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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2012 F350 crewcab DRW has a bit over 38,000 miles and been trouble free. Recently it will come up with the message that DEF is low and it starts counting down on the 500 miles. I frequently check the message center and in both cases, it show over 1/2 full a day of two before the message. I add DEF and get in less than two gallons and it is full.

Next issue is cleaning the exhaust filter. Normally I see it appear while on the road and it last a few seconds and back to normal.Last time it came up with "Drive to clean exhaust filter" and alternated with "Cleaning Exhaust filter". I talked to the ford dealer in Chanute, KS and they said I had to drive it about 40 miles above 40 mph to get it to finish. It did clear up right before 40 miles at 65 and 70 mph.

The truck is not driven excessively in city traffic. We are full time RVers and the truck has better than 50% of the mileage with a 18,000# 5th wheel trailer attached. Ever 2nd or 3rd tank of fuel it gets Diesel Kleen run through it. Whwn on the road I use the stock tank and a 40 gallon aux. tank. Whnnot on the road, I run down the aux tank and operate only on the stock tank to keep the fuel fresh. Fuel filters were changed at 20,000 mile and plan to change again at 40,000 miles with the next oil change. The truck gets Fords semi-synthetic 15W-40 oil.

I just had the truck into Bob Hurley Ford in Tulsa and they ran diagnostics, and updated programs and a 10 minute battery disconnect to get the updates to take effect and found no problems but charged $85 for diagnostics.

Anyone else see these issues? I was thinking about getting a new F350 DRW with the High Capacity Towing, 4.30 rear axle and the wide stance front end. It has more payload capacity than the F450.

Ken
 

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The DEF is not an issue. The DEF tank is only 5 gal. Usually when it gets to the 500 mile mark, it will not take a full 2.5 gallon. Best to wait till say 350-400 mile mark for it to take 2.5 gallon. The Ford DEF nozzle will let you partially fill the tank better than most aftermarket DEF solutions. If fits the filler tube tight and has a vent that stops the flow when it is full. The part number is Ford Motorcraft PM-27-N. Cost between $7 to $10.

DEF is also used at various rates. Depends on speed and what you are towing and the terrain.

The cleaning exhaust filter only pops up for a few seconds and then disappears. This is normal. If you do not complete the "regen" when it starts, it will eventually give you the message to Drive to clean exhaust filter. I have had this happen to me when I was in the Rocky Mtns last year. There is no way to stop and let it idle to clean the filter unless you have an XL or XLT with the regen option in the user controls. You can get an EDGE CTS/CTS2 to monitor the truck and regens to know when they may occur or if they finish. The Edge devices will allow you to do a manual regne but the cost for the unit is $300 or more but the Ford option on the XL and XLT was $250. Some also use and OBDII adapter and the Torque Pro app on their Android device. If you do not complete the regens, you can damage the exhaust filter and it will have to be replaced at your expense. It is not a warranty item unless it is a manufacturing defect or truck malfunction you can prove.

Others will offer more to what I have said and help you. Enjoy your trucks but don't let it worry you to death either.
 

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The DEF tank has basically 3 sensors in it. Full, Half and 500 miles to empty.

So I can see it saying half full yesterday and 500 miles to go today, Because it dropped below the next sensor. Its not linear at all.

I usually let mine read 1/2 full and drive for a few more days before I add a jug of DEF. As mention you DEF tanks holds just a little over 5 gallons. And it frequently will read half full and not take a full 2.5 gallon jug.

I'm guessing, but I think the DEF crystallizes in the tank and blocks some of the capacity. So today it's full with 2 gallons, but tomorrow after some of the crystals dissolve you can add the rest of the jug.

Not a big deal. In the summer I keep mine pretty full. In the winter I tend to maintain it around 1/2 full. DEF freezes at 13°F and can damage the filler tube neck if you over fill the tank and the DEF fluid in the tube freezes.

As far as Active Regens. As mentioned, the Cleaning Exhaust Filter message pops up for 2-3 seconds and then goes away. The Active Regen continues for 20-30 miles after the message disappears.

If you don't drive long enough for the regen process to complete, It will restart next time you get up to temp and the particulate filter meets the parameters to call for another regen.

If you never drive long enough to let it complete, it will eventually post the message "Drive Clean" and this message will remain while to drive until the filter is cleaned. On my 2011 truck, I saw that message twice in 145,000 miles. On my 2015 truck, I saw that message in the first 5000 miles. It depends a lot of how you drive.

Our trucks will also do a Passive Regen. Which basically means anytime you get EGT temps over 572°F, the filter will clean soot on it's own using the exhaust as a heat source. Most towing that I do, sees EGTs stay in the 700-800°F range, So you do most of the soot cleaning with Passive Regen. But the computer will force an Active regen periodically even if the DPF soot % is low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In the past, as soon as I got the 500 mile message, it would take the full 2.5 gallon jug and more if I had a partial bottle of DEF. Lately if has been messing up with the message and only taking about 1.5 to 2 gallons. Last week it was over 1/2 full and the next day, as soon as I started up, i got the 500 mile message. Our days drive was a bit over 200 miles, so when we stopped, it was reporting a bit shy of 300 miles on the DEF. It would not take but 2 gallons.

Like I said, the truck sees very few short trips and spends more than 50% of the time on the highway with the trailer in tow, so exhaust temp being low is not a problem. On occasion it gets a short trip to the store, but then it gets more driving time without the trailer while sight seeing.

I guess I will live with it and see what happens. I just do not want a problem on the road with the trailer in tow. Getting the rig towed is not fun.

Thanks for the replies.

Ken.
 

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I wait till I get to about 200-250 miles before I refill mine. Just refilled mine for the 3rd time about 3 weeks ago. Every time I let it get down to the 250 or so mark, I can put a hair under 5 gallons in. I was left with about 1 1/2" of fluid left in my 2nd 2.5 gallon jug.

I keep two 2.5 gallon jugs and refill them at the pump and then use the Ford nozzle so I don't drip on my paint.

I typically get about 6,300 miles before I get down to the 250 mile remaining mark but I don't tow much. Towing 5 times this year with our camper, I got about 5,000 miles this time on the tank.
 

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Txiceman: Just my opinion!

I think that your truck is acting like mine. I believe that in the past for me was before the TSB 1403. The sensors in the DEF tank doesn’t give the PCM a linear level signal so the PCM’s programming has to do a calculated guess. I monitored my DEF level before the TSB with Torque Pro but didn’t pay that much attention because in the past I would just just top up the DEF tank where there was a DEF pump at a fuel station by my house. Why I find your post interesting is that I have been getting DEF fluid given to me for free so I pay more attention to my DEF use because I have to fill it myself from a jug. Since then I also notice the last three times that the message says half full but can never put more then 2 gallons in and have half a gallon left in the jug.
That said, I have since continually monitored the DEF PID to see what has changed but haven’t collected enough data to be conclusive. What I will say that the DEF tank level method is crude and Ford just wants to make sure there is fluid in the tank. Also where I live it is getting cold and most of the winter my DEF tank is frozen. So in summary, I wouldn’t worry about how much DEF is takes, just that you have fluid in it.

Sorry about the length!!
As far as your truck going into Regen. There is two main parameters that start an Active Regen, Soot Load and Miles since last complete Active Regen. Again I monitor my Soot Load and Miles so I know what has activated an Active Regen. Not knowing your truck’s readings only leaves me to guess!!
Getting the “Drive to Clean” message tells me that you didn’t complete an Active Regen at least 3 times. Since you believe that your Regen isn’t activated by Soot Load then it is activated by miles. This to me is normal because my truck can get caught in the same loop and it will take a few good completed Active Regens to return your truck back to normal.

The PCM will go through a test and set a baseline so it knows the ash residual in the DPF, It will also monitor the average distance between completed Active Regens. This is simply done so that the PCM knows that the readings from the sensors and working right.

I’m not an Expert but just a guy that just has to know, Ford not having a display for Soot Load and a display or light when the Truck is in Active Regen drives a guy like me nuts. I know why most people don’t want to know.
I use a Android App on my cell phone called “Torque Pro” , it is $5 for the app and under $20 for the bluetooth adapter, I don’t know if it is the best but at least it tells me things that I’d like to know and I don’t have to go to the dealer and pay $85. I’ll put a link below.

Sorry about the length again. but I’ve been asked by people that are new to the new diesel emissions. Simply the truck will take care of it on it’s own and will tell you if something is wrong. There is nothing wong with your truck if it is telling you to “Drive to Clean” if it keeps telling you, then I would want to know why. Not to spread fear, but the “Drive to Clean” message really means that you are not competely cleaning the soot and ash out of the DPF by not completing an Active Regen and can lead to a clogged DPF if the truck is not able to complete an Active Regen.

Again, I don’t think there is a problem with your truck and I hope you find this helpful. The link below is not up to date but should show you the basics. I use my truck as a daily driver and for work so it helps me know when my truck will start a Regen and if I didn't complete it. Usually the PCM will want a Regen around 500 miles, One more thing is that if your Soot Load is low and you stop the Active Regen activated by mileage the PCM will subtract miles from the mileage counter and this is why you might see a regen start again in 150 miles or so. Also the PCM calculates the average miles between the last two completed Regens so the 500 miles is not written in stone. Soot Load is calculated by the DPF back pressure and PCM will start an Active Regen no matter what the mileage is. When towing my 12K trailer the exhaust temperatures are always hot enough to perform passive regen so mileage is what starts my Active Regens.

http://www.thedieselstop.com/forums/f152/torque-pro-app-ford-6-7l-extended-pids-446986/
 
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