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Old 03-17-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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Any issues with DEF systems?

Has anyone had any problems with the new diesel emissions control design that uses DEF urea? Besides the added cost of having to purchase and filling of he tank what if any are the downsides of his system?

I have also heard the fuel economy for some DEF engines is generally better since this was introduced. If this is true, is the improvement a result of this emission technology or other unrelated improvements?
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #2
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I have a 2011 ISL 450 and have had no issues with. DEF is easily found and I can travel 4000+ miles before needing to refill the tank. With 10,000 miles I am getting 8.1 mpg while towing my Jeep Liberty. When it is broken in I am thinking I will get 9 - 10 mpg towing. One huge benefit to me is the engine has no slobber tube, as I understand it as part of the anti-pollution system the crankcase vent is routed back into the engine and the oil blow by is disposed of through the engine. I was apprehensive while researching the purchase but now I can't tell I have it until I need DEF.
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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The biggest problem I've heard of so far is that most motorhomes with DEF tanks have the fill on the wrong side to use the DEF pumps at truck stops.

Truck stops have the DEF pump on the primary (driver's side). Newmar's have the DEF tank on the passenger side, just behind the tag axle. So you either need to fill from jugs, which is more expensive; go backwards through the truck lanes, which seems a mite dangerous; or (probably the best idea) keep an empty 2.5gal jug and use it to transport from the pump to the tank. It'll take a little longer than a direct fill, but will be cheaper than buying jugs all the time. That's what I'll be doing, now I just need to figure out where to store the empty jug.

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:38 PM   #4
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Goood point Joe but my mechanic says to store in a cool dry area....wow where might that be??...sounds like a problem to store??....DEF fluid...great to know they dispence from a pump with a 13 gal fill...
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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Also note I am getting 13/14 mpg with the new ISB 5.7 but the DEF sounds like a hard fluid to carry as noted in my previous reflections........
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:40 PM   #6
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Is your mechanic talking about the DEF fluid? Or an empty jug? I'm not planning on carrying any extra fluid, just an empty jug to transport it in at the truck stop. So instead of paying the jug price (and having to carry multiple jugs out to the fill lane), I'll be paying the pump price.

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Old 03-17-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jponyboyace
Goood point Joe but my mechanic says to store in a cool dry area....wow where might that be??...sounds like a problem to store??....DEF fluid...great to know they dispence from a pump with a 13 gal fill...
When I read on the box that it should be stored below 78 degrees I thought that was crazy. The DEF tank is back there near the engine and here in Texas temperatures over pavement regularly run over 100 to 110. Will it really go bad?
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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I suspect the issue is shelf life. It's longer the cooler the storage area. More of a problem with those that store for long periods in warm climates.

I keep a 2.5 gallon jug in one of the storage bays. When the guage drops to 3/4s I'll dump it in at my next campground stop and replace it the next time I'm somewhere it is available (which is at any fuel station, Walmart or auto parts outlet). I've never made a special trip or stop to get a new jug, I just add it to my shopping or errands list for the next time I'm out and about. That's over 1k miles on that 2.5 gallons of DEF, by the way.

I do like the idea of refilling the jug at the fuel islands. That would save $1.50 to $2 per gallon, although the price of the jugs has been coming down since we took delivery of our rig about a year and a half ago.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:35 PM   #9
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No major issues.
I go the jug route. Usually have 1-2 jugs (2.5-5 gal) in the bay near my tool box.
I'll usually pick up a jug about every other fill-up. My routine is top off the DEF tank in the evening when stopped for the day if we bought fuel that day. So I'm not all that worried about shelf life for the DEF in jugs.

I don't use the truck fuel islands, not every truck stop island has DEF (BTW the tank on a Winnie Tour/Itasca Ellipse is driver's side) and my experience is even slow fill with truck stop fuel nozzels is too high a flow rate.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:13 AM   #10
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toddb
i have an Elipse and i always use the truck islands for both fuel and DEF. My unit will fill on fast fill with no problems, i do listen to it and when i hear it getting full i slow it down. I use an ipad and have both p/fj and love's app on it, they both tell me if they have DEF at the pump. i do carry a 2.5 gal jug just in case but with a range of 4000+ miles per tank i can fill up with diesel four times before needing to add DEF.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:28 AM   #11
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Thanks to all who have posted their thoughts so far. Since DEF is mostly distilled water and urea, does anyone know if the emissions system would be damaged if you filled the tank with only tap water or even distilled water? Also if the tank was filled with just water above the low fluid tank sensor would the engine then go into a reduced power mode? I am not planning on doing this to just defeat the emissions system or even save a few bucks, but it is an interesting question of what would happen in a pinch?
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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Most manufacturers say you can run it on empty to the next location where you can buy DEF, but don't shut it down before hand, sensors will not let it restart.
@FlyingDiver. Your 08 takes DEF? I would have thought you would have DPF?
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:44 AM   #13
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No, our '08 does not. I'm was talking about what I'm planning on doing when we get our next RV. Which will need DEF. That post was all future tense.

joe
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:33 AM   #14
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I do not understand the problem storing DEF at over 78 degrees. It is only urea and water(farm liquid fertilizer) and we have spread that on wheat fields for years without any problems. At times we would be out there in february with temps in the teens and sometimes in march or on bermuda grass in july when temps were over 100. The fertilizer always worked and you could not smell an inordinate amount of it vaporizing so I just do not understand the temperature warnings on the boxes. I KNOW it will freeze but it has to get pretty cold. What am I missing here, obviously something. Have been tempted to use just fertilizer grade 31% urea which meets the specs and a lot cheaper but I have concerns about purity so I will continue to pay too much for it as insurance for my $25000 engine. lol Interesting thread.
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