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Old 11-10-2015, 05:06 PM   #29
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2002 31' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 39
DEF shelf life

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?


KJ: DEF has no "shelf life". It's simply the chemical urea in a liquid form, which is a carrier for ammonia, so it won't "spoil" or go bad. DEF is a 67% water, 33% urea solution. Urea is the nitrogen portion of 15-5-15 lawn fertilizer, for instance. The fluid is injected into the exhaust gas where it vaporizes, breaks down into ammonia, which then scrubs the exhaust of NOx compounds. It's an air purification method that's been around for decades for diesel engines, as well as gas turbines. It was originally a patented process in the industrial arena.

Running without it is really VERY hard to won't hurt anything, but the EPA is adamant that the manufacturers not allow us to do that, so we get an 800 mile warning plus more irritation the closer you get to empty of DEF.....

I have a Ford F250 diesel, and get about 30-35,000 miles on 6-7 gallons of fluid.

Have fun....

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Old 11-10-2015, 08:29 PM   #30
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Garden Valley , Idaho
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Originally Posted by Flht2k View Post
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.
And that my friends is why I run a gasoline engine, just gas and go, with a $19.95 oil change. I've had many diesels in the past, but I wouldn't have any of the new ones, no matter the species.

2008 F-250 4X4 Lariat V-10
2002 Airstream Classic 30' w/SO #2074
2007 Kubota 900 RTV
1996 Ford Bronco
2007 Lincoln LT
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:28 AM   #31
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
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I currently have a trouble free 07 dodge with the first generation 6.7 cummins with 96000 miles, I have tried out several gas engines of several makes, they are very nice, but under powered after driving a diesel pick up for the last 20 years, I started out running a big gas truck building roads in the oil fields ,in the middle 1960's , the next truck was a diesel with a cat engine and I never went back to gas, and I see a new diesel pickup in the next couple years before the old folks home.....
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:08 AM   #32
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2008 F350, 6.4L diesel , Oak Harbor, WA
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I have a 2008 Ford, 6.4L the last model for Ford before DEF. It also has a smog process that modulates the combustion temperature (just like in a gasoline engine) using an EGR valve.

In addition it has a particle filter that regens to remove excess carbon. The particle filter is the bad actor in this design because it holds the exhaust heat and under heavy load the lower turbo unit easily overheats. In addition the particle filter's regen process contaminates the engine oil (which results in upper rocker arm early failure).

Certainly there are aftermarket solutions. But enough said.

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