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Senior Advisor
Posts: 2,481
Registered: ‎10-17-2012
Accepted Solution
Hey Engine Man -

I brought a 2012 - IH - 6130 combine last winter - It was not used in the harvest of 2013 - This combine runs DEP in it . I have heard there is a shelf life on DEP , But when I ask the dealer , fuel supplier - nobody can give me a answer on , just how long DEP is good for , It has a 41 gallon tank on it and as I get ready for this years harvest - I'm going to dump whats in the tank and put new in , btw I have changed all the filter on the DEP system .


So what is the the deal with DEP ? How long is the shelf life and what about winter time storage ? Anything else I need to know ?


One other thing - when the dealer told me there was shelf life , I asked them how old there NEW stuff was - which I got a blank look - lol





Accepted Solution
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-08-2014

Dear Sir,

Thanks for contacting SF and  the Engine Answerman for your question about DEF and your combine.

SF did publish a two part series on DEF that I authored in the ??? issue. I believe that you can find it also on the website for You need to go to Machinery Insider and then click on SFEngineman. It should pop up. It will provide a good overview of what you need to know about DEF.

I will now address your question so that you can move forward with your harvest.

When stored properly DEF in theory has a shelf life of approximately one year when seeing a temperature range of between 10 degrees F and 90 degrees F. If it never goes above 75 degrees F then it has a life of two years.

Contrary to what the dealer and supplier said all API Certified DEF has a date code on it when made. This will be somwhere on the label or bottle. It is important, especially with a combine, to purchase the freshest DEF possible since the machine is only used once a year.

When the DEF gets old it degrades and becomes less effective. If the 41 gallon tank is full then you have about  $120.00 worth of product. In theory, it should not hurt anything but if the engine has a system that monitors quality of the DEF it can cause a problem during harvest. I believe that you are wise by putting in fresh product. No one likes to waste $120.00 but it is much cheaper than a repair or lost time in the field.

If you need to speak to me in person please e-mail me at with your phone number and I will be happy to call you and answer any questions you may have.

Thanks for reading SF. I wish you a safe and bountiful harvest.

Ray T. Bohacz

Successful Farming magazine

Other Answers: 1
Posts: 2,019
Registered: ‎01-30-2011

I hope you are talking about DEF.  In the semis they use it pretty quick-the boss buys it in 275 gal totes so i don't know about shelf life.  All it is is a super clean 32% nitrogen solution so I guess you could dump it in the applicatorSmiley Very Happy   But 32%as you know will freeze so keep it in a warm shed. The trucks have tank heaters on them so I assume your combine does too so that means a battery tender would be a must-have unless you run it every few days