Diesel-powered pickup trucks are ideal for tasks such as hauling heavy loads and towing various recreational equipment.
Proper maintenance is crucial for both on- and off-road use to prevent expensive breakdowns and repairs during highway journeys.
One often overlooked but essential component for diesel vehicle owners is the proper care of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF).
DEF plays a vital role in enhancing emissions control while preserving your diesel engine's efficiency and performance benefits.
Comprising a blend of technically pure urea and purified water, DEF necessitates careful handling and storage to maintain its quality.
The quality of DEF utilized in your vehicle is as paramount as the quality of engine oils or fuels.
We have the top tips for keeping your truck running smoothly by using high-quality diesel exhaust fluid, according to American Petroleum Institute (API).
Navigating DEF Purchases on the Road
When on the road, identifying the brand of DEF can be challenging due to variations in state regulations.
While some states mandate the inclusion of manufacturer and brand information on receipts, others may not.
API recommended purchasing DEF clearly labeled with the manufacturer and brand at the service pump.
Ensuring Top-Tier Quality from Retail Purchases
When acquiring DEF from a retailer, several considerations ensure the infusion of a high-quality product into your diesel truck:
- Look for the API certification mark on the bottle.
- Store DEF away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry place within the retail location.
- Inspect the packaging for signs of contamination or damage. Avoid purchasing compromised or unsealed DEF.
- Check the expiration date on the packaging and use DEF before this date. Opt for the most recently delivered products in the absence of a date.
A Guide to Storage and Dispensing
Observing specific guidelines during DEF storage and dispensing is crucial:
- Store DEF in a cool, shaded area to prevent direct sunlight exposure.
- DEF stored at room temperature should have a shelf life of at least 12 months.
- Use the oldest DEF first to avoid using expired products in your vehicle.
- When filling your diesel truck with DEF, utilize dedicated equipment for dispensing, avoiding cross-contamination.
- Clean dispensing equipment with distilled or de-ionized water followed by a DEF rinse, avoiding the use of tap water that may contain metals harmful to the emissions system.
DEF is integral to the effective operation of emissions systems in modern diesel-powered vehicles. With conscientious care, you can ensure that your pickup truck operates at its peak performance.
Cautions in Vehicle Storage
API strongly advises against prolonged DEF storage in a vehicle, particularly if the storage area routinely exceeds recommended temperatures indicated on the label. DEF stored at 86 degrees Fahrenheit and above may have a shelf life of only about six months, and exposure to direct sunlight can further reduce its effectiveness.