Posted by Zoe Geoffrion , on Mar, 2016
When it comes to combatting an issue as significant as climate change, there are small steps that we can take to reduce our pollution level. One of the biggest contributors to this problem is the emissions from cars and trucks. Millions of vehicles, belching out dangerous exhaust fumes day after day only exacerbate things. However, in the US, we are so dependent on our cars to get around, that there is little we can do to reduce our output of exhaust. That is unless you drive a diesel vehicle.
For a long time, diesel-powered trucks and cars were thought of as much more safe and reliable than traditional gas-powered vehicles, since the fuel economy was so much better, and the fact that diesel fuel was not as pollutant heavy as gasoline. However, to further combat climate change, the government has imposed heavy restrictions on both gasoline and diesel vehicles, which can put both drivers and automakers in a bind. Fortunately, however, there is a safe, simple answer for anyone with a diesel truck or car: diesel exhaust fluid.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid Basics
Because most vehicles that run on diesel are trucks, the biggest concern when altering the combustion components of the engine is the loss of power. Since trucks are used for hauling, any loss of torque or engine robustness is seen as an overall negative blow to the vehicle itself. Thankfully, though, science was able to come up with a solution that didn’t affect the engine itself. Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF for short) was developed to be sprayed into the exhaust, not into the engine. As a result, the harmful emissions of nitrous oxide (NOx) are reduced almost entirely, as it is broken down into its separate components, water, and nitrogen. Both of these are harmless to the environment, so diesel exhaust fluid solves both problems at once.
Benefits of DEF
As we mentioned, most truck drivers don’t want anything to reduce the amount of raw power and torque produced by their engine, so using diesel exhaust fluid helps increase both. Because automakers no longer have to worry about what kind of pollutants are created, they can instead focus on making the truck operate more efficiently. The benefits of a truck that use diesel exhaust fluid are reduced wear and tear on the engine, increased torque, and reduced regeneration, which means less maintenance overall. That, coupled with the fact that the fluid only needs to be replaced every 800 miles or so, means that diesel exhaust fluid is a major win for diesel lovers everywhere.
When replacing your DEF, make sure to cap the tank with an appropriately rated diesel exhaust fluid cap. While these caps are not as sophisticated as standard fuel caps, they are imperative to make sure that your DEF is secure, and is only released when needed.