Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Reviews: Unless you’ve driven a big diesel truck, the term DEF or an exhaust fluid would probably be unknown. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-toxic, clear and colorless emission control liquid that’s obligatory for the modern-day diesel engines. The fluid is injected into the exhaust stream and not the diesel pipeline.
Essentially, it smells like a cleaning agent with a slight odor of ammonia. It’s useful for SCR technology to eliminate the particulate matter (PM) and NOx emissions. Vehicle manufacturers use the SCR technology to meet the 2010 EPA standards laid down regarding the same for cleaner operations.
It is within the last few years that diesel technology has witnessed a substantial change – rugged design and better fuel competence. Such a directive, in turn, forced the manufacturers to supply specialized exhaust fluids so no one has to cough around that black and puffy unpleasant smoke whenever they’d be behind a truck (or basically any diesel-run vehicle). Because that’s what DEF was designed to eliminate and it perfectly still does the job.
Also, here are the Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews so you know which product does what and how it’ll be helpful for your kind of needs. Each one on this list is available on Amazon so you can conveniently order the same right from the comfort of your home.
Comparison of Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Review: Upd 2020
How to Choose Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF): Buying Guide
There are a lot of products doing the rounds in the market claiming to be authentic and genuine quality Diesel Exhaust Fluids (DEF). However, not all DEF are manufactured equally. Therefore, you need to make sure you are purchasing the right one for your vehicle. Any fluid that claims to be a Diesel Exhaust Fluid must first meet a certain set of criteria. Else it can damage the entire engine. So, here’s a quick buying guide for you to determine the best DEF from the poor one.
Your budget matters. But, more often, it is the high priced brand that has the most authentic DEF fluid to offer. Picking the cheap ones may cause harm to the system. Nonetheless, this is what you can expect from the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) in terms of pricing:
1 to 5-gallon containers can roughly cost you between $4 and $8.
The 55-gallon drums could range somewhat between $3 and $6 since the more you buy the affordable it gets.
And for commercial operations i.e. for larger quantities of DEF (275 or 330 gall.), you can expect to pay anything between $2.5 and $4 per gallon which would comparatively be the same as the price of diesel.
There are two major components to look out for in the best DEF fluid. Number 1 is high purity automotive-grade urea in the concentration of 32.5%. Number 2 is deionized water that’s in the concentration of 67.5%. Components other than these add to the impurities in the chemical formula and not meet the quality standards.
Well, you may choose to use a low priced DEF however that can seriously damage the SCR system and you won’t want to further invest in high repairing costs. Counterfeit solutions are flooding the market. So, beware of those low-grade products and invest in a licensed one. The best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is supposed to comply with the:
ISO 22241 – International Organization for Standardization (standards that govern Diesel Exhaust Fluid)
API – American Petroleum Institute
EPA – Environmental Protection Agency; and finally,
AUS 32 – Aqueous Urea Solution standard so as to count as a reliable product.
Age of the container:
Every package marketed comes with all the possible information that the customer needs. So, make sure before buying the best DEF fluid, you know the exact age of the container. This can be found out clearly on the package – simply check for the manufacturing date, expiry date, batch number, and other such details. Reading the codes printed can be a tricky task but here’s what can help – usually the 1st digit of the date code is the batch number and the last 6 digits reflect when the container was filled at the factory.
Before buying the best DEF fluid from just any brand or in case if you don’t know what brands to go for, try checking your vehicle manufacturer’s manual at first. Sometimes, the manual recommends the brand you can go for. If not, pick the one that meets the ISO 22241 standards so you can prevent damaging the SCR system. For this, these best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews would come in handy.
Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Reviews from Amazon: Upd 2020
1.BlueDEF DEF002 Diesel Exhaust Fluid Review:Editor’s Pick
As the tagline suggests – driving to a cleaner environment – I feel this product very much stands to the claims. PEAK BlueDEF DEF002 Diesel Exhaust Fluid comes from a very popular and certified brand.
It is manufactured keeping in mind the EPA regulations and more than high-quality standards. You can either buy a single package or order an 8-pack product to ensure convenience. These are 2.5 (US) Gallon Jugs each compatible with all of the SCR systems.
Depending upon your vehicle you’d variably need to shove in the product. So, buying more would be a wise decision, of course, if you can afford it or if you’ve used it before. Keeping these in storage always comes in handy since you never know when you might need one. It carries a pure and guaranteed composition. This automotive fluid or you can say a degreaser tends to not change its shape even on the coldest day. It is ideal and usable for all diesel SCR systems. And, 1 gallon would effortlessly go for about 300 miles. Way too many people have used the BlueDEF DEF002 and it’s one of the preferred choices. However, I feel the price on Amazon keeps fluctuating every now and then. So, you need to keep a close watch – whenever it’s available at a reasonable cost, do not hesitate to buy yours!
2.ArmorBlue Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Review
This API certified Diesel Exhaust Fluid by ArmorBlue (Ports Petroleum brand) comes in two separate 2.5 (each) gallon cases for a total of 5 gallons. As recommended, it is the best DEF fluid by ArmorBlue and contains a mix of high purity urea plus deionized water in the 32.5% and 67.5% concentration.
It is non-hazardous and is compatible with all the SCR systems. It is easy to use, reliable, and also ISO certified to prevent NOx emissions from polluting the environment. The product is subject to availability and may or may not be available for worldwide shipment. With a fairly reasonable price as compared to other similar category DEF fluids, this one’s amongst the top-rated best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews. You can also buy larger sizes offline since the ArmorBlue DEF fluid is available in bulk (up to 5200 gallons), drums (55 gallons) as well as totes (275/ 330 gallons).
3.Nissan 999MP-NDEFP Diesel Exhaust Fluid Review
Nissan is known for making automobiles that people have been enjoying for decades – even more actually. And, it continues to do so every single day with its original OEM parts and industrial fluids that meet with the quality as well as durability measures.
Coming to the vehicular fluids, Nissan 999MP-NDEFP is a specially articulated formula by Nissan for its users. This genuine Nissan 999MP-NDEFP Diesel Exhaust Fluid is the right choice for your vehicle. It is one of the best DEF fluids in 2020 worldwide. The product is ISO certified, in terms of the EPA regulations and is also API qualified. You can either buy this fluid directly from the authorized Nissan dealer or in a single click from Amazon. It comes in a 2.5 US gallon jug. The product is aldehyde free, equipped with NOx reducing treatment system, and has a 12-months manufacturer’s warranty. Just protect the fluid from direct sunlight and store and use it as directed on the packaging. Furthermore, Amazon ensures quick delivery so you don’t have to run your vehicle on warnings.
4.Valvoline Premium Blue Diesel Exhaust Fluid Review
The Valvoline Premium Blue Diesel Exhaust Fluid meets the near-zero NOx emission standards laid down by EPA. It is very much stable as well as colorless along with being non-toxic for humans or animals and non-polluting for the environment.
It is required by heavy-duty trucks, SUVs, and pickups to get the engine in tune with the environmental standards. Despite being the choicest one, it still has mixed reviews on Amazon. It is a bit expensive but easy to use, totally mess-free and works well. Amazon too provides quick delivery.
5.Genuine GM Fluid 88862659 Diesel Exhaust Fluid Review
ACDelco by General Motors offers a complete line of automotive fluids for assuring the efficiency of your vehicle’s engine. This Genuine GM Fluid 88862659 Diesel Exhaust Fluid is particularly designed for Duramax engines and it certainly meets the stringent purity guidelines. This is the best DEF fluid for the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savannah vans. You will only need to refill your DEF tank in every 1000 miles of use so take note of that. Also, you’ll have to separately purchase a funnel to make pouring easier and prevent scattering the fluid.
It has no additives which again makes sure that there’s no engine failure. Despite the fluid being recommended for GM vehicles, it can also be perfectly used in non-GM brand vehicles as long as they are SCR equipped and you are looking to control the NOx emissions as per the EPA regulations.
6.Prestone HD1001 Command Diesel Exhaust Fluid Review
In a package of 1, 2, and 6 along with 2 different quantities, the Prestone HD1001 Command Diesel Exhaust Fluid is formulated to adapt to all kinds of SCR equipped vehicles. This one’s too made of water and urea to meet the ISO as well as API and EPA requirements. It is safe to use, non-toxic, and easy to handle. Not just that, the Prestone Diesel Exhaust Fluid is odorless, colorless, and very much stable. The brand is an iconic American name that’s trustworthy and offers superior quality automotive products. This is why their industrial fluid adheres to all the needed regulations and standards for maintaining the product’s purity. You can literally find the Prestone DEF at every store and also on Amazon.
The manufacturer estimates that for every 50-70 gallons of diesel, the operator will need just around 1-gallon DEF which makes it a perfect choice. Just that the price of Prestone HD1001 Command Diesel Exhaust Fluid keeps fluctuating and is somewhat a bit more expensive than many other DEF fluids offering the same quantity. Also, make sure you aren’t purchasing a pack that is more than 12 months old from the date of manufacturing.
7.Motorcraft PM-27-JUG DEF Review
Motorcraft has a pretty comprehensive line of industrial (automotive) products. It has been a decade long partner of the Ford Motor Company. All of its products are manufactured keeping the Ford line in mind, especially the Motorcraft DEF. It’s an Original Equipment Manufacturer product that’s available all around the world and in two different sizes. It’s equipped for all kinds of SCR systems to reduce the NOx emissions from the vehicle. The nozzle is designed specifically to fit the DEF tank and prevent any spillage, however, I feel the design could have been better. Overall, the product comes with quality assurance, even meets the warranty requirements but there have been a few complaints with the nozzle so you can buy a separate one from the same brand and it will suffice the purpose. The fluid helps efficiently destroy the NOx emissions along with protecting your Ford vehicle.
What is Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)?
Diesel is pretty powerful but the combustion is dirty. It produces a large amount of dark particulate matter. So, DEF comes into play here. Since it is not a fuel, it has a system of its own. It directly and adversely affects the engine’s power if not in use.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-toxic solution comprising of 67.5% deionized water + 32.5% urea. This is a kind of industrial fluid or you can say a degreaser for your diesel-operated vehicle. The liquid is put into the exhaust stream breaking down the hazardous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen as well as water. DEF isn’t a fuel additive nor does it come in contact with the fuel. In fact, there are two separate tanks for diesel as well as DEF so there’s no damage to the performance of your vehicle. It makes use of automotive-grade urea which is highly pure than the urea used as a fertilizer. Agricultural urea contains excessive aldehydes and other impurities, so it can degrade the SCR system and eventually prevent the engine from restarting.
Selective Catalytic Reduction System
It is the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology that makes use of a catalyst system to break down those dangerous emissions by continuously feeding ammonia gas. Urea in the best DEF fluid provides ammonia to the SCR system converting the ammonia into a catalyst that helps breakdown the emitted Nitrogen oxides into water and nitrogen. The SCR technology has come into use from 2010 onwards. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles must meet the U.S. EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) 2010 emission standards. To let you know more, the SCR is an after-treatment technology that helps in reducing the harmful emissions from your vehicle, increase the torque and get the engine in tune as compared to how unstable it used to be back in 2006-07.
Storage & Maintenance
Coming to the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), it is yet another solution used in a vehicle just like the brake oil, engine oil, windscreen wash, etc. However, DEF is the least corrosive for a majority of metals so you must not store the fluid in copper, carbon steel, aluminum, and zinc. You can get more information here. But otherwise, handling the fluid does not require you to wear any protective clothing or glasses. It won’t harm your skin. Just be careful since DEF can certainly stain your clothes so rinse it off immediately. Allow it to dry completely if the fluid spills on the floor and it will turn into white crystals. You can then wash it off with water.
Choosing Another Brand
If at all you are wanting to switch between the best available DEF brands, don’t worry about the bulk storage remaining in your tank. Run the vehicle until the tank gets as empty as possible before refilling it with the new product. Since the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a pure chemical, there’s no need to fully clean it out. Unless the DEF could be contaminated, you can totally mix it with the other product. There will be no compromises on the engine’s performance or the fuel’s efficiency.
You can purchase the best DEF fluid from any of the offline stores like Walmart, Petro Stopping Centers, or any other auto-part stores. However, if you do not want to spend time in looking out for such places, simply order yours from Amazon. I have a list of the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews so you can make the right choice.
Benefits of UsingDiesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
The myth that even the best DEF fluid would offer more cons than pros is totally not true. This fluid requires just a bit of space on your vehicle and it adds on a nominal cost every now and then. Apart from that, it’s an eco-friendly step towards not further deteriorating the environment.
- It is non-toxic
- Safe and reliable
- Won’t freeze even on the coldest day
- You also don’t have to worry about evaporation
- There’s an optimized combustion
- Better fuel mileage
- Increased power
- Fewer regenerations
- Less air pollution
- Compliance with the regulations
- System won’t break down too often
- EPA, ISO & API certified
- Reduced maintenance
- Less wear and tear on the engine
- Eliminates NOx emissions
And, just in case you think NOx isn’t a big deal – let me tell you, it is one of the primary reasons behind acid rain, increasing greenhouse gases and smog. An SCR system turns NOx into harmless water and nitrogen composition which is still manageable and also present in the air we breathe.
How Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Works?
Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is to be used in tier4 engines that are equipped with SCR systems. Such industrial fluids are manufactured for the reduction of NOx emissions. Smaller quantities of it keep injecting into the exhaust line of the catalyst where it decomposes to form ammonia and CO2. Ammonia, in conjunction with the Selective Catalytic Reduction System, converts the dangerous Nitrogen Oxide into harmless nitrogen and water to not affect the environment or the human/ animal health and meet the specified regulations. As simple as that!
How to Use Diesel Exhaust Fluid?
You need to first transfer the liquid into the vehicle’s DEF tank. From this dedicated space, the Diesel Exhaust Fluid gets into the exhaust with the help of a metering system. The injectable flow remains between 2 -6 % of diesel fuel consumption. If you live in a frigid climate, DEF would need an extra step for better operation. It must be thawed beforehand – DEF has a freezing point of 12 degrees Fahrenheit (-11 degrees Celsius), so this step enhances the SCR system’s operation. And yeah, that’s it. According to the EPA regulations, the DEF is supposed to completely flow under 70 minutes.
Top Best Brands of Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)
By now, there certainly are several manufacturers of the best DEF fluid. It is found at most truck stores, convenience stores as well as auto parts stores. However, you can also find these on Amazon. Here’s a list of the most preferred brands that provide you with the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF):
- ArmorBlue by Ports Petroleum
- ACDelco by General Motors
- Motorcraft by Ford
Each brand differs based on a few distinctive aspects such as the quality of urea, EPA regulations, ISO standards, percentage of impurities, etc. So, these factors will again help you pick the right brand. And in case you want to know if you can mix the two brands of DEF since you are wanting to make a switch, then yes, you can certainly do that. Mixing of different best DEF fluids would make no difference or cause any harm to the system. As long as the brands are in terms of the necessary standards, it’s all fine.
Maintenance Tips for Diesel Exhaust Fluid DEF
Now that you know what the best DEF fluid is, let me tell you about a few quick maintenance tips that you must always keep in mind. Follow these:
- Put the best DEF fluid in the dedicated tank
- Use only the dedicated dispensing equipment
- Do not mix it with water or diesel
- Store away from direct sunlight
- Avoid contamination when filling
- Do not keep the bottle open for a long time
- Store it below 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius)
- Do not overfill the DEF tank
- Wash off with water if spillage occurs
- Use or store as directed on the package
- Do not accept or use the bottle if it is more than 2 years old
Frequently Asked Questions for Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid(DEF)Reviews: FAQ
Q1. What is the purpose of DEF?
Well, the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is a non-lethal solution of 67.5% purified water with 32.5% automotive-grade urea that’s put into the exhaust stream of a vehicle to break down the harmful emissions of Nitrogen Oxide into harmless nitrogen and water.
Q2. Where is it stored in the vehicle?
Primarily, the Diesel Exhaust Fluid is stored in a dedicated tank right next to the fuel tank. The size of these tanks usually ranges from 6 to 23 gallons. The tank also has a specifically designed opening that perfectly fits in the product’s nozzle. This ensures that there’s no spillage also it’s another way of checking that you are only putting in a DEF and no other liquid.
Q3. Does DEF smell?
The best DEF fluid is kind of odorless but it has a slight smell of ammonia. This is somewhat similar to the odor of a cleaning agent. However, if the liquid contaminates, it may spread a noticeable smell.
Q4. Is DEF corrosive?
The best DEF can be corrosive against a few metals such as copper and brass. Therefore, only the High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is approved as the storage, dispensing as well as blending container for this automotive liquid.
Q5. Is it hazardous?
In comparison to fluids like the diesel fuel or brake oil, it’s by far less hazardous and composes of naturally occurring substances. The DEF fluid is also biodegradable. And, it can certainly be transported without hazardous substance placard.
Q6. What will happen if I put DEF fluid in the wrong tank?
Although the fluid remains safe, it is the pipeline that can corrode and damage the cast iron, aluminum, steel, brass, or zinc components.
Q7. What will happen if I put DEF in a diesel tank?
If in case you put DEF in the diesel tank, it can cause significant damage and an expensive repair or replacement.
Q8. How long does DEF last?
Typically, as low as 1 US gallon of Diesel Exhaust Fluid can last up to 300 miles in one go. Therefore, depending upon your particular vehicle, a full tank can last approximately 6900 miles. For every 50 gallons of diesel fuel, you would require one gallon of DEF.
Q9. Do all diesel engines require DEF?
All of the post-2010 diesel-powered vehicles manufactured come equipped with the SCR technology that necessitates having DEF put in to chemically reduce the harmful emissions. The fluid is readily available at any of the automotive parts retail store along with fueling stations and online on Amazon.
Q10. Why SCR?
It is an EPA-approved technology that also complies with the US Regulation 2241. SCR is a cost-effective method of providing a NOx emitting infrastructure to the diesel-operated engines after the year 2010. And, the above mentioned best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews already include the best DEF fluids compatible with the SCR technology.
Q11. What is the shelf life of Diesel Exhaust Fluids?
Well, it varies. But, if stored in favorable conditions, in a proper container, away from direct sunlight and not in higher temperatures, then the fluid can maintain its shelf life for up to 2 years. However, you may also always check the Date of Expiry mentioned on the package to ensure you aren’t purchasing an older product.
Q12. How do I know if DEF is bad?
There are a lot of factors that can affect the quality of your Diesel Exhaust Fluid. The easiest way to know that is by keeping a close look at the fluid. Usually, it’s an all-clear solution. However, if there is any kind of contamination, the fluid can turn cloudy and form small dirt or rock-like particles. If your DEF fluid has gone bad, do not use it.
Q13. What are the consequences of using poor DEF?
Poor DEF means non-deionized water, no ISO/ EPA/ API certification, and the usage of agricultural grade impure urea. So, this can lead to severe consequences over time.
- It damages the SCR system
- Can also harm the zinc, iron or chromium parts
- Diesel failures may show up eventually
Q14. Is DEF fluid made from urine?
A Diesel Exhaust Fluid is ideally 2/3rd deionized water along with 1/3rd automotive-grade urea. This is a standard regulation in terms of the right composition. Technically speaking, it is urea that’s obtained from the byproducts of urine. But that’s synthetically made and no animals are harmed during the process.
Q15. What happens if DEF freezes?
Well, if you purchase high quality and certified Diesel Exhaust Fluid, it will be formulated in a manner to not freeze even if the temperature goes into minus (-). The PEAK BlueDEF DEF002 that I’ve talked above in the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews section, for instance, has a freezing point of around -11 degrees Celsius i.e. 12 degrees Fahrenheit. When the product is manufactured, it is always taken into account the tanks these liquids would go in along with its packaging. However, because of urea, DEF does not have a freezing point of water. The solution doesn’t break down just into water, urea, or either. It freezes and thaws at the same rate. Therefore, the freezing DEF would not cause it to dilute or over-concentrate. It gets slushy and then freezes but without any harm. The product remains intact and is safe to use. This, in no way, affects the functioning of your vehicle’s engine.
Q16. How do I prevent freezing of DEF?
If at all your vehicle is exposed to extreme temperature or is completely shut down, normal startup and operation will thaw the DEF to get back to its normal state and resume the vehicle’s functioning. The heating up of the SCR system expands the fluid and eases the task. So, it is an ideal solution for your diesel-operated system. Choose the best DEF fluid from the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews and get going.
Q17. Can I use a freeze-point-improver?
Do not add any kinds of additives to prevent DEF freezing. It may hinder the purity as well as the performance of the product. Not only that, but some additives can also even damage the SCR system if not well approved.
Q18. Can DEF evaporate?
Unless the fluid isn’t exposed to higher temperatures, you don’t have to worry about it turning bad or its evaporation. However, here’s the math – if you expose the fluid to around 125 degrees Fahrenheit or around 51 degrees Celsius for about 2 years, there’s a possibility that the DEF fluid might turn into ammonia and then evaporate.
Q19. What are the ISO regulations?
ISO 22241 is the standard that governs the regulations associated with Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Different sub-sections under it specify the recommendations of the best practices one must adopt along with the handling, transportation, storage, quality characteristics, refilling interface, compatibility, and a few other things. You can check this website for more information.
Q20. How much DEF will I need?
On average, the consumption is around 2%. Moreover, it depends upon the type of vehicle, traveling altitude, load to be carried, and other such factors.
Q21. What will happen if I run out of DEF?
According to EPA, vehicle manufacturers are supposed to put in place the measurements to make sure the vehicle doesn’t run without DEF. Before getting empty, you’ll be given a series of warnings similar to how low-diesel alerts are displayed. Technically, these warnings are a reason why you will not completely run out of DEF. Or else the circumstances can leave you stranded. If at all your vehicle is allowed to run without DEF, its engine power would reduce, speed too will restrict and solid warnings will display on the dashboard until you refill the tank.
Final Words for Best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Reviews…
If you’re new to diesel-run vehicles, you’ll soon get to know how it is different from other standard vehicles and much above just the variance in fuels. And, having a DEF tank is one of those bigger changes. But if you are someone who understands the 2010 EPA diesel engine regulations, you know how important it is to have the best DEF fluid always on board. Since the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is non-flammable, non-toxic, and not a fuel additive, it perfectly fits into the current scenario. This vehicular fluid is apt for reducing the NOx emissions to keep the environment free from hazards.
On the list of the best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews, I have BlueDEF DEF002 Diesel Exhaust Fluid as the chosen (Editor’s Pick) product amongst all. It suffices all of the diesel engine requirements and makes sure the vehicle keeps running smoothly. Second-best would be the Prestone HD1001 Command Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Next would be the Motorcraft PM-27-JUG DEF by Ford as the preferred one from Amazon for the year 2020. These are affordable variants, are built to last much longer, and also meet the licensing mandates.
Let me know in the comments below which is your favorite automotive DEF fluid on the list. I hope these best Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) reviews help you make an informed decision with regards to your diesel-operated vehicle.