Having written about trucks and cars many times over, we understand that there are certain terms that you’ll run into when you’re reading about your truck. One of the terms you’re bound to run into is that a truck has been ‘deleted.’ What does this actually mean? Let’s start with a quick answer:
Deleting a truck means removing or bypassing the diesel particle filter, the exhaust regulating system, and diesel emission fluids. Deleting a truck increased fuel efficiency by 20 – 30% while also making it more powerful and requiring less maintenance cost. However, modern trucks have more advanced systems, which makes deleting a truck more costly than the benefits gained.
However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll dive deeper into what exactly is removed when deleting a truck. We’ll also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure if it’s legal and if buying and selling a deleted truck is allowed. Read on!
What Exactly Is Removed When Deleting A Truck?
When deleting a truck, both the Diesel Particle Filter and the Exhaust Gas Regulation systems are removed. A DPF is an after-treatment device of your exhaust designed to catch the finest of particles before the air leaves your exhaust. It’s made of ceramic material, has a honeycomb structure, and mainly catches the diesel’s ash. DPF’s became mandatory in the United States in 1997.
Since the early 2000’s diesel cars and trucks also have an EGR system. This system is designed to recirculate exhaust gas into the intake chamber. This lowers the temperature in the intake chamber, which eventually results in less production of harmful NOx gases entering the atmosphere.
From 2013 DPF’s also use diesel emission fluids injected into the system to even further reduce the amount of air pollution.
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Benefits And Disadvantages Of Deleting A Truck
Deleting has numerous benefits, which is the reason why it’s still such a popular procedure. However, there are certainly a few aspects that aren’t ideal and should be aware of.
The main benefits of deleting a truck are seen with older trucks. In trucks produced before 2013, reports show that fuel efficiency and power increased while also reducing maintenance costs. Owners of an older deleted truck reported a 20 – 30% increase in fuel efficiency, increasing power while also having lower maintenance costs.
However, deleting a truck is not recommended for fuel efficiency, power, or maintenance purposes nowadays. The reason for this is that newer trucks have better diesel regulation systems that are more efficient, more reliable, and cheaper to maintain than the ones in the older trucks. The cost of deleting a truck is, therefore, more than the monetary benefit you gain.
In short, the older truck owners were just unlucky that they had the first version of many of the diesel regulation systems, whereas producers of these systems have worked hard in the past decade to make sure the quality is up to par.
Besides the fact that deleting a truck doesn’t have many effects anymore, it also brings a few risks. First, deleting a truck normally costs around $10,000 and should be done by a professional tuner. Deleting a truck yourself could result in mechanical failure of some sort because the DPF and EGR are complex systems that are part of the exhaust system.
Furthermore, the resale value of the car will most likely also suffer. Many people prefer a truck that’s stock instead of having it messed with. Furthermore, deleting a truck is normally also illegal, given even more reason not to delete your truck.
Finally, it’s also important to note that deleting a truck does significantly impact air pollution. The EPA estimates that around 550,000 trucks have been deleted in the past decade in the USA. These trucks alone are responsible for 15% of diesel truck pollution. Furthermore, they create air pollution equivalent to 9 million non-tampered or modified diesel trucks during their lifetime (see source ‘Dieselnet.com’ below).
Also read: What Does SLE / SLT Mean On A Truck?
Is Deleting A Truck Legal?
Deleting a truck is illegal nationwide in the USA, and the EPA has been known to fine deleted truck owners. Consumers can expect to be fined a minimum of $2,500 and a maximum of $7,500 for driving with a deleted truck on public roads. Companies have been fined a maximum of $14 million, depending on the scale of the violation.
The problem here is that many people on forums explain that they have never been caught with a deleted truck and that most officers don’t really seem to know that a deleted truck is a major violation. In a recent report, the EPA also indicated that the reinforcement of this matter has been lackluster at best.
However, the EPA is also making an effort to improve this. Deleting a truck is, therefore, something you do at your own risk.
Furthermore, it’s good to know that Canada usually follows EPA regulations. However, the EPA does not have any power when it comes to fining truck owners. Therefore, deleting a truck is illegal in Canada, but reinforcement in recent years has also been lackluster.
Is Deleting A Truck Allowed For Shops And Tuners?
Even though many shops and tuners have been deleting trucks, this is not allowed and could result in large fines. Many shops and tuners have attempted to bypass this rule by making the consumer sign a waiver that states the truck will only be used on private property or for off-roading. However, this does not take away responsibility from the shops and tuners.
Furthermore, the EPA has also started cracking down on companies that sell software or after-market parts designed to bypass emission controls.
Will A Deleted Diesel Pass Emissions?
A deleted truck will most likely never pass emission tests. Nowadays, these tests are susceptible, and a deleted truck blows out much more harmful emissions than none deleted trucks. In the past, it was possible to pass the emissions test with a deleted truck by bypassing the DPF filter, but these days, that does not work anymore.
Can You Delete A Gas Truck?
Deleting a gas truck is possible, but it’s not as extensive as deleting a diesel truck. Some gas trucks have an EGR system that can be deleted. However, no gas truck has a diesel particle filter, which means deleting a gas truck doesn’t affect its performance or maintenance cost.
Can A Dealership Sell A Deleted Truck?
Dealerships legally aren’t allowed to sell deleted trucks. If a dealership is caught selling a deleted truck, they may be fined thousands of dollars. Furthermore, if a dealership sells a deleted truck to a customer who doesn’t know the truck has been deleted, this may result in a lawsuit.
Will A Dealership Buy A Deleted Truck?
The dealerships are allowed to buy deleted trucks and have also been known to do so. However, it’s better to reinstall the EGR and DPF before trying to sell your truck to a dealership. The reason for this is that most dealerships will offer you $3,000 – $6,000 less in resale value if they have to buy and reinstall these elements themselves.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!