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Old 10-23-2015, 09:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
What is the shelf life of DEF. When I purchased my Ram in August it was about 1/2 full and the dealer topped it up. I've got 1250miles on the truck and it still shows full. Guess I've not had a regen yet. After this last weekend trip next week there will be no towing until April. The truck will sit unused except for 1 day a week I plan to drive it to work. If the DEF gauge still shows full in February it won't be until next August when I will have the oil changed again. Will the DEF in my tank be too old?

Kelvin
Def life is shortened by high temps-anywhere from 2yrs down to 2 mos.Def useage is only very slightly affected by regens.You have had your truck go through regens-it is usally pretty seamless and goes unnoticed
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:22 PM   #16
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http://www.wccressey.com/Cummins%20F...0DEF%20FAQ.pdf
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:32 AM   #17
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I saw a video where a guy filled his DEF tank with water to turn off the limp mode. Truck ran fine. Don't know if that damaged the catalyst or not but truck probably was not as clean as the EPA would like for a while. I would think the particulate filter would clog up and hurt performance if a few regen cycles were ruined because of water in the tank instead of DEF. Then again water injection cleans combustion chambers so it might clean the filter somewhat? The point of the video was to test the rumor that you don't have to buy DEF to keep your truck running and it worked. Long term unknowns not addressed.
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:46 AM   #18
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It's not a rumor. It might run normally for awhile, but there are Def quality sensors which will trigger the time down from 700 miles to eventual reduces power just like an empty tank. Then you would have to get all the remaining diluted Def out in order to fill with fresh Def and continue. Unless you're VW and write "creative" software. But that's the required mechanics of it.
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:00 AM   #19
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This from service manual:

"Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Warning Strategy (Anti-Tampering)
The reductant system supplies the Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) stage of the vehicle’s exhaust after treatment system with the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) required to reduce exhaust Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) levels. The Engine Control Module (ECM) continuously monitors the performance of the reductant system during operation.

When the conditions associated with an attempt to disable reductant system operation are detected, the ECM activates the anti-tampering feature and presents the driver with a series of prompts and warnings.

Once initiated, anti-tampering warnings grow increasingly more serious as the vehicle continues to be driven. The vehicle’s current warning status is displayed on the scan tool. When tampering is suspected, the normally Off Reductant System Malfunction Warning Indicator Command will display Warning Level 1 through Warning Level 11 depending on the number of miles driven. The series anti-tampering warnings alert the driver that reductant system service is urgently needed.

Warning Level 1
Warning Level 1 is triggered when the ECM first detects an abnormal value on a reductant system circuit. The Driver Information Center (DIC) displays the following messages:

For Non-Emergency vehicles and Emergency vehicles MY 2013 and older:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•160 km (99 miles) until 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed
For Emergency vehicles MY 2014 and newer:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•999 km (620 miles) until 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds in the DIC until acknowledged by the driver; however, the mileage countdown message remains in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel is illuminated.

Warning Level 2
Warning Level 2 is triggered after the first mileage counter expires. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 2. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Transitioning to 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds in the DIC until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Transitioning to 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed remains in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel is illuminated. Vehicle speed limit is ramping down from max speed limit to the limit of 105 km/h (65 mph).

Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2 automatically advances to Warning Level 3 after the speed limit ramp down is complete or a key cycle. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 3. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Speed Limited to 105 km/h (65 mph)
•120 km (75 miles) Until 89 km/h (55 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds in the DIC until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Speed Limited to 105 km/h (65 mph) remains in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel is illuminated.

Vehicle speed is limited to 105 km/h (65 mph).

Warning Level 4
Warning Level 4 is triggered after the second mileage counter expires. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 4. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Transitioning to 89 km/h (55 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Transitioning to 89 km/h (55 mph) Max Speed remain displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously. Vehicle speed limit is ramping down from 105 km/h (65 mph) max speed limit to 89 km/h (55 mph).

Warning Level 5
Warning Level 4 automatically advances to Warning Level 5 after speed limit ramp down is complete or a key cycle. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 5. The series of 4 chimes will repeat 3 times every 3 minutes during each ignition cycle until the vehicle is serviced. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Speed Limited to 89 km/h (55 mph)
•120 km (75 miles) Until 7 km/h (4 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the speed limitation and mileage countdown remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously.

Vehicle speed is limited to 89 km/h (55 mph)

Warning Level 6
Warning Level 6 is not used

Warning Level 7
Warning Level 7 is not used

Warning Level 8
Warning Level 8 is not used

Warning Level 9
Warning Level 9 is not used

Warning Level 10
Warning Level 5 automatically advances to Warning Level 10 after third mileage counter expires or a key cycle. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 10. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Transitioning to 7 km/h (4 mph)
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Transitioning to 7 km/h (4 mph) remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously. Vehicle speed limit is ramping down from 89 km/h (55 mph) max speed limit to 7 km/h (4 mph).

Warning Level 11
Warning Level 10 automatically advances to Warning Level 11 after speed limit ramp down is complete or a key cycle. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 11. The series of 4 chimes will repeat every 3 minutes until the vehicle is serviced. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Service Exhaust Fluid System
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Speed Limited to 7 km/h (4 mph)
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Speed Limited to 7 km/h (4 mph) remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously.

Vehicle speed is limited to 7 km/h (4 mph)."
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:01 AM   #20
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And this relative to DEF quality:

"Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Warning Strategy (DEF Quality)
A supply of clean, fresh Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is critical for optimum Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) efficiency. SCR efficiency is determined by monitoring the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) sensors located upstream and downstream of the SCR. This vehicle provides the driver with an elaborate series of prompts and warnings that are initiated when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects a drop in the SCR NOx reduction efficiency suggesting a diluted or contaminated DEF supply.

When contaminated or diluted DEF is suspected, the ECM initiates the DEF Quality warning process. Once initiated, DEF quality warnings grow increasingly more serious as the vehicle continues to be driven. The vehicle’s current DEF quality warning status is displayed on the scan tool. When a drop in SCR efficiency is detected, the normally Off Reductant Field Quality Warning Indicator Command will display Warning Level 1 through Warning Level 11 depending on the number of miles driven. The series of DEF Quality Warnings alert the driver that DEF system service is urgently needed.

Warning Level 1
Warning Level 1 is triggered when the ECM first detects the SCR efficiency is below a calibrated value. The Driver Information Center (DIC) displays the following messages:

For Non-Emergency vehicles and Emergency vehicles MY 2013 and older:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•160 km (99 miles) until 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed
For Emergency vehicles MY 2014 and newer:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•999 km (620 miles) until 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the mileage countdown remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel is illuminated.

Warning Level 2
Warning Level 2 is triggered after the first mileage countdown expires without a DEF fluid service. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 2. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Transitioning to 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Transitioning to 105 km/h (65 mph) Max Speed remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel is illuminated. Vehicle speed limit is ramping down from max speed limit to the limit of 105 km/h (65 mph).

Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2 automatically advances to Warning Level 3 after speed limit ramp down is complete or a key cycle. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 3. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Speed Limited to 105 km/h (65 mph)
•120 km (75 miles) Until 89 km/h (55 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the speed limitation and mileage countdown remains displayed on the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel is illuminated.

Vehicle speed is limited to 105 km/h (65 mph).

Warning Level 4
Warning Level 4 is triggered after the second mileage countdown expires without a DEF fluid service. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 4. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Transitioning to 89 km/h (55 mph)
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Transitioning to 89 km/h (55 mph) remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously. Vehicle speed limit is ramping down from 105 km/h (65 mph) max speed limit to 89 km/h (55 mph).

Warning Level 5
Warning Level 5 is triggered after the speed limit ramp down is complete or a key cycle. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 5. The series of 4 chimes will repeat 3 additional times every 3 minutes . The DIC displays the following messages:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Speed Limited to 89 km/h (55 mph)
•120 km (75 miles) Until 7 km/h (4 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the speed limitation and mileage countdown remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously.

Vehicle speed is limited to 89 km/h (55 mph).

Warning Level 6
Warning Level 6 is not used.

Warning Level 7
Warning Level 7 is not used.

Warning Level 8
Warning Level 8 is not used.

Warning Level 9
Warning Level 9 is not used.

Warning Level 10
Warning Level 10 is triggered after the third mileage counter expires without a DEF fluid service. The driver will hear 4 chimes on entering Warning Level 10. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Transitioning to 7 km (4 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Transitioning to 6 km/h (4 mph) Max Speed remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously. Vehicle speed limit is ramping down from 89 km/h (55 mph) max speed limit to 7 km/h (4 mph).

Warning Level 11
Warning Level 11 is triggered after the speed limit ramp down is complete or a key cycle. The driver will hear 4 chimes every 3 minutes on entering Warning Level 11. The series of 4 chimes will repeat every 3 minutes. The DIC displays the following messages:

•Exhaust Fluid Quality Poor
•See Owner’s Manual Now
•Speed Limited to 7 km (4 mph) Max Speed
The messages alternate every 5 seconds until acknowledged by the driver; however, the Speed Limited to 7 km (4 mph) Max Speed remains displayed in the DIC. The DEF Indicator in the instrument panel flashes continuously.

Vehicle speed is limited to 7 km/h (4 mph)."
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:35 PM   #21
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I've put just under 10,000 miles on my 2015 Ram 3500 since I bought it in February, and almost all of those miles were pulling my AS. My truck's DEF gauge didn't even move until I took my first long trip with the trailer. The Ram's gauge gives you plenty of warning, just like the fuel gauge. When it started to get low, (I never let it get below 1/2), I'd just stop at a Pilot or Love's that had DEF at the fuel pump. Both the high-volume (big) diesel nozzle and the DEF nozzle will fit your Ram just fine. The only thing with using the "big truck" pumps is that you have to throttle it slowly, by hand. Its auto setting is too high for the pickup's breather, and the back pressure will keep shutting the nozzle off. I did get a 2.5 gal container of DEF at NAPA, and carry that in the tool box - just in case. As for the regen - it happens automatically, you won't even know. I assume mine has, can't say for sure.

I've never heard of anyone having a problem with their filter clogging, especially if you use your truck like a truck. It needs a good, hot run to assist the regen, and a long trip with a heavy load (Airstream) is just the ticket. If you use a big diesel for a daily driver and to pop round to the corner store for milk and bread, you are never giving that big Cummins a chance to warm up and heat that filter, or blow it out (same with injectors). When mine is not hauling my AS, I only take it out every couple of weeks and give it a run to keep juices mixed and seals tight - but I try and give it at least a 1/2 hour outing at 50+ mph to let everything run at full temp for a bit.

You'll love the power going uphill, and the auto engine brake going downhill on your new Ram, as I do. I suggest an Airsafe used in conjunction with your WDH - not a pillow out of place (even on I-20!). You'll also enjoy the mileage. We just came back from a Mississippi-Vermont round trip, and got a 14.5mpg average for the trip - running the length of the Appalachians and Alleghenies.

You and your Airstream have a good horse under you - enjoy!
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:05 AM   #22
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I am a warranty manager for a freightliner dealership. I see failures all the time with the def system. I will say this once, you never never never want the light for the def to come on. Check fluid level at every fuel stop. When the def system runs correctly, your only issues may be a def metering unit. If you have maintained your system properly, you should have no problems. A couple of quick inspections if you feel you are having an issue, check the def tank sensor. When your def fluid drops , and you do not address this, crystals will develop on the rod for the float and give the impression of being low or or not reading correctly. Just remove the sensor and soak in warm water. Also, def metering units can get plugged, check the screen and clean. And finally, if the def system is not maintained, it will cause damage to the scr catalyst or def system. I personally would not purchase a diesel for many other reasons, but these are the main concerns.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:22 PM   #23
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I can only relate my experience. I have a '14 Ram Laramie 2500 CC w 4x4. It has 35,000 miles on the ODO, all but around 2,000 miles have been towing either my '12 28' Intl CCD or my '15 30' Classic. I can count on seeing the DEF gauge go to half full after 2000 miles. A bit more quickly if I've been doing mountains. I buy DEF at AutoZone, though a couple of times I've bought it at the station. In only one instance did a station selling diesel fuel NOT also have DEF. I have not bought it at a truck stop from the pump. In general I avoid truck stops due to the high speed pumps and the fact they are generally pretty nasty places. Just returned from a 450 mile RT to an Airstream rally in neighboring SC. Mileage with a fully loaded Classic was 14.5. Also have a 36 gallon aux tank in my truck bed. I have STOPPED worrying about the availability of diesel fuel, getting in and out of stations, and DEF. Cannot imagine towing 10,000 pounds of trailer (fully loaded) going up and down mountains without a turbo diesel and the amazing braking function that generally means that I don't need to use the service brakes going downhill. The Cummins rocks as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:09 AM   #24
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A warning - the DEF gauge is very non-linear. It will stay on full for a long time before moving and when it gets to half, the tank IS NOT half empty. I refill with a 2.5 gal box when the gauge gets to 1/4 and that is just about right.

Al
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:18 PM   #25
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My DEF gauge appears to reasonably linear. It was at very slightly under the 1/2 mark and I put in a 2.5 gallon and it is on full now.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:14 PM   #26
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Alphonse,
I should have said the Ram DEF gauge. The TDR forum has many posts about it. Ford's is apparently better.

Al
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:27 AM   #27
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2013 GMC Sierra here. I got the DEF warning after towing to and back from Alumalina - So I bought a bottle and added it. What I wasn't prepared for was that it still showed only 19% full - with less than 200 miles to go. I actually called the dealer - who didn't have a mechanic who knew anything - then went to work. Later when I went to the bank, the guage had adjusted itself. Guess it just takes an hour or so to do so.

I don't anticipate any future problems. I will use a truck stop with DEF at the pump if I get a chance. I did have a funnel thanks to prior advice from a member of this forum.

Paula
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:52 AM   #28
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Quote:
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Alphonse,
I should have said the Ram DEF gauge. The TDR forum has many posts about it. Ford's is apparently better.

Al
Mine is a 2016 Ram 2500. I should have made that clear as well.
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