Even though the laws mandating Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) are several years old at this point, there is still some confusion regarding the fluid and its usage. In particular, buyers often have questions if it’s their first time buying a vehicle with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, the necessary component for using DEF.
Get the FAQs About Diesel Exhaust Fluid
DEF is actually a very simple substance: 32.5% urea, and 67.5% ionized water. Urea, incidentally, is a naturally occurring compound most commonly found in mammal urine and is noted for its ability to grab and transport nitrous compounds.
Without getting into the complicated chemistry, DEF is injected into the exhaust system, where it binds to NOx and turns it into less-harmful emissions. This is why the usage of SCR systems is now becoming mandated across North America.
Not under normal circumstances, no. Urea is only harmful in large quantities, so just don’t drink a bottle of the stuff.
Yes. As the DEF does its job, it will slowly deplete. It has to be regularly refilled, in the same way, you refill your gas, oil, and other fluids.
There’s no clear answer here; it depends on a number of factors including the energy efficiency of your engine and the size of its DEF storage tank. As a very rough estimate, a typical diesel vehicle will use 2-4 gallons of DEF for every 100 gallons of diesel fuel. With most DEF tanks being between 15-20 gallons, this works out to something like 5,000-6,000 miles per refill.
To make it refills easy, most vehicles today place the DEF refill cap near the fuel cap. Occasionally, it may be in the engine compartment. Either way, there’s nothing special to the filling process. All you need is a nozzle and perhaps a funnel.
Almost certainly not; SCR vehicles will have systems in place to prevent this. Some will refuse to run at all if the DEF tank is dry, others will force the vehicle into a slow low-power mode to let them limp to a service station.
While service stations are beginning to stock Diesel Exhaust Fluid as standard, this is not entirely commonplace. For most fleets, the best option is to hire a DEF delivery service to keep on-site tanks stocked up.
Contact Bird Fuels to learn more about DEF delivery services in Ontario.