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Old 01-14-2019, 11:15 AM   #21
AbHDToyHauler
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My 2018 came up pretty quick too when i first purchased it. I am pretty sure the dealership only put in enough to get the warning off. Once I topped it up it has been "normal" and I guess accurate. Obviously it calculates the def useage based on fuel used as when towing it uses it much faster . Even when its low if you read the message carefully it tells you that if you don't put fluid in you will have like a 600 miles before it goes into limp mode. (Don't quote me on the mileage to limp mode as i'm pulling it from memory and my memory is awful).
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:58 AM   #22
tundrwd
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I don't plan to carry it because it gets old and I think I'll have plenty of time to find a Walmart when I get the 1,000 mile warning. We'll see how that plan works...
I'd be careful with counting on that. Depends on where you go, but where I live, the local Walmarts have been "wiped-out" from time-to-time of DEF fluid. None on the shelf. It'll be there in a couple days, but that doesn't do you much good when you're "passing through". You don't get a lot of towing miles before the computer tells the truck to just quit. And that's that. You're dead on the side of the road. GM doesn't have a "no start" idea - once it says it's out - it starts reducing the speed you can drive (farther you try to travel the slower it goes), and I think it's only about 50 miles total once you get the "no fluid" warning and it just stops. Period.

You can always see about a truck stop - they normally have DEF fluid dispensers, and because truckers will use it - it's usually pretty fresh.

Although - Car and Driver says DEF fluid doesn't deteriorate over time https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a1...tank-runs-dry/ - that does NOT seem to be the consensus of many - but that's what Car and Driver say.

I've kept a 2.5gal box of DEF fluid in the back of the truck for up to about 5 months with no issues. It's always used within 3-4 months (I don't let the warning light come on, I just get to a point, and drop the 2.5gal box in).

Good thing about having the store "wiped out" is that you have some feeling that it's "fresher" than when it's been sitting there a lot (if that counts). So I tend to go to Walmarts in semi-rural areas where farmers and ranchers, etc. go. I've seen those guys buy 4-5 2.5gal boxes of DEF fluid at one go.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:55 AM   #23
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DEF warning

We just had the "engine warning" light come on recently on our 2015 GMC. It's 4 years old with 28,000 miles on it. As to the first part about new and being filled, probably not. The dealership we bought from claimed to have filled it.....NOT. The dealership I use for service (very good one) had to fill it shortly after purchased, and it took almost 5 gallons. I recently got the recall notice on the tank sensor. Sure enough, not long after the warning came on. The dealer reset, and said try for a bit. A week later it was back. So, sensor was replaced under warranty. Now, one thing the service manager said, was to stay away from the Blue DEF. He said they've had a lot of trouble with store bought Blue DEF causing failures. Coincidentally, I had just had to put 2 gallons of Blue DEF in, as I was on the road and it was getting very low. Shortly after that, I had the warning activate. Coincidence, or???? GM uses a kind of "amber" colored DEF, and that's what they recommend. I will have to say that almost 4 years of dealer installed DEF, no problems. I put a bit of Blue DEF in, and the problem occurs. For me, I'll let the dealer fill it now. Then I know I have full warranty coverage!
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:34 AM   #24
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My 14 F350 had some false DEF readings. After much discussion with mechanics and a friend in the equipment industry (having DEF issues), we sort of concluded that keeping the def tank full was the way to go. Def leaves behind that crystalline residue as it dries out. I see it around the fill spout. We surmised that these crystals in a low tank interfere with the sensor reading. Keeping the tank full keeps the crystals from forming. My ford sensor is supposedly like a fuel tank sensor and not an rv tank sensor so the crystals may cause the false warning. Since practicing “full def tank”, no issues. Just my opinion..
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:32 AM   #25
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How are you supposed to know how much to put in? Assuming I want to fill it, I know that the tank takes 7 gallons, but I don't know how much is still in there. I just looked at the DEF fill tube and it is black plastic - there's no way I can tell when the fluid is getting near the top.

I can't imagine that when you fill, you have to fill until it starts backing up out the top of the fill tube.

And for those that say "just put in X gallons when you get the nth warning", what if your sensor is not working properly? How do you know how much you really have in the tank?

My DIC said I was at 30% for about a day. Then it said it was fine for a few days. Then it said I was at 30% for a couple days. Now it says it's fine again.

So... am I at 30% full or do I have a malfunctioning sensor?

Thanks for any insights.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:51 AM   #26
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Look folks...

DEF isn't a magic solution... It is a fertilizer

I've literally made millions of tons of the stuff... it is a solution of a solid (UREA 46-0-0) in water to produce a 32.5% solution.

Remember from high school chemistry that temperature, percentage of solids to liquid and agitation or among the controls of a solid remaining in a solution.

Pouring NEW DEF into OLD will not hurt anything unless the solution has lost some of the liquid; possibly through evaporation. But even that will help by increasing the percentage of liquid to solid. DEF or 32.5% UREA will freeze and the solids will begin to FALL OUT as it approaches 12`F and if warmed the solids will return to solution with agitation (driving) to the percentage allowed by the controlling temperature.

This is why there are heaters in the tanks... with the exception possibly rupturing the tank from expansion there is no harm to the DEF freezing as long as it is brought to a reasonable temperature and agitated by driving..


My only cautionary advice in the use of DEF is to thoroughly wash any metal or painted surface that it spills on... it will promote oxidation (big time)

Oh..... it is colorless until color is added... Mississippi Chemical Company used to ship a 5 gallon bucket of color for us to add to their product which they called GOLDEN 5 gallons of powder to 1,000,000 gallons of solution...

32.5-0-0 is 32.5-0-0 is 32.5-0-0 no matter who makes it... water quality (purity) would be the only variable...
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:55 AM   #27
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How are you supposed to know how much to put in? Assuming I want to fill it, I know that the tank takes 7 gallons, but I don't know how much is still in there. I just looked at the DEF fill tube and it is black plastic - there's no way I can tell when the fluid is getting near the top.

I can't imagine that when you fill, you have to fill until it starts backing up out the top of the fill tube.

And for those that say "just put in X gallons when you get the nth warning", what if your sensor is not working properly? How do you know how much you really have in the tank?

My DIC said I was at 30% for about a day. Then it said it was fine for a few days. Then it said I was at 30% for a couple days. Now it says it's fine again.

So... am I at 30% full or do I have a malfunctioning sensor?

Thanks for any insights.
Just like your fuel tank... pour it in until it gurgles or burps... put the cap back on and rinse any spillage off the surrounding metal and painted surfaces..
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:48 PM   #28
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Just like your fuel tank... pour it in until it gurgles or burps... put the cap back on and rinse any spillage off the surrounding metal and painted surfaces..
That's easier said, than done. On my '18 GMC the fill tube on the firewall is surrounded by a small box maybe 3x3 inch and a half inch tall. That's the entire overfill catch basin. The DEF/jug fill tube is the exact size dia. of the fill hole, such that no air can enter or exit the fill hole. The fill tube that comes with the DEF is an easy inch in diameter, probably more, and about 16 inches long. When you tip the jug up you get a solid column of liquid. If the tank and tank fill tube becomes full, then the jug's fill tube is also full right back up into the jug. There's no way to remove the jug fill tube without spilling most of its contents all over the firewall and everything on it.

Given that, I think it's easier to add either a 2.5 gal jug, or drive a little further so you can safely add two of the 2.5 gallon jugs. But it is a guessing game. And with all the technology we have, it shouldn't be.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:57 PM   #29
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That's easier said, than done. On my '18 GMC the fill tube on the firewall is surrounded by a small box maybe 3x3 inch and a half inch tall. That's the entire overfill catch basin. The DEF/jug fill tube is the exact size dia. of the fill hole, such that no air can enter or exit the fill hole. The fill tube that comes with the DEF is an easy inch in diameter, probably more, and about 16 inches long. When you tip the jug up you get a solid column of liquid. If the tank and tank fill tube becomes full, then the jug's fill tube is also full right back up into the jug. There's no way to remove the jug fill tube without spilling most of its contents all over the firewall and everything on it.



Given that, I think it's easier to add either a 2.5 gal jug, or drive a little further so you can safely add two of the 2.5 gallon jugs. But it is a guessing game. And with all the technology we have, it shouldn't be.



Just my 2 cents

Mike
1. I'm sorry that GM put the full tube in an inaccessible location.

2. I've never put more than or less than two and a half gallons in my tank at any point since the inception of the system.

3. Ford actually sells a fill tube with a burp vent, wonder if GM might have the same available.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:42 PM   #30
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In have a 2016 and never had an issue.

It says def ok until 40%. I think it starts giving you mileage alerts less than 30

I usually add a 5 gallon jug once per oil change (~7K miles).

Only once did I top it off and it was stuck at 40...it cleared up after a few days of driving...sensors are probably like the ones in your black tank...if you get build up on them it take a while to get it off.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:42 PM   #31
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I know the L5p uses a lot more Def then my MIL. The inside gage is suppose to be improved over the LML.i was told at 30% add 5 gallons I haven't
been there. I have though about trying that . I came up with a sheet metal and wood inside support I made . The plastic top from inside a old ice chest perfect fit for 5 gallons of DEF. There easy to fill from any truck stop. Def will last 2 years mild weather from Google search high tempture is much worse then freezing.
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Old 04-12-2019, 06:33 PM   #32
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I know the L5p uses a lot more Def then my MIL. The inside gage is suppose to be improved over the LML.i was told at 30% add 5 gallons I haven't
been there. I have though about trying that . I came up with a sheet metal and wood inside support I made . The plastic top from inside a old ice chest perfect fit for 5 gallons of DEF. There easy to fill from any truck stop. Def will last 2 years mild weather from Google search high tempture is much worse then freezing.
I have been hauling 5 gallons of Def attached containment at the back of my Anderson hitch . I had filled the Def befor leaving on my Az trip 3900 miles later I get message low Def fluid 30%. I added 4 1/2 gallons to fill the 7 1/2 gallon tank. That's averaging 866 miles gallon . 2000 was towing heavy .
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:12 PM   #33
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The spout on the jugs have a small rubber vent tube in them, while filling if you want to stop the flow simply place your finger over the tube, all you may lose is what's in the spout if you pull out to quickly, put the plug back in & rinse off what spilled with a water hose.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:28 AM   #34
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I like the duramax fill system the container lays down under the hood as I start tilting the jug insert the tube in and fill it by gravity it will stop when full . The same principle as gravity feed fuel transfer tank, if the jug is lifted and try forcing more fluid from the continue it flow out into the over flow funnel onto the ground through a hose .
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