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Old 05-18-2015, 11:58 AM   #29
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That's correct, after you put it in and it dries, it leaves crystals that should be rinsed away. Water to rinse is not always readily available at fueling locations or roadside stops. In the driveway at home yes, on the road, you may have to wait until you can get to a water hose or other water source.
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Old 05-18-2015, 12:17 PM   #30
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That's correct, after you put it in and it dries, it leaves crystals that should be rinsed away. Water to rinse is not always readily available at fueling locations or roadside stops. In the driveway at home yes, on the road, you may have to wait until you can get to a water hose or other water source.
One reason why in my Airstream Interstate I extended my external shower hose to 12 feet in length and replaced the shower head with a spray nozzle. As long as I have water in my fresh tank, I can wash off any spilled DEF right away.

Of course if you're using DEF in a tow vehicle or a daily driver rather than an Interstate, you don't have that option.
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Old 05-18-2015, 03:58 PM   #31
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I buy lots of fuel for my big truck and the pickup , we go coast to coast and I haven't bought any bad fuel in over 20 years, I haven't seen any water in about that long , just buy where they sell a lot of fuel or gasoline there is no magic to it.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:16 PM   #32
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i think most late model diesels have enough pre-heating of the fuel that additives for waxing are not necessary to winterize diesel fuel. Most truck stops carry winterized fuel when the weather starts to get cold. Last November, I went from Denver to Fort Worth to Jackson Center with temperatures as low as 8 degrees F and my GMC Duramax started every morning for over three weeks. Be sure and ask if the fuel is winterized if it is not posted.
I run a 2008 Ford F350 - maybe not a late model at this point, but the owner's manual does recommend cetane boosters for extremely cold weather. My experience with extreme cold has been that the engine will start, but may stall out at an inconvenient location. By extreme cold, though, I mean sub-zero F. The last time I had problems with stalling (which is when I started paying a lot more attention to running cetane boosters) was in 30 below F temps.
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Old 07-24-2015, 03:11 PM   #33
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I have 2800 miles on my 2015 AI. I figured I'd better add some DEF and put 1 gallon in this morning. I have no idea how much I'd used up to this point since there's no way to check level, but clearly more than 1 gallon since it took it easily (assuming it was full when I bought it new).

Shark says he gets 10K miles out of a 5 gallon tank (is it 5 or 5.5?)

But I've read that DEF is consumed at a rate of 2-3% of fuel

DEF USAGE Q & A :: NOxBLUE DEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid

So if that's true:
* I would have used about 3.9 gal already (2800 / 18 * .025) Could that be true?
* and Shark would be way off (10K / 18 * .025 = 14 gallons of DEF).

Maybe the 2-3% factor is wrong. Anybody out there have this figured out? I'm about to embark on a long trip, and don't want to trigger the "xx starts remaining" function, but adding a little DEF at a time is a real pain with the handling issues etc.

Thx for any perspective or math or whatever.
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Old 07-24-2015, 03:20 PM   #34
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Here's some perspective (math gives me hives! &#128513

It will depend on how you use it. It's not a straight x miles formula. Mine (a GM product) tells me it's ok until I have 20% left. I don't always wait for that warning. Like you, I might drop a gallon in every few thousand miles just to be safe.

If you're on the highway, most truck stops have DEF at the pump and you can fill exactly to the top. It won't be very hard to find on the road. You can carry a gallon jug with you for insurance - there's a mileage countdown that leads to "crawl" mode (restricted to 5mph - not kidding!) that you definitely want to avoid.

Carrying the jug, traveling on major roads - you should be good


Oh - another suggestion - get the Gas Buddy app and/or iExit app so you can locate major diesel stations near you no matter where you are. Odds are good those stations have DEF pumps.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:09 PM   #35
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I buy a 2.5-gallon container of DEF at my local Walmart as soon as the "DEF Chk" message comes on the message center.

According to the Sprinter Operator's manual (page 200 of my 2011 Sprinter manual):
Quote:
dEF Chk appears in message center
In addition, the yellow DEF indicator lamp lights up and a warning tone sounds.
The DEF supply has dropped below 1.5 US gal (5.5 l).
After the message appears for the first time and under normal driving conditions, the remaining DEF supply will last for approximately 1000 miles (1600 km).
After that, the 0.8 US gal (3.0 l) reserve mark is reached. A warning tone sequence sounds. The engine can then only be started another sixteen times.
Add DEF supply (page 143).
After topping up, the system check takes approximately 20 seconds. The DEF indicator lamp then goes out.
Since I add DEF as soon as the "DEF Chk" message appears, I've never even had the "countdown to breakdown" message pop up telling me I have 16 starts left.

If you can go 1000 miles on 1.5 gallons of DEF, and the countdown begins when you have 0.8 gallons left, that gives you somewhere between 400 and 500 miles grace period from the first time you get the "Listen to me" nag screen until you get the "Hey, I'm serious, you'd better listen" nag screen. That's a full tank of diesel, and I've never driven anywhere in the US that was more than 1 tankful of diesel away from the nearest Walmart where I could buy DEF.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:15 PM   #36
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I buy a 2.5-gallon container of DEF at my local Walmart as soon as the "DEF Chk" message comes on the message center
Agree. And I'd like to add that from my experience, once you have the "DEF Chk" warning come on, adding 1 gallon of DEF is not enough to reset the warning. You do need at least 2.5 gallons for the reset.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:32 PM   #37
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Just a thought maybe you could outfit the def tank with a see level tank gauge then you would know how much def you have all the time.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:34 PM   #38
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http://www.bestconverter.com/SeeLevel-Gauges_c_108.html
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:51 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
I buy a 2.5-gallon container of DEF at my local Walmart as soon as the "DEF Chk" message comes on the message center.

According to the Sprinter Operator's manual (page 200 of my 2011 Sprinter manual):Since I add DEF as soon as the "DEF Chk" message appears, I've never even had the "countdown to breakdown" message pop up telling me I have 16 starts left.

If you can go 1000 miles on 1.5 gallons of DEF, and the countdown begins when you have 0.8 gallons left, that gives you somewhere between 400 and 500 miles grace period from the first time you get the "Listen to me" nag screen until you get the "Hey, I'm serious, you'd better listen" nag screen. That's a full tank of diesel, and I've never driven anywhere in the US that was more than 1 tankful of diesel away from the nearest Walmart where I could buy DEF.
My manual is different. It says the first message "Check Diesel Exhaust Fluid" will appear when DEF has dropped below 1.5 gal. Then the icon, 3 beeps, and XX starts remaining, will be the second message, which indicates DEF has dropped below 0.8 gal, which will allow 1200 more miles to be driven.

My "paranoia" is driven by my friends' experience, in which he had to actually drive to a MB dealer to get the XX starts left warning turned off, despite continually adding DEF as he drove. But that may have been driven by faulty NOx sensors, which is another problem I've read about in here.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:57 PM   #40
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Most auto parts stores sell DEF as does Sam's and Wal-Mart. When I got the limited starts warning, I added one gallon and the message went away.hmm
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:26 PM   #41
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My manual is different. It says the first message "Check Diesel Exhaust Fluid" will appear when DEF has dropped below 1.5 gal. Then the icon, 3 beeps, and XX starts remaining, will be the second message, which indicates DEF has dropped below 0.8 gal, which will allow 1200 more miles to be driven.
That's actually not that different. You still get the check message at 1.5 gallons left, and the countdown-to-breakdown at 0.8 gallons left.

Your manual actually makes the situation clearer. Apparently I've been interpreting my manual incorrectly but more conservatively; I now assume from what you've reported that I would have 1000 miles on 0.7 gallons before the countdown begins, and 1200 miles more on the remaining 0.8 gallons after the countdown begins. Which makes more sense based on my typical DEF consumption. 2200 miles on 1.5 gallons of DEF is more reasonable than 1000 miles on 1.5 gallons.

But it also means that we can't rely on that "16 starts remaining." Since I can routinely drive over 350 miles on a tank before I even begin hunting for a service station or truck stop, all those miles on one start, it's possible that if we wait for the countdown to begin, we might only have 3 or 4 starts before we run out of DEF and the counter goes all the way down to 0 while skipping the intervening numbers. All the more reason to hunt up more DEF when the "DEF Chk" message first comes on, rather than waiting for the countdown.
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Old 07-25-2015, 05:19 AM   #42
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OK thanks everyone for weighing in and sharing your own calculations and experience. I think I have a good sense now of estimating how much I've used and have left, and what to do about it.

THANKS
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