DEF Meter Shows "Less Than 1/2 Full" Even Though Tank IS Full? - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
6.7L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 6.7L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 2011-Up Super Duty trucks. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 6.7L Power Stroke engine.

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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DEF Meter Shows "Less Than 1/2 Full" Even Though Tank IS Full?

Anyone have this issue happen? I am (only) guessing but it seems like a sensor may have gone out. I have always used SuperTech DEF from Wal-Mart, but it meets the requirements (API Certified) and the jugs have always been sealed so I do not think it would have been contaminated. I plan to take it into the dealer soon because I would not want a "crippled" truck on the side of the road.

Any experiences or thoughts are most welcome.


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 08:21 AM
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Your truck won't leave you crippled on side of road but I have experienced that issue a lot. Its best to wait until the def tank is really low before filling it. It seems that whatever kind of float or whatever is in there for the reading the level needs a good shaking to unhinge it. I know this def gets crusty in there but ford really used some micky mouse parts in there.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 10:03 AM
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It is not a float in the DEF tank but sensors similar to the level sensors in the holding tanks of an RV. You have 3 sensors, a full, half full and then one that gives the 500 miles to reduced power. BTW, Ford calls the diesel exhaust fluid, reductant.

From the Ford Workshop DVD

The reductant heater and sender assembly level sensor incorporates four stainless steel electrodes. Three electrodes arranged vertically provide a high, middle, and low level signal and the fourth electrode runs the length of the level sensor and acts as a ground. The reductant is a good conductor of electricity. When the reductant tank is full, the reductant closes a circuit between all three level electrodes and the ground electrode, indicating the tank is full. As the reductant is consumed, the level drops and uncovers each electrode in sequence. The PCM calculates the reductant level based on these signals.
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2015 F350 Ultra Lariat 6.7L CCLB DRW 3.73 Limited Slip, Green Gem Metallic w/ Caribou accent, Camper Package, Titan 65gal tank, Rapid Heat, Block Heater, Upfitter Switches, Dual Alternators, Camper Package, Cable Lock, Husky Floor Liners, Spray in Bedliner, 5th Wheel Prep, 25K 5th Wheel Hitch, Ford Goose Neck Hitch.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-18-2016, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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It is not a float in the DEF tank but sensors similar to the level sensors in the holding tanks of an RV. You have 3 sensors, a full, half full and then one that gives the 500 miles to reduced power. BTW, Ford calls the diesel exhaust fluid, reductant.

From the Ford Workshop DVD

The reductant heater and sender assembly level sensor incorporates four stainless steel electrodes. Three electrodes arranged vertically provide a high, middle, and low level signal and the fourth electrode runs the length of the level sensor and acts as a ground. The reductant is a good conductor of electricity. When the reductant tank is full, the reductant closes a circuit between all three level electrodes and the ground electrode, indicating the tank is full. As the reductant is consumed, the level drops and uncovers each electrode in sequence. The PCM calculates the reductant level based on these signals.
Thanks Larry. I think I will take it in and get it checked out. I only have 23K on it and I would not think at this point (at least I hope not) that crystals have formed or some such to prevent proper readings. I drove down a very rough road to see if "shaking" the DEF would cause the levels to read true to no avail. I suppose it would not be unheard of to have a failed probe.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 07:04 AM
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I've gotten that message too in the same way..rarely but it happened. I ignore it...and it finds a way to correct itself... I think the sensors get off like my truck campers holding tanks,etc....
I just did a 7700 mile trip around USA and not once did it do it... let it get down low...you'll get a message then refill. Try that...but I don't bother.... if I got it a lot I would bring it in but I don't... I put on 40k miles this past year and it happened just 2 or 3 times if that.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 10:44 AM
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Emmisions are covered under warranty to 80,000, so I'd get it fixed. My engine light was coming on and throwing the redundant code, once I filled it all the way up, code went away, and light has been off a month or so. When I researched the code # it seems like the sensors do go bad and if out of warranty, its about $800 to fix.
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Emmisions are covered under warranty to 80,000, so I'd get it fixed. My engine light was coming on and throwing the redundant code, once I filled it all the way up, code went away, and light has been off a month or so. When I researched the code # it seems like the sensors do go bad and if out of warranty, its about $800 to fix.
I have the 5Y/100K warranty so I am good for a while. I have an appointment next week to have it checked out (it still shows less than 1/2 fill on the DEF gauge).


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- Ford Splashguard/Mudflaps
- Husky Rear Wheelwell Liners
- Bull Ring retractable tie downs
- Leer 700 Bed Cap
- Mag-Hytec Rear Axle Cover
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 06:10 PM
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I have the 5Y/100K warranty so I am good for a while. I have an appointment next week to have it checked out (it still shows less than 1/2 fill on the DEF gauge).
Mine went away fast the two times for sure it's been on...

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 03:56 PM
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I drive it about 50KM then tap on the def tank after I fill it.....seems to work. Air bubble on the sensor or something.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 07:06 AM
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A follow up to my earlier post.... I had my truck at the dealer for A/C repair and mentioned to them that my CEL had come on, but once I added High Def Fluid it went off. They checked stored codes but couldn't find anything. Drove it home and one day later CEL came on, truck was throwing all kinds of warnings about Exaust System! Limped it back 80 miles to the dealership yesterday, FOUND ON ROAD DEAD, Ford.... this is the 3rd time this truck has had CEL light come on, and I just spent $1700 @ dealership for A/C. Fords response, "we know unexpected repairs are frustrating"
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-04-2016, 05:27 PM
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My truck was showing less than 1/2 full. I just added 2.5 gallon to the DEF tank. I did not start nor move the truck, I only turned the key to on and then checked the DEF level. It momentarily showed less than 1/2 full before resetting to DEF level OK.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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My truck was showing less than 1/2 full. I just added 2.5 gallon to the DEF tank. I did not start nor move the truck, I only turned the key to on and then checked the DEF level. It momentarily showed less than 1/2 full before resetting to DEF level OK.
Mine is definitely hosed, but I have not had a chance to get into the dealer. I am guessing the upper sensor is toast because by now it should have "reset". I will post an update after I make it over to the dealer and see what is happening.


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- Ford Splashguard/Mudflaps
- Husky Rear Wheelwell Liners
- Bull Ring retractable tie downs
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 05:07 PM
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I've been using the DEF meter on my CTS and it has always dropped to 67% and, if I waited too long, it would give me the 500 miles left message. Today, with it showing 99% (for too long, I think), I got the 500 mile warning. So much for depending on that indicator.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 06:42 PM
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I've been using the DEF meter on my CTS and it has always dropped to 67% and, if I waited too long, it would give me the 500 miles left message. Today, with it showing 99% (for too long, I think), I got the 500 mile warning. So much for depending on that indicator.
As stated above, there are 3 level senors in the tank (4 contacts). One sensor/contact is for full, one is for half full and one sets off the 500 mile countdown. It is useless to use the CTS to show DEF percentage used since there is NO float with ability to give level such as the fuel gauge.

Larry

2015 F350 Ultra Lariat 6.7L CCLB DRW 3.73 Limited Slip, Green Gem Metallic w/ Caribou accent, Camper Package, Titan 65gal tank, Rapid Heat, Block Heater, Upfitter Switches, Dual Alternators, Camper Package, Cable Lock, Husky Floor Liners, Spray in Bedliner, 5th Wheel Prep, 25K 5th Wheel Hitch, Ford Goose Neck Hitch.

Traded 2011 F350 XLT CCLB SRW 6.2L gasser 6,000 miles for 2015

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 10:30 AM
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Picked mine up from Ford dealer on Friday. High Def pump was bad, $800 fix. Not covered under 80,000 emmisions warranty, even though it's directly tied to emmisions. 2 emails to Ford directly, neither answered. Took 3 days to get the part, which means there are a ton of them failing, at least, that's what the service mgr told me. $2600 in repairs in two weeks, love me some Ford products...
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