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    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Mercedes-Benz diesel emissions fluid can cost up to $32 a gallon

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    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Or, they could dress up the customer service as nurses:

    "Here is a nice magazine and some gatorade to help. Pee into this container, we will need about a gallon."

    Just kidding. Human pee is way too dilute. But this quote I gather is true
    Those 10k mile service visits to the dealership are what, approaching $500 ?
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    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Does the price include labor?

    CR could have gone to Wal-mart, and gotten the same amount of piss juice for near $36. Then they could have poured it in themselves. It should be no more difficult than adding diesel. A nearby truck stop might even of had it available for less from a pump.

    Doing basic maintenance yourself is a reliable way of saving money. Does the CR article cover this?
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    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    From what I understand the Mercedes price is for their OEM product which they guarantee the quality of plus flushing out the system and putting in the new fluid. I would imagine that a DIYer could buy the MB fluid and pour it in themselves for less or they could buy a different brand for way less - something like $5 a gallon. The article that I saw stated that the issue with off brands is that it can gum up the system - perhaps this is a real concern or maybe not - either way the owner does have a few options.
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    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Serious question: Do these products smell like urine ?

    Addendum:
    This German (?) manufacturer site says
    Between the smells of diesel and urine, these people are committed DIY'ers.
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    wxman Member

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    Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF - as the urea solution is known in the U.S.) does not have any odor that I've noticed, although it is somewhat corrosive. DEF is a 32.5% urea in distilled water solution and is not the same as urine.
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    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    haha yes well.. so far for "clean" diesel
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    El Dobro A Member

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    You can pick the stuff up at truck stops, too. Just about every place has DEF for less than Mercedes Benz. I took a whiff of GM DEF and the stuff smells like ammonia to me.
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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    How does this affect emission legislation? I thought emission equipment had to be maintenance free. Or is that why they make it difficult for a DIYer to add the fluid?
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    GasperG Member

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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Because unless you run a fleet of diesel trucks it's not cost effective - esp in America where the fuel costs much less than in Europe.

    I believe the fuel savings for lpg on a diesel truck are about 10%, which over the lifetime of a truck doing 8 mpg would be acceptable, but not worth it on a car doing 40 mpg+.

    It does lower the emissions though.
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    GasperG Member

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    Sure modification is expensive, but maybe manufacturers will come up with factory bulid in LPG sistem and reduce costs on DPF filters and this urea sistems, but maybe things are not that simple ...
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    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    If the DEF runs out, the vehicle goes into a limp mode. That should mean, lower acceleration and speed, maybe even rough running, though the thread title made it sound like the Mercedes might just stop or not start.

    A possible dick move on the manufacturer's part that will likely lose sales, is to require their scan tool to reset system after a fill.
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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Could be interesting. How many times does a dealer forget to reset your service indicator? Yeah, virtually every time. So imagine this forgetfulness causing the car to shut down :D
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    El Dobro A Member

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    The Duramax diesel equipped trucks give you around ten warnings that the DEF is starting to get low. I'm sure other manufacturers do something similar.
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    durallymax New Member

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    Okay here's my brief DEF sermon. Haven't been on here in awhile.

    DEF is simply 32.5% Industrial Grade Urea, 67.5% De-ionized water. Thats it. There are very minute trace items in it, but nothing measurable.

    As long as the DEF meets the API spec it will run in the SCR system. Mercedes does not have anything special. It is all the same providing it meets the specs. Big name brands include Peak BlueDEF, Victory Blue DEF, TerraCair DEF, and AirGas AirX DEF.

    As for it being maintenance free, that is not true. No cars emissions system is entirely maintenance free. What the EPA did was require the tank to be sized large enough to go for an oil change which is 5,000+ miles for all of the OEMs. If the OEM says 5000 miles they have to make the tank big enough for that. On big rigs the tank needs to be large enough to go for two fuel ups. The Biggest DEF tanks are 25 gallons.

    So how much is the stuff? $2 on up. You buy it at Mercedes, you better expect to get it up the ass. Most wal-marts and parts stores as well as some gas stations all carry Peak BlueDEF in 2.5s for $11-$15. These are convenient and handy. You can buy it in bulk as low as $2 per gallon. I recently purchased ours for $2.22.

    The dealer DOES NOT HAVE to reset a service indicator. The EPA requires it to automatically reset like a fuel gauge.

    The stages for limp mode are not the OEMs idea, it is the EPA's law. Some vehicles have gauges others just have warnings within the last 1000 miles. When it says the tank is empty, upon the next key start the vehicle will be limited to 55mph. At the time this warning comes on the vehicle starts counting miles. Once it reaches 500 miles of driving with no DEF it waits for you to put fuel in. Once you refuel the vehicle will be limited to 4mph.

    OMG thats so unfair. Whine all you want, they give you 500 miles to find some DEF and put it in. if you are driving across the desert in BFE just make sure you run it till 450 miles without shutting it off, fill it full then keep driving making sure to never shut it off. This will give you nearly 1000 miles to find DEF.

    Off road equipment derates to 60% less power.

    DEF does degrade over time. Shelf life is greatly reduced in hot climates or direct sunlight. Poor DEF will put the vehicle into reduced power as well.

    The stuff does not smell like urine. it has a faint ammonia smell to it.

    It is very mildly corrosive. Doesn't do very much damage.


    Absolutely under no circumstances should you ever let the dealer fill it unless they are doing it for free. You WILL GET RIPPED OFF. Fill it yourself, just like you fill the gas/diesel and the washer fluid.

    Is this fluid/SCR system terrible? It has its downsides but the upsides outweigh the downsides by a long shot. 07 emission engines were terrible. no power, no mpgs, poor performance and lots of issues. OEMs installed SCR systems and were able to advance the timing, raise compression ratios and make the engines run like they are supposed to, this led to increased NOX, but that is what the SCR is there for, to convert that into H20 and Nitrogen gas. Particulate emissions were greatly reduced with this system which is a major plus.
    2 people like this.
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    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I think part of the reason Honda didn't bring the diesel Accord to NA when rumored is because of the initial push back from the public about having to add another fluid, and FUD about its cost at the time. In order to meet the new emissions without a SCR system, the diesel probably ended up not being any better than the gas one.

    Except for this blog post, the FUD is starting to be corrected, and people are seeing the fluid in their local stores. So SCR is starting to be accepted for allowing diesels to retain their advantages will being cleaner. It's hoped the diesel Cruze will make use of it in order to keep highway economy up.

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