Modifying or removing emissions control systems degrades air quality, may void the equipment’s warranty and is illegal in the U.S. Keeping Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the manufacturer’s settings protects the environment, preserves your warranty and respects the law. It’s your equipment. It’s your risk. It’s your decision. It’s your fine.
3 Questions to Ask Before You Get
Equipment ECU Tuned
While ECU tuned equipment may look like an attractive proposition, it’s not. Equipment dealers frequently see the serious problems and consequences associated with modified equipment. They respect your right to use your equipment as you see fit. However, it’s important to understand the risks so you don’t become a victim and pay the cost of illegal tampering.
#1. Does this affect my equipment’s warranty?
The fact is, equipment manufacturers may void a warranty and your insurance policy may be void if software is altered.
#2. Does this affect the service I can get from my dealership?
Dealers can’t service chipped equipment until the chip is removed and the engine is brought back to OEM standards.
#3. How will this affect my engine and other parts?
Running equipment at a higher horsepower or torque than it’s designed for causes accelerated engine wear, potential overheating and excessive stress on drivetrain components.
What You Were Promised vs. What You Get
Farm equipment is a significant investment and every hour in the field comes at a high cost, too. But the hidden consequences of ECU tuning greatly outweigh potential savings from things like getting the job done in less time. While boosting performance for pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of buying higher-capacity equipment must look like an attractive proposition, it’s not.
What You Really Get
Loss of warranty and void insurance policy
Farm equipment manufacturers may void a warranty if the equipment is chipped or the ECU operating software is altered in any way.
There are known cases where farmers have been injured or even killed by equipment that has been modified, in addition to dangerous emissions posing a risk to public safety.
Violation of Federal emission laws
Altering or removing DEF systems is illegal in the U.S. under EPA Regulations with potential fines of $4,735 per day, per unit. The EPA is actively enforcing and protecting the environment from illegal tampering.
Accelerated engine wear
If equipment is run at a higher horsepower, temperature or groundspeed than it was designed for, the equipment won’t last as long as it should and will likely have a lower trade-in value.
Sooner or Later, a Farmer Pays
Equipment manufacturers, dealers and individual farmers each have their own perspective on farm equipment modification. When a piece of ECU tuned equipment fails or needs repair, however, a farmer ultimately pays the bill.
Costly repair bills
Suppose a piece of equipment has been ECU tuned, needs repair and has no warranty (it’s been voided by the manufacturer). The cost of the repair will be fully borne by the farmer who owns that equipment.
Compromised trade-in values
When a farmer trades in ECU tuned equipment to purchase new equipment, the next owner of that equipment – a neighbor or someone else – might not get what they paid for. That modified equipment could need costly repairs and have a shorter operating life than expected. The farmer may also find new complications and negative side effects from improper manipulation.
Legal liability for DEF modification
Removing or modifying emission controls in farm equipment could expose the farmer to significant enforcement penalties.
Dealers WANT Farmers to be Successful
Dealers are dedicated to supporting farmers and their equipment needs, reducing downtime and maximizing productivity by providing educational workshops, hands-on training and in-field demonstrations. The industry as a whole is eager to continue working with farmers to provide the most innovative and high-quality equipment to meet the needs of modern production agriculture. This includes manufacturers’ commitment to provide farmers with the information and tools needed to maintain, diagnose, and repair their equipment.
Report Illegal Tampering
If you know of or suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emissions controls, please fill out the form below. All information provided will be kept confidential.