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Old 07-16-2017, 10:07 AM   #1
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DEF at Pilot

Has anyone added DEF at a Pilot station? I added Diesel at a truck pump and was totally confused as to how to add DEF when the time comes. What sequence of choices will be correct if I want to add both diesel and DEF?
Also, will the DEF hose reach to the opposite side of the van where the DEF tank is located under the hood?
I'm not ready for DEF (brand new AI and I would think they would have filled the DEF tank). Although I guess one never knows until the low DEF warning shows up.
I worry too much but I'd appreciate it if someone could lead me through the process.

Thanks.

Richard
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:11 AM   #2
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Your vehicle should come with the original Mercedes owners manual for the chassis and engine; should you not look there first as opposed to someone's word?

Or Google Mercedes Sprinter DEF

Cheers
Tony
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by whitegs View Post
Has anyone added DEF at a Pilot station? I added Diesel at a truck pump and was totally confused as to how to add DEF when the time comes. What sequence of choices will be correct if I want to add both diesel and DEF?
Also, will the DEF hose reach to the opposite side of the van where the DEF tank is located under the hood?
I'm not ready for DEF (brand new AI and I would think they would have filled the DEF tank). Although I guess one never knows until the low DEF warning shows up.
I worry too much but I'd appreciate it if someone could lead me through the process.

Thanks.

Richard
First of all, DEF is not that complicated. All it is is a fluid that sprays into the exhaust to reduce the emissions. There is no connection between DEF and Diesel other than that. It makes no difference which you fill first or last.

You can buy it at Pilot or any other station and use the pump, or in containers at Walmart or any automotive outlet, and yes, the hose is usually long enough.

The problem using the pumps though is that, at least in my experience, that the flow rate from those pumps is too fast and the filler neck will overflow almost immediately, leading you to think it's full when it is not.

During my last 5000 mile trip, my engine light came on. This happened before and I suspected it was the prelude to the low DEF message. So I bought 2 gallons of DEF, and poured it in. The light, a few miles later, went out.

When I returned home, I put in another 2.5 gallons, but it took two days. After about 1.5 gallons, the fluid would come to the neck of the filler but slowly drain (and I mean SLOWLY) in the tank. I would wait about 30 minutes, and put in some more. It took about six iterations of this procedure to use the entire 2.5 gallon container. From other posts, and from other owners I have talked to, this is a common occurrence. So just because the fluid comes up to the neck of the filler, wait awhile and check it again, if you want to top the tank off.

I would recommend that when you get home, just do the same before your next big trip. Don't worry about it on the road.

Be sure to wash off the excess if you spill any.

And you don't need to read the manual.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:12 AM   #4
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A full tank of DEF should last you about 5,000 miles. You can be proactive and put a couple gallons in every 2000-3000 miles, or just wait for the Low DEF message and fill it up then. The only possible issue with waiting until the message shows up is it is accompanied by a "X starts remaining" warning, which can freak some people out. If you treat the Low DEF message like a Low Coolant message, i.e. drive straight to the nearest auto supply store and get more, you'll never have an issue. If you procrastinate and run your DEF dry, you can have problems.

Which reminds me, I need a couple gallons of DEF after my last trip.

Oh, and with all the Bluetec cars on the road, DEF is now available dang near everywhere. You can even find it at places like Walmart, and as a bonus the Walmart jug (2.5 gallons) comes with a nice little hose that you attach to the top of the bottle to reduce spilling. $7.88 for 2.5 gallons and you're all set.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:28 AM   #5
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I may add to the OP that I NEVER buy diesel at Pilot or Love Truck Stops.

They only sell Bio-Diesel. The Sprinter engine will tolerate B5, but even Mercedes won't warrant engine damage if you use B20. Most bio-diesel say "May contain up to B20 Diesel" so you have no idea what you are getting.

I found this out the hard way when I first got my Interstate after I had to replace my O2 sensor after using bio-crap after only a few thousand miles.

Sixty-thousand miles later, and no bio used, never had another problem. Even the Sprinter tech guy told me to "Never use bio if you can help it."

I only use straight, no bio diesel, would advise you to stay away from Pilot and do the same.

And I never travel in Minnesota, because it mandates B10 in the summer, and B5 the rest of the year. Next year, this goes to B20. You don't even have a choice. You won't catch me ever vacationing or even traveling though that state.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by whitegs View Post
Has anyone added DEF at a Pilot station? I added Diesel at a truck pump and was totally confused as to how to add DEF when the time comes. What sequence of choices will be correct if I want to add both diesel and DEF?
Also, will the DEF hose reach to the opposite side of the van where the DEF tank is located under the hood?
I'm not ready for DEF (brand new AI and I would think they would have filled the DEF tank). Although I guess one never knows until the low DEF warning shows up.
I worry too much but I'd appreciate it if someone could lead me through the process.

Thanks.

Richard
I also agree with those commenting already, that filling your DEF at home is a pretty easy procedure.

However, I wonder where you're stopping to get fuel at a Pilot station?
I've just about given up trying to fuel up there. During our last long trip, every time we stopped at a Pilot/flying J, they only had 20% Biodiesel for sale. That won't work in our 5% bio max Mercedes!

I thought I read somewhere that possibly Gas Buddy was going to add bio % to their app, but so far haven't seen it!
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:52 AM   #7
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Truckstop procedure is Diesel first and DEF second for my corporate account. I finish with fuel, hang it up and click on the DEF button. Then pull that Spring wound rascal out farther than I need it to top off my 18-gal tank.

The nozzles are sensitive. Some are terrible. I've held them in all sorts of positions. So, keep at it.

So far as DEF is concerned, keep the tank top topped off (is what we do in big truck world). Fewer related problems that way.

Just finished delivering 5,200-gals of DEF at the T/A just up IH35 from NTAC. Would rather be there admiring others rigs.

All DEF comes from the same plants.

If it matters, use 9.09 lbs/gl to figure.

.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Your vehicle should come with the original Mercedes owners manual for the chassis and engine; should you not look there first as opposed to someone's word?

Or Google Mercedes Sprinter DEF

Cheers
Tony
Gee Tony, I searched and searched the owner's manual for instructions as to how to use the DEF pumps at the Pilot gas stations and you know what, there wasn't a single page that outlined the procedure. Perhaps you could direct me to the proper page.

Richard
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by whitegs View Post
Gee Tony, I searched and searched the owner's manual for instructions as to how to use the DEF pumps at the Pilot gas stations and you know what, there wasn't a single page that outlined the procedure. Perhaps you could direct me to the proper page.

Richard
It's the page that states you shouldn't be filling with 20% bio diesel as this will void your warranty and result in engine damage that could cost you $20,000+ to fix.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitegs View Post
Gee Tony, I searched and searched the owner's manual for instructions as to how to use the DEF pumps at the Pilot gas stations and you know what, there wasn't a single page that outlined the procedure. Perhaps you could direct me to the proper page.

Richard
I think you're being cheeky, but the answer, at least when I was last at a combo Pilot/Chevron station where they had DEF pumps (about 2 weeks ago), was exactly the same procedure as pumping fuel. Swipe your credit card, lift the handle and pump as much DEF as you need (as others state, it comes out WAY too fast for our rigs, but you're welcome to try it, just remember, DEF is corrosive vs. certain metals so be sure to clean up any spills!), then return the handle to the pump.

As an aside, I will echo others in regards to only fueling Sprinters with "pure" diesel and staying away from ALL bio, including B5. I know the manual says B5 is OK, but in actuality, bio is very poorly manufactured and regulated, so what may be marked as B5 may very well be something else. For me, it's not worth the risk......
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:28 PM   #11
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DEF at Pilot

I have used the DEF pumps at truck stops with no issues - easy job. But all those who think they are getting non-bio diesel you might be kidding yourselves. The enforcement of pump markings are pretty weak and if you live in any are where corn is grown you are likely getting at least 5% bio-diesel. Thank your local politicians for this mess.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:34 PM   #12
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My dealer said don't use biodiesel period. And I would get about 10,000 miles from the five gallon DEF tank.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:12 PM   #13
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But all those who think they are getting non-bio diesel you might be kidding yourselves. The enforcement of pump markings are pretty weak and if you live in any are where corn is grown you are likely getting at least 5% bio-diesel. Thank your local politicians for this mess.


Totally agree, but there isn't much we can do about it. Enforcement on the pumps is pretty much zero where I am, but that's all we have to go by. I even went onto Arco, Chevron, Shell, and BP web sites to try to find any info on what they are putting in their diesel fuels and I can't find anything useful. If it really is a federal law that says every pump with bio has to be marked, these guys are all breaking it or they are all pumping pure diesel. I'll let others decide which is fact, but I know which one I believe and will claim I've only ever put pure diesel in my rig if I ever have to make a claim with MB because I've never filled up with anything that's marked as having any bio content.......
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:04 PM   #14
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Considering how much diesel fuel that Pilot and Love's stations pump you can bet local distributors are selling bio-diesel. Also thank Willie Nelson as he was an early supporter of bio-fuels. I should have added areas that grow soybeans too.
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