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Discussion Starter #1
A date code, or expiration date can be found on just about any package of DEF. This is called out in the specification for DEF: ISO 22241.

Most DEF manufacturers are certified by the API. The API is the American Petroleum Institute and it has a voluntary certification program for DEF. The API offers (sells) manufacturers rights the API mark. Your owner's manual probably requires you to use DEF that is per the ISO 22241 specification, and that has this API marking.

Here is the secret to reading the expiration date on BlueDEF manufactured by Old World Industries LLC and sold under the PEAK Brand. Other manufacturers differ. I'm working on a complete library of date codes.

This BlueDEF information is from an email reply from PEAK Technical Services dated July 1, 2013 in response to my request for how to read the date code (after having a big leak problem with some old jugs I purchased at an auto parts store).

"The most important part of the batch code is the third through seventh numbers. There are always going to be two letters or numbers at the beginning of the code, which is the blending facility code, The third and fourth number of the code is the year +1. The fifth, sixth and seventh numbers of the code are the days left in the year, or reverse Julian date. So if the code says 257 for example, that would mean it was made on the 108th day of the year.. April 18th."


The date code on the BlueDEF box in my picture is

GA153590089

Lets break this down into 4 groups of numbers:

GA: The designator of the plant that manufactured the DEF
15: The year of manufacture plus 1, so this DEF was made in 2014
359: 365-359 = 6, so the 6th day of the year, or January 6th.
0089: The batch code.

So this box of DEF was made January 6th, 2014.

Specification life for DEF is 2 years at 75F or so. Stored properly, this DEF is good thru January 6th, 2016 (and probably longer).

Storage life is highly dependent on temperature. DEF stored at 85F only lasts 12 months. Storage above 95F (not unusual in an vehicle parked in the sun during the summer) is limited to 1 month or so. Reason: The urea in DEF decomposes and creates ammonia liquid and vapor in the jug, causing issues when you open it, and reducing the amount of urea in the DEF when it is used in the vehicle. Storage above 95F requires retest of the DEF prior to use (source: ISO 22241-3, most recent revision).

Simple huh?


Tip #1: Don't buy old DEF jugs. When buying DEF in jugs, look at the code. In 2014, find a jug with 14 or 15 in the 3rd and 4th spaces and the highest three digit number you can find in the 5th, 6th, and 7th digits. Store it in a cool location out of the sunlight.

Tip#2: Buy DEF from stores that are likely move a lot on inventory, have controls on inventory age, and are air conditioned. Not that it is a guarantee, but big name outfits are likely a good bet.

Tip#3: DON'T buy jugs of DEF at a gas station that stores them outside, or have obvious signs of degradation like leaks, crystals on the box or jug, or are off color.

Tip#4: Keep your receipts for DEF in case there is an issue.

Five Star DEF's mission is provide owners with easy to understand information about Clean Diesels, especially Diesel Exhaust Fluid. We offer Innovative DEF Solutions to provide Clean Diesel owners an alternative to mass-market DEF products. Look us up on www.fivestardef.com.

Thanks,

Erich
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Correction to tip #1

Don't buy old DEF jugs. When buying DEF in jugs, look at the code. In 2014, find a jug with 14 or 15 in the 3rd and 4th spaces and the LOWEST three digit number you can find in the 5th, 6th, and 7th digits. Store it in a cool location out of the sunlight.

Erich
 

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What about DEF in tank in hot climates?

OK, I appreciate the information in your post but what about those of us who live and work in HOT climates such as the desert southwest.

During the summer months the temperature can reach well over 100* during the day and sometimes not cooler than 95* at night.

The DEF inside the tank can remain in there for the complete summer if you don't drive a lot. Is the DEF then degraded to a point where it will not do the job it was intended to do? If so, what will happen to the system? Will it throw a code for contamination or just regen more often and less efficiently?

Something to think about!
 

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I was wondering the same thing about the heat. Since our 5 gal tank is meant to go 5,000 - 6,000 miles between fillups, that means many many months of DEF storage in the truck. Knock on wood I haven't had a contaminated DEF code thrown - which idles you... I don't drive the truck all that often. Maybe it is a good thing I top it off often - so I am always putting some "fresh" DEF in.

I live in South Florida - we don't get triple digit heat, but I gotta believe that if the inside of my truck gets to 135 - 150 in the summer, so does the DEF in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DEF and Hot Temps

Dak and Bukhntr: Great questions.

The storage and shelf life limits apply to DEF prior to being dispensed into a vehicles tank just for the situation you have identified.

These limits assure that even after exposure to a full summer season in the SW or SE, you still have effective DEF. I've tested DEF after exposure to the kind of temps/times you have described, and urea concentration is reduced (by about 1-2%), but not to a point where you will have an issue with a "contaminated DEF" code. The vehicle uses slightly more DEF when it has been exposed to temp/time for a full summer, but you would not notice it.

The other important factor is that your vehicle's tank is vented specifically to limit the pressure build up of ammonia vapor in the tank and to allow air to enter as the DEF is depleted. This vent has a filter on it so that any air that enters the tank is clean. Jugs do not have vents, so they tend to expand and leak.

My research and testing concludes that is a good practice to add DEF to your DEF tank when you get the 1/2 full status on the information panel. This is about 2.5 gallons. This keeps the DEF fresh and effective. It also clears the "DEF Level Under 1/2" message so you never get into countdown mode. There have been issues with clearing the countdown mode, but I believe Ford has fixed them in the 2013 or later trucks.

Refilling when you enter countdown mode with the messages displayed on the dash (starting at something like 800 mi) also works, but you MUST add 5 gallons to reset the countdown mode.

DEF tanks don't get quite as hot as the interior of the vehicle since they are not exposed to heating by the sun. Yes they do get up to the outside temp which is still extremely HOT. We spend winters in AZ, and temps in the 90s are expected next week. I've seem temps over 140 in my vehicle in AZ in May.

Note: Regens clean the DPF (diesel particulate filter) independently of the DEF system so DEF quality does not affect regen frequency.

I use a full tank of DEF in under 3000 miles when hauling our Pickup Camper and a utility trailer, but I like to use the capability of the truck and keep up with traffic.

The only time you should get a contaminated DEF code is if diesel is accidentally put in the DEF tank, diesel additive is accidentally poured in the DEF tank, or if something like antifreeze or windshield washer fluid or plain water is accidentally put in the DEF tank. It is also possible for the NOx sensor to fail which would can generate a fault.

Erich
 

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Erich,

I figured it wasn't a big deal somehow, since I haven't gotten an contaminated DEF errors. I have had a 6.7 since mid 2010 and never got an error. I am the only one that puts DEF or Diesel in my truck, so that I don't worry about the wrong fluid getting put in the wrong hole. And it is funny, as much as I hear people here complain about DEF and DIESEL fill tubes being in the same "door", on the Chevy sites they complain about the DEF fill tub being under the hood and how it is a pain to fill, they wish it was like the "Fords". Kind of a grass in greener on the other side thing. In the new trucks I like the DEF GAUGE - this "guessing" at how much you have stinks.

Around town I get close to the 1,000 miles per gal. on the road I go down to about 800, but it really doesn't matter as much then anyways, since on my summer drives I typically put on several thousand miles. BTW, ever notice running biodiesel gets you less MPG on the DEF? (It does as Bio produces more NOX) I use my truck's capabilities to keep up with traffic too...

Your exact scenario of a non-resetting countdown is why I try to keep the DEF topped off. My truck was in the range that was affected by that error and I have new Nox sensors under the recall. I just figure if I am stopping for fuel and bulk DEF is available, I might as well top off. Since bulk DEF isn't at every station. I also refill my two 1 gal. DEF jugs filled as well. I have range and fuel station anxiety, so I keep 2 extra gal of DEF and 20-30 extra gal. of diesel on board when I travel. Long beds are nice to have for this. I used to drive diesel pickups when it seemed like only 1/6 of the stations had diesel and it wasn't available at every interstate exit there was gas at. Now of course, it is much better, closer to 3/4 of the stations have it, but old habits die hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DEF

Dak:

Great observation on DEF refill port location opinions. If you can believe it, some motorhome manufacturers put the fill port on the opposite side of the coach, making it impossible to add diesel and fuel at the same stop at a truck stop. Lots of complaints about that one. I like the fill port under the fuel door, but don't like using a funnel. I use a spout I made myself because the Ford spout has a finicky vent, and the other spouts I found were leaky.

Have not tried biodiesel yet, but will later this year. Based on what I've discovered, clean diesels running biodiesel could be a big thing. Audi, BMW, VW, Ford, Chev, etc. are all making diesel powered passenger cars that are cleaner than gas and get amazing fuel economy. For me the 6.7 diesel torque and power compared to my previous 1999 F350 V10 4X4 Crewcab, (even with a number of power adders on it) is like night and day. I was considering adding a supercharger or turbocharger to the V10 until I test drove the new diesels. No-brainer which way to go. I've been told by researchers in the diesel emissions field that 6% DEF dosing to further reduce NOx (as opposed to the typical 2-3% now) could mostly eliminate the need for diesel particulate filter ACTIVE regeneration and improve efficiency of the engine by increasing combustion temps and pressures and further reducing EGR contributions to the intake air. This might be as simple as a reflash of the engine control module.

I'd much rather have a DEF gauge on my truck. I've yet to get a satisfactory answer from Ford on this one. I believe the answer is that if DEF range is greater than oil change interval, then no gauge is required. When I use the truck for what it designed for (hauling heavy loads at freeway speeds), we get 10-11 MPG diesel and 500-600 MPG DEF. Later this year, I'm going to try and make a setup that uses the OBD2 port and a transmitter to send the DEF level data to a smart phone. I've seen the sensors, and am sure they provide continuous level readings. Similar setups are available for other vehicle data like EGT off the OBD2.

We like to stay off the highways whenever we travel, so I share your concerns about finding the next fuel/DEF stop. We make our own DEF (long story) so I carry the urea dry and make 2.7 gallons (using distilled water) every 3 days or so which is about our usage with the camper in the bed. We've had the DEF tested by an independent lab and it meets or exceeds spec requirements. Kind of like making your own biodiesel, but for DEF.

Erich
 

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Dak:

Great observation on DEF refill port location opinions. If you can believe it, some motorhome manufacturers put the fill port on the opposite side of the coach, making it impossible to add diesel and fuel at the same stop at a truck stop. Lots of complaints about that one. I like the fill port under the fuel door, but don't like using a funnel. I use a spout I made myself because the Ford spout has a finicky vent, and the other spouts I found were leaky.

Have not tried biodiesel yet, but will later this year. Based on what I've discovered, clean diesels running biodiesel could be a big thing. Audi, BMW, VW, Ford, Chev, etc. are all making diesel powered passenger cars that are cleaner than gas and get amazing fuel economy. For me the 6.7 diesel torque and power compared to my previous 1999 F350 V10 4X4 Crewcab, (even with a number of power adders on it) is like night and day. I was considering adding a supercharger or turbocharger to the V10 until I test drove the new diesels. No-brainer which way to go. I've been told by researchers in the diesel emissions field that 6% DEF dosing to further reduce NOx (as opposed to the typical 2-3% now) could mostly eliminate the need for diesel particulate filter ACTIVE regeneration and improve efficiency of the engine by increasing combustion temps and pressures and further reducing EGR contributions to the intake air. This might be as simple as a reflash of the engine control module.

I'd much rather have a DEF gauge on my truck. I've yet to get a satisfactory answer from Ford on this one. I believe the answer is that if DEF range is greater than oil change interval, then no gauge is required. When I use the truck for what it designed for (hauling heavy loads at freeway speeds), we get 10-11 MPG diesel and 500-600 MPG DEF. Later this year, I'm going to try and make a setup that uses the OBD2 port and a transmitter to send the DEF level data to a smart phone. I've seen the sensors, and am sure they provide continuous level readings. Similar setups are available for other vehicle data like EGT off the OBD2.

We like to stay off the highways whenever we travel, so I share your concerns about finding the next fuel/DEF stop. We make our own DEF (long story) so I carry the urea dry and make 2.7 gallons (using distilled water) every 3 days or so which is about our usage with the camper in the bed. We've had the DEF tested by an independent lab and it meets or exceeds spec requirements. Kind of like making your own biodiesel, but for DEF.

Erich
I don't know how the newer Fords are, but the 2011 I have only has a few sensors in the tank, there is no float or way to measure the exact level. One of the reasons you need to put 5 - gal. in to "reset" it.

And I refill my DEF tank at least once before I am due an oil change too. I don't know how Ford thought 5-gal would last until an oil change. Active regen elimination with higher DEF usage would be nice. Diesel is $4/gal vs. $2.79/gal for bulk DEF.

I normally wouldn't post this, but since you are new and this site doesn't give you a pop-up when you have a DM waiting, I sent you a DM regarding the make your own DEF that you do....
 

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DAK & Five Star DEF,

Thanks for the posts guys. Really good information. I will not bother to worry about the DEF degrading while in the vehicle any more.

I have always kept a close eye on the DEF level and when it gets to the half full make I drive another 200 miles then add 2.5 gallons. I've never used the DEF in the pump because my local diesel outlet doesn't have it. Might try it this summer when I'm traveling.

Thanks again.
 

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Great info - but you have to wonder why the obscure date code when age is so important to the end user. Think date code on printer ink or potato chips.

DEF at he pump is cheaper and relatively fast, but whatever you do, don't inadvertently (not paying attention) put the DEF pump in the diesel tank. It will cost you $10k!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DEF_Date

BlueDEF is the only package I've found with a "coded" date, but I have not seen them all (yet). Most others, especially OEMs, clearly mark the date of manufacture and include a note that specifies not to use DEF more than 2 years old. See photos. Cummins Fleet Guard clearly prints the date and time of manufacture as in picture. So does ACDelco (not visible in image but it is on the jug) and they add the note about storage requirements and 2 year age limit. VW/Audi also prints date.



Erich
 

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Thanks, this has a lot of good information. I'm new to later models diesels, and this answered most of my questions. I have a cold storage room in my basement, think I'll store the def down there. The garage gets very hot in the summer. Is blueDEF ok, I saw some at O'Reilly yesterday, but thought maybe i should use Motorcraft. I'll check the dates.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DEF

redpine:

While I can't guarantee anything, my research I indicates that any DEF that has the API certification mark, has a label that says it meets ISO22241, and is reasonably fresh (less than 1 year old) is OK for your truck. Read your owner's manual and see what it says. I've tested several gallons of BlueDEF for urea concentration, and it has met specification. Good idea to store it in a cool dark location.

Erich
 

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Is filling DEF at a truck stop, from the pump, the best way to go? I have a station very close to home with this. Seems the most convenient, for sure. Only done it once so far as the truck is quite new to me. Took $.32 :ack:
 

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Is filling DEF at a truck stop, from the pump, the best way to go? I have a station very close to home with this. Seems the most convenient, for sure. Only done it once so far as the truck is quite new to me. Took $.32 :ack:
So far the cheapest way to do it and you know it is "full". How many miles did you drive before you tried to fill up with DEF. Sometimes the pumps are a little finicky. Obviously if it spills over and gurgles down you know you are full. DEF Freezes, so if you are in one of those climates and only take shot trips you may not use much. Some Northern Canadians and Alaskans report using very little DEF in the winter when they only take short trips. (There is a DEF heater - so a longer trip will cause the DEF thaw out and turn back to a liquid)

Having said that a lot of use keep spare DEF around, because you may forget to fill it up until the truck says "800 miles to idle" and you might not be able to find any easily. I checked out Five Star DEF's web site, and they have a unique idea - selling DEF in dry form and you mix it with distilled water when you need it. It stays fresh a lot longer that way. I admit that I keep some around. My current method is to fill up the truck DEF tank with my 2 gal. jugs first and then the next time I top off the truck, I refill the jugs. That way the jugs always have fresh DEF in them. The jugs don't last long on my long drives when the jugs are in the back of the truck bed in a rubbermaid container and when I am home I keep them in my A/C garage.
 

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I had driven just over 100 miles, only had the truck for 2 or 3 days when I topped off the DEF. With no guage I wanted to make sure it was full. Took my time, DEF ended up coming out of the pipe, so its full. Funny thing is the truck stop recommended running my card for $30 (had to pre-authorize in order to turn the DEF pump on). But $.32 is all I got. At least the tank came full from the dealer :thumbsup:

The truck stop I'm referring to has DEF pumps at each of the big truck diesel pumps. Small nozzels, fit the DEF tank perfectly.
 

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I had driven just over 100 miles, only had the truck for 2 or 3 days when I topped off the DEF. With no guage I wanted to make sure it was full. Took my time, DEF ended up coming out of the pipe, so its full. Funny thing is the truck stop recommended running my card for $30 (had to pre-authorize in order to turn the DEF pump on). But $.32 is all I got. At least the tank came full from the dealer :thumbsup:

The truck stop I'm referring to has DEF pumps at each of the big truck diesel pumps. Small nozzels, fit the DEF tank perfectly.
perfect... never had a def nozzle fitting issue I think they got those standardized. It is the magnet part that we don't have that the big rigs do.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
DEF

Feedingcannibal: Sounds like your tank is full to me. As for as the charging practices, I'm surprised they allowed you to buy DEF only. EVERY truck stop I've used requires purchasing diesel FIRST, and then DEF. They hit my card with a $100 preauthorization for $10 diesel and $10 DEF. We discussed this with the engineer that led the managing committee for implementing DEF in the US and he was surprised to hear that this was an inconvenience :lol:

Filling an empty retail DEF jug like 2.5 gal or 1 gal at the pump for reserve DEF is a good idea. Just make sure to use it only for DEF and keep it very clean and capped at all times. Don't rinse it with anything other than distilled water. NEVER use a metal gas can. Use only new polyethylene jugs, or retail jugs that have never had anything other than DEF in them. Get a good nozzle or funnel and keep them clean. Use it within 2 years of getting it at the pump. Check out what Five Star DEF offers for new reusable jugs and nozzles if you want to, and see what you think. Note: Used retail Jugs and the spout that comes with a 2.5 gal jug or from Ford separately are also completely adequate.

Dak and other DEF Nozzle Users:

I'm working on an "affordable" magnetic interlock defeat tool that will make filling reusable jugs possible on nozzles with the interlock. There is a solution that you can buy today called the OP21 Gu. It's around $35 delivered. See attachment. Some truck stops have one to borrow when buying at the pump. Expect ALL DEF pumps to have the interlock system sooner or later - making it harder on users to dispense DEF into Reusable Jugs for reserve use on our vehicles. Truck fleet owners can't afford to have a driver put DEF in the Diesel and this is a solution to make it nearly impossible to happen. Commercial trucking rules the DEF market - diesel truck owners like us need to be able to adapt.


If this device is as simple as a single magnet, I'll add them to our current line of reusable jugs at the neck. I need to buy a nozzle to make sure this works, but I'm waiting for the nozzle price to come down some more. The nozzle and collar together lists for around $640. There is a knockoff on Northern Tool (nozzle AND collar) for around $359. I'm not exactly sure yet how it works, but I'll likely buy a set soon to figure it out.

Erich
 

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I have never been able to fill def at pump. Nozzle keeps clicking off attendants said there was plenty of def in their tank. this happened twice ended up buying jug at walmart. any solutions?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have never been able to fill def at pump. Nozzle keeps clicking off attendants said there was plenty of def in their tank. this happened twice ended up buying jug at walmart. any solutions?

See reply in my previous post in this thread above. The pump you are using probably has the magnetic interlock. 3 solutions I know of:

Purchase the OPW21Gu to defeat the magnetic interlock at pump nozzles that have it, find a truck stop that does not use the interlock nozzle yet, or see it the truck stop has a OPW21Gu that you can borrow. Otherwise jugs.

Erich
 
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