
So, you have to make this decision “wisely”. Enough with the story – let’s break into the cons and pros of the question section by section.
Reasons EGR Delete is Good
1. Increase in Vehicle Power
When you take out the EGR valve, the efficiency and performance of your car will be enhanced, leading to more power. The original purpose of the EGR valve is often seen as counterproductive, as it dampens the engine’s performance to fulfill its function. This removal often leads to a more potent vehicle without the hindrance of the valve.
2. Enhancement of Fuel Efficiency
EGR valve removal also results in a rise in fuel efficiency, up to an estimated 20%. This increase is due to the prevention of dirty exhaust gas from being recirculated into the system, thus enabling cleaner fuel combustion.
Additionally, it reduces the chance of experiencing a failure in the diesel particulate filter, which contributes to further fuel economy.
3. Boost Engine Performance with an EGR Delete Kit
Diesel engines commonly have an EGR valve that accumulates high soot over time, obstructing proper airflow. This can reintroduce deposits into the engine. Using the software of an EGR delete kit lets you bypass this problem, revitalizing engine power. With the majority of kits, diesel engines can quickly regain their original performance levels swiftly.
4. Enhance Fuel Efficiency Through EGR Deletion
Reviving the power of your diesel engine implies improved fuel efficiency. With an EGR delete kit, the exhaust gas is directed away from the engine, ensuring a cleaner run.
This not only increases efficiency but also minimizes the possibility of a diesel particulate filter malfunction. When you employ this technique, you might witness a fuel economy improvement of up to 20%, extending the engine’s lifespan in the process.
5. Optimize Engine Temperature with the Kit
Excessive soot in the EGR system coolers or valves forces exhaust gases to recirculate, elevating engine temperatures. However, by overriding this design feature, exhaust gas levels can be reduced, leading to cooler engine temperatures during operation.
6. Effective for Various Diesel Types
Whether your diesel engine is modified or not, it isn’t exempt from EGR system clogging. An EGR delete kit can be beneficial for diverse engine types. Even though there may be an increase in clogging for certain engine models, the majority of users observe improved performance and better fuel efficiency.
7. Cost-effective Solutions for Specific Vehicles
For some vehicles, EGR delete kits are surprisingly budget-friendly, starting at prices as low as $50 (though many are priced above $200).
While these kits may not be suitable for all diesel models, especially the larger and more modern ones, they can be ideal for smaller passenger cars.
Another method to consider is EGR disablement through tuning. In this scenario, there’s no need to physically disconnect the unit, which simplifies the process and decreases potential complications. While this method might be termed “EGR disable” rather than a complete delete, it remains an effective option.
8. Economical Choice with EGR Delete Kit
The availability of an EGR delete kit makes this modification a cost-effective option for your vehicle. Often paired with a DPF delete kit, these modifications are typically inexpensive, usually not exceeding a few hundred dollars. These aspects make the EGR delete an appealing option for many vehicle owners looking to boost performance without breaking the bank.
Reasons EGR Delete is Bad
For this section, we are looking at the cons of EGR delete kits – is it really a bad choice? Drawbacks of using EGR delete include:
9. Increase in Exhaust Gas Temperature
Diesel engines usually cool and then recirculate the exhaust gases. If you use an EGR delete kit, the exhaust stays hot. The result might be an increased exhaust gas temperature, affecting your engine’s cooling system efficiency.
There might also be oil fouling, which can lead to contamination. For some engines, replacing the EGR valve could be more beneficial than using this kit.
10. Failing State Emission Tests
If an EGR delete kit is applied to your vehicle, there’s a 99.99% chance of failing the emissions tests required by the state. The reason is that it doesn’t comply with the Federal emission regulations that control engine usage today. Nevertheless, a deleted diesel might still beat emissions.
11. Legal Consequences in the United States
EGR delete kits are not a street-legal modification in the United States. While you can use it for off-road driving, you must consider the limitations that come with this option. Misusing the kit can also lead to issues like recirculating soot, clogging your system, and blocking your coolers and valves. Penalties for non-compliance can be harsh, with fines exceeding $10,000 depending on various factors. In one incident, 11 Michigan men were charged in major U.S. diesel engine tampering case.
12. Inability to Fix an Open EGR System
Bypassing the system with an EGR delete doesn’t solve problems when the EGR system is stuck in an “open” position. If the engine struggles to start, or if your vehicle has difficulties idling but works fine at high speeds, an EGR delete kit won’t improve this condition.
13. Potential Reduction in Horsepower
If you consider using EGR delete kits, particularly with older diesel engines, you might notice a drop in horsepower. Although earlier products were designed to allow more clean air into the combustion chamber for a more efficient power source, modern diesel may not benefit from this design change.
Instead, you may find that you have less horsepower to work with, rather than more, after using an EGR delete kit.
14. Engine Knocking May Occur
Using an EGR delete might lead to your engine beginning to knock after the modification work. This could be due to a change in the engine’s temperature profile or a degradation in the oil quality that runs through the engine. If left unaddressed, this problem could increase wear and tear on your engine or even shorten its life cycle.
15. Self-Created EGR Delete with a Blocked Valve
You might find that your EGR valve is already blocked with soot, essentially creating an EGR delete without installing a kit. Some owners prefer to keep the valve rather than use the delete kit, as there are usually no significant performance gains. However, few adverse effects and more risks, including legality concerns, are associated with this modification. It is generally recommended to use them at your own risk.
16. Comparable Cost to a Typical EGR Valve
The cost of an EGR delete may be around $200, although some may be higher or lower. If you choose professional installation, the cost could go up to $1,000 on certain vehicles. This price is comparable to what you would pay for an EGR valve replacement.
Moreover, you would not have to worry about additional tasks like flushing the radiator or installing a new coolant filter, as you would with an EGR valve replacement.
Calibration is Important After EGR System Delete
Most repair shops will not engage in calibrations after EGR deletion as it goes against federal EPA laws. But for those who opt to delete the EGR system, proper calibration is a must. This includes ensuring that cylinder pressures and temperatures are within acceptable limits and addressing the timing.
Today, the internet is flooded with calibration techniques that appear functional. But using these can lead to severe engine problems down the line. It is comparable to obtaining medication from an unknowledgeable doctor who simply trusts the source. The uncertainty about what is being used is a real concern.
Since engines have been around for a longer time, calibrations are now more accessible. However, not all calibrations are trustworthy. For instance, a calibration promising huge horsepower may not actually provide it properly, leading to costly repairs later on.
What Can Go Wrong with Improper Calibrations?
- Elevated Cylinder Pressure
- Increased Temperatures
- Cylinder Heads Developing Cracks
- VGT Turbo Getting Damaged
These problems are akin to suffering from high blood pressure without realizing it until severe damage occurs. Even with these risks, some individuals choose to keep their engines deleted. In such cases, adhering to fundamentals like proper timing, compression ratios, and temperature control within specifications is vital.
Will an EGR delete cause damage to my diesel engine? Diesel engine issues and problems are explained in this expert video (in case you just want to listen).
FINAL TAKEAWAY: EGR Delete Good OR Bad?
EGR delete is often viewed as a positive modification that can lead to enhanced performance, better fuel efficiency, and possibly an extended engine lifespan. It is an option that could be well worth considering for many. However, understand that not every vehicle or situation will benefit equally from this mod. If you find yourself uncertain whether an EGR delete is the right choice for your particular vehicle or driving needs, it is always a wise move to consult with an automotive expert to ensure it aligns with your specific situation.
Read also: DPF Delete Pros and Cons Revealed