def equipment FAQs

FAQs: Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)

Q: Is the use of DEF in modern diesel engines required?

A: Yes, the EPA mandated the use of DEF to eliminate nitrous oxide (NOX) in 2010.


Q:How does a SCR work?

A: Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) is an advanced active emissions control technology system that injects a liquid-reductant agent through a catalytic converter into the exhaust stream of a diesel engine. The reductant source is automotive-grade urea, otherwise known as DEF.


Q: Does DEF expire?

A: Yes, DEF typically has a two year shelf life depending on temperature and environment. Weather and storage conditions can shorten shelf life. It is recommended that DEF be stored between 12°F and 86°F and out of direct sunlight.


Q: What happens if my equipment runs out of DEF?

A: All EPA 2010 engines with SCR are designed with a gauge that shows the DEF fluid level, similar to a fuel gauge. In addition, they are equipped with a system of flashing lights to alert the operator well in advance when the DEF tank is getting low on fluid. If the reservoir is not replenished with DEF and runs low, vehicle speed will be limited, but as soon as DEF is added, the engine will resume normal speed levels.


Q: Can DEF freeze?

A: Like any water-based fluid, DEF can freeze at 12 degrees F. DEF is 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water, so DEF expands when it is frozen (by approximately 7 percent). Tecalemit DEF totes and tanks are insulated and designed to keep DEF at ideal temperatures.


Q: What materials are compatible with DEF?

A: Tecalemit products for DEF storage and dispensing are only made with stainless steel and high density polyethylene. Other materials will cause DEF to become corrosive.


Q: Is DEF toxic?

A: No, Diesel Exhaust Fluid is not toxic, harmful or dangerous. In fact, of all the fluids used in a truck, such as diesel, engine oil, brake fluid, antifreeze and windscreen wash, DEF is the least hazardous.


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