Diesel Exhaust fluid

Posted by: Dually

Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 07:53 PM

Down the road I'm looking into a BMW 328D or a Audi Q5 TDI.My question is can the diesel exhaust fluid be toped off every two months or when ever I want to or do I have to wait until a certain amount is used?Thanks Joe
Posted by: NHGUY

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 08:03 PM

Topping off should be no problem.Its when it gets low and the light comes on...dont ignore it.The engine will cease to operate to keep the EPA Feds happy.
Posted by: Fleetmon

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 08:17 PM

you can top off anytime you want. I'm not sure about the 328d but the X5d has two tanks.....each (11k mile.....I change mine at 5k) oil change gets about 2 gallons of DEF.
Posted by: Spazdog

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 08:22 PM

I read somewhere that BMW gives you like 1000 miles of warnings when the DEF gets low.

Some of the Fords coming in have had a warning that they will be limited to 50 mph if the DEF is not refilled within XXX miles. I think the BMWs just prevent you from starting.
Posted by: bigjl

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 08:39 PM

What is this DEF fluid?
Is it Eloys of AdBlue (urea)

The AdBlue systems are currently being introduced by the likes of BMW and Merc on high end diesels, though as Euro 5 is the current reg snd these meet Euro 6 it is still an option.

Eloys fluid on UK models fitted with that system usually require a top up every 75k miles. Apparently a small amount is injected into the tank every time you put fuel in so if you tend to put in a couple of gallons at a time rather than top off it csn need done early.

As far as the AdBlue systems i believe they have an extra filler cap beside the diesel one and you fill up as and when.

A lot of the High End London Chauffeur companies are buying vehicles with this system, likely for marketing reasons than any genuine enviromental concerns
Posted by: Eddie

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 09:15 PM

What is the cost per gallon of this fluid?
Posted by: earlyre

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 10:30 PM

I have noticed some of the truckstops now have DEF available @ the pumps.(seperate nozzles)
Posted by: Spazdog

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 10:47 PM

Originally Posted By: bigjl
What is this DEF fluid?
Is it Eloys of AdBlue (urea)


DEF is Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
I think AdBlue is a brand name but it's the same stuff
Posted by: Miller88

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 10:59 PM

Ever get behind one of these? Burns your nostrils like acetone!
Posted by: mattwithcats

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/22/13 11:48 PM

Urea breaks down into ammonia,
which then breaks down Nitrogen Oxides (N2).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_exhaust_fluid

Ammonia gas is somewhat toxic, so
you can't put this in your car,
you have to make it by urea breakdown with heat...
Posted by: Boomer

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 03:57 AM

I think I paid $12 for several gallons at the VW dealer but you can get DEF at WalMart and other stores for less.
Posted by: Fleetmon

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 05:48 AM

I think it's like $22 a gallon (sold in 1/2 gal easy-fill containers for $11 or 2-1/2 gal containers for $??) at my local BMW dealer but most of that is probably due to the special fill nozzle required to fill the tanks...I cut the bottom out of one and use it as a "funnel". Ad Blue or other DEF is around $2.50 per gallon.

Usage for vehicles comes out around 3% of diesel burned or so.

FWIW, I've occasionally noticed a very slight ammonia-like odor when I first back out of the garage and walk behind my X but I have NEVER smelled ammonia-like odors behind other vehicles on the road nor any of the HD equipment we have at work and that includes street sweepers, buses, fire equipment and LD/HD trucks.
Posted by: TiredTrucker

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 08:58 AM

Current price for DEF at my local truck stop is $2.87 a gallon. Wally World probably can compete favorably with that in those 2.5 gallon containers they have on the shelf. I have never know that the exhaust from one of these burns like acetone.... that is unless the Diesel particulate filter (separate issue) is going thru a regen cycle. Now that is really nasty if you are behind a diesel going thru that cycle.
Posted by: bdcardinal

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 04:35 PM

Ford wants $6.15 for the one gallon bottle of DEF, and $13.54 for the 2.5 gallon jug of DEF. They also have a specific funnel that prevents spilling that is $5.93. The nozzle used to come with the fluid free, but now they charge the dealers for them.
Posted by: Ramblejam

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: earlyre
I have noticed some of the truckstops now have DEF available @ the pumps.(seperate nozzles)


Most do, for example: http://www.pilotflyingj.com/pump-def?per_page=0
Posted by: artificialist

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 05:19 PM

Originally Posted By: Miller88
Ever get behind one of these? Burns your nostrils like acetone!

I never was near a DEF equipped truck that smelled bad.

Maybe the one you encountered had some kind of problem with the DEF system.
Posted by: bdcardinal

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 05:25 PM

The DEF system is a awesome money maker in the parts department when someone puts diesel in the DEF. You have to replace every component of the system that touches the fluid, and Ford refuses to cover any of it under any sort of customer assistance program. Last one we did was around $10,000 customer pay.

What really sucks is when a customer puts DEF in the diesel. On the new 6.7 there is a kit Ford has for that purpose that includes new pump, lines, injectors. Parts alone is around $12,000 and again no assistance is provided to the customer.

FWIW the 2 caps are clearly marked Diesel and DEF. The Diesel is green and the DEF cap is blue.
Posted by: eljefino

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 08:01 PM

^ Jeez louise. Are they both behind the same filler door?
Posted by: JTK

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 08:19 PM

I think the DEF tanks on the 2012 Freightliners we have at work are 5gal. Not sure how long it lasts, but we have a DEF refueling system at the fuel island. I know the engines either cut-off or go into limp mode if you run the DEF tank out.

I just cannot imagine WHY anyone would want a turbo diesel in their normal, every day passenger vehicle in the US, in 2013.

DEF is expensive and the vehicle won't run w/out it.

Diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline.

The emissions systems on diesels seem to be crazy complicated and expensive.. All that an you pay all that extra $ just to have the diesel? Yeah.. No thanks.
Posted by: bdcardinal

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/23/13 10:11 PM

Originally Posted By: eljefino
^ Jeez louise. Are they both behind the same filler door?


Yes, but the caps are different colors and different diameters. The nozzle for the DEF clicks into the filler neck to prevent spilling. However you can't fix stupid.
Posted by: TiredTrucker

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/24/13 10:51 AM

Agree, JTK. If anyone buys a diesel vehicle now, they better have a serious need for one. If they are doing it to satisfy some ego trip and have a big "C" on the back window of their pickup, etc, they really like separating money from their wallet. I have no choice in needing diesel engines. But, for my class 8 truck needs, there is loopholes to the regulations. I ordered a 2013 Freightliner and put in a factory rebuilt pre-emission Detroit engine in it. Got to avoid all the emission stuff, avoid the federal excise tax on new equipment, and saved $40K over the price of a comparably spec'd new semi truck with all the emissions stuff.

For my pickup needs, I am quite comfortable with gasoline versions. The DEF/SCR/DPF game is not one I want to play at this time. I did do a diesel in a 2006 Jeep Liberty. That was a very good choice. Most Liberty's are lucky to get 20-21 mpg with the standard 3.7 gas engine. The 2.8L diesel in mine will bust 32 mpg on road trips, and has as much torque as many small V8's. But that was all pre DPF/DEF/SCR. Can't see doing anything like that now given the new emissions stuff. Only if absolutely necessary.
Posted by: blackman777

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/24/13 11:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Dually
Down the road I'm looking into a BMW 328D or a Audi Q5 TDI

The smaller cars like Jetta, Gulf, Beetle don't use this fluid. Neither does the new Mazda6 diesel. They might be worth considering as alternatives and save ~$5 per 10,000 miles.

Here's an educational video for refilling the Chevy diesel's exhaust tank. Never thought an exhaust would need fluid (almost sounds like a scam) - http://youtu.be/eY-rLmSwWQU

Chevy's diesel let's you go 700 miles on empty DEF tank, but you're limited to 55-65 maximum speed.
Posted by: Fleetmon

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/25/13 05:47 AM

I certainly don't mind my 4500 lb SUV cruising at 80 MPH and getting 28 MPG.....THAT is the reason I went with diesel....that and the hills I climb. Gasoline versions of my X average around 21 MPG at their best....in my area due to the hills they'll get around 19. I commute 150 miles round trip per day and fuel savings PLUS vehicle comfort means a lot. Sure, I could buy something smaller that gets 45 MPG+ but life is too short to subject myself to that kind of punishment at my age.....been there and done it! We've been through the hybrids (what a joke) and TDI's....nice but too small and the rest of the "economy" cars.

I've been around diesels all of my life and have gone through mechanical injection to electronically controlled, to EGR-equipped, to catalytic convertors to DPF's....it's all about maintenance.....if you maintain them like you're supposed to then you won't have any more trouble out of them than you will with an overworked gasoline engine.

Most of the people that don't like them (DPF-equipped engines)(and this includes fleet owners/operators) either don't maintain them properly, idle them too often, use the wrong engine oil, or just plain forget to fill the DPF tank.....pure stupidity/ignorance is the single biggest culprit that causes DPF's to get a bad name.
Posted by: AP9

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/25/13 01:40 PM

Originally Posted By: JTK
I just cannot imagine WHY anyone would want a turbo diesel in their normal, every day passenger vehicle in the US, in 2013.

DEF is expensive and the vehicle won't run w/out it.

Diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline.

The emissions systems on diesels seem to be crazy complicated and expensive.. All that an you pay all that extra $ just to have the diesel? Yeah.. No thanks.


Agreed. I wouldn't mind owning a pre-2007 EPA emissions standards diesel though. The fuel economy would probably make up for the price differential (which didn't really exist until, you guessed it, ULSD with EPA'07).
Posted by: AP9

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/25/13 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Fleetmon
I certainly don't mind my 4500 lb SUV cruising at 80 MPH and getting 28 MPG.....THAT is the reason I went with diesel....that and the hills I climb. Gasoline versions of my X average around 21 MPG at their best....in my area due to the hills they'll get around 19. I commute 150 miles round trip per day and fuel savings PLUS vehicle comfort means a lot. Sure, I could buy something smaller that gets 45 MPG+ but life is too short to subject myself to that kind of punishment at my age.....been there and done it! We've been through the hybrids (what a joke) and TDI's....nice but too small and the rest of the "economy" cars.

I've been around diesels all of my life and have gone through mechanical injection to electronically controlled, to EGR-equipped, to catalytic convertors to DPF's....it's all about maintenance.....if you maintain them like you're supposed to then you won't have any more trouble out of them than you will with an overworked gasoline engine.

Most of the people that don't like them (DPF-equipped engines)(and this includes fleet owners/operators) either don't maintain them properly, idle them too often, use the wrong engine oil, or just plain forget to fill the DPF tank.....pure stupidity/ignorance is the single biggest culprit that causes DPF's to get a bad name.


Clean the DPF filter you mean? And fill the DEF tank (though that comes along with a nice engine power derate or failure to start)?
Posted by: Fleetmon

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/25/13 02:52 PM

I've never had the occasion to have to have a DPF cleaned and/or replaced in my assortment of fleet vehicles other than three under warranty. It's not something I worry about.

Gosh - it is hard to add DEF isn't it?

Those that don't work with it (including those that don't want to) will never understand....they are of the same breed of people that swore EGR's would be the death of engines, swore you could NEVER run engine oil past 3k miles, that just KNEW no-lead gasoline was going to cause millions of engines to bite the dust, and on and on and on.....bottom line is you either get it or you don't.

And the complicated emission controls? EGR's, temperature sensors, automatic timing, catalysts/DPF's......sounds like a lot of the stuff is pretty much the same bewtween gas and diesel.
Posted by: AP9

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/25/13 05:47 PM

The nice thing about pre '07 EPA diesels are that they're quite tolerant of different fuels (just like Rudolf Diesel's prototype which was capable of running off coal dust). Hence people's conversions to used vegetable oil.

It will just take a little bit of time for everyone to get used to SCR, at least in the passenger-car market. The class 8 market has tolerated it fairly well, somewhat to Navistar's dismay circa 2-4 years ago. Still, the system adds considerable weight to the vehicle, but I imagine it will end up being a very good thing in the end, with more raw power able to be extracted from the engine.
Posted by: blackman777

Re: Diesel Exhaust fluid - 11/25/13 06:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Fleetmon
EGR's, temperature sensors, automatic timing, catalysts/DPF's......sounds like a lot of the stuff is pretty much the same bewtween gas and diesel.

I was about to post the same..... Gasoline cars have all the same emissions controls as a Volkswagen Jetta/Beetle/Gulf TDI. There's no material difference (except most gasoline cars are designed to prevent evaporative emissions from the tank).