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Old 05-18-2018, 05:32 PM   #1
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Default Do you add DEF fluid in between service intervals..?

Service intervals is every 10,000 miles..and we have a 4.5 gallon DEF tank...
Late last year... Mercedes Benz replaced the entire emissions system on my Sprinter 3500...

There's no DEF guage.. which always bothers me.... before we had the emissions system replaced.. seemed like it went through a lot of DEF...and one time the low level light came on ... which is similar to your low fuel light.. BUT, even filling up the DEF tank..the system did NOT reset itself and went to limp mode with limited restarts... had to take it to Mercedes...

Now...2,000 miles past the new system install...one person from Mercedes said... just keep driving until the light comes on again... should work fine...

What do you think... should I just believe that??

I have to take it in for service in about 2,500 miles.. again, he claims that I shouldn't need DEF between services... and that they will replenish the system when I bring it in....

I sure don't want another limp mode and limited restarts...it's an ugly countdown ...and once that occurs... your stuck taking it to Mercedes right away.....??

Comments please...
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
Service intervals is every 10,000 miles..and we have a 4.5 gallon DEF tank...
Late last year... Mercedes Benz replaced the entire emissions system on my Sprinter 3500...

There's no DEF guage.. which always bothers me.... before we had the emissions system replaced.. seemed like it went through a lot of DEF...and one time the low level light came on ... which is similar to your low fuel light.. BUT, even filling up the DEF tank..the system did NOT reset itself and went to limp mode with limited restarts... had to take it to Mercedes...

Now...2,000 miles past the new system install...one person from Mercedes said... just keep driving until the light comes on again... should work fine...

What do you think... should I just believe that??

I have to take it in for service in about 2,500 miles.. again, he claims that I shouldn't need DEF between services... and that they will replenish the system when I bring it in....

I sure don't want another limp mode and limited restarts...it's an ugly countdown ...and once that occurs... your stuck taking it to Mercedes right away.....??

Comments please...
We have a bit of OCD around this........we had and top off every 4-5 tanks of gas......not sure what it takes....haven't measured but like to top off. :<
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:00 PM   #3
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This has been extensively debated over at Sprinter Source.

I used to be in the "wait for the warning..that is what it was designed for" school. I have been persuaded otherwise. There is a theory around (first proposed by a knowledgable source) that the "low def" warning somehow triggers a bug in the DEF-system firmware such that error conditions occur that otherwise would never have happened. I know that this sounds like typical Internet BS, but: (A) the source is an unusually reliable one, and (B) there have been SO many reports of countdown conditions immediately after warning-triggered DEF refills. It happened to me, and apparently to you as well. There are numerous others.

SO, I now top mine off every 5K miles or so. There is little downside, so why not?
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:05 PM   #4
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Default Fill up at 2,000 miles??

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This has been extensively debated over at Sprinter Source.

I used to be in the "wait for the warning..that is what it was designed for" school. I have been persuaded otherwise. There is a theory around (first proposed by a knowledgable source) that the "low def" warning somehow triggers a bug in the DEF-system firmware such that error conditions occur that otherwise would never have happened. I know that this sounds like typical Internet BS, but: (A) the source is an unusually reliable one, and (B) there have been SO many reports of countdown conditions immediately after warning-triggered DEF refills. It happened to me, and apparently to you as well. There are numerous others.

SO, I now top mine off every 5K miles or so. There is little downside, so why not?
Do you see any downsides to topping off every 2,000 miles??
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:18 PM   #5
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Do you see any downsides to topping off every 2,000 miles??
Only that it is 2.5 times more work than 5,000 miles, and I know of no data suggesting that there would be any point to it.

I guess there is also the fact that every time you remove that cap, you are risking contamination.
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Old 05-19-2018, 02:55 PM   #6
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DEF doesn’t last 10,000 miles before the light comes on, so adding practices are up to you, but you do have to add. When the light comes on we go to the nearest Walmart and buy and add their 2.5 gallon container. They have a built in spout. Easy enough to do. Most good dealers will top off your DEF tank at the service interval. It depends on your driving but we get close to 8,000 miles between adds. We might top off our tank at the beginning of a trip just out of convenience but storing DEF is another no-no. So you are going to buy fresh anyway and the same inconvenience as on the road.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:06 PM   #7
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I top mine up before a trip. Be careful and don’t spill. If you do spill; clean carefully and completely.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:26 PM   #8
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I top mine up before a trip. Be careful and donít spill. If you do spill; clean carefully and completely.
I noticed that since I've had the emissions system replaced under warranty...the DEF usage has gone way down... that's a good thing..
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:15 PM   #9
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I, too was frustrated by utilization of DEF, bought coach used and had no knowledge of any replacement. I had installed a Scan Gauge 11 and heard that it could be programmed to read out the status of the DEF tank on my Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 van. It's a Winnebago ERA, 2015. Sure enough on the IVR2 forum a fellow had the codes and I was successsful in programming the device to readout the percentage of full in the DEF tank.
Now I know how much of the d--- stuff I have left.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
I noticed that since I've had the emissions system replaced under warranty...the DEF usage has gone way down... that's a good thing..
I add DEF all the time...had the light go on an hour or 2 outside of Las Vegas on a weekend and was stranded in Vegas until the Henderson dealer opened up Monday. The low DEF somehow triggered a software issue as well as having 2 bad sensors. Had one of the same sensors go bad a short time later when back in California.
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