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Old 05-03-2021, 11:42 PM   #1
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Heads up for def users

This is just a word of caution for anyone running def in their trucks.
Almost all of the trucks that the company i work for (medium sized oilfield service company) are newer trucks that run def fluid. Lately i noticed the truck i regularly run for my client was having alot of regen issues. I had to constantly monitor what it was doing and give it extra special attention or it would miss regens and go into limp mode. Other supervisors were having similar issues and our mechanic was getting called out frequently. I was hearing the same of other trucks out for other clients. It was getting to be quite the pain in the behind. This went on for the better part of a few months.
The mechanic, after months of fooling with different things trying to correct the problem, decided to hit up the snapon dealer for a def test kit. We had bought a pallet of def late last summer for guys to grab from the shop to keep on hand on site. Well, he gets his test kit, and checks a jug of def. No good, according to the tester. He checks a few more jugs, and same issue. He figures maybe the test kit is wrong because its a fairly fresh pallet and we go through it pretty quick. He stops at pilot and tests their def from the pump and its good. He tests a jug hes got at the house and its good too. After all that he has the def supplier come out and they test ours....bad def. Our pallets been swapped too recently to tell if itll correct the issue, but, the point being watch your def supply. It might even be a good idea to test your def occasionally to make sure youre putting good def in your pickup. Im told harbor freight sells a similar inexpensive test kit and might be worth having on hand.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:59 PM   #2
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https://www.amazon.com/def-tester/s?k=def+tester

Couldn't find any on the Harbor Freight webpage but there are a bunch on Amazon. I don't have a diesel but if I did I'd buy one instantly.

I have several friends with diesels and everyone of them has Def stories to tell.

Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:12 AM   #3
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I wasnít having issues but picked up a Refractometer to test my DEF so I could test what was going in the tank. I found that about 40% of the time I checked pump DEF, that it was below 32.5% specific gravity. I have since started only putting in DEF out of jugs but I still test every batch I put in. I am also using Bluefire for Motorhomes module with custom dash on an IPad mini and I have a DEF concentration (quality) gauge that shows the specific gravity of the DEF in the tank. Donít trust any source, always test!
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BMGM37 View Post
I wasnít having issues but picked up a Refractometer to test my DEF so I could test what was going in the tank. I found that about 40% of the time I checked pump DEF, that it was below 32.5% specific gravity. I have since started only putting in DEF out of jugs but I still test every batch I put in. I am also using Bluefire for Motorhomes module with custom dash on an IPad mini and I have a DEF concentration (quality) gauge that shows the specific gravity of the DEF in the tank. Donít trust any source, always test!
Thats exactly it. It was getting to be a huge pain chasing 1 mechanic to 5 different well sites all over the marcellus shale basin over something so simple. Well see how this effects the issue, but im sure good def wont hurt. I probably go through as much def as anyone in here, and i was totally unaware of this.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:28 AM   #5
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I don't know enough about DEF fluid. I know old DEF is not as good as new DEF. I also know diesel fuel will be good longer than DEF if your truck is sitting not being used. If I remember DEF would be good for about 1 year depending on temperture. Cooler temps are better. So good DEF could become bad DEF because of age, especially in a hot climate. Best to store DEF at 50F degrees and keep it out of the sun.

How did the mechanic fix this issue? It is easy to say remove the bad DEF and put in good DEF but how did the mechanic do this?

I had a gen 1 Ford 6.7 diesel for 6.5 years. I didn't worry too much about DEF when I was using the truck but its last 6 months it sat around too much not being used before I sold it. That was when I worried. The truck was sitting in hot Florida...ugh.

The new gas engines from Ford and GM are a step in the right direction but they still don't tow like a diesel.
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Old 05-04-2021, 03:50 AM   #6
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I haven’t bought a def in the box.
I buy at busy TA a truck stop, last time it was at Iowa 80, or the busy Sheetz in Virginia on I 81. It’s probably the busiest truck stop in Virginia.

Why?
DEF in those tanks under ground is about 50f. Probably will last 2-3 years.
DEF in a BOX is at 70F, probably will last 6-9 months.
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Old 05-04-2021, 04:39 AM   #7
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Lol - a busy Sheetz. I have never been to a Sheetz that was not crazy busy. I grew up 20 miles from Altoona Pennsylvania the Sheetz headquarters.

I agree with 50 degrees away from the sun DEF is good for over two years.

I have heard DEF will start to crystalize when it gets old. Anyone see crystalized DEF? I have not.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:24 AM   #8
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I have crystallized DEF all over the side of my car from overfilling. If it dries out it will crystallize. Make sure your filler cap is on tight to prevent evaporation.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:54 AM   #9
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It's something most mechanics know about. DEF ages and becomes unusable. Most modern vehicles have sensors that test DEF quality and will set codes for it.

Just setting a pallet of the stuff in sunlight, even if ony a few hours a day will make the stuff go bad in a few months.
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:24 AM   #10
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Here is a Tec bulletin from Cummins Filtration on DEF usage and storage that you might find interesting.

Per Cummins Filtration DEF will last around one year depending on how the DEF is stored. Such as out of sunlight and the constant temperatures not to exceed 90F. but for longer storage life of two years the temp should be kept below 75F, per ISO standard 22241-3.

https://cumminsfiltration.com/sites/...es/MB10033.pdf
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cyber71 View Post
I havenít bought a def in the box.
I buy at busy TA a truck stop, last time it was at Iowa 80, or the busy Sheetz in Virginia on I 81. Itís probably the busiest truck stop in Virginia.

Why?
DEF in those tanks under ground is about 50f. Probably will last 2-3 years.
DEF in a BOX is at 70F, probably will last 6-9 months.

Cross contamination is why I wont buy at the pump. I have sat there and watched guys stick the DEF nozzle in their diesel filler tube after filling diesel and realizing it and pulling it out and putting in the DEF. I check the dates when I buy it and test with refractometer before I add it, only takes seconds to do.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:39 AM   #12
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My new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has the 3.0 turbo diesel. Only have 1600 miles in a week but needs to go back to the dealer to fix the DEF gauge that reads "0" even after I added 2+ gallons of Blue DEF from jugs. I know people are having trouble with Wal*Marts Blue DEF. People buy a jug, empty it, refill it with water, repackage it, then return the water filled jug.
Glad my motorhome doesn't need DEF though.
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Old 05-04-2021, 09:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
My new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon has the 3.0 turbo diesel. Only have 1600 miles in a week but needs to go back to the dealer to fix the DEF gauge that reads "0" even after I added 2+ gallons of Blue DEF from jugs. I know people are having trouble with Wal*Marts Blue DEF. People buy a jug, empty it, refill it with water, repackage it, then return the water filled jug.
Glad my motorhome doesn't need DEF though.

I also have the 2021 Eco Diesel Rubicon. I have about the same mileage and have only used about a 1/3 of a tank of DEF.
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:28 AM   #14
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Okay, help me out here.


The OP states there were regen issues in the trucks he was dealing with. Then, he connected those issues with bad DEF.


My understanding is regeneration is a function of the Diesel Particle Filter (DPF), and has nothing to do with the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system in which DEF is used. Yes, these systems are constantly being redesigned, but the DPF, which needs periodic regeneration, should not be affected by the quality of the DEF that is used in the catalytic converter to reduce NOx.


Can someone explain how bad quality DEF influences the regeneration cycles of the Diesel Particle Filter?
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