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DEF Indicator Issues in F250?

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  • DEF Indicator Issues in F250?

    Has anyone had issues with the DEF indicator in a late model F250? Our 2012 has never displayed a DEF low warning, and it has run out of DEF twice, stranding us. The system is supposed to give warnings at certain intervals, such as 500 miles to empty, etc. Obviously, if we are on a critical mission (hauling horses), we top it off, but we intentionally let it run low last time to see if the problem is corrected, but we still have never gotten an indicator.

    The truck has 21K miles on it and has been dealer serviced at every service interval, we bought it new. Every time (plus an additional visit via tow truck) we have told the dealer and Ford of the issue and they say they can't find anything wrong. That is not acceptable when a brand new truck leaves you on the side of the road.

    Has anyone else experienced these issues? Or did we just get a lemon? We love the truck, but are very frustrated with Ford. TIA!

  • #2
    I've actually had the "opposite" happen once a couple months ago in a 2012 F350 I've owned for about a year: the DEF light came on, started the mileage countdown, but running the diagnostic got me the incredibly informative "fluid level ok" and I couldn't cram any more DEF in the tank. After several ignition stop/restarts, the mileage countdown simply vanished.

    I also have some difficulty using the DEF pumps at truck stops. The pump keeps shutting off with less than a gallon going into the tank. Yet, if I add DEF by hand, it takes 3-4 gallons.

    I've taken to always having a gallon or two of DEF in the truck. I'd really appreciate an actual (well, an *accurate* virtual) DEF gauge.
    <<Reste sur le cheval.>>

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    • #3
      Originally posted by flypony74 View Post
      Has anyone had issues with the DEF indicator in a late model F250? Our 2012 has never displayed a DEF low warning, and it has run out of DEF twice, stranding us. The system is supposed to give warnings at certain intervals, such as 500 miles to empty, etc. Obviously, if we are on a critical mission (hauling horses), we top it off, but we intentionally let it run low last time to see if the problem is corrected, but we still have never gotten an indicator.

      The truck has 21K miles on it and has been dealer serviced at every service interval, we bought it new. Every time (plus an additional visit via tow truck) we have told the dealer and Ford of the issue and they say they can't find anything wrong. That is not acceptable when a brand new truck leaves you on the side of the road.

      Has anyone else experienced these issues? Or did we just get a lemon? We love the truck, but are very frustrated with Ford. TIA!
      Unless yours is a different job number than mine and they changed the truck behavior, something more than a bad indication is at fault.

      I have a 2012 F350 with 53,000 miles on it and when it was relatively new, I ran it dry on purpose to see if it would perform as the book says it will.

      It did. I drove it several miles, maybe 30 or so, after the tank was empty.

      The book says you have 50 miles at 50 miles per hour. I drove it at 55 MPH.

      Pulling a 4H head to head.

      You should not have needed a tow.

      You need to do some research to find out if your truck computer is screwed up or whether Ford changed the system due to EPA instructions.

      What does your book say?
      Last edited by cssutton; Jan. 26, 2014, 12:58 PM.

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      • #4
        Affter I posted the above, I woke up and realized that the real problem is that since you did not know when you ran out, neither did you know when you passed the 50 mile grace distance.

        Since there are four sensors in the DEF tank, it seems to be unreasonable that all four are bad.

        So it is more likely that the dealer is not a good dealer. Warranty is good at any Ford dealer regardless of where you bought it and how close you are to the dealer from whom you purchased.

        So try another dealer.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          We assumed that it was a sensor, but I did not know that it had four. We have been round and round with the dealer AND Ford corporate, and they both tell us that if there is not a check engine light on, they cannot diagnose what is going on. Between my husband and myself, we have been on the phone with Ford for probably hours, to the point where they extended our warranty to 100k miles. But the problem still is not corrected.

          My husband is an Apache helicopter test pilot, so he is very diagnostic and maintenance savvy. He is absolutely flabbergasted with the answers that we have gotten from Ford with regard to their diagnostic capabilities, and the last time we took the truck in, our service advisor told us that Ford had never heard of the problem. Bull$hit. They have heard about it from us. And I'm pretty sure we are not the only ones. We are going to try another dealer next time but if it is not resolved, this truck is going bye bye. My husband is in Afghanistan and I am hauling horses 1000 miles alone, so he is furious that we cannot rely on our brand new, properly maintained truck. We love the performance and features, but we also paid a lot of money for peace of mind, and that is missing.

          Comment


          • #6
            When it stranded you, how much DEF did it taake to fill the tank?

            It should have taken 5 gallons.

            If it took 5, then you truly ran out of DEF.

            If it took less than 5, then you have a sensor in the tank lying to the computer. That does happen occasionally.

            If it really ran dry, then all y ou need to do is carry 5 gallons with you and every 3,000 miles, fill the DEF tank.

            If it is a lying sensor, then you can't trust it at all.

            The book says that it will go 7,500 miles on the average, which is optomistic.

            Most, including me, get about 5,000 miles pulling a trailer.

            So if you refill every 3,000 you will never run out.

            Under some conditions you might use more. If you are using the truck in severe conditions, add it every 2,000 miles if it makes you feel better.

            That is a lot cheaper and easier than trading.

            It also gives you time to find someone who can fix it.

            Go to dieselstop.com and post your story. There is a top Ford service rep on there that will pick up on it.

            You will see other complaints about the DEF on that site, but none that I saw are identical to yours.

            By the way, don't blame Ford. Blame the EPA for forcing stuff on the auto manufactuers faster than they can engineer and debug it properly.

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            • #7
              our 2012 F350 company truck has been in the shop not once, not twice but four times to replace the DEF sensor or other components related to the system...just got it back Friday from it fourth trip to the shop for the same problem

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