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What is a DEF System on a Truck?

A DEF system is an important part of a truck’s fuel system. Trucks with this type of system will use less diesel fuel, but they still require a large amount of DEF to function properly. Drivers will be alerted before their DEF tank runs out when a warning light comes on in the engine. The warning light will flash if the level is less than ten percent, and it will become solid if the level is less than 2.5 percent. When the DEF level in a truck falls below these levels, the truck will not run properly, and the driver will be forced to wait until the DEF tank is filled again.

EPA regulations govern DEF use and handling. In order to meet regulations, DEF should contain at least 32.5 percent urea by weight and have a freezing point of 12 degrees Fahrenheit. Impurities in DEF can damage SCR system injectors and catalysts, so a truck must use DEF that meets these specifications.

How Does the DEF System Work?

You may wonder how DEF works on a truck. It is a nontoxic liquid that is used in the engine to reduce emissions and reduce fuel consumption. You can find the DEF refill port on your vehicle next to the fuel filler or inside the trunk. Replacing the fluid when it is low can save you hundreds of dollars.

The DEF system works by cleaning the exhaust by breaking down the NOx and other pollutants. It also helps heavy machinery to meet federal emissions guidelines. In the past, heavy-duty trucks and equipment were fitted with a diesel tank and an extra tank for diesel exhaust fluid. In recent years, however, trucks have become required by law to use SCR systems.

While the DEF system has a number of pros, it does have its drawbacks. It adds weight and requires additional storage space. It may also not pass emissions tests. It can also result in legal trouble for the truck owner. In addition, many dealers will refuse to accept a truck with DEF removed.

How Often Does a Diesel Truck Need DEF?

When determining how often to replenish DEF, consider the type of environment you are driving in and the type of fuel your truck burns. A humid climate will require less DEF than a dry climate. In addition, a vehicle that is towing will require more DEF. The good news is that DEF is becoming standard and is available at most gas stations. It is also available in pump form.

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Once your DEF level drops below 10%, you will notice a warning light on the dashboard. This light will begin to flash and turn red, so you should get a professional to come out and refill your truck as soon as possible. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a chemical compound that contains 67.5% de-ionized water and 32.5% urea. Its purpose is to cut harmful NOx emissions by converting them to harmless nitrogen. Its lifespan is similar to an oil change, so it’s worth monitoring DEF levels to ensure your truck is running at peak performance.

Adding DEF to your truck will increase fuel efficiency, boost horsepower, and decrease emissions. In addition to reducing emissions, it also reduces wear and tear on your engine. DEF is available in packs of 2.5 gallons and costs less than $20.

What Happens When DEF System Fails?

A failure of the DEF System can lead to a variety of problems. In most cases, a sensor or injector will be the culprit. The supplemental diesel injector is located after the exhaust side of the turbo and is responsible for allowing the truck to burn diesel fuel. If this part of the system fails, fuel will be forced into the exhaust, degrading the vehicle’s mpg and causing the truck to run poorly.

If the DEF system fails, the vehicle will display a warning message on its dash. This warning message will increase in severity, and the vehicle will not be able to go beyond a certain speed. The vehicle will be able to drive for another two to six hours, but the speed will drop until it is lowered to fifty.

A software fix will help sidelined trucks get back on the road for a while, but the EPA must approve any new DEF sensor. Otherwise, running the truck will violate federal emissions standards.

Can Trucks Run Without DEF?

A trucker who is running on depleted DEF may be wondering, “Can trucks run without DEF?” Well, the answer is no. Diesel trucks will not start if their DEF runs out. However, modern diesel vehicles give plenty of warning before the tank dries up and will limit speed.

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Deionized water and urea form DEF. This mixture is sprayed into the exhaust pipe of diesel engines to break down nitrogen oxides into water and nitrogen. The result is a cleaner exhaust and lower emissions from diesel engines. While DEF is not required by federal law, many states have begun to mandate its use in diesel engines in an effort to reduce air pollution and diesel emissions.

Trucks must run on at least two percent DEF in order to meet California emission standards. However, trucks that are running on natural gas or propane do not need to run on DEF.

Can I Use Water Instead of DEF?

DEF is an anti-corrosive fluid for diesel engines. It is a mixture of de-ionized water and urea. Tap water contains minerals and ions that can damage the exhaust treatment system. If you want to save money, you can use tap water as a temporary solution, but it won’t have the same long-term effects. Using water instead of DEF will cause corrosion in the diesel system and possibly damage the engine.

The main disadvantage to using water instead of DEF is that it removes the catalyst in the Selective Catalytic Reduction system, which is responsible for reducing NOx emissions. This can cause your truck to enter limp home mode. If you’re concerned about this, you can use windshield washer fluid, which contains ammonia.

Moreover, it’s crucial to use dedicated equipment for DEF dispensing. Make sure you clean the equipment with de-ionized or distilled water after using DEF. Also, never reuse DEF containers, as they can be contaminated with contaminants.

What Happens If I Run Out of DEF?

Your pickup truck will slow down if it runs out of DEF, but it won’t completely shut off. In addition, a low DEF warning light will illuminate when the DEF level is low. This means that your truck is running low and will need to be refilled. You can get DEF from most auto parts stores, hardware stores, truck stops, and gas stations. However, the EPA has set minimum refill intervals for both light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, so it’s important to check your DEF level regularly.

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If your truck runs out of DEF, you should immediately go to a local auto-parts store to get more. You can usually purchase DEF by the gallon at your local Walmart or O’Reilly’s. A truck with a chassis-cab will need approximately 7 gallons (30 liters). When you first see the DEF warning light, you’ll need about five gallons (20 liters) of DEF to make up for the lost fluid.

Fortunately, most trucks today come equipped with a warning light to let you know when your DEF level is low. If your vehicle’s DEF level is below 10%, the warning light will flash, and will get brighter until you refuel. Without DEF, your vehicle won’t run and will likely require costly repairs.

Should I Keep My DEF Tank Full?

When determining how much DEF is needed in a truck, you’ll need to consider how long the vehicle has been on the road. While the fluid can be stored for up to twelve months, if it’s been sitting for an extended period, it’s time to drain and replace it. Depending on the climate in which the vehicle was stored, you may also need to change the engine oil, as well as check other components.

The best way to determine how much DEF is needed is to look at your estimated usage. A small fleet’s estimated use of DEF will be lower than that of a larger fleet. It’s also a good idea to consider the time since the last delivery.

While it’s not necessary to keep the DEF tank full at all times, it’s always best to keep it full to avoid any problems. It’s easy to add DEF. It’s available at all truck stops, automotive parts stores, and major distributor and OEM locations. Some truck stops have even added DEF pumps right next to the fuel pumps so truckers can fill both fluids at the same time without stopping the truck. However, it’s still a good idea to flush your truck’s DEF tank every now and then.

Learn More Here:

1.) History of Trucks

2.) Trucks – Wikipedia

3.) Best Trucks