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Thread: DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid), One size fits all?

  1. #1
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    DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid), One size fits all?

    I have a 6 year old BMW X5 Diesel.

    We've had a maintenance contract on it and as such, have never added DEF to the vehicle.

    Now that contract has expired, it's time for me to start doing this.

    From my little bit of reading, DEF meets a certain ISO standard and there is only one formula of it, i.e. there aren't various grades of DEF like gasoline.

    So I guess what I'm asking, there really isn't different grades for different vehicles that require DEF.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Fortunately, my diesel is old enough not to use it, but I've never seen but one choice available anywhere it's sold.

  3. #3
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    It is just a Urea solution in deionized water. The standard specifies the concentration at 32% (I think it is specified w/w (mass/mass) rather than vol/vol or even the abomination of w/v)
    Personally, I would have rather have the newer system on my truck, since the non-DEF trucks have issues with soot buildup in the EGR system (at least a certain range of Ram Cummins). It is less of an issue if the truck is always run hard...

    Also, with DEF you can get a more efficient tune. My father-in-law has a five year newer RAM than mine (I am on the hand-me-down trail :-) ) and he gets much better fuel efficiency.

  4. #4
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    Just by a cube of DEF at WalMart, Auto Parts, or Gas Station. No difference.
    Some truck stop locations have DE at the truck diesel pumps.
    I have not seen it at the auto-diesel pumps
    Running a 2015 VW Golf TDI that requires DEF

    Howard Garner

  5. #5
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    Your local auto parts store has it. There’s one formula. I have a 2014 328d and am in the same boat.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  6. #6
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    My diesel is an '01, the last year when even an EGR system wasn't required. Maybe I should feel guilty about my pollution, but a 7400 pound truck that burns a gallon per 18.8 miles eases the pain, and also increases the reluctance to trade it.

  7. #7
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    Much appreciated everybody.

  8. #8
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    When I needed it, I found a truck stop that sold it at the pump. They dispensed super fast since itís made to service semiís, just had to Baby the trigger. Best deal I was finding in parts stores was $13 for 2.5 gal, truck stop was something like $2.99/gal- essentially half priced. Depending on how much your consumption is, it may be worth it. I was using roughly 1 gal/ 1k miles
    Last edited by Adam Grund; 05-07-2021 at 10:29 PM.

  9. #9
    My German Ford Ranger has a 3.2L diesel engine and requires the DEF in order to meet the Euro 6d emissions standards. The product is sold here as AdBlue and is available at the pump or separately in 5, 10, and 20 liter containers. Without AdBlue in the reservoir, the truck won't start. If the reservoir runs dry while on the road, and the driver ignores the warnings before that point, the truck will go into "limp home" mode with reduced power and then won't restart until enough AdBlue is added to register with the reservoir sensors.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kreinhop View Post
    My German Ford Ranger has a 3.2L diesel engine and requires the DEF in order to meet the Euro 6d emissions standards. The product is sold here as AdBlue and is available at the pump or separately in 5, 10, and 20 liter containers. Without AdBlue in the reservoir, the truck won't start. If the reservoir runs dry while on the road, and the driver ignores the warnings before that point, the truck will go into "limp home" mode with reduced power and then won't restart until enough AdBlue is added to register with the reservoir sensors.
    And that is why this diesel will be my last. It does amazing the times I need it to heavy haul, but nothing I couldnít absolutely do with gas.
    Itís really irks me that they shut the engines down over a fluid that only effects emissions and is not detrimental to the engine at all. Not just running out, but any fault in that def or dpf system will shut it down, at least in the duramax. And if that part isnít readily available, the vehicle is down for the count.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Grund View Post
    And that is why this diesel will be my last. It does amazing the times I need it to heavy haul, but nothing I couldn’t absolutely do with gas.
    It’s really irks me that they shut the engines down over a fluid that only effects emissions and is not detrimental to the engine at all. Not just running out, but any fault in that def or dpf system will shut it down, at least in the duramax. And if that part isn’t readily available, the vehicle is down for the count.
    The Germans are serious about emissions, and I don't know of any trucks made for the German market that have gasoline engines. I stopped looking at the market when I bought my Ranger, but the only motors available for any of the other brands were diesel.

    The AdBlue warning light for my truck starts when about 2,500KM of range remains in the reservoir, which is about three full tanks of fuel at Autobahn speeds. The audible warning starts when about 1,000KM or range remains, so I can't imagine anyone being a victim of the engine shutdown with so much advanced warning. I imagine anyone who would be caught by surprise by an empty DEF tank would also be crushed to death by a glacier that sneaks up on them. The audible warning can be dismissed until the next engine start.

    Every hardware store and gas station sells the containers of AdBlue. Nearly every gas station has at least one dispenser at the pumps and the cost at the pump is about €0.60 per liter. I routinely top of the 20-liter AdBlue tank every 4,000KM, which takes about 10 liters.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kreinhop View Post
    The Germans are serious about emissions, and I don't know of any trucks made for the German market that have gasoline engines. I stopped looking at the market when I bought my Ranger, but the only motors available for any of the other brands were diesel.

    The AdBlue warning light for my truck starts when about 2,500KM of range remains in the reservoir, which is about three full tanks of fuel at Autobahn speeds. The audible warning starts when about 1,000KM or range remains, so I can't imagine anyone being a victim of the engine shutdown with so much advanced warning. I imagine anyone who would be caught by surprise by an empty DEF tank would also be crushed to death by a glacier that sneaks up on them. The audible warning can be dismissed until the next engine start.

    Every hardware store and gas station sells the containers of AdBlue. Nearly every gas station has at least one dispenser at the pumps and the cost at the pump is about €0.60 per liter. I routinely top of the 20-liter AdBlue tank every 4,000KM, which takes about 10 liters.
    While I am annoyed at the running out, yes they do give plenty of warning. Still in my mind doesnít constitute an engine shutdown. What is more of a middle finger is the faults within the system that will trigger a shutdown. Couple years ago a customer had a def heater go bad, trigger a code and went in to low power mode while towing a trailer full of horses. Heater grid is part of tank, which was on backorder for 12 weeks. So for 3 months he had a boat anchor unable to haul his trailer. Many more examples, just one off top of my head.
    I can only speak to us market, but there is no gasoline counterpart that reacts in the same manor. You could unplug every emissions component on one and still drive, just with a few extra lights on the dash

  13. #13
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    While I am annoyed at the running out, yes they do give plenty of warning. Still in my mind doesn’t constitute an engine shutdown.
    How many do you suppose would run without DEF if there wasn't a consequence?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    How many do you suppose would run without DEF if there wasn't a consequence?

    jtk
    The consequence, in my opinion, should just be a check engine light. Can get cleared when refilled, or when any fault gets corrected. Low power mode is a dangerous action for a system that isnít damaging to the drivetrain.
    But to more directly answer your question- a good many probably. there are a lot of gasoline check engine lights illuminating the lands out there that not many are interested in fixing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Grund View Post
    The consequence, in my opinion, should just be a check engine light. Can get cleared when refilled, or when any fault gets corrected. Low power mode is a dangerous action for a system that isnít damaging to the drivetrain.
    But to more directly answer your question- a good many probably. there are a lot of gasoline check engine lights illuminating the lands out there that not many are interested in fixing.
    That would mean many diesel powered vehicles running with empty DEF tanks then. No incentive to refill if there is no consequence. My work truck uses DEF and its about a 6 gallon tank. Cummins QSC series in a Freightliner. I try to hit stations with it at the pump but that doesn't always work out. I've got a 2.5 gallon jug I need to dump in now. The other day is the first time in 5500 miles I noticed the hot exhaust light was on but when doing a driving regen it sounds differently as well. No one likes it but it's here to stay.

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