Most car enthusiasts love tampering with their cars to find ways to improve their performance, and EGR delete is a popular mod to use.
But many people don’t understand the EGR, why they should delete it, or the potential repercussions. It can improve our car’s performance, but is it worth it? Let’s look at the EGR delete mod in detail.
EGR delete is a car performance mod that bypasses or removes the EGR valve. It improves your car’s performance and may even increase the engine’s life. But the EGR valve’s purpose is to reduce carbon emissions, so removing it is illegal in many countries and will void your car’s warranty.
The EGR valve serves a purpose. After all, why would car manufacturers add it to their engines? That’s why it’s essential to look at EGR delete from both sides to fully understand what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how to do it.
What Is EGR Delete?
To understand what EGR delete is, we must first understand EGR, which is short for Exhaust Gas Recirculation.
What Is EGR?
The EGR valve first appeared in 1972. It was a mechanical device that was supposed to reroute a small amount of the car’s exhaust gases back into the engine for another round of combustion since most exhaust fumes contain trace amounts of combustible substances that haven’t done their job the first time around.
Modern EGR valves aren’t mechanical anymore; they are electronic components capable of self-monitoring. Many cars won’t even start if they detect that the EGR valve is malfunctioning or has been removed.
The point of the EGR valve is to reduce the nitrous oxide emissions (N2O, often referred to as NOx) from the car’s exhaust fumes. Manufacturers reasoned that a valve designed to reroute the nitrous oxide back into the engine would ensure that it’s all burnt away. The result is reduced air pollution, a crucial factor in cities with many cars.
EGR delete refers to the process of disabling or removing the EGR valve from your car’s engine, which stops the recirculation of exhaust fumes.
People use an EGR Delete Kit or EGR Delete Mod that disables or removes the valve, bypasses it, and fools the car’s sensors and ECU into believing it’s still there. Meanwhile, all the exhaust gases are pushed to the exhaust.
Why Use EGR Delete?
The advantages of EGR deletion are directly tied to the disadvantages of using the EGR valve.
Let’s look at them in detail.
1. EGR Delete Improves Performance
It should not be surprising, as most people discover the EGR delete mod when they look for ways to improve their car’s performance.
Because the EGR valve recirculates gases that have already been through the combustion system to make it combust again, it means that not as much fresh fuel can enter the engine. This leads to weaker combustion, less engine power, and lower performance.
Removing or disabling the EGR valve will stop this from happening. The result is more fresh fuel in the engine valves, better combustion, and better performance from your car.
2. The EGR Valve Causes Carbon Build-Up
Exhaust fumes contain carbon, which is a byproduct of the combustion process. It happens when oxygen, and various other gases, explode.
It’s the reason why the exhaust system exists in the first place because the carbon will stick to the sides of whatever system it passes, eventually building up to the point where the gases struggle to get out.
Pushing exhaust gas back through the engine takes this carbon exactly where you don’t want it to be: the engine.
Over time, the carbon buildup will become so bad that your engine won’t function properly anymore, unable to draw enough clean air into the system to combust appropriately.
This is why most experts claim that EGR deletion increases the life of your engine.
3. EGR Delete Improves Fuel Economy
There are a few ideas around the development of the EGR valve that took an ironic turn when the manufacturers finally implemented them. One of them is the idea of fuel economy.
The idea was that the EGR valve would improve fuel economy. Since the engine is recirculating combustible gases that would have gone to waste, the theory is that your car won’t use as much fuel, making it more economical.
Ironically, the opposite happens. Because your car now has weaker performance, you step on the gas pedal much harder, making your engine work harder and burning up more fuel in the process.
When you remove the EGR valve, your car will have more power, and the engine won’t have to work as hard and burn as much fuel during everyday driving.
4. EGR Delete Lowers Engine Temperatures
Because your engine doesn’t have to work as hard as it used to before you disabled the EGR, your engine won’t run as hot as it used to.
Lower engine temperatures also mean a longer engine life and fewer car maintenance issues in the long run.
What Are The Risks Of EGR Delete?
Nobody can deny the many advantages of deleting the EGR, though some say the actual improvements are minimal at best.
But what about the disadvantages and risks? There are a few to be mindful of.
1. You May Lose Whatever Warranty You Had
Most car manufacturers regard EGR deletion as a significant modification that could potentially damage your vehicle, in which case they will void your warranty.
This depends on your car’s make, model, and age, so it’s a good idea to check your car’s documentation or confirm with the dealer before you make the modification.
2. It Increases Pollution
As mentioned, engineers developed the EGR valve to reduce the NOx emissions (and, according to some, the CO2 emissions) from your car’s exhaust.
Though the difference in pollution levels may be negligible in one car, the fact that all modern vehicles have EGR systems increases the impact exponentially.
If all the car owners in one city deleted their cars’ EGRs in one day, there would be a massive increase in air pollution and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which isn’t good for the environment or your health.
3. It Is Illegal In Many Countries
Most western and 1st world countries have laws prohibiting driving on public roads without an active EGR. This is tied to pollution, as most countries have strict anti-pollution rules.
In the UK, for example, officers have the right to inspect your car to see if you deleted your EGR, and if you did, they could immediately impound your vehicle and leave you with a hefty fine.
Note that it is not illegal to remove the EGR, but it is unlawful to drive a car on a public road if its emissions systems have been tampered with in any way. What you do in off-road situations is up to you, and you cannot be fined for deleting the EGR in such a situation.
The entire US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and all European Union member countries have these laws and regulations, so think twice before you delete the EGR on your vehicle.
4. You May Have Car Trouble Afterward
Though you shouldn’t have any severe car problems after the EGR deletion process, the possibility exists, especially if it was a botched job or done using the wrong kit or instructions for your model.
Most of the severe problems are often associated with diesel engines and may include the following:
- High cylinder pressure
- High temperatures
- Cracked cylinder heads
- VGT turbo damage
- Reduced horsepower
- High exhaust gas temperatures
- Engine knocking
You can often fix these specific problems by recalibrating your engine, so it’s a good idea to have an experienced mechanic perform the EGR delete for you.
Other less severe problems include (on both diesel and gas engines):
- Engine warning lights
- Your car may occasionally enter limp mode
- Your vehicle refusing to start because the sensors can’t detect the EGR
- The car may stutter and stall
The last four problems are generally easy to fix if you buy the correct EGR deletion kit for your make and model.
5. Some Mechanics Will Refuse To Work On Your Car
Regardless of warranty issues, some mechanics will downright refuse to work on your car if you’re using EGR delete.
The fact that it’s an illegal modification, as you obviously drove the vehicle to the workshop on a public road, means that they will be complicit in your crime.
You can find a backyard mechanic who won’t have a problem fixing car issues for you, or maybe you can do repairs yourself. But it’s still a risk that you must be aware of.
How To Delete The EGR
Now that you know the good and bad sides, it’s up to you to decide if you want to perform an EGR delete on your vehicle.
The process is different for each make and model, but there are a few basic principles and steps behind it.
Step 1: Buy The Right EGR Delete Kit
When you buy a delete kit, ensure that your car’s model is correct down to the finest details. Some vehicles have so many versions of a particular model that one kit won’t work with another.
The kit should also have detailed instructions for your car, making the process much easier.
Step 2: Remove The EGR Valve
The exact location of the EGR valve, and the process to remove it, will depend on your car, but it’s usually close to the valves, exhaust manifold, and air filter. It has a few vacuum pipes running to it that you must disconnect first.
It isn’t difficult to remove the EGR valve, but it can be a lot of work since you might have to disconnect many other components to get to it.
Step 3: Install The Exhaust Cover
Your kit should come with an exhaust cover that goes on top of the exhaust manifold, covering the pipe that was connected to the EGR valve. You can install this cover with bolts included in the kit.
Step 4: Fit The EGR Delete Kit
The main component in an EGR delete kit is usually a type of pipe that replaces the EGR valve. It will have similar input and output points, but it should be much less complex, usually just a straight pipe that you can fit where the EGR valve used to be.
Step 5: Cover Up The Vacuum Hoses
If you had to disconnect some vacuum hoses from the EGR valve, you might have to plug these with screws, or you can remove them entirely.
The EGR delete modification has its advantages and disadvantages. The world of car enthusiasts is divided on whether it’s worth it, and you must remember that it is illegal. But it offers you some benefits if you do it correctly, which is easy enough if you can get a suitable delete kit for your car.