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Old 12-02-2020, 07:02 PM   #1
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More on the DEF Sensors per Cummins

Spent the morning at Cummins having the DEF sensor replace after only 1,557 on a 21 Cornerstone. I talked to two techs, and a regional manager all pretty much said the same thing

EPA does set the standards. It is the chassis manufactures that supply the DEF tanks and sensors for their chassis. They choose the manufacture, Shaw Development seems to be the largest, but the DEF sensors arrive with the chassis manufactures label. Techs said they have no idea who the manufactures are.

Cummins does supply DEF sensors to some of their products being wood chippers and landscaping tractors. Techs did not know who manufactured their DEF heads, but said they were bad with constant failures.

My Tech worked for Freightliner for 3 years prior to joining Cummins. He told me the OTR truck were just as bad as what we have been experiencing with MH's. Freightliner uses three different engines, Cummins, Volvo, and Detroit. The Cummins and Volvo use the same type of DEF sensor and both have the same amount of failures. Detroit, not so much, but their DEF sensor is a complete control box with a cost of $13,000. for replacement. Tech said CAT was smart, EPA ran them out of the OTR market and they didn't have to go though all of this.

Quick Starts: All techs said that quick starts are only asking for a problem to happen. Will it happen every time no, but sooner or later it could cause a sensor to glitch. I asked if the Quick Start by the front end shop could have cause my DEF sensor to be bad when I picked the coach up? Answer: "if the power draw or surge hit at the right time to the DEF sensor while it was syncing,..... yes." They also said there is no rhyme or reason these things fail as often as the do, but it doesn't take much. He also told me when you see the emission light on the dash, let it finish..."oh look, Entegra gives you a nice logo light when it's all clear, that's cool."

More after I talk with Shaw Development and see what is said about the Gen 6 sensors.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:12 PM   #2
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Good write up Chuck - hope they get you fixed on the DEF sensor on your coach. I had a chuckle reading Lynn's post about the Classic's having less issues compared to what we see on New DEF and the Vega-touch products. Has scared me right back into my coach...lol.
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Old 12-02-2020, 08:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing. I have not had the dreaded DEF / derate issue yet but I will not quick start any longer. Just not worth the risk even if it is 1%.

I only learned the emission problems were covered under warranty for 5 years by reading on IRV2.

I would love to get an actual answer on exactly how far you can drive before derate, then how far you can go until shutdown. It would be useful for all to know that answer.

I have been using name brand truck stop DEF at the pump about every other time I fill up. Like Pilot, TA, Flying J, etc....

I just fear this issue is a problem waiting to happen. I want to be educated so I can make the best of this issue if / when it happens.

Thanks again for all your post on this. Sorry your brand new coach is having a fun stopping issue.
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Old 12-03-2020, 05:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVFunlovers View Post
Thanks for sharing. I have not had the dreaded DEF / derate issue yet but I will not quick start any longer. Just not worth the risk even if it is 1%.

I only learned the emission problems were covered under warranty for 5 years by reading on IRV2.

I would love to get an actual answer on exactly how far you can drive before derate, then how far you can go until shutdown. It would be useful for all to know that answer.

I have been using name brand truck stop DEF at the pump about every other time I fill up. Like Pilot, TA, Flying J, etc....

I just fear this issue is a problem waiting to happen. I want to be educated so I can make the best of this issue if / when it happens.

Thanks again for all your post on this. Sorry your brand new coach is having a fun stopping issue.

Cummins informed me it is up to the chassis manufactures what they program into the system. Some cars even have a count down millage that shows on the dash, there are videos on YouTube. I have asked two different people at Spartan what the mileage would be to derate. I have never received an answer. Maybe somebody with a little pull at Spartan can get that questioned answered. Asking question regarding DEF sensors to a lot of people in the profession. I get a lot of "I don't know" answers.
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Old 12-03-2020, 06:43 AM   #5
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3093 miles without a failure, woo hoo!!
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:34 AM   #6
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Has anybody looked at and or used this DEF, I was camping this past weekend and I had two very good Diesel mechanics with me both with over 40 years of working on large diesel engines. They both suggested to remove the the entire DEF system as they have not seen one system that was "worth anything". Neither one had heard about this DEF. They both agreed that the only difference in one brand of DEF to another is the water that is used and they believe that as the DEF sits the water evaporates which causes a higher level of Urea.
The attached web site states the following"
BlueDEF PLATINUM™ with advanced SYSTEM SHIELD™ technology is a mixture of high purity synthetic urea, deionized water, and our proprietary additive package manufactured under ISO 22241 guidelines to ensure product quality. With continual use, BlueDEF PLATINUM™ with advanced SYSTEM SHIELD™ technology reduces the formation of deposits that build up in your diesel exhaust system. API registered and meets or exceeds OEM specifications.
.

Not sure that this DEF would help reduce the failure rate of the DEF heads but someone with a little, ok a lot more knowledge then me may be able to explain if this is a better DEF.

https://www.peakhd.com/product/bluedef-platinum/
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Old 12-03-2020, 07:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldguy2013 View Post
Has anybody looked at and or used this DEF, I was camping this past weekend and I had two very good Diesel mechanics with me both with over 40 years of working on large diesel engines. They both suggested to remove the the entire DEF system as they have not seen one system that was "worth anything". Neither one had heard about this DEF. They both agreed that the only difference in one brand of DEF to another is the water that is used and they believe that as the DEF sits the water evaporates which causes a higher level of Urea.
The attached web site states the following"
BlueDEF PLATINUM™ with advanced SYSTEM SHIELD™ technology is a mixture of high purity synthetic urea, deionized water, and our proprietary additive package manufactured under ISO 22241 guidelines to ensure product quality. With continual use, BlueDEF PLATINUM™ with advanced SYSTEM SHIELD™ technology reduces the formation of deposits that build up in your diesel exhaust system. API registered and meets or exceeds OEM specifications.
.

Not sure that this DEF would help reduce the failure rate of the DEF heads but someone with a little, ok a lot more knowledge then me may be able to explain if this is a better DEF.

https://www.peakhd.com/product/bluedef-platinum/
As explained to me by Cummins and Spartan. All DEF has to meet strict govt standards. Is it "buy me" label with that brand will have to be proven. You hear so much about truck stop DEF bad, Walmart DEF bad, yet none of it has ever been proven. All of the different DEF's have been run in every vehicle and the DEF heads sensors are still failing.
Personally I would like to see that BlueDEF PLATINUM ran it in a fleet of 1,000 vehicles for a year without a single DEF sensor failure.
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
Cummins informed me it is up to the chassis manufactures what they program into the system. Some cars even have a count down millage that shows on the dash, there are videos on YouTube. I have asked two different people at Spartan what the mileage would be to derate. I have never received an answer. Maybe somebody with a little pull at Spartan can get that questioned answered. Asking question regarding DEF sensors to a lot of people in the profession. I get a lot of "I don't know" answers.
I had read somewhere a long time ago, I think when this DEF stuff was required it was either chev or ford listed down what the error messages that would show on derate and when it would do it.

I am also thinking that the derate specifications are EPA requirements. I tried looking through the EPA web site but did not have a lot of time to try and find anything.
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Old 12-03-2020, 12:52 PM   #9
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With all of theses DEF problems, it sure makes me consider deleting the whole system. I've deleted it on trucks successfully, but it adds to the diesel exhaust fumes in garages and around the campgrounds. I'm afraid I'd "gass out" fellow campers while airing up the coach.
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbojack View Post
I had read somewhere a long time ago, I think when this DEF stuff was required it was either chev or ford listed down what the error messages that would show on derate and when it would do it.

I am also thinking that the derate specifications are EPA requirements. I tried looking through the EPA web site but did not have a lot of time to try and find anything.

Doing research, almost all of the autos and pickups have a count down to derate as seen in the first 47 seconds of this video. Chevy has a count down of 100 miles at 65 mph, 75 miles at 55 mph etc. until derate. Why MH's and OTR trucks that use a heck of a lot more DEF don't have them is beyond making sense.

Trying to find anything regarding DEF sensor requirements is like the best kept secret in the Bureau of Regulations. There is more real life experience on YouTube than I could find researching EPA. I hope you can find something that would help others
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by brobox View Post
Spent the morning at Cummins having the DEF sensor replace after only 1,557 on a 21 Cornerstone. I talked to two techs, and a regional manager all pretty much said the same thing

EPA does set the standards. It is the chassis manufactures that supply the DEF tanks and sensors for their chassis. They choose the manufacture, Shaw Development seems to be the largest, but the DEF sensors arrive with the chassis manufactures label. Techs said they have no idea who the manufactures are.

Cummins does supply DEF sensors to some of their products being wood chippers and landscaping tractors. Techs did not know who manufactured their DEF heads, but said they were bad with constant failures.

My Tech worked for Freightliner for 3 years prior to joining Cummins. He told me the OTR truck were just as bad as what we have been experiencing with MH's. Freightliner uses three different engines, Cummins, Volvo, and Detroit. The Cummins and Volvo use the same type of DEF sensor and both have the same amount of failures. Detroit, not so much, but their DEF sensor is a complete control box with a cost of $13,000. for replacement. Tech said CAT was smart, EPA ran them out of the OTR market and they didn't have to go though all of this.

Quick Starts: All techs said that quick starts are only asking for a problem to happen. Will it happen every time no, but sooner or later it could cause a sensor to glitch. I asked if the Quick Start by the front end shop could have cause my DEF sensor to be bad when I picked the coach up? Answer: "if the power draw or surge hit at the right time to the DEF sensor while it was syncing,..... yes." They also said there is no rhyme or reason these things fail as often as the do, but it doesn't take much. He also told me when you see the emission light on the dash, let it finish..."oh look, Entegra gives you a nice logo light when it's all clear, that's cool."

More after I talk with Shaw Development and see what is said about the Gen 6 sensors.
What are these "quick starts" you are referring to ?
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave&ginny View Post
With all of theses DEF problems, it sure makes me consider deleting the whole system. I've deleted it on trucks successfully, but it adds to the diesel exhaust fumes in garages and around the campgrounds. I'm afraid I'd "gass out" fellow campers while airing up the coach.
Easiest thing would be to have EPA delete the regulations that the DEF sensor have to read the concentration of DEF. There is noting wrong with DEF, and nothing wrong with the system until EPA wouldn't leave well enough alone.
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:44 PM   #13
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What are these "quick starts" you are referring to ?
The way I interpret "Quick Starts" in what Chuck was saying is starting the coach straight away without letting the key sit in the accessory position for the 10 or so seconds until all of the sensors sync up, all the dash lights go out, and then starting. Someone please correct me if I am wrong in that assumption.
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:51 PM   #14
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The way I interpret "Quick Starts" in what Chuck was saying is starting the coach straight away without letting the key sit in the accessory position for the 10 or so seconds until all of the sensors sync up, all the dash lights go out, and then starting. Someone please correct me if I am wrong in that assumption.
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