Are all performance chips considered illegal for on-road use? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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Upgrades and Aftermarket - 99 & up 7.3L Engine Upgrading or adding OEM or aftermarket equipment to your 1999-Up Super Duty or Excursion with 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Are all performance chips considered illegal for on-road use?

I live in Texas and I was thinking of getting a chip to improve my fuel economy from Jody at DP Tuner. I tried to look this question up on-line, but surprisingly, I didn't find what I was looking for. I know that some chips are illegal for on-road use in some states, especially California, but how can I find out if performance chips are illegal or not in the state of Texas? Also, if all chips aren't illegal in Texas, how can I find out which ones are and which ones aren't? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-21-2011, 07:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The big problem with chips is if you have an emission test in the area that you live in. If you live in an area that does it on diesels and you leave the chip in the performance setting and they do a snap test which puts out a lot of smoke for quite a while you will fail. My suggestion to you is to have the chip burnt with a stock setting and then if you do have to have it tested put the chip into that setting.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The big problem with chips is if you have an emission test in the area that you live in. If you live in an area that does it on diesels and you leave the chip in the performance setting and they do a snap test which puts out a lot of smoke for quite a while you will fail. My suggestion to you is to have the chip burnt with a stock setting and then if you do have to have it tested put the chip into that setting.
Right, I understand that, but I guess my question is more along the lines of is it illegal to use a chip for on-road use according to the "laws of the land" so to speak? In other words, even though I'm not interested in the performance aspect, but rather fuel economy, would I be breaking any laws by running a chip on my truck? For example, i'm sure in California that most performance modifications are against the law because of the strict emissions guidelines. I'm wondering if there are any of those laws here in Texas and also if there are certain chips that are illegal and ones that are not.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Banks has 5 power levels available on chips. Levels 1-4 are CARB certified, level 5 is not. Hypermax has two levels. Level one is CARB certified, level two is not. I don't know about any of the other brands.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the answer you are looking for is NO. I'm quite positive that they are not illegal. Just note one of the previous posts about failing the emissions test if your state tests emissions on diesels.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Anything that increases the amount of diesel smoke produced is illegal in California as of this year. I haven't heard of any restrictions in any other states. It is a visual inspection in California. The truck doesn't have to be hooked up to the testing equipment to measure the exact amount of smog produced.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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More Smog Inspection Questions

I found this site doing a search for California and chips. I have a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500, and have been waiting to chip it until after my 1-year warranty is up (August). In the meantime, the military is moving me to California, and I will have to undergo the smog inspections. I am also new to Diesels, so don't know as much as I would like about the chips and need to change the exhaust. Any and all help on this stuff would be great. Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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austin is part

of 5 county emission testing. most hp upgrades are "for off road use only" to cover manufacturors uh rear from legal action..check out all the dodges that smoke 5 blocks down the road around town...i'm in burnet. your best bet is to buy a system that can be turned off like bully dog. or a programer you can change out at sticker time...
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Diesels aren't emission tested in Texas as of yet. I've never had the guys even look under my hood, much less my chip. He drives it around the shop, honks the horn, checks the lights and slaps a sticker on it. An I'm in a county adjacent to Harris, so we get the most stringent emissions test the State has to offer.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had to get my truck smog tested a few weeks ago. Put the DP-tuner back to position 1 (stock) on the way in to the parking lot, test, put back into position 4 (80E) on the way out, and everybody's happy. I only put out about 1.5% of max soot on the snap test. They did check for a cat, luckily mine was the last year of production without one.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I had to get my truck smog tested a few weeks ago. Put the DP-tuner back to position 1 (stock) on the way in to the parking lot, test, put back into position 4 (80E) on the way out, and everybody's happy. I only put out about 1.5% of max soot on the snap test. They did check for a cat, luckily mine was the last year of production without one.

I just did my smog test today in california. I put my DP-tuner into the stock position, and hid it under the dash. I'm probably paranoid, but i wanted to be safe. The guy was pretty thorough about the visual inspection (i didnt have any problems). He also hooked the truck up to his computer for a short amount of time. Not really sure why he did it, but i passed. Also, he noticed the Banks sticker i have on the truck form before i took of most of the Banks system. While talking to him, he told me to be careful if i was going to upgrade to the top of the line Banks system, as it would fail smog. So, as others have noted, when you're in california.......make sure that do not get something that says "for off road use only". Other than that, I think you should be fine.

All of that being said (I could be wrong on this), I think i heard that fairly soon the testing will be far more strict than a visual test (I think they will be using a wand in the exhaust). Hope this helped out a bit.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I had to get my truck smog tested a few weeks ago.
Where in "Free Idaho" did you have to do that? And, why?

TIA,
- Don
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Where in "Free Idaho" did you have to do that? And, why?

TIA,
- Don
Unfortunately, I live in Ada county, which has smog testing. Been meaning to get a cabin up in Valley county and register my vehicles up there to avoid the shakedown.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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mine passed 80e , but the 60sec check engine light almost did'nt ,

light was NOT CUZ OF DP but AIH delete . i never get a check engine other than cold starts 60sec's

slc county ut smog 230,000 miles
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickvilardi View Post
I found this site doing a search for California and chips. I have a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500, and have been waiting to chip it until after my 1-year warranty is up (August). In the meantime, the military is moving me to California, and I will have to undergo the smog inspections. I am also new to Diesels, so don't know as much as I would like about the chips and need to change the exhaust. Any and all help on this stuff would be great. Thanks!

If you are military (like me) I would highly recommend taking advantage of your military status and keeping your truck registered in your home state and NOT getting California plates. As long as you are active duty and on orders you can operate your vehicle in California with out-of-state tags for the duration of your assignment.
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