Welcome to 2010! Got Urea?

2010 Diesel Emissions Standards

Welcome to 2010! We'd like to wish all of our readers a happy and prosperous new year from the entire team at PickupTrucks.com.

Of course, we'd also like to remind you that tough EPA emissions regulations for all new diesel engines take effect today that mandate the reduction of nitrogen oxide levels by 90 percent from 2007 and by 96 percent from 1994.

NOx is a major air pollutant that contributes to smog, asthma, and respiratory and heart diseases. It's a byproduct of diesel’s high combustion temperatures, which results from the high frictional heat levels created by compressing air in the cylinders to the point where it can ignite diesel fuel without using a spark.

To meet the new clean diesel standards, Ford and GM are using a NOx scrubbing process called urea selective catalytic reduction in their 2011 model year heavy-duty pickup trucks.

The new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks carry over the same urea-free NOx reduction system that debuted in the 2007 Dodge Ram HD pickups though the Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 cab chassis trucks will use urea SCR.

Urea is the same organic compound found in urine, which has forced drivers (at least most drivers) to pause for bio-breaks ever since the car was invented. It turns out that urea, which is being sold under the more marketable name “Diesel Exhaust Fluid” for about $2.50 a gallon, is also a chemically efficient way to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions produced by diesel engines.


DEF (32.5 percent industrial urea and 67.5 percent deionized water) is held in a separate storage tank and injected as a fine mist into the hot exhaust gases. The heat turns the urea into ammonia that - when combined with a special catalytic converter - breaks down the NOx into harmless nitrogen gas and water vapor.

Far be it from us to question the quality of your urea, but if you suspect an issue with purity there's at least one tool available to help check it before you pour it in your DEF tank. Atago makes a handheld DEF digital refractometer that can measure the quality of a batch of urea using just a few drops of the fluid. It costs approximately $300.

If you're looking for DEF, check your local Pilot truck stop for a pump or you can order it online at NAPA auto parts.

For more information about DEF, please read our earlier story.


People with diesel engine vehicles should just piss into their catalytic converters. Then, when it doesn't work and screws up the engine they file a class-action lawsuit against the automakers saying the automakers didn't make it clear enough that you can't just pee in your catalytic converter to reduce emissions. Then, the people win $5 billion, $4 billion of which goes to lawyers, and on every catalytic converter it is legally required to say "DO NOT PEE ON CATALYTIC CONVERTER."

That's the American way.

Happy new year's everyone!

The way I understand it is since urea is used to reduce nox, why cant you just use it when its time to smog. can the o2 sensors pick up that your not using it and not let you operate the truck. I cant see it doing any harm to the vehicle to not use it.

Always away to work around this? The Los angeles port has trucks equiped with new convert pick up loads and take to drop off where the non converter trucks hookup and drive away to deliverys

So am I allowed to sell my pee to people with these trucks?

I think Urea will sell a whole lot of Cummins powered pickups. The fact that Cummins engineers have figured a way to meet the new emissions standards WITHOUT having to use DEF is brilliant. The stuff freezes at 11*F, and now there is another thing to pack and worry about with diesels. Heck, it might even sell a few more HD trucks with big gas engines.

Diesels used to have a lot of advantages - higher mpg, longer life, better resale, better towing power, and lower operating costs. Now a few of those are gone.

6+ speed autos and higher hp gas truck engines are soon going to negate the diesel advantage in my mind, and I have been a diesel fan for years, and am running my second diesel powered pickup to haul my RV around. I might look to a gas powered truck next time. $10K cheaper too.

I think it's hilarious, and a bit sad, that the people on this site constantantly want new products with old engineering. When gas powered trucks first came on the scene, you should have read the comments on HorseandBuggy.com - "What do you mean I can't graze my truck. Maybe I'll shove hay down the fuel tank. A real truck has hooves."

And another thing - brand loyalty is a marketing exercise. Save it for sports and your country. The best way to get good products is to always buy the best product. Success always follows the path of least resistance. A car maker won't produce a better product unless its the only way to gain or maintain market share.

Happy New Year everyone.

Sounds like NAPA is going to have a monopoly on this miracle wizz until everyone else catches up.
So,now the saying is true...
"Pi*s on NAPA!"

A lot of people i know around here(where it gets to -15C) are not impressed at all with new diesel pick-ups having to use urea fluid. I know of at least seven guys ordering Ram/Cummins with no need for urea. What with the new design and awesome new interior of the RAM HD watch the sales figures go up for Chrysler in the heavy duty pick-up truck market. RAM HD/Cummins #1 Truck for sure now. Ford and GM can add all the horsepower they want but with UREA fluid nobody around here will touch them when they have a choice to buy Cummins without urea crap (extra fluid to add, another tank,another pump more sensors and the risk of freezing,more mainenance costs, and watch the price of urea fluid go up when these trucks hit the road). Also extra charge for container when you buy it buy the jug. Tanks on GM and Ford trucks are 8 gallons which will add more weight causing more fuel consumption resulting in more urea fluid used and more cost to consumer...YIKES!!!!!

@seemore butts, There will be sensors in Urea system to tell if proper urea fliud is being added to tank. If wrong mixture or improper fliud is added the truck will go into limp in mode and reduce speed to 5mph. If you try to use vehicle without urea fluid it will fail to start. Good luck to fleet trucks in construction or rentals when some idiot adds wrong fluid to urea system(on newFord pick-ups they put the diesel and urea fill ports side by side just waiting for them to be filled accidently wrong. GM at least put urea fill port under the hood so some uncaring employee can't put diesel in urea tank or vise versa. But you can be sure someone will mix up the tank with w/w fliud or engine coolant by accident. OOOPS.

Well people,keep voting for people who believe in man made global warming and you will have NO vehicles to drive...Diesel trucks will be a thing of the past in a few years,it will cost to much to make them pass all the emissions..The left hates trucks and cars and wants us all to walk/ride bikes and not use any electricity..

Also remember not to exhale it is now considered a pollutant!!! (you know when you breathe you exhale co2)

Buy a Dodge

I love diesel exhaust fluid, but how is the year end sales data looking?

Ill stick to my 98 12 vlave Cummins thanks.

Mahindra will be using the urea injection method as well. I certainly hope they will add a heating element to the tank similar to those made for diesel fuel tanks.

No thanks! Gas engines for me.

@DD...Didn't you read the article? Reducing NOx is a GOOD thing. I mean really...who couldn't use cleaner air to breath?

---NOx is a major air pollutant that contributes to smog, asthma, and respiratory and heart diseases. It's a byproduct of diesel’s high combustion temperatures, which results from the high frictional heat levels created by compressing air in the cylinders to the point where it can ignite diesel fuel without using a spark.---

IMO...this is GREAT that diesels now have to pass emission tests. To many years with a FREE pass! If gas engines need to be tested, so should diesels. Plus...if you want that 7k option diesel, then you need to pay up. Heck if a person uses a diesel as a work truck, then all they are going to do is pass the cost to the consumer anyway. Isn't that the American way???

Happy New Year all!

@ Mike did you see this: Mercedes charging $32.20-per-gallon!!!


@Power Kid: Yep and I think it's gross. Stuff like this will kill the adoption of clean diesel very quickly. Ugh. Bad Mercedes! Bad!

Dodge will have to advance in a few years too. With this move GM and Ford have to redesign twice but all will have to by 2013.

@ Mike Levine and golferguy76, Urea price up at $32 a gallon will not kill the adoption of very clean diesel nor will Cummins(pick-ups have to use urea in future when you take this into account: Cummins future strategies for clean diesel without the use of Urea consist of ;1- Premixed Controlled Compression Ignition(PCCI), the PCCI process works to decrease NOx and particulate matter during mid to high loads. During this fueling technique, efficiancy stays the same while emissions drastically decrease (Goes far beyond traditional pilot injection). ;2-Low-Temperature Combustion(LTC) which involves manipulating the turbo(s) and increasing EGR up to 60 percent and the future of Cummins engines might solely diesel NOx and particulate matter problems. To further control the air , future 6.7L Cummins engines plans show a two- stage VGT turbo setup that will further enhance the combustion process. THIS WILL KILL THE USE OF UREA FLUID AND BE THE STANDARD TO WHICH FUTURE DIESELS WILL BE BUILT. CUMMINS is always years ahead of other diesel engines. Thank you for your time in reading this and feel free to write an article on this future (2015) CLEAN DIESEL Mike.

Thanks Snowman!

To me this hole urea thing is BS. I agree with makeing our world clean breathing but we no one to blame for this but all the city ppl buy diesel truck just becuz they look cool or they need to haul a few flowers from lowes or somthing i live in the country and i dont see many diesel truck but when i go to town every other vechical i see is a diesel truck. Sry to say but to me thats the main problem for the urea injection. And plus wether u live up north where is get really cold or u live down south where it say warm ppl are not going to want go through the extra hassel of messing with an extra tank not many ppl want to have to go there dealer and pay $200 to fill up a 8 gallon tank that there going to have to fill up agin right away. Also there just to many stupid ppl that dont pay attention and will mix up the the tanks. Rock on Dodge

i bought a 2011 duramax and we just went through a cold spell of -35 to -43 for about a week straight and had no problem with frezzing and and starting everything worked fine

Just a note, urea is used as fertilizer for crops, we are already turning our food supply into ethanol and grain and food prices are soring! Now we have added more demand for fertilizer that won't be used for crop production. This is not the best path to be on for a clean enviroment. My 99 cummins gets 19 mpg and a 2010 Ford gets 9 mpg, and my 2010 duramax gets 13 mpg, we are burning twice the amount of diesel to get the same amount of work done to get a cleaner reading at the exhaust. I cannot see any logic.

F---ing environmentalists have now screwed up our most efficient engines available! They come up with all kinds of arbitrary crap rules the government enforces which in turn create all kinds of collateral damage, such as much higher costs, reduced reliability and GREATER fuel consumption than necessary. This asinine political and environmentalist "engineering" needs to stop and be replaced with COMMON SENSE compromise solutions created by REAL sceintists and engineers!!!

we are being taken for idiots why do we let the government or environmentalist do this to us. All it is is water and 46-0-0 nitrogen.

we are paying $2.50 per gallon for water and 46-0-0 nitrogen to keep Al Gore and friends rich. The cost of running your diesel truck is far greater than $3.79 a gallon.

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