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Old 02-10-2022, 12:15 PM   #1
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Expiration date on DEF

I finally pulled the trigger on a 2016 Fleetwood Expedition 38k !! PHEW !!! Many months of looking and agonizing but I think we found a well loved unit. I am sure going to need you folks' advice and experience a LOT !! The seller left a box of Blue Def in the unit that has an expiration date of 12/21 on it. I have read somewhere that DEF has a shelf life of 6 months. I want to make sure I am correct in thinking that this DEF should be used by 6/22 not dumped in the def tank by that date. It's not important on this box but I would like to know for the future. My coach may be in storage with me puttering around with it for a few months and don't want bad DEF sitting in the tank. Does adding new DEF to 4-5 month in the tank DEF mix it all up so it's safe or ??? If for some reason the coach sits in storage for 6 months should I try to minimize the amount of DEF in the tank or can I syphon most of it out and replace with fresh ?? Thanks in advance, Ken
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Old 02-10-2022, 12:53 PM   #2
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Here's some info on Def


Know the Shelf Life of Diesel Exhaust Fluid - Blue Sky Diesel Exhaust Fluid



https://www.rdoequipment.com/resourc...fluid-goes-bad


https://www.motorcraft.com/content/d...%20Quality.pdf
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Old 02-10-2022, 01:05 PM   #3
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If 12/21 is the expiration date, it is past the expiration date. Could that be the date of manufacture?

Shelf life can range from 2-36 months depending of storage conditions. Do you know the conditions under which it was stored? If not, it may be to your advantage to spend $10 and get a new container.

Some manufacturers use a reverse Julian calendar for the date of manufacture. Decoding this requires an abacus, slide rule, a phone app and a 12 year old named Leonardo to talk you through the process.
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Old 02-11-2022, 08:28 AM   #4
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The date you see is the packaging/filling date (batch code).

Stored properly should last 1-2 years from that date. If it's bad, you will know by the color of it, since new def looks clear like water.
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Old 02-11-2022, 05:01 PM   #5
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Do you know if you are on a 2015 Freightliner chassis or a 2016 Freightliner chassis? Beginning in 2016 the EPA began requiring extra DEF sensors to determine the DEF "quality". DEF also seems to degrade above about 120 degrees F. It can be where the DEF fluid is stored or it can be that the DEF tank gets hot.

People with the Spartan chassis, and maybe Tiffin's PowerGlide chassis, have been having a real problem with the DEF head and it seems to be exacerbated by the DEF fluid deterioration. It seems ammonia gets released and corrodes something in their vendor's DEF head.

Freightliner apparently uses a different vendor for their DEF head but Freightliner chassis owners have had their share of DEF head problems, just not near as much as Spartan.

Hopefully you're on a 2015 chassis.

Some DEF tanks have a drain plug on the bottom. If I had a DP I would be draining and refilling if the motorhome sat for several months, especially if it's somewhere hot. That would be far cheaper than having an on-the-road problem.

FWIW,

Ray
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Old 02-12-2022, 07:44 AM   #6
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My coach has a 11/15 build date so I think I escaped the DEF quality sensors of 2016. I'll head over to the storage to see if I have a drain plug. Does it matter if the def has been in the tank for a year as the PO took several short trips over the past year and it had 1/2 tank left ? I drove it 150 miles home from the purchase site and it ran good. ??
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Old 02-12-2022, 01:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kengardner View Post
My coach has a 11/15 build date so I think I escaped the DEF quality sensors of 2016. I'll head over to the storage to see if I have a drain plug. Does it matter if the def has been in the tank for a year as the PO took several short trips over the past year and it had 1/2 tank left ? I drove it 150 miles home from the purchase site and it ran good. ??

Put the VIN into a VIN decoder site and it will tell you.

I cannot answer your question except to say I'd be doing oil and radiator fluid analysis on any used motorhome I bought. If the year-old DEF fluid is easy to drain and replace, why would you not do it?

I've been doing a lot of reading on DP maintenance in anticipation of an upgrade and apparently some radiators need some type of additive added and you need to test it. Perhaps someone here more knowledgeable than me can provide the details.

Ray
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Old 02-14-2022, 06:06 AM   #8
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Thanks all, The PO had a receipt showing all fluids changed at Cummins within 6 months. I tossed the old DEF. Ken
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Old 05-26-2022, 12:19 PM   #9
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It seems that the DEF at Walmart is the cheapest around. Does anyone know how to find the expiration date on their Super Tech DEF containers?
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Old 05-26-2022, 02:57 PM   #10
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If you decide not to use that container, dilute it and pour it on your lawn. It will green right up.
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Old 05-26-2022, 06:47 PM   #11
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If you decide to buy your DEF at an auto parts store, look around. I've been in a few Autozone stores, and the DEF display is in the Front Window.


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Old 05-26-2022, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kengardner View Post
My coach has a 11/15 build date so I think I escaped the DEF quality sensors of 2016. I'll head over to the storage to see if I have a drain plug. Does it matter if the def has been in the tank for a year as the PO took several short trips over the past year and it had 1/2 tank left ? I drove it 150 miles home from the purchase site and it ran good. ??
Shelf life is 1-2 years depending on how it is stored.
reference: https://www.fcsdchemicalsandlubrican...%20Quality.pdf


The system only uses DEF when the regen-mode is activated. You may not have driven far enough for the mode to activate.
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Old 05-26-2022, 07:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
If you decide not to use that container, dilute it and pour it on your lawn. It will green right up.
Yes and the 12” earthworms will be jumping onto your fishing hooks!
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Old 05-26-2022, 07:15 PM   #14
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The best place to buy it is at a truck stop. Big turnover, Always fresh and not paying the stupid "box" prices. If you you do have to buy off the self its good for at least 2 years. I've tested DEF for years and have Never had a failure yet. "even almost 3 yrs old" I think failures must be far and few between
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