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Old 10-28-2013, 01:25 PM   #1
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Diesel exhaust additive

I have a new 2013 F 250. What exactly is the purpose of the exhaust additive? I just had to put two big jugs of this "stuff" in after only 4,800 miles. Does the truck require more of this additive when towing versus highway miles? And if you failed to put it in, would it cause damage to the truck?
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:33 PM   #2
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Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is required to minimize exhaust emissions. Your F-250 manual should specify the approximate consumption over a period of mileage. Typically, if not refilled, the engine performance is derated and the vehicle simply comes to a halt. Yup - ya need it. Perhaps your DEF tank wasn't filled to capacity by the dealership when you bought it?
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mossy cat View Post
I have a new 2013 F 250. What exactly is the purpose of the exhaust additive? I just had to put two big jugs of this "stuff" in after only 4,800 miles. Does the truck require more of this additive when towing versus highway miles? And if you failed to put it in, would it cause damage to the truck?
EPA emission reduction (their idea not manufacturer's). If you were to let it run out, once shut down, it goes to dealer for repairs. Not fun owning a new diesel anymore as the EPA improvements only added repairs and costs to new owners. jmo
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:21 PM   #4
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I wasn't going to not put it in just wondered how important it was to the engine not just for EPA stuff. Even though there's more costs etc I love this truck! ))
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:28 PM   #5
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Same on a lot of the newer diesels. As stated, it squirts into the exhaust to complete the burn and clean the emissions.
Frankly, it sucks, but not as bad as the Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) which act like catalytics. Makes it run "clean" until they regenerate to burn off all the soot, billowing out huge clouds of stinky white smoke. I call it the "cloud of love" from the EPA.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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EPA emission reduction (their idea not manufacturer's). If you were to let it run out, once shut down, it goes to dealer for repairs. Not fun owning a new diesel anymore as the EPA improvements only added repairs and costs to new owners. jmo
I'm not sure about repairs. My understanding is that the indicator comes on usually fairly early (still plenty in the tank). Once out, you should get a warning and you may get a few more starts before the ECU won't start the engine. Nothing will "break" per se, but will require a re-set.

Don't know about your truck, but there are ECU flashes to "fix" the problem. Same as if you were to remove DPFs.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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Everyone has already answered what it is and why. Under the Information screen you can check the DEF level. It will tell you it is OK or Under 1/2. Based on rate of usage, the computer will calculate how much is left and when you get to where you will run out in 500 miles, you will get a orange message on the Message Center to refill the DPF or it will shutdown in 500 miles.

I usually wait until I put on a few hundred miles after it gets to under 1/2 and then pick up a bottle of DEF at WalMart and fill it up. When I am towing and it gets to under 1/2 full, I will go to the truck lanes (that have DEF) at the next fuel stop and fill up fuel as well as DEF.
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Old 10-28-2013, 02:56 PM   #8
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There is some mis-information on this thread about DEF(32.5% Urea/Water concentrate).

First of all, the best and cheapest place to fill your DEF tank is at a real truck stop. Most of adding DEF pumps next to their regular diesel pumps. Most are charging under $2.80 per gallon as opposed to those jugs you buy which average out to about $5.22 per gallon.

Second running out of DEF will not damage your car. It's the computer software that shuts you down, so you'll need someone to reactivate it if you get to that point. However, some manufacturers may have code that detects DEF in the tank which reactivates you automatically.

I prefer DEF over DPF setups because the DEF system works completely independent of the engine. If there is a problem, the engine and DEF system can almost always be diagnosed seperately as two different systems. Whereas with a DPF that's not always the case, a clogged DPF can cause problems with your engine and vice versa.

The way a DPF system works is the engine is tuned to run a really hot combustion to produce low NOX but instead produce tons of carbon particulates which is then filtered by the DPF. Diesel is then injected into the DPF to burn out the particulates like a big BBQ.

A DEF system is the opposite, the combustion is tuned to run cool where almost no particulates are produced but lots of NOX is produced. The exhaust is free'd up for more flow and all of it runs into a large catalyst chamber(muffler except it's not a muffler). Def is very corrosive so do not let it touch bare metal, this is why all components it touches is stainless steel including the rear section of exhaust. Def is injected to mix with the NOX exhaust fumes which leads into the catalyst chamber. Inside the large chamber as the exhaust cools and expands a chemical reaction takes place between the urea and NOX. The outcome is nitrogen and water vapor which leaves out the muffler.

If you run out of DEF, you would simply get tons of NOX running out the exhaust which is very harmful to the atmosphere.

So DEF engines are better and not plagued with the problems the DPF engines have been having. The engines will last longer because they run cooler and they should get better fuel mileage and power from the free flowing exhaust. They are easier to diagnose if there is a problem.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:27 PM   #9
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To further clarify: just because you need DEF does NOT mean you don't have a DPF. To the OP, you DO have a DPF (diesel particulate filter), DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst (catalytic converter)), an EGR (exhaust gas recirculator), and DEF (diesel exhaust fluid.)

Also, a motor with or without DPF/DEF is going to run basically the same EGT (exhaust gas temps), but one with a DPF will have more restriction and run hotter with the restriction. But both will produce same NOx and particulate amounts.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
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The ill-effect on performance is certainly true, even on my VW. The pre-DPF V10 got about 3-4 more mpg and made more power.
Leave it to the government to figure out a way to make an engine less efficient so as to be more environmentally friendly!
Not to mention adding AT LEAST 100lbs of stuff to go wrong.
My next project is getting rid of that crap on mine.

Though I do love it when my DPFs regenerate and there's a hybrid behind me.
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:35 PM   #11
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The ill-effect on performance is certainly true, even on my VW. The pre-DPF V10 got about 3-4 more mpg and made more power.
Leave it to the government to figure out a way to make an engine less efficient so as to be more environmentally friendly!
Not to mention adding AT LEAST 100lbs of stuff to go wrong.
My next project is getting rid of that crap on mine.

Though I do love it when my DPFs regenerate and there's a hybrid behind me.
Is there emissions delete tuning for you?
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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Google Image Result for http://www.brenntagdef.com/en/images/Charts/SCR.jpg

A typical DEF and SCR system. The purpose is to reduce NOX emissions.

Diesel exhaust fluid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 10-28-2013, 08:16 PM   #13
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I wasn't going to not put it in just wondered how important it was to the engine not just for EPA stuff. Even though there's more costs etc I love this truck! ))
Good for you! If you can afford a 2013 Ford then you can afford DEF! Enjoy the ride and towing!
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:29 PM   #14
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What model year did they start mandating this? Seems to me that older diesel trucks and DP motorhomes may be more valuable and have a higher resale value?
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