Diesel engines are among the most durable and long-lasting engines available, but they require some special care to keep them running smoothly. One important component of diesel fuel system maintenance is DEF fluid. So, what exactly is DEF fluid, and what does it do in your fuel system? Triad Diagnostic Solutions is here to explain more.

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DEF Fluid and its Purpose

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a vital component in the modern diesel fuel system. DEF helps to reduce harmful emissions caused by your engine and helps diesel vehicles operate more efficiently. DEF works in combination with the exhaust after-treatment system, which uses DEF to convert nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions into harmless nitrogen and water vapor. This process is known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

This specialized fluid contains a solution of urea and de-ionized water and helps to reduce NOx emissions by approximately 90%. Without DEF, diesel engines would be unable to meet current emission standards. Furthermore, DEF improves fuel economy and reduces overall operating costs.

When DEF is low or needs to be refilled, a warning light will typically appear on your dashboard. DEF fillers can be found either next to the fuel filler or under the hood, depending on your make and model of equipment. It is important to check the DEF level regularly and refill as needed, especially in commercial and off-highway vehicles.

Furthermore, DEF should never be mixed with diesel fuel, as this can cause permanent damage to the exhaust after-treatment system. This is why it is key to distinguish the DEF filler from the fuel filler. Additionally, you should avoid putting DEF to top up other fluids in your engine, as it is specifically formulated for use in diesel engines only. Mixing fluids can damage your high-pressure fuel pump, fuel injectors, as well as your fuel tank.

How DEF Fluid helps to Reduce Emissions from Diesel Engines

When looking for ways to reduce your fleet’s emissions, always start with what’s under the hood. In diesel rigs, DEF helps to clean up the exhaust front he engine by introducing a harmless substance that works as a catalyst to drive the chemical reaction with nitrogen oxide.

Because DEF converts fuel pollutants into something that’s not potentially damaging to the air, it helps minimize your carbon footprint and contributes towards healthier air quality for everyone.

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Benefits of using DEF Fluid in Your Engine

Have you made it this far and still don’t know why you should care about DEF? Then allow us to explain further.

In addition to keeping your engine emissions low, DEF fluid also keeps your engine cooler, preventing excess wear on its internal components, which reduces the need for frequent maintenance. On top of that, DEF fluid helps ensure optimal fuel economy by controlling the amount of fuel burned in an engine, making it an essential part of proper engine care. These benefits include:

Less Pollution

The primary purpose for the introduction of selective catalytic reduction was to benefit the environment. Diesel has been known to create toxic NOx emissions, which are commonly blamed for acid rain and the greenhouse impact. This is much better for the environment since DEF transforms emissions into nitrogen and water.

Reduced Maintenance

SCR systems have less wear and tear on their vehicles than non-SCR systems, which means less maintenance is necessary. Reduced maintenance also lowers the chances of your car breaking down.
Great developments in technology may be employed to reduce dangerous emissions using ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. Catalytic converters and particle filters can be utilized to nearly eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions. Air quality is considerably improved since ULSD gasoline allows cleaner technology diesel engines and autos with contemporary emission control devices to be utilized.

How to Properly Care for and Maintain DEF Fluid levels in Your Engine

Keeping diesel exhaust fluid levels optimal in your diesel engines is essential for maintaining average fuel efficiency, reducing emissions, and optimizing engine performance. DEF works together with diesel engine components to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and prevent significant harm to the environment. Furthermore, regular DEF maintenance will ensure your fuel system runs cleanly and efficiently; however, incorrect DEF levels can affect the performance of your vehicle by lowering the efficiency of your entire fuel system or increasing hot exhaust gas, which can damage both your diesel truck and the environment.

To keep DEF fluid levels at their optimum within your diesel tank, check DEF levels often using a DEF dipstick or gauge, making sure only to use DEF that meets ISO standards and topping up as needed – when refilling DEF, always refer to the directions provided by the manufacturer. In addition, use a DEF tank specifically designed for DEF storage only; improper storage of DEF can severely decrease its shelf life. Following these tips should help you keep your diesel engine running smoothly while also proactively protecting the environment.

Keep your Diesel Engine Running Optimally

In conclusion, DEF fluid is an essential fluid for your diesel engine. It helps to reduce emissions and increase the efficiency of combustion by providing the necessary nitrogen oxide conversion needed for optimum performance in diesel engines.

To ensure that your diesel engine will perform at its best, you need the most reliable diagnostic and maintenance kits the industry can provide. Jaltest commercial, off-highway, and material handling diagnostic kits from Triad Diagnostic Solutions offer your diesel techs everything they need to keep up with regular maintenance – including DEF changes!

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