Does Diesel Exhaust Fluid Expire?

-Components such as the DEFdosing pump and the diesel particulate filter could be damaged.

The manufacturer’s warranty may be voided in the event of equipment failure or component damage caused by poor DEF, converting these problems into costly repairs. What causes DEF to deteriorate, and how can it be avoided? Here are seven crucial aspects to consider.

1. Longevity

DEF has a shelf life because it does not include any preservatives. The good news is that DEF has a rather long shelf life; in most cases, it may be stored for up to a year without any problems.

2. Use the Right Containers

DEF’s shelf life is extended when it is stored properly. It must be kept in ISO-certified containers composed of long-lasting composite materials. Because DEF corrodes metal, storage containers made of stainless steel, polypropylene, or high-density polyethylene are suitable. It is not suggested to reuse DEF containers, even certified ones, to reduce the risk of fluid contamination.

While it may seem inconsequential, clearly label DEF and all other fluid storage containers. It’s all too common for DEF to be mistaken for conventional fuel or another fluid, and to be dumped into the wrong tank in a machine.

What happens to DEF when it expires?

DEF is the reactant required for the SCR system to work. It’s an aqueous urea solution made up of 32.5 percent high grade urea and 67.5 percent deionized water that’s been thoroughly combined.

Urea is a nitrogen molecule that, when heated, converts to ammonia. It’s employed in a range of industries, including agriculture as a fertilizer.

Cummins Filtration does not advise customers to build their own DEF. DEF has stringent standards for maintaining ingredient concentration and purity, which is important to the SCR system’s good operation and lifetime. DEF used with Cummins and other OEM SCR systems must meet all ISO22241 parameters as well as API certification requirements, according to Cummins and other OEMs. End users are advised to acquire certified DEF rather than combining it themselves. Refer to ISO22241 for further information on the quality requirements, which covers DEF quality, handling, testing, shipping, storage, and refilling.

API Certification is a voluntary program administered by the American Petroleum Institute (API) that certifies and monitors compliance with ISO requirements for diesel exhaust fluid. The program began in March of 2009. Cummins Filtration DEF presently complies with ISO standards and is API approved.

Yes, a concentration of 32.5 percent urea is good because it has the lowest freeze point. SCR systems will also be tuned to 32.5 percent, resulting in optimal NOx reduction during operation.

At 12 degrees F, a 32.5 percent DEF solution begins to crystallize and freeze (-11 deg C). Both the urea and the water will freeze at the same rate at 32.5 percent, ensuring that the fluid does not become diluted or over concentrated as it thaws. The freezing and thawing of DEF will not cause the product to degrade.

When DEF is frozen, it expands by approximately 7%. The container and tanks for DEF are built to expand.

What can I do to prevent the DEF from freezing? What happens if the DEF in the vehicle’s tank freezes?

SCR systems are meant to provide heating for the DEF tank and supply lines while the vehicle is in operation. If DEF freezes when the car is turned off, the vehicle’s start-up and regular functioning will not be hampered. The SCR heating system is designed to swiftly return DEF to liquid form while ensuring that the vehicle’s operation is unaffected. The freezing and thawing of DEF will not cause the product to degrade.

Is it possible to add an anti-gelling or freeze point improver to DEF to keep it from freezing?

No. While an addition could increase the mixture’s freeze point, the 32.5 percent solution is designed specifically to reduce NOx emissions. Any further blending or tweaking of the DEF mixture may obstruct its capacity to function properly and may damage SCR components. Today, no additives of any kind are permitted in DEF. Cummins Filtration will ensure that our product meets ISO requirements if ISO regulations alter to enable antifreeze additives.

DEF should be stored away from direct sunlight in a cold, dry, well-ventilated location. While the ideal storage temperature for DEF is up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius), short exposure to higher temperatures has little to no effect on the product’s quality.

DEF’s shelf life is determined by the ambient storage temperature. DEF will deteriorate over time as a result of temperature and sun exposure. The shelf life standards stated by ISO Spec 22241-3 are the minimum shelf life requirements when stored at constant temperatures. Shelf life is easily one year if stored between 10 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The shelf life is two years if the maximum temperature does not reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended length of time.

What will happen to DEF if it is exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time?

While DEF exposure to a consistent, high storage temperature may shorten its shelf life, operators need not be concerned. Extensive testing in extremely hot areas confirmed that DEF held at a constant temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit had a shelf life of more than 6 months.

DEF is non-toxic, non-polluting, non-hazardous, and non-flammable. It is colorless, stable, and fulfills approved international purity and composition requirements. When handled appropriately, DEF is safe to handle and store, posing no major risk to persons, animals, equipment, or the environment.

If DEF is spilled, keep it contained and absorb it using an inert, non-combustible absorbent medium like sand. To dispose of the material, shovel it into a suitable container. Spills into drains should be avoided at all costs. If you pour something down the drain, rinse it out thoroughly with water. Contact your local authorities for proper disposal procedures if you have a large quantity. If DEF spills on your car, wash it off with water. Check out our Spill Kits and Sorbents.

DEF should never be taken orally. Do not induce vomiting if it has been consumed. If you start to notice any symptoms, you should see a doctor.

While pumping DEF will not cause considerable exposure, inhalation may occur if DEF is misted into the air or if exposed to DEF in a closed environment. Harmful consequences are unlikely to occur under regular settings of use. If you inhale DEF, you should get some fresh air and get medical help if symptoms such as nose and throat irritation occur or persist.

DEF has a mildly unpleasant odor that is similar to ammonia, but it is perfectly safe.

DEF is corrosive to copper, brass, and other metals, among other things. In the DEF tank, packing, and dispensing apparatus, only permitted materials such as high density polyethylene (HDPE) shall be utilized.

Evaporation will occur over time due to DEF’s 67.5 percent water content. Cummins Emissions Solutions has produced and supplied over 250,000 SCR systems, while Cummins has built and shipped over 50,000 SCR equipped engines. These SCR engines and systems are in use all over Europe, especially in the warmer regions of Spain, Greece, and even the Middle East, with no evaporation issues. Furthermore, our field test vehicles in high-temperature areas across the United States have not produced any significant levels of evaporation that would impair engine performance or operation. It’s critical to maintain the DEF tank’s and storage containers’ caps properly closed as a precaution. The DEF tank should be drained if the urea content becomes higher or lower than recommended over time. Cummins Filtration will provide testing equipment for DEF’s urea concentration.

What precautions have been taken to avoid diesel being injected into the DEF tank?

The standard nozzle diameter for dispensing DEF is 19mm, but the normal nozzle diameter for diesel fuel is 22mm. In addition, the DEF tank’s tank cap will be blue to distinguish it from the diesel tank.

When the SCR system detects a solution other than DEF, the DEF indicator light illuminates, alerting the driver. The vehicle may need to be serviced depending on the level of contamination in the tank.

What year did diesel exhaust fluid start?

When it comes to diesel engines, the agency has tightened rules since 1970. Prior to 2008, no one had to be concerned about the emissions that their equipment or vehicles produced; however, the first step was taken when the EPA mandated the installation of diesel particle filters on all 3/4-ton and bigger trucks. The EPA introduced diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) 2010 with the purpose of further decreasing engine emissions, particularly NOx and particulate matter. NOx and particulate matter were connected to a variety of respiratory and cardiovascular ailments, resulting in thousands of additional hospitalizations and deaths, according to their research.

With DEF being mandated by the EPA, you will find most new diesel trucks, SUVs, cars, and machinery are manufactured with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology and a DEF tank that needs to be filled.

When DEF is sprayed into the exhaust stream after combustion, the magic happens, removing the worry of power or torque loss. Once the DEF and hot gases chemically interact, the once-harmful NOx and particulate matter are converted to nitrogen and water, which is then expelled from the exhaust.

While many owners of SCR vehicles have reported greater reliability and longer oil change intervals, it is crucial that the DEF tank does not run dry.

Many engine manufacturers have installed numerous warning lights when the DEF level drops too low – and if it does, the engine’s performance will be reduced to keep the speed limited until the tank is full.

A common assumption is that owners need to fill their DEF with each time they fill their fuel tank, however this is false.

The typical rate of DEF usage is 2.5 gallons per 800 miles travelled, depending on how much you’re hauling. DEF is now accessible at the pump or in jugs inside gas stations, as it has become a requirement in an increasing number of automobiles. It is also strongly advised that you do not attempt to make your own DEF – due to the necessity of having the right mixture to avoid damaging your vehicle’s SCR system.

Instead, purchase DEF in portable containers, at the pump, or in bulk quantities to be kept in a refillable bulk DEF tank at truck stops, retail sites, and fleet oil distributors, depending on your needs.

Can diesel spoil?

It’s an age-old question for diesel truck drivers and anyone else who drives a diesel-powered vehicle. ‘Does diesel fuel have a shelf life?’ In actuality, there is no such thing as an expiration date for diesel, but the longer you store it, the worse it performs.

In reality, keeping diesel without properly treating it can cause a slew of problems, not just for the fuel but also for any vehicle into which you chose to put it later. We’ll go over exactly what happens to untreated diesel fuel when it’s stored for a long period, as well as how you may avoid these bad consequences by simply treating the diesel before it’s stored.

Diesel fuel’s performance deteriorates when it sits in storage for extended periods of time. When the fuel reaches the final stages of the process, we call it “diesel fuel gone bad.” It may be too late to save your stored diesel fuel if you notice these things occurring to it. However, there are a few things you can do to extend its life, which we’ll go into later.

  • As a result of being exposed to environmental variables, chain reactions occur: Light, water, and heat are the most prevalent environmental variables that have a negative impact on diesel fuel. If the diesel fuel is stored in a location where any of these things might affect it, the molecules in the fuel will produce chain reactions that will cause the fuel to slowly but steadily change from an oil to a varnish.
  • The gasoline darkens, and the gums get swollen: As a result of the chain reactions that occur between environmental variables and the molecules of diesel fuel, the fuel thickens and darkens, turning into more of a gum or sludge.

This process alters the molecular structure of diesel fuel, and because most modern diesel fuels do not contain the same amount of sulfur as older diesel fuels, bacteria begin to thrive in the fuel, forming biomass. This can result in acids that completely degrade the fuel over time.

  • The sludgy fuel won’t burn properly, resulting in black smoke: This thicker, darker dieselfuel won’t run as smoothly as a diesel fuel that hasn’t been influenced by external factors, resulting in black smoke and engine sputtering, which is never good for your car.
  • Internal vehicle damage due to lubricity: Because this diesel fuel no longer has the lubricity it once did, the acidic nature and thickness of the fuel will begin to negatively affect the fuel pump, diesel injectors, and engine, and you may not be able to start your engine if the problem is severe enough.

You may be wondering if there is any solution that will allow you to keep diesel fuel without it becoming a sludgy mess now that you know what it means when you hear it has gone bad.

The solution is significantly more straightforward than you might have assumed. You can ensure that your stored diesel fuel is safe at all times by using a diesel fuel stabilizer. Although there are numerous brands and formulations to pick from, we recommend Opti-Lube, which is the world’s #1 rated additive that more than doubles the shelf life of diesel fuel.

Despite the fact that diesel fuel does not have a specific expiration date, the performance of stored fuel might be harmed over time if improper storage and additives are not used. If you intend on storing fuel or not driving your truck over the winter, it’s important to use a reliable additive like Opti-Lube and take precautions before it’s too late.

We at Gem State Diesel understand the damage that gummed-up diesel fuel can cause to a vehicle, which is why we’ve decided to offer this knowledge and show you how we maintain our fuel working at its best no matter what. After all, it’s always better to be cautious than sorry, especially when dealing with something as precious and impressive as a diesel engine.

How long can DEF be stored?

DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) is a critical component in keeping heavy-duty trucks and machines within federal pollution regulations. DEF is a chemical mixture of deionized water and urea that converts dangerous nitrogen oxide emissions to safe water and gas. DEFbecame a critical need for organizations operating medium and heavy-duty Dieselvehicles starting in 2010. Changes in EPA emission limits necessitated reductions in diesel-burning engines to achieve the lowest levels of pollution in history.

But what happens if DEF becomes faulty?

Here’s how to know when DEF is acting up and how to avoid it.

Looking at it is the simplest technique to detect low DEF.

DEF is clear by nature, so if the solution seems hazy or tinted in any manner, it’s either old or contaminated.

Second, you must be aware of the implications of poor DEF. It can lead to a slew of problems with your equipment:

So, what’s the best way to keep your DEF from going bad?

Here are five tips for keeping your DEF clear and effective.

  • DEF has a shelf life, like many petroleum products. DEF can be stored for up to a year without being contaminated.
  • DEF’s shelf life can be extended with proper storage.
  • DEF must be stored in ISO-approved composite-material containers.
  • Keep in mind that DEF is corrosive to aluminum.
  • Stainless steel and polypropylene containers are good choices. Make sure all DEF containers are labeled and dated accurately.
  • Freezing temperatures have little effect on DEF.
  • It can freeze without harming the product because it is 2/3 water.
  • Keep in mind that when frozen, it will expand, so don’t overfill containers.
  • DEF should be stored at a temperature of roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Keep DEF stored indoors or in a well-shaded area because extended exposure to the sun might impair its composition.
  • Keep the equipment fill points and nozzle on DEF containers clean.
  • DEF should only be poured into the machine immediately.
  • Use of a funnel or transferring DEF to another container is not recommended because they can be unclean and contaminate the fluid.
  • It’s an excellent idea to appoint a DEF care and handling expert, such as a fleet manager, who can remind technicians, operators, and other handlers of optimal practices.

If your DEF is low, don’t utilize it. Dispose of it as soon as possible in an environmentally safe manner. Pouring bad DEF down the drain or dumping it on the side of the road is not a good idea. Check with your local government or DEF provider for suitable DEF disposal guidelines in your area.

How long does DEF last?

Many factors must be addressed as fleet operators handle the repair needs of vehicles that are out of service or that are about to be placed back into service. The diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) that is already in the car is one of the easiest things to overlook. DEF has a finite lifespan and may need to be replaced before a vehicle may be used again.

Determine when DEF was installed in the car, according to the American Petroleum Institute. In ideal conditions, DEF has a storage life of roughly 12 months. It is advised that DEF be drained and replaced if it has been stored in the vehicle for more than a year.

What happens when you run out of diesel exhaust fluid?

Vehicle makers must implement procedures to ensure that vehicles cannot run without Diesel Exhaust Fluid, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (DEF). The driver of a vehicle receives a succession of alerts on their dashboard displays before the DEF tank runs out (much the same way as if they were running low on diesel). In general, an amber warning bulb will illuminate when the DEF tank level drops below 10%, flashing at 5%, and solid amber warning light will illuminate when the DEF tank level dips below 2.5 percent.

The engine’s power is lowered, a solid red warning is displayed, and the vehicle’s speed is limited to 5 mph until the DEF tank is refilled if the truck is allowed to run out of DEF.

What happens if you put diesel in DEF tank?

To meet EPA pollution rules, most new diesel trucks are fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems that utilise diesel exhaust fuel (DEF).

What is a SCR system?

A catalyst reacts with engine exhaust to break down ecologically hazardous exhaust components in the SCR system. Injector nozzles, in a nutshell, spray controlled dosages of DEF into the exhaust. The DEF vaporizes and decomposes into ammonia and carbon dioxide, which mix with the nitrogen oxide in the exhaust to produce the harmless nitrogen and water byproducts.

First of All

DEF fluid is only for vehicles with the SCR system, therefore don’t try to use it on an earlier truck. Although this may seem self-evident, uninformed owners – and even well-intentioned service station attendants and technicians at non-diesel shops – have mistakenly assumed that because DEF is so wonderful for new diesel trucks, it must also be good for older diesel trucks.

Despite the fact that measures have been put in place to keep diesel fuel separate from DEF, it still happens: DEF is placed into the diesel tank by accident, or diesel is poured into the DEF tank by accident. When this happens, it’s more than a little annoyance: it can result in major damage and pricey repairs.

A fill port, a tank, and lines from the tank to the SCR and injection nozzles make up the DEF system. The dispensers should be properly labeled, and the DEF tank’s fill port, which has a blue cap, is designed to be smaller than the diesel tank’s fill port, preventing the diesel nozzle from being inserted into the DEF tank’s fill port.

Non-DEF chemicals are detected by SCR systems, which include built-in warnings. If non-DEF enters the SCR catalyst, the driver will receive a warning and a code indicating approaching SCR interruption.

What Happens If I Put Diesel into a DEF Tank?

Because diesel is lighter than DEF, it will float on top of it. If it gets inside the SCR catalyst, it can cause substantial damage, necessitating service or, worse, a (expensive) catalyst replacement. Before replenishing the DEF tank, it should be drained and thoroughly cleaned with deionized water. A single teaspoon of a foreign contaminant can contaminate a full tanker load of DEF.

What Happens If I Put DEF into a Diesel Tank?

You remove the fuel cap and open the fuel filler door, and your brain goes into automatic mode.

Putting DEF in the diesel tank is a simple error that could result in a truck being towed to the junkyard.

Because DEF is made up of urea and water, the entire tank of fuel becomes contaminated right away. Long-term implications will ensue if the engine is started and the diesel and DEF combination is introduced into the engine.

The DEF fluid crystallizes once the engine is started, causing irreversible damage… and the repair might cost as much as $12,000.

DEF corrodes and damages a variety of metals, including carbon steel, brass, aluminum, copper magnesium-nickel, and zinc.

How often does a diesel truck need DEF?

When it’s time to change your DEF, all newer diesel vehicles include a dashboard warning system. To figure out how much you’ll need, you’ll need to know your engine’s efficiency.

When compared to the amount of fuel used, DEF is consumed at a rate of roughly 2-3%. For a car with a 65-gallon gas tank, this means between 1.2 and 2.0 gallons of DEF will be necessary. DEF should be replenished every third or fourth time you fill up a five-gallon DEF tank. The simplest method to avoid an issue is to simply top off on a regular basis.