DEF filling strategies
Filling DEF has been a messy and somewhat difficult task. In my situation, I have to use DEF in 2.5 gallon containers, which are heavy and awkward, and the vehicles DEF tanks do not like to fill very fast because they need to burp air out while you are filling them up. It's a real pain in the back to try to hold up this heavy container, and not spill any fluid, and be careful not to fill too fast because you have to wait for it to burp the air out over and over again until you are sure it is filled.
I've tried several methods to improve the situation, but no solid solutions yet. You can buy the specially designed refill bottles. They work the best. No spills and easy to fill, but they are designed for one time use and only contain a small amount of fluid.
I also tried converting those bottles into a funnel as shown in this video from HumbleMechanic.
That worked good for a while, but the problem that developed was the valve that is built into the bottle stopped working. I think the DEF crystallized inside the valve and clogged it, even though I rinsed the funnel out very well with water after every use. So, that method would require buying a new bottle every so often.
Next, the shop purchased a special funnel for DEF, but it really does not do much better than a plain funnel, so that one is no good.
My latest attempt at solving this problem is using one of these cheap $15 fluid transfer pumps that you can get at Harbor Freight and many other places. I have only used this once so far, but it worked very well, and it does not require holding up the heavy jug. It fits into the jug opening and also into the fill port on the vehicle. My only concern with this pump is that it is not supposed to be used with corrosive fluids. I pumped clean water through it when I was done, but I'll have to wait and see if this pump holds up. If it does, then this is a winning solution.
If anyone else has a method that is working well for them, then please share it. Thanks.
Buy one gallon of motorcraft def, has a straw built into it that allows air from the tank to escape up high into the one you are filling from. Have been using the same one for 4-5 years.
Hey, thanks Matt. I found some videos about it, and it looks like they designed the nozzle to work very well for this.
Steve I have found that filling the def tank with the key on helps with spilling once it's full. With the key on I can check the gauge or scan tool. Once it's full I'll put about another quart or so. This seems to work best on dodge but yeah your right you really have to be on your toes when filling these cars.
So, the Dodge vehicles have a gauge for this? The vehicles I service don't have a gauge for DEF, and I have tried checking the level with a scan tool on a couple vehicles but the data was not there. That would be a good way to do it though. Thanks.
Yeah 2500 and up Cummins diesel all have gauges. Chevy has a filler under the hood but def level is available via scan tool. Haven't tried with Ford 6.7 but I do know there is a reset def level function that should show actual level after its performed. Next time I get one I'll update the message. I didn't know there were so many def filling tools out there. Some seem like a better option imho.
I also use a Amazon bought transfer pump with auto shut off when full detection. Rinse with water thoroughly and have been using for years.
Was it expensive? I don't really want to purchase anything too expensive. I can let the boss know about it though. Do you have a link to which one you use?
It's $30. Works well and I have been using it for years.
I don't understand what the problem is, as I have never used a 2.5 gallon jug that doesn't have an appropriately designed fill spout which vents air. The only problem that I haven't found a solution for is knowing when to stop so it isn't overfilled.
I use the Motorcraft PM-27-N it is designed to prevent overfilling.
Interesting, never saw that before! Does it really work?
I've never used the pump at the gas station either. I wonder if the nozzle would fit. It's not really a solution for me, but could be for some shops.
We use the Mercedes DEF Hose, which works on certain brands of 2.5 Gallon Jugs (we use Vaico brand fluid). Then we prop the jug up on a ladder and go do something else.
Looks good, and the reviews I've read are good. Something to consider. Thanks.
I bought a washer pump for a 2015 Toyota Sienna ($15 at autozone) a little rtv and a hose clamp to secure it to the opening of the def jug. Some clear hose to fill the car and wires with alligator clips to hook to a jump box. Lay the jug on the side so the washer pump is at the bottom, cut a hole in the top to refill that jug. I’ll try and attach a picture Monday
Hi Steven, I use a cheap drill pump and my cordless drill most of the time in the shop. I don't own any vehicles that require DEF, but I work on plenty of tractors and trucks when they have DEF issues.
Lisle just came out with a Kit. Motion Auto Supply should have it. 24210 SPILL-FREE DEF KIT lislecorp.com/specialty-tool… youtu.be/VVr64QJztjY
I watched the video. Looks like it works approximately the same as the yellow funnel I mentioned in my post. Those funnels don't really work for me, but thank you for the reply.
If you use enough DEF at your shop you can buy it in 50 gallon drums. We have a pump that is similar to a fuel pump and shuts off automatically when the tank is full, we have the drum in one spot so it becomes a dedicated DEF filling area. It's worth it if you are doing a lot of diesel aftertreatment work.
That's the way I would go if I had my own shop. Time saving and convenience are important.