What Would Happen if My Vehicle Ran Out of Diesel Exhaust Fluid?

What Exactly is DEF?

Diesel exhaust fluid is a solution of de-ionized water and an ammonia-based substance known as urea, which is introduced into the exhaust streams of vehicles that run on diesel fuel, reducing their emissions of dangerous chemicals, greenhouse gasses, and particulate matter. One of the most important substances used in diesel-fueled machinery, this exhaust fluid – also known as DEF – is one that engines can encounter serious problems, without.

Out of DEF? Time to Make a Pit Stop!

As of 2010, the EPA has regulations in place that require manufacturers of large vehicles like trailers and trucks to make machines that will not operate without diesel exhaust fluid. Today’s exhaust fluid makers and distributors will usually advise businesses who will sell their product to consumers as to how to tell when your exhaust fluid might be getting low, or how regularly to consider adding fluid to your engine’s supply.

Should your vehicle begin to run low on DEF, a warning will flash that is similar to the one you will see should your machine be low on fuel. This is typically an amber-colored lamp which will illuminate when your supply drops to or below ten percent, and which will begin flashing at five percent and shine more brightly at 2.5 and below. Should you continue driving and allow your supply to diminish completely, your engine’s speed may automatically drop to low speeds, such as 5 mph, and a bright, red signal will notify you that you must introduce more diesel exhaust fluid immediately.

Refilling or topping off your DEF supply is a crucial part of maintaining the functionality and longevity of your engine. Whether you’re a transport professional, agricultural or landscaping professional or use any other kind of diesel-fueled machinery, DEF should be on your short list of top priorities when purchasing supplies to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

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