You Really Shouldn’t Pee in Your DEF Tank | MotorBiscuit

DEF, or Diesel Exhaust Fluid, is a necessary part of a new diesel powertrain. In 2010, a selective catalytic reduction system was mandated in all new diesel models. DEF is part of that system. Diesel exhaust is sent through a filter, and then DEF is used to break down the remaining exhaust particulates into mostly water. DEF is made from combining water and urea. Urea is an organic compound found in urine, which spawned some illogical and frankly harmful rumors that DEF contains urine. 

Does DEF contain urine?

The DEF diesel tank area of a vehicle | Stefan Puchner/picture alliance via Getty Images

DEF is made up of 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. It’s a harmless fluid, and urea is an organic compound. It’s also known as carbamide.  The urea that DEF contains is synthetically made. 

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