What Happens If You Get Caught With a Deleted Truck?

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Jess

Drivers do many things to customize their vehicles for better performance or a certain look. Deleting is a major modification that some truck owners choose to do to their vehicles. But what happens if you get caught with a deleted truck?

While deleting a truck can be beneficial, it is also very controversial and can lead to legal problems. Today, we explain what that means and why you should think twice about extinguishing your vehicle.

Let’s dive in!

What is a deleted truck?

A “deleted” truck is a vehicle with modifications that eliminate features that help reduce pollution.

Owners modify the vehicle to operate without a diesel particulate filter (DPF), selective catalytic reduction (SCR), and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).

These parts became the norm due to 2008 and 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates. They are now standard equipment on all diesel vehicles on the road, right out of the factory. However, like many other parts, they are being removed or rendered useless by some owners.

How much does it cost to put out a truck?

The cost to extinguish a truck depends on the vehicle. Unfortunately, it won’t be cheap no matter what.

If you can do the work yourself, it typically costs between $1,000 and $1,500. However, if you pay someone to do it all, it can cost between $2,000 and $5,000.

Benefits of a deleted truck

Despite the expensive price, some owners find the modification beneficial. Let’s look at some of the reasons why some owners choose this modification.

Increased performance

While these components reduce emissions and are better for the environment, they often reduce performance.

After making the necessary changes, many owners find that their vehicles run smoother, are more fuel efficient and have more power. Some even claim to have experienced a power increase of 100 horsepower or more.

Lower maintenance costs

One of the main reasons many are getting rid of their trucks is lower maintenance costs. Replacing a faulty particulate filter can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the vehicle. It doesn’t take a math degree to realize that removing them is usually cheaper.

Disadvantages of a deleted truck

Before you let anyone convince you that deleting your fancy vehicle is right for you, it’s important to consider the drawbacks. Here are some reasons why you should think long and hard before making any changes.

Increased air pollution

Not surprisingly, a vehicle creates more air pollution when you remove the parts that are supposed to keep it running clean. We have learned a lot in the last few decades, especially about pollution.

Regardless of where you stand in the climate change debate, it’s always good to reduce pollution. However, when you put out your truck, you are doing just that.

Air pollution not only harms the environment, but it also affects the people around you as you drive. The last thing we want is a coal-powered truck stopping in front of us at a traffic light.

They’re belching black clouds of smoke into the air as they speed through the intersection. When you look at today’s diesel prices, it’s amazing that drivers still do that.

What happens legally if you are caught with a deleted truck?

Contrary to what you may have heard, deleting vehicles is illegal. Federal law prohibits individuals from tampering with or tampering with exhaust systems. Yes, you read that correctly. It is not a local or state law, but a federal law. If the violation of a federal law doesn’t deter you, perhaps the potential fines will.

Violators can be subject to hefty fines. Don’t believe us? The EPA publishes a list of cases and decisions every year. We have found cases where an individual had to pay $1,650 and another person had to pay $225,368. The EPA doesn’t care if you are a large company with a fleet of vehicles or a single vehicle owner. They will press charges either way.

Voiding the warranty

One of the benefits of buying a new vehicle is the warranty that comes with it. However, if you modify your vehicle, you can say goodbye to the warranty. Manufacturers will not fix problems caused by modifications you, the owner, have made.

Even if your warranty claim has nothing to do with the modifications you made, you’re out of luck. You could try to take the manufacturer to court to make the warranty claim.

However, you would have to explain to the judge why you violated federal law by making the modifications to your vehicle. You may think you are a smooth talker, but good luck talking your way out of this situation.

Pro Tip: To avoid voiding your RV warranty, know what’s covered! Read these important tips to avoid voiding your RV warranty

Close-up of a truck warranty.

Reduction in resale value

Chances are, you won’t own the vehicle forever. There will likely come a day when you need or want to trade it in or sell it. Unfortunately, that won’t be so easy if you’ve deleted it.

Dealers probably won’t want to come near the vehicle. They won’t take any chances if a vehicle on their lot is in violation of federal laws.

As a result, your target audience and potential value will likely be reduced. There are people who are willing to buy a deleted truck from a private party. However, they may not be willing to pay what you think it is worth, especially after spending thousands to delete it.

Is it illegal to drive a deleted truck?

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Driving an erased truck is illegal. It probably doesn’t matter who did it or whether the vehicle was already that way when you bought it. If your name is on the registration, you are responsible.

The EPA and a federal judge won’t care that you have more horsepower or that the car runs smoothly. They will take legal action if they find you are driving a painted vehicle.

Why are deleted trucks illegal?

Deleted trucks are illegal because of their negative impact on the environment. The components that are disabled during a deletion are used to create cleaner vehicles. The EPA is in the business of holding companies and individuals accountable for doing their part to protect the environment.

Pollution from a single deleted truck is not likely to be a major problem. However, if all 230 million registered drivers cancelled their vehicles, smog would be everywhere.

Remember: What a nightmare! This camper fell off a lift during an oil change.

A deleted yellow truck spreading pollution on the road.

What happens if you are caught with a deleted truck?

The consequences can be severe if you are caught with an erased truck. At the very least, you will face a hefty fine. The amount depends on whether you are an individual or a business. However, the fines can run into the thousands or even millions, depending on the situation.

In addition to a fine, you could face other consequences. Your vehicle could be towed while authorities investigate the matter. There is also the possibility that a driver’s license could be revoked.

Is it worth it to put your truck out of business?

When you add up the upfront costs, potential fines, and negative impact on the environment, it’s not worth it to delete your truck. If you decide to do so, you could find yourself in a serious legal situation.

And if something doesn’t go as planned, you could end up with a vehicle that’s nothing more than an expensive paperweight. For us, that’s not a risk worth taking.

Do you think it’s worth it to put out a truck?

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