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If you own a diesel-fueled pickup that was manufactured in 2010 or beyond, you are aware that it was built with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and requires the use of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).  This feature was added to diesel vehicles to make them compliant with the new diesel emissions standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Close-up of a black exhaust fluid tank with a blue cap and the text “The 4 Most Common Questions About Diesel Exhaust Fluid”

The use of DEF is still a new concept in terms of diesel truck care, as the technology is only around a decade old. There are still some misconceptions amongst consumers as to what exactly DEF is and what it does. If you are considering purchasing a newer diesel engine pickup equipped with SCR and have questions about diesel exhaust fluid, then look no further. We are here to shed some light on the four most common questions about diesel exhaust fluid.

What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid?

Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) has its own tank and never makes contact with the actual diesel fuel. DEF is a non-toxic solution made up of synthetically made urea (1/3) and de-ionized water (2/3). The production of DEF is closely regulated by the American Petroleum Institute. Diesel vehicles release nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution into the air which has been linked to the rise in acid rain and smog. DEF works to reduce these emissions and better protect the environment. To do this, it turns the NOx emissions into innoxious water, oxygen and nitrogen.

How Much DEF Will My Truck Use?

The average dosing rate of medium to heavy-duty diesel vehicles is around two to three percent. Meaning that if your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is six miles per gallon, it will use roughly one gallon of DEF per 200 miles.

DEF consumption also depends on the climate in which you are driving. Dry, hot climates consume more DEF than those that are cold or humid. Probably because dry heat accelerates the evaporation process.

Where Do I Purchase DEF?

As DEF becomes standard, it is becoming readily available at most truck stops and gas stations, sometimes right at the pump. Walmart, O’Reilly’s and other auto parts stores also sell DEF by the gallon.

What Happens If I Run Out of DEF Before Refilling?

Should you run out of DEF before a refill, your speed will slow down and won’t return to normal until the fluid is topped off. If your pickup was manufactured after 2010, it should have a light that warns you when the DEF is low. This light will begin flashing once the fluid is almost completely out. You can compare having your DEF refilled to the importance of having an oil change. If you put it off too long, it can cause some serious damage to the engine. So, once that light comes on, refill it, and feel good about performing a proactive step in protecting your vehicle, but the environment as well.

Gem State Diesel & Turbo Repair- Diesel Repair Services You Can Trust

We were established in 2010 and garnered a reputation of superior diesel pickup repair and service in the Boise area. For any of your diesel service or repair needs, book an appointment online or give us a call at (208) 288-5555.