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Old 09-19-2021, 10:30 AM   #15
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I've only got around 9800 miles on my 1 year old 2019 3500 CTD. It was sitting on the lot with 2020's in Sept 2020. Half the miles are towing and the other are mostly around town. Have had zero DEF issues. Coming from a 2012 pre DEF I love this truck. Can't tell when it's regening, way way better MPG's and once a year oil changes vs every 3000-4000 mile oil changes.
I've only put box DEF in as well. Granted one year and 9800 miles isn't much but I don't worry about DEF issues.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:26 PM   #16
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People only report REALLY REALLY bad issues or REALLY REALLY good things. You don't hear the people running in the middle of the road.

My 2017 truck is all stock. I've run through I'd guess somewhere between 15-20gal of DEF since I bought it in November. Read/heard somewhere keep it fresh & full. When I hit a half tank I throw a 2.5g jug at it and fill it up. Long road trip? I'll buy a jug and carry it along in case I need it.

On a 1400 mile road trip towing 8500lbs - I went through about 7.5g of DEF (ballpark numbers, I filled up at each major stop and topped off my DEF tank).

Run it fresh - keep it full. Don't stash it, it'll go bad. All the people you hear complaining right now probably have garages full of TP & bottled water and are trying to use the DEF they bought at the same time.

Run it hard - at least the Cummins, they like to be run hard. Highway, hills, towing. Around town you'll be doing a regen probably every other week, if not weekly. I regen bi-weekly if I'm using it for my 30min commute. Get it out on the highway towing my trailer I regen the first 15 minutes on the highway then never again as long as the exhaust temps stay up there (650-750range or higher). Towing my EGT3 temps are in the 900 range.

Run it fresh, full & hard.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumjoe View Post
wanting to go back to full time living.
had been looking at dodge duallys and 35" artic fox...
looking at used diesel trucks until i started looking at all the problems with def systems..i will not delete.

i can't afford to spend 75k to 100k and then sit on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck.

am i over thinking this or what...does anyone else throw up their hands and say forget it as i am doing ?.

your imput appreciated...what are my choices
You are correct to be worried about emission diesels...they can be horrible, sometimes completely unfixable. (We have one of those at work...it has ~140K on the CEL.)

The choice is actually pretty obvious: gas power. The 6.4 Hemi is a very good puller.
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:25 AM   #18
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No DEF issues to date on my 2016 Ram 3500. 120k miles.

I only buy DEF from the big rig pump (less chance of stale fluid) and I frequently tow with the truck. The worst thing in the world is to top off a DEF tank and then putt around town empty in the truck. It would take months to use the DEF and by then, it's no good. If you don't tow heavy frequently, take it out on the interstate and run it hard ever so often.

The DEF issues aren't that big of a deal honestly. As long as you use the truck the way it is intended, you're unlikely to have an issue to worry about.
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Old 09-20-2021, 08:27 AM   #19
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I've had a few mention if you are doing a lot of unloaded city driving to NOT fill the DEF tank full. Fill only 1/4 to 1/3 so you use it up sooner... and forces you to keep putting small amounts of fresh DEF in the tank.

That way the risk of the DEF getting old is minimized.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:02 AM   #20
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I've had a few mention if you are doing a lot of unloaded city driving to NOT fill the DEF tank full. Fill only 1/4 to 1/3 so you use it up sooner... and forces you to keep putting small amounts of fresh DEF in the tank.

That way the risk of the DEF getting old is minimized.
Interesting idea. FWIW this is my 1st DEF diesel. Last winter after camping season was over I only drove to HD/Lowes which is 2-4 miles each way all winter. (DIY kitchen remodel) Of course I drove some other somewhat longer drives but nothing to make a difference. I never added DEF from late Oct to March or so. The truck simply doesn't hardly use any putting around town. It will suck it down when towing.
You idea makes total sense.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:58 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by jrollf View Post
I've had a few mention if you are doing a lot of unloaded city driving to NOT fill the DEF tank full. Fill only 1/4 to 1/3 so you use it up sooner... and forces you to keep putting small amounts of fresh DEF in the tank.

That way the risk of the DEF getting old is minimized.
This.

I know that during certain periods of the year I won't be towing much. During those periods, I only keep about 1/4 tank of DEF. I only fill it all the way up when I know that I have trips coming up.
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:10 AM   #22
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Lol - you will probably have EGR or DPF issues before DEF issues....just kidding. There are more things that can clog up that I think would be a bigger issue.

The key is to use it, to tow alot, keep oil clean and DEF fresh. Their is even new formulas to the fuel to burn cleaner. Look up Diesel Efficient fuel.

I used a 2012 Gen 1 Ford diesel with no trouble for 6.5 years. I could tell when the truck went into Regen mode with using more fuel and loss of some power.

There are scientists and engineers that are continually working on the diesel emissions problem by studing fuel formula, fuel pressure and injector spray patterns. New trucks are on the 2nd or 3rd generation of engine/emission design. I think each generation gets better with more HP and Torque. In 2012 I had 400HP and 800ft.lbs. torque. Now new trucks have over 450HP with over 1,000ft lbs of torque. I test drove a 2020 Ford diesel and seat of the pants I could tell it had more power than my 2012 had.

I had friends that had a Class A gas motorhome. I had a 2012 diesel dually. They said they went up a mountian at 35 mph. I said I do not remember that mountain. I probably went up that moutain at 68 - 70mph towing my 15,500lb 5th wheel. We took the same route.

Here is a bit of information on diesel engines and how the emissions work.



https://youtu.be/yzRR8BTVsyw

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Old 09-20-2021, 10:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sumjoe View Post
wanting to go back to full time living.
had been looking at dodge duallys and 35" artic fox...
looking at used diesel trucks until i started looking at all the problems with def systems..i will not delete.

i can't afford to spend 75k to 100k and then sit on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck.

am i over thinking this or what...does anyone else throw up their hands and say forget it as i am doing ?.

your imput appreciated...what are my choices
So buy a gasser if it makes you feel better. Simple, durable and no DEF needed.
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:18 AM   #24
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The weak point in DEF is when stored at temperatures above 85 degrees ferihenhight for long periods, it will start to degrade. One more reason to run these things at operating temperatures often.

If you must purchase a jug go inside the store and make the purchase, check the date code an acceptable shelf life is two years if stored properly.
I was in an auto parts store last week for something other than DEF, but couldn't help but notice the stack of Peak BlueDEF boxes. Piled high in the window. On the south facing side of the building. An auto parts store!

I wouldn't buy from them on a bet. I normally get it at Home Depot in part because it's stacked up in the middle of the store, on a nice cool concrete floor.

And of course I check the date code, which they seem to go to great lengths to disguise.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:39 PM   #25
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You are right to be concerned about your emissions system. Once you are off warranty a repair can be expensive. One of the problems is that if you don't understand how the system works you can be taken advantage of by a repair shop. They will tell you anything to get you to spend money on unnecessary repairs. So, here is a diagram in its simplest form. The more you know about it the better.



Note that you will not be able to escape costly expenditures just by buying a gasser. While the emissions system is not as involved, the EPA, DOT, CARB and the auto manufacturers are all colluding to increase gas vehicle prices to force you into expensive electric cars.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:56 PM   #26
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I have heard elsewhere in a private forum that part of the issue may be overheating of the DEF by the system designed to thaw it in the winter. The valve is supposed to open when the DEF is frozen to thaw it out. The valve gets stuck and it overheats the DEF head which contributes to the failure rate. This is corroborated by a notice from Navistar. I don't know if Spartan and the other folks having the DEF head issue have a problem with their DEF heater valves but it might be worth checking out. I do believe this issue will be sorted out sooner or later but in the mean time is sure is a pain.
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:16 PM   #27
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Note that you will not be able to escape costly expenditures just by buying a gasser.
I beg to differ as I find no substance in that statement.
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:50 PM   #28
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I have heard elsewhere in a private forum that part of the issue may be overheating of the DEF by the system designed to thaw it in the winter. The valve is supposed to open when the DEF is frozen to thaw it out. The valve gets stuck and it overheats the DEF head which contributes to the failure rate. This is corroborated by a notice from Navistar. I don't know if Spartan and the other folks having the DEF head issue have a problem with their DEF heater valves but it might be worth checking out. I do believe this issue will be sorted out sooner or later but in the mean time is sure is a pain.
I don't think it's a big issue on the 1T trucks...seems to be more common on the bigger diesel engines.... at least not that I've found many cases for. I did hear of one instance on a friend's 2013 F350 where his heater failed but haven't ran across anyone else with that issue (anecdotal, of course).

The bigger issues seem to be bad DEF that can cause the DEF injector to clog and/or fail but that can easily be remedied by buying good quality DEF and making sure that the trucks go through their regen processes.
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