How Old Is Your Diesel Exhaust Fluid? | TATEMS Fleet Maintenance Software

How Old Is Your Diesel Exhaust Fluid?

Due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic many companies have had to change their way of conducting business. Venues and events have had to be cancelled. Routes have changed. Straitened means has resulted moreover in some cutting of costs. Because of this some vehicles that may have been seeing regular use before the pandemic may have gotten sidelined. As things improve and the economy slowly reverses from its danker and darker regions some companies are bringing sidelined vehicles back into active duty. While this is a hopeful sign, it is very important not to rush it. Vehicles that have been out of commission for a time must be overhauled very thoroughly before getting back on the road. Many components should go into an exhaustive checklist to ensure these vehicles are road-worthy, including a step that can be overlooked. It's very important to check the diesel exhaust fluid in these vehicles. Under the best of conditions, data shows that such fluid should remain in these service vehicles for no more than 12 months. The time period can be altered considerably if the vehicle has been subject to summer heat temperatures, or there exists the real possibility of contamination. Autobus, truck and motor-coach fleet owners are well-advised to ensure that any diesel fluid purchased should be of ISO standard quality and kept at the optimal temperature and dispensed from a DEF appropriate container. Never use any equipment that has been used for other motor vehicle fluids. Moreover, such equipment should be kept clean with distilled or de-ionized water. Another concern that managers and owners should be on top of is when the fluid freezes in the vehicle. It's important not to pour in additives. Such additives will mar the product purity. Rather, allow the fluid to warm and thaw on its own, which it normally will.

Key Takeaways:

  • Before vehicles can be brought back into active fleet service an exhaustive list of checks should be completed, including potentially replacing outdated Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
  • Many vehicles have been sidelined due to logistical changes brought about by the pandemic. These include autobuses, trucks and motor-coaches.
  • Besides simply being too old, DEF fluid can become contaminated or be affected by the extremes of summer heat.

“The American Petroleum Institute recommends that you determine when DEF was put in the vehicle. The storage life of DEF is about 12 months in optimal conditions. If DEF has been stored in the vehicle over the past 12 months, it is recommended that it be drained and replaced.”

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