Is deleting a diesel illegal? Generally, it is illegal. Removing or tampering with emission control systems is illegal in many countries, including the United States, under environmental protection laws. In the United States, the Clean Air Act prohibits deleting or modifying any device installed in a vehicle to comply with regulations.
Since it started in 1970, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been making stricter rules to make the air cleaner. They have been especially trying to reduce pollution from diesel truck engines since 2007, which has affected the trucking business.
Even though the Clean Air Act and other EPA rules have helped reduce pollution, they also make truck companies add equipment that can reduce engine performance and cause expensive repairs. Some truck owners try to avoid these rules by removing this equipment from their trucks.
What Does it Mean When a Truck is Fully Deleted?
Deleting a diesel typically refers to removing emission control systems from diesel vehicles, such as diesel particulate filters (DPF), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves, and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems. The goal is to improve performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability, but this results in increased emissions.
A truck engine delete is a kit that mechanics use to turn off a diesel particulate filter (DPF). This DPF is a factory part that catches dirt in the exhaust of diesel engines.
The delete kit has two parts: an exhaust piece that takes the place of the DPF, and a tuner with special software. This software lets the engine work without the DPF by tricking the sensors.
A DPF delete kit might help in the following ways:
- A DPF can get blocked, which makes it harder for fuel to flow smoothly. Removing the DPF can fix this problem and make the engine use less fuel per mile.
- When you take out the DPF, the air can get to the engine better, making it work stronger and better.
- No More Buying New Filters: Even if you take good care of a filter, it will wear out and you’ll have to buy a new one. Using a DPF kit can save you thousands of dollars on filter replacements during your vehicle’s life. This can be great for companies trying to save money and stay competitive.
- Filters need lots of cleaning to prevent blockages. This extra work makes it harder for mechanics and adds more costs for truck owners. So, using a DPF kit can save time and money.
Is Deleting a Diesel Illegal?
Deleting a DPF might seem tempting, but there’s a big reason not to do it—it’s illegal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strict rules against messing with emissions equipment, which includes DPF deletion. Besides federal laws, many states and local areas also say no to these modifications.
Even though the EPA can’t catch every violation, state and local governments can still enforce these federal laws. They often do emissions tests every year, and if your vehicle doesn’t pass or you break the rules, you could face consequences.”
Some people think the EPA only goes after big trucking companies that break the rules, but that’s not true. They also go after regular truck owners who break the rules and can give them big fines. So, if you break the rules, you’re taking a big risk.
People also argue about whether it’s worth it for truck owners to disable emissions equipment. Sometimes, it doesn’t make much difference. Trucking companies, fleet managers, and individual truckers need to decide if a bit more power or saving some fuel is worth the risk of getting caught and fined.
Government Regulations on Carbon Emissions
The EPA makes sure that people follow the rules in the Clean Air Act’s Mobile Source Provisions. These rules say that:
- The EPA has to make rules that say how much pollution cars and trucks can make.
- Truck makers who want to sell their trucks in the U.S. have to follow these rules.
- In the 2007-2010 clean diesel program, you need to look at both the truck and the fuel to make sure they work together well and give you good results.
- When the EPA checks if someone has deleted their truck, they’ll also check how it affects other parts of the truck’s systems.
Title II also says you can’t do the following when it comes to tampering:
- You can’t put in a part that makes pollution equipment not work, especially if you know it’s meant for that.
- You also can’t take out or break pollution control stuff before selling the vehicle.
- You can’t take off or turn off a pollution control part after selling the vehicle if you know it’s supposed to be there.
Deleting emissions equipment from a truck can cause more than just legal problems. Often, it can cancel the warranty from the manufacturer. So, truck owners and mechanics should think about what might happen before removing emissions equipment from a diesel engine.
What is the Penalty for Deleting a Diesel Truck?
If you delete truck emissions components and you get caught, you might have to pay fines, face jail terms, or both. The Clean Air Act Title II says it’s against the law if someone knowingly tampers with monitoring devices.
Regarding fines, the EPA can make you pay up to $37,500 a day for serious violations or up to $7,500 a day for minor ones.
Let’s say a service technician is fixing a used truck they just bought. They find out that someone tampered with an emissions sensor, so they fix it and inform the truck’s owner about it. However, if it is not restored back to stock, both the technician and the owner could get fined.