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diesel exhaust fluid


dan412

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If you want a diesel, you won't have a choice. Its law. The decision is yours gas vs diesel. In my case, we're pulling a heavy 5th Wheel and traveling higher altitudes out west, so the turbocharged diesel makes sense to us. DEF is to prevent the dirty black exhaust smoke and it certainly does a good job at this. You'll get a warning about adding DEF with 500 miles of driving remaining. It can be purchased at most Auto Parts locations as well as places like Walmart.

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Adding fluid is not an issue. There are extra injectors (for the Urea), Knox sensors, etc. This is where the problem lies. They fail. My dually had 50k when sold. Was in shop due to the def system failure 5 times. When they sold my truck they had to put it back in shop for Def system. I would hope the HDTs are better but the way truckers are posting they are a problem.

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If you want a diesel, you won't have a choice. Its law. The decision is yours gas vs diesel. In my case, we're pulling a heavy 5th Wheel and traveling higher altitudes out west, so the turbocharged diesel makes sense to us. DEF is to prevent the dirty black exhaust smoke and it certainly does a good job at this. You'll get a warning about adding DEF with 500 miles of driving remaining. It can be purchased at most Auto Parts locations as well as places like Walmart.

 

Of course you have a choice, there are lot's of diesel trucks available without the DEF system. My 2010 doesn't use DEF. Also, DEF has nothing to do with with dirty black exhaust smoke. That's the purpose of the DPF.

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I have a 2014 F350 with DEF. So far so good. Engine runs quite, no black smoke, just don't run out while on the road. The computer will slow you down then shut off when you run out (per the manual. I've never let get that low). I keep an extra box of BlueMax in the camper just in case I'm in the boonies, but it's cheap at Walmart or the truck stop.

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Finally a topic that I have some insight on. I have been working on diesel engines for almost 20 years and have concentrated the bulk of my time with Cummins in light and medium duty applications. I would like to add that, when it comes to light and medium duty engines, the early DPF equipped trucks prior to DEF definitely had their share of issues. For the most part, trucks with DPF and DEF actually work really well and return decent fuel mileage numbers depending on operating conditions. Improved tuning and the addition of DEF has allowed longer times between regeneration and longer DPF life. But, this all comes with a price. In our market the emissions equipment seems to hold together and do its job with some maintenance and the original owners are usually fairly happy. But, let the truck get closer 200K or above and it can definitely become an expensive nightmare to maintain/replace. I regularly have customers come to my shop with estimates from the dealer for $3k-$6k in repairs and they are beside themselves because they paid over 50 grand for a pickup and 150-200K miles later they are faced with dumping a ton of money in the truck to keep it going. With that being said... My Volvo needed both EGR valves and an EGR cooler when I bought it. Those parts will give you sticker shock for sure!!!!! I am certainly happy that my 06 Volvo no longer has to worry about replacing those. There is something to be said for the earlier non emissions trucks if you are handy and/or don't have an unlimited budget. Just my 2 cents. Jeremy

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2010 630 with DPF and no issues so far, but I know that could change in an instant. I just figure it in the budget for the future. To get the I-shift, it was what I had to do Only complaint so far is from the wife when she climbed out of the cab, hey, something hot over here.

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I'm looking at Semi Glider kits with rebuild pre emissions engines. Fitzgerald gliders is on my list. Other wise I will purchase a per emissions semi truck up to 2007 check the Truck Paper. I have heard to many stories about electronic issues that cannot be repaired on the road and must go the dealer, (I have a code means $$$). Just my thoughts hope it helps.

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I'm looking at Semi Glider kits with rebuild pre emissions engines. Fitzgerald gliders is on my list. Other wise I will purchase a per emissions semi truck up to 2007 check the Truck Paper. I have heard to many stories about electronic issues that cannot be repaired on the road and must go the dealer, (I have a code means $$$). Just my thoughts hope it helps.

If your getting a Fitzgerald glider, (if you want an automated transmission) order it without engine and have the newer harness installed. This way you have the engine and transmission installed with the "newer" harness and now you have a modern automated transmission with a "pre" EPA'd engine! Best of both worlds! Sorry you cannot do this with a Volvo! So there will not be "those" electrical issues!

 

Curt

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Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is an aqueous urea solution made with 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. I don't think there are any differences in the product at this point. Oh by the way this stuff will freeze at 12F / -11C that is why the supply lines are heated, and a pump recirculates the fluid back to the heated tank. This the noise you hear after the vehicle is shut down for about a minute or so. I was testing Volvo D13 tier four final engines this winter, we had problems with that supply line and a bad DEF level sensor. This triggers you guessed it "codes" and engine goes into creep mode quickly. Sadly the days of duct tape are over if you by new.

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If your getting a Fitzgerald glider, (if you want an automated transmission) order it without engine and have the newer harness installed. This way you have the engine and transmission installed with the "newer" harness and now you have a modern automated transmission with a "pre" EPA'd engine! Best of both worlds! Sorry you cannot do this with a Volvo! So there will not be "those" electrical issues!

 

Curt

Been looking online at Fitzgerald gliders. Very impressive. If I was in the market for a new truck that would be it.

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To the question if one brand of fluid is better then another.

 

The brand doesn't matter but the age of the fluid does, and high temps (summer) accelerates the breakdown. (I have a dodge ecodiesel and they use def slowly, so lots of this chatter on those forums)

 

Best option is to get def at the pump at larger volume truck stops. Their def is cycled quickly and is fresher then the stuff in the jugs. The jugs also have date codes on them, watch those if you go that route.

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Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is an aqueous urea solution made with 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. I don't think there are any differences in the product at this point. Oh by the way this stuff will freeze at 12F / -11C that is why the supply lines are heated, and a pump recirculates the fluid back to the heated tank. This the noise you hear after the vehicle is shut down for about a minute or so. I was testing Volvo D13 tier four final engines this winter, we had problems with that supply line and a bad DEF level sensor. This triggers you guessed it "codes" and engine goes into creep mode quickly. Sadly the days of duct tape are over if you by new.

So, does it really freeze, or do crystals form which settle out when it gets cold?

 

I use 28% UAN fertilizer, and I had a batch settle out a few years ago because they shipped me 32% by mistake. I've never had it freeze.

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