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Author Topic: Make DEF an option. Back to Topics
GJBain

All-Star Author
New York

Posts:939
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Joined:Apr 2011
Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 6:23:19 AM

A suggestion I have is to make DEF an option as a fuel type when saying what fuels are available at a station. DEF is Diesel Exhaust Fuel, basically Urea, which is used in the newer diesel vehicles as part of their emissions system. Pilot stations sell DEF. It is $2.899 right now at my local Pilot station. Us diesel owners need this type of information while out on the road.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:11,548
Points:1,845,290
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 29, 2013 1:23:07 PM

Well, that certainly is a DEFinitive answer, leaving no doubt as to policy.

Besides learning what DEF is and that it even exists, the thing that struck me about this topic is the "shoot and run" nature of many authors in this category. They post their suggestions and then participate in the topic no further, as if to state that it was really of no importance and not worth another moment of their time. Whether or not that is true of this author in this specific case I have no proof one way or the other, but it becomes a very noticeable trend overall after a year or two of observation.

A question is posted and there is no answer; a counterpoint is posted and there is no rebuttal. It is as if a ghostly author dips down to earth, knocks a picture oe two off the wall or rattles a chain and then vanishes forever into the ether.

It almost makes one wish there was some kind of built-in rating system that would give extra points (the debating kind, not the GB kind) for moxie, sticktoitiveness, gumption and parental care exhibited. While theoretically, a proposed idea should stand upon its merits as stated, a wimpish lack of support by the author strikes me as unappetizing as a stick of celery that does not crunch when you bite into it. Practically speaking though, I don't suppose we will be able to do anything about this other than grouse.
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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Jan 29, 2013 12:19:03 PM

Sorry to say, but I do not believe that DEF will ever be added as a reportable option in GasBuddy, as it is not a motor fuel, nor is it something that is recommended to place in your fuel tank.

GasBuddy is designed and intended to share fuel prices throughout local areas in Canada and the US.

Only a few select truck stop station brands offer DEF dispensaries at their pumps, aside from that most stations offer DEF within a convenience store "quick-auto" section (usually where you can find things like fuel stabilizer or gas line anti-freezes, etc).

We don't keep track of other things like fuel additives in GasBuddy, DEF is considered a diesel fuel equivalent.

-Don


[Edited by: Don at 1/29/2013 12:19:27 PM EST]
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quickandcheap
Champion Author Allentown

Posts:9,454
Points:1,709,610
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Message Posted: Jan 28, 2013 8:09:53 AM

Probably not, at least not for a while. It seems that only the major truck stop chains: TA, Pilot, Flying J, Love's, and Petro, are the only stations selling it right now.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:11,548
Points:1,845,290
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 27, 2013 3:15:08 PM

I stand corrected. Do you think that ordinary (non-truck-stop) stations would go to the expense of installing pumps for DEF?
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quickandcheap
Champion Author Allentown

Posts:9,454
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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 8:56:00 PM

From what I understand, DEF is available at the pump, at least at select Pilot and Flying J locations.Pilot/Flying J's website explains this as well as a list of locations. However, I don't see that it is something we should have the option to post prices for. Adding it as one of the station feature checkboxes would be sufficient in my opinion.
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CampKohler
Champion Author Sacramento

Posts:11,548
Points:1,845,290
Joined:May 2007
Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 7:09:51 PM

This suggestion has been added to the Suggestion Tracking List as a new subject.

This is not really a fuel. DEF is a liquid component needed in some diesel emission control systems, much in the manner that brake fluid is needed in brake systems (he rattled off smugly, having never heard of it before in his life and having to look it up in Wikipedia). As such it won't be found at a pump, but instead in a plastic jug on a shelf like window washer fluid.

Because the manufacture of DEF does not depend on the cost of petroleum or other commonly extracted natural resources, it may not have much variance in price. It may turn out to be commodity like laundry soap, having not much difference in price between brands (especially considering the regulated nature of emissions controls requiring all DEF to be basically the same stuff, both in ingredients and quality). Nevertheless, it is a consumable that the vehicle requires in order to legally operate, so for those vehicles that need it, it is as important as fuel itself.

I don't know how quickly a vehicle goes through the stuff, so I don't know how worried a driver will be to find suppliers as he travels. Or is it sufficient to keep a gallon in the garage? GJBain, can you tell us what your consumption is per mile? Do you need to know which stations carry it as you travel, or can you just go to Walmart when you need it, like picking up a loaf of bread? How densely populated is your area and how far apart are the sellers?

As to DEF pricing, have you taken a sampling of, say, a dozen sellers in your area to see if there is much variance? If everyone is so close in price, the cost, no matter what it is, will be of no importance, because you have to pay it. Perhaps reporting of availability would be of prime importance. However, I don't see the normal GB reporting process working out here, say, by adding every DEF retailer to the MSL. What a mess that would be.

As far as compatibility with GB methods goes, I suppose you COULD put a short pricing note in the diesel comments, but that might present difficulties by have pricing there that has nothing to do with the fuel price itself. If price competition does turn out to be important, you aren't going to get pricing from a pylon out front; you are going to have to go into the store and check the shelves, requiring extreme dedication by users like you, to say the least. Perhaps you might better achieve the desired result by talking the sellers into putting a foot-square "DEF $2.89"* sign in the window.

In summary, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before any solutions could be intelligently arrived at, and, as you are a DEF user, you could do a service to your fellow dieselers by reporting back here on the real nature of the problem. (There will be those who will blow you off, but don't let that deter you. It does no harm to periodically open new cans of worms.)

----
*You gave a price of $2.899. Is it really priced with 9/10's on the end like fuel?



[Edited by: CampKohler at 1/26/2013 7:19:06 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 8:03:23 AM

I wonder how many vehicles will use this fuel? For now, you can note DEF in the comments.
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