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Old 01-10-2019, 10:40 AM   #41
MarkEHansen
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Although my truck is fairly new to me, I had a chance to try out the exhaust brake while towing my little (8800lb) trailer and was really impressed. It felt like, in most cases, I hardly had to use the brake at all. I really can't wait to try taking her over a big hill
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Old 01-10-2019, 03:49 PM   #42
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When I purchased my truck, it had 130 miles on it (it was new, but the dealer said it had been driven to another dealership for a sale which fell through). I now have a little or 300 miles on it and just got a warning message in the driver's information center that my DEF is low and I have only about 340 miles remaining.


My question is this: Should the dealer have filled the DEF tank as part of the sale? They filled the fuel tank and washed it. I'm really surprised they didn't fill the DEF.


Our truck came with one free "check-up" in which they promised to change the oil/filter, top off the DEF and do a number of other inspections. I was told to bring it in around 5000 miles for this service. Seems strange that they would offer to top off the DEF at 5000 miles but send me out the door with a virtually empty DEF tank.


I plan to go to Walmart and get a couple jugs and fill the tank this weekend.


Thanks for any opinions.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:16 PM   #43
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The Ford DEF level sensor is a "high tech" gray tank sensor assembly. It works much better than the RV tank sensors, but it is not without its problems. You may find that when you try to add DEF, the tank won't accept any. If the sensor connector is loose, the computer will read the tank as empty and if the tank "was empty" and recently filled by the dealer, the computer will take several start/stop cycles before it "averages the level" and begins to trust (or believe) what the sensor is sending to the computer.

If you have a fault reader, hook it up to the OBD port and see what it says. If you do decide to "try and fill the DEF tank", pour carefully so you don't overfill it, especially in a cold climate where the expanding DEF "could" expand and crack the tank... That's not covered by Ford's warranty. At least that's what they told me when I was discussing "topping off the DEF" before a trip. My dealer warned me not to "top it off" but to only add a 2.5 gallon container when it was below half full. He suggested, better yet, let it get down to the "500 miles to empty" notice, then add DEF.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:29 PM   #44
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Thanks, John. We have a GMC Sierra 3500. I don't know if the DEF tank sensor has any of the same issues you're referring to. At this point, we're down to less than the 500 mile mark already, so I think I must add DEF.

Assuming the tank really is empty, should the dealer have filled it before letting us take the truck home?
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:42 PM   #45
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My thougth.... for what it's worth. HECK YES he should have filled it. Filling all the fluids is a part of dealer prep, at least in my opinion. I'd expect the tires to be at the correct pressure, the WS washer fluid to be full, the oil, transmission, radiator full, all differentials full and the DEF full. Maybe it was an honest mistake and they missed it??? I'd definitely give them a call and ask the salesman why you're DEF alert is flashing with only 300 miles on the vehicle, and only 150 mile since they serviced it. If the dealership is close, why pay for DEF at WalMart? Get the "genuine GM product" on the dealer's dime.....
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:48 PM   #46
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The dealer should take care of you. I left the lot with a 1/4 tank of Diesel since I had to get to a doctors appointment after the closing on the truck took hours longer than I planned (there really needs to be an Amazon for buying cars.....). They said just come by any time and they will get me a full tank. I topped off the initial tank and once that ran down they filled me back up no problems.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:52 AM   #47
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Thanks. I think they just missed it too, but I wanted to know what others think about it. I'll call them and see what they say about it.

It would cost me more to take it back to them than to just fill it myself - besides I need to experience filling it myself anyway
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:22 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkEHansen View Post
Although my truck is fairly new to me, I had a chance to try out the exhaust brake while towing my little (8800lb) trailer and was really impressed. It felt like, in most cases, I hardly had to use the brake at all. I really can't wait to try taking her over a big hill
I turn on the exhaust brake every time I get in the truck! Wish I could make it auto on.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:32 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkEHansen View Post
Thanks. I think they just missed it too, but I wanted to know what others think about it. I'll call them and see what they say about it.

It would cost me more to take it back to them than to just fill it myself - besides I need to experience filling it myself anyway
Exactly, for the bother fill it your self. Been on def for 5 years now, never heard of the issue with over filling and cracking the tank. Because def does freeze, they use some type of radar guage, notoriously inaccurate and prone to stay on full till it's near empty.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:42 AM   #50
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Exactly, for the bother fill it your self. Been on def for 5 years now, never heard of the issue with over filling and cracking the tank. Because def does freeze, they use some type of radar guage, notoriously inaccurate and prone to stay on full till it's near empty.
The part I bolded is the reason why overfilling can damage the tank. As DEF freezes, it expands. Overfilling the DEF tank can cause the damage. It only occurs in locations where the temperatures are cold enough to actually freeze the DEF solid. I would make a guess that's in places where the temperature is below zero for days and days and on trucks that sit outside, unprotected from the temperatures. Our truck is in the garage "at home" but if we go to visit someone overnight or take a trip and stay overnight, we usually wind up parked outside... RAM and GM trucks "may" (I don't know) a means to create expansion room in the way their DEF tanks are molded. On Fords the tank can be "filled to the very top with no air gap or room for expansion"...
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