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BMW Diesel Owners / Enthusiasts
Do you own a diesel powered BMW? Maybe a 335d or a BMW x35d? Come and talk about what makes your car great!

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  #1  
Old 09-08-2011, 06:30 PM
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jefflieb jefflieb is offline
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urea urea!

FIRST OFF, I LOVE MY 335D........Well the message came on about the urea fluid in the emmissions system for the second time. the first time it said that in 1000 miles the car would not start so get service, I did within a day or two, then two weeks later the message comes on again, now its 190 miles til the car will not start.....PUMA case opened regarding a nozzle being clog with crystalized urea that need to be replaced, the key reader showed no error message either time. What does the urea cost anyway, every 20k miles? Is this common?
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Last edited by jefflieb; 09-08-2011 at 06:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2011, 07:12 PM
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Flyingman Flyingman is offline
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DEF generally lasts about 15k miles, should match up pretty well with your oil changes.

As I recall it is metered according to fuel consumption, at about 1-3% of your fuel consumed, so it is not miles driven but fuel consumed. So actual DEF consumption can vary.

Folks have had problems with the fluid getting old and crystalizing, also there are two tanks, a passive (larger) and active (smaller) tank with a transfer pump between them. That pump may fail and your active tank goes low even though you have DEF still in the passive tank.

There have been a few other reported problems ranging from the dealership not properly topping off both tanks during initial fill or during service.

My position is the DEF should last same range as the oil. If not something is probably wrong.

DEF is relatively cheap to buy at most truck stops, etc...running about $3.0/gal or about that. The dealers are a lot more (comes in a special BMW bottle with applicator, you know). You can add it yourself if necessary.

For me it has been a non-issue as handled during scheduled services. No fuss, no mess.
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2011, 08:14 PM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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I find it interesting that it says incorrect fluid added. I did not know it had a way to check the type of fluid within the system.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2011, 12:56 AM
bayarea2007 bayarea2007 is offline
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I was told by my SA that X5d had a lot more problems on DEF than the 335d
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2011, 06:52 AM
Pasa-d Pasa-d is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipe656 View Post
I find it interesting that it says incorrect fluid added. I did not know it had a way to check the type of fluid within the system.
It knows through level sensors that there's fluid in the tank(s). It knows through NOX sensors that the fluid doesn't do anything (or does it less than expected) when injected into the exhaust. This is how they prevent you from just putting water in the tank.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2011, 07:24 AM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasa-d View Post
It knows through level sensors that there's fluid in the tank(s). It knows through NOX sensors that the fluid doesn't do anything (or does it less than expected) when injected into the exhaust. This is how they prevent you from just putting water in the tank.
I read on two separate occasions where people claimed to have put something else in and had zero issues. Which is why I find that image and statement within it interesting.
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2011, 07:58 AM
montr montr is offline
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Here is from training manual "ST810 - Advanced Diesel Technology Workbook.pdf":

Suitable Urea-water Solution
The SCR system is monitored with regard to refilling with an incorrect
medium. This monitoring function starts when refilling is
detected. Refilling detection is described in the section on the
SCR system.
Effectiveness monitoring of the SCR catalytic converter is used for
the purpose of determining whether an incorrect medium has been
used. An incorrect medium is detected if the effectiveness drops
below a certain value within a defined period of time after refilling.
A reversible fault is set in this case. If the fault is determined in two
successive driving cycles, an irreversible fault is stored and the MIL
is activated.
In addition, the warning scenario with a remaining range of 200 mls
is started.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2011, 07:59 AM
Snipe656 Snipe656 is offline
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I am not doubting that it does not do it. I just find it interesting from what others have claimed. Either the system is not all that effective at that job or some people are not being all that truthful.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2011, 08:57 AM
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bimmerdiesel bimmerdiesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snipe656 View Post
I am not doubting that it does not do it. I just find it interesting from what others have claimed. Either the system is not all that effective at that job or some people are not being all that truthful.
Thats problem with forums. Atleast DIESEL crowd being more matured I havent read too contradicting statements.

Surprising to see incorrect fluid error. OP keep us posted with results. I hope dealer didnt mess it up. Which dealer do u use in Boston area?
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2014, 12:04 PM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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On the X5 forum, X5d folks determined the DEF incorrect fluid message was due to DEF sensor having been covered by crusted DEF.
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  #11  
Old 03-25-2014, 12:13 PM
GreekboyD GreekboyD is offline
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Did you get it serviced at the dealer after the first warning or fill it yourself? My passive tank has been clogged for well over a year so I just fill my active tank for now until I find the time or care enough to fix this under warranty.
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2014, 01:08 PM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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The thread is pretty old. The OP obviously did not bother to come back and post the solution, as often happens on this forum.

My reply was to at least put a closure, in case someone was looking for solution to the same problem. Sorry to resurrect this thread ))
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  #13  
Old 03-25-2014, 01:32 PM
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Flyingman Flyingman is offline
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If you ever let DEF get exposed to air, it crystallizes pretty darn quick. I spilled some overfilling my DEF tank on my MB GL350. It was crystallized on the floor of my garage in a few minutes.
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2014, 01:51 PM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serge1 View Post
On the X5 forum, X5d folks determined the DEF incorrect fluid message was due to DEF sensor having been covered by crusted DEF.
"determined" is a strong word in general, even more in the context of an online forum, and certainly abused when associated with a not-better-defined "DEF sensor". In other words, what are you talking about? There's no "DEF sensor": DEF quality diagnosis (particularly in respect to dilution) is done by the pre and post SCR NOx sensors that never come in contact with liquid DEF. Are you talking about crystallized DEF on the metering valve? Let's not just use generic and incorrect terms...
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Last edited by lpcapital; 03-25-2014 at 01:58 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2014, 04:00 PM
F32Fleet F32Fleet is offline
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I wonder if a bad NOx sensor was to blame?
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2014, 07:01 AM
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Flyingman Flyingman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpcapital View Post
"determined" is a strong word in general, even more in the context of an online forum, and certainly abused when associated with a not-better-defined "DEF sensor". In other words, what are you talking about? There's no "DEF sensor": DEF quality diagnosis (particularly in respect to dilution) is done by the pre and post SCR NOx sensors that never come in contact with liquid DEF. Are you talking about crystallized DEF on the metering valve? Let's not just use generic and incorrect terms...
I thought they had some sort of sensor in the tank that could detect improper DEF Fluid? Perhaps based on density, conductivity, etc...?
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2014, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingman View Post
I thought they had some sort of sensor in the tank that could detect improper DEF Fluid? Perhaps based on density, conductivity, etc...?
Attached is an interesting EPA article about the subject of DEF dilution. Seems they anticipated the general public may be tempted to substitute alternative (cheaper) liquids! Always looking out for us.

NOx sensor appears to be the method used so far but actual in tank sensors are under development.

Good to know.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DEF Tampering.pdf (43.0 KB, 15 views)
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2014, 08:09 AM
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Axel61 Axel61 is offline
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I had the DEF sensor CRUD the exhaust area of the urea and it brought me an SES, they cleaned it but it damaged the forward and aft NOX sensors
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  #19  
Old 03-26-2014, 10:33 AM
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There is an older PDF file named "Technical Training - Product Information: Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance" that was posted on one of the two forums many months ago. I am on the road with only my iPad so can't repost it. But from page 60 on it has a nice discussion under the heading "Overview of Selective Catalytic Reduction." Grossly simplifying the explanation because of soft keyboard, it discusses two sensors that both measure nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gases, and from those measurements determines how much DEF to inject (sensor before the SCR catalytic converter) AND whether the reduction is succeeding (sensor after the SCR catalytic converter). Algorithmic calculations using these measurements and before-after comparisons influence the injection rates, failure conditions, and even whether the incorrect fluid is being used. Sorry for this for those who already know all this and/or for where I have erred.


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  #20  
Old 03-26-2014, 10:44 AM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335dFan View Post
There is an older PDF file named "Technical Training - Product Information: Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance" that was posted on one of the two forums many months ago. I am on the road with only my iPad so can't repost it. But from page 60 on it has a nice discussion under the heading "Overview of Selective Catalytic Reduction." Grossly simplifying the explanation because of soft keyboard, it discusses two sensors that both measure nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gases, and from those measurements determines how much DEF to inject (sensor before the SCR catalytic converter) AND whether the reduction is succeeding (sensor after the SCR catalytic converter). Algorithmic calculations using these measurements and before-after comparisons influence the injection rates, failure conditions, and even whether the incorrect fluid is being used. Sorry for this for those who already know all this and/or for where I have erred.
Yes. Thanks for clarifying: that is the same thing I know. There's no "DEF sensor that cruds up"... It may be crystallized DEF on the metering valve, but that is no sensor, it's just a valve.
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  #21  
Old 03-26-2014, 10:48 AM
FredoinSF FredoinSF is offline
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Here's the doc referred to above ^^^
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW Diesel Tech Manual.pdf (3.28 MB, 44 views)
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  #22  
Old 03-26-2014, 10:58 AM
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There is much more in the discussion text that is useful, such as how the system decides when to transfer from the passive to active reservoir and how much it does at one go. It goes a long way in describing some of the things we experience in the use and refilling of DEF.


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