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What You Need to Know about Diesel Exhaust Fluid

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is what we call the high quality operating fluid that is used jointly with diesel vehicles and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. It is a 32.5% solution of high-purity, synthetically produced, urea in de-mineralized water. It is filled into a separate tank on the car, and is simple to manage, non-toxic and safe for use. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) consumption is calculated as a ratio of diesel fuel use, also referred to as the “dosing rate” or “treat rate”. Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles typically have a dosing rate of 2-3%. Here are some of the most important things that you should know about diesel exhaust fluid.

Who Uses DEF?

Most diesel-powered on-road vehicles manufactured since 2010 employ SCR technology and require DEF. A few examples are heavy-duty trucks, diesel pick-ups, delivery vans, and European luxury cars. Diesel powered off-road equipment such as the ones used for agricultural and construction purposes has been obliged to use SCR technology since 2014.

How to Maintain DEF Purity

DEF purity is critical. One essential aspect in maintaining DEF purity and quality is the kind of dispensing system used. Closed system containers involve a valve coupling system that secures the container opening on drums and totes (IBC) to prevent debris, dirt, bugs, etc from gaining access to the container and contaminating the DEF. On the other hand, open system containers are drums or totes that do not feature a valve insert in the container’s opening, which signifies that dirt or debris can get into the container and contaminate the DEF.

Where to Find DEF?

Due to the fact that almost all diesel-powered passenger cars and trucks made since 2010 are equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and require DEF, it is available to be purchased at most fueling stations. Truck stops also usually have a DEF pump right on the fuel island. You can also buy DEF at most OEM shops, as well as other dealers and distributors.

Running Out of DEF

The EPA directs all truck manufacturers to include some type of staged warning system (some provide actual gauges) to let the the driver be aware about exactly how near to empty the system is. Whether a vehicle goes into a “limp home” or lower engine power or constrains the number of times you can turn the engine on will be dependent on the specific car or truck model, but at some point it will not start. To put it simply, you should treat your DEF tank the same way you treat your fuel tank; you surely do not want to leave yourself stranded because you failed to notice the indicators.

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