Diesel Exhaust Fluid questions
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    jeepjeff's Avatar
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    Diesel Exhaust Fluid questions

    I see products in the oil and lubricants aisle labeled Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Please help an uneducated on diesel person understand what it is and what it does. I assume it has something to do with making the exhaust less toxic or stinky but am not sure. Does it get added to the fuel? I've never heard of it until the last year or so. Thanks

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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Its only used in newer diesel engines with a DEF fluid tank. You do NOT add it to the fuel.

    Basically its purpose is to reduce emissions.
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    DON'T ADD IT TO YOUR FUEL! EXTREME DAMAGE WILL OCCUR!

    Some diesel engine systems utilize diesel exhaust fluid to meet EPA emissions criteria. Typically there is an additional tank that holds the Exhaust fluid and from there it is injected into the exhaust system not pistons/motor. Hence the name Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
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    DEF is one of the ways manufacturer's found to meet the Tier 4 emissions standards for diesel vehicles. If you need it, your vehicle will have a separate DEF tank that gets filled. The DEF gets injected into the exhaust stream and produces ammonia. The ammonia combines with the NOx in the exhaust vapors and converts NOx in to Nitrogen and Water.

    NOx = bad.
    Nitrogen = good
    Water = good!

    Obviously, that's the short and sweet version.
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    Thanks, I really appreciate it.

    I don't own a diesel but have always been a curious sort of soul and appreciate you sharing your knowledge. Being DEF produces nitrogen I can see why it wouldn't be good for the combustion cycle in the cylinder(s). Inert atmospheres prevent boom or bang or poof.........
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    x2 on all the previous posts, plus a little more information about diesel additives...


    I have a 2017 3038e. If you have a Tier 4 diesel engine in your tractor, see below:

    I'd suggest avoiding diesel additives unless they are specific to Tier 4 engines-- products like Lucas fuel additive and others can cause the "regen" process to happen earlier due to increased soot levels from adding the product.

    Unless it is a specific JD additive to reduce fuel gelling or a biocide-- I'd say avoid it....

    Older diesel engines:

    These are different! (Hurray!)- The new "low sulfur" diesel is hard on the engine's injector pumps and older mechanical injectors. Quality additives from Stanadyne that add "lubricity" to help the pump and injectors. These older diesel engines used the diesel as lubricant for the pump and injectors.

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by placer View Post
    x2 on all the previous posts, plus a little more information about diesel additives...


    I have a 2017 3038e. If you have a Tier 4 diesel engine in your tractor, see below:

    I'd suggest avoiding diesel additives unless they are specific to Tier 4 engines-- products like Lucas fuel additive and others can cause the "regen" process to happen earlier due to increased soot levels from adding the product.

    Unless it is a specific JD additive to reduce fuel gelling or a biocide-- I'd say avoid it....

    Older diesel engines:

    These are different! (Hurray!)- The new "low sulfur" diesel is hard on the engine's injector pumps and older mechanical injectors. Quality additives from Stanadyne that add "lubricity" to help the pump and injectors. These older diesel engines used the diesel as lubricant for the pump and injectors.

    Good luck!
    You can't go wrong using the JD diesel fuel additive product. It comes in both summer formula and winter formula but if you live in the snow belt you can just use the winter formula all year round.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    You can't go wrong using the JD diesel fuel additive product. It comes in both summer formula and winter formula but if you live in the snow belt you can just use the winter formula all year round.

    Is there a cost difference? If winter works for both winter and summer, I wonder if it costs more??
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    The blue colored DEF tank cap can be seen below the green diesel cap midway down the side of the tank.
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    DEF is urea and deionized water. More water than urea. It will not do harm to an engine, at least not a gasoline engine if by "harm" you don't include "the engine will not run".

    Putting in the public record something I would normally never acknowledge doing:

    I once put DEF into the fuel tank of a rental car on my way back to Berlin from Poznan Poland. Everything was in Polish and real men don't ask for help. When I paid for the "fuel", I was a little surprised at how cheap the gas was when I did the mental conversion from złotys to dollars. That surprise turned to understanding after a 1 klick drive down the Autostrada and the car died. Took 6 hours for someone from Hertz Poland to fetch the car and drop me off at an auto dealer where everyone was very helpful but no one spoke a word of English.

    Since I was never billed for damage to the car I have to assume that the repair consisted only of draining and refilling the tank.

    A few weeks later on my next trip, the guy at the Hertz counter at the Berlin Tegel airport reminded me after looking at his screen that the car I was getting used petrol, not diesel. I got the hint.

    Al
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