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DEF Jam IV - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,281
edited January 2015 in Ram
imageDEF Jam IV - 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Long-Term Road Test

It was time to add more diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) after our 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel got back from its Oregon trip.

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Comments

  • bolotiboloti Member Posts: 47
    This truck requires: 1) diesel fuel; 2) DEF fluid; 3) Oil changes. And this is something "traditional" which does not require much convincing for people to buy.... I wonder if in 20 years oil powered vehicles will need a list of 5-6 fluids to pour into them (at different intervals, from different places at different prices... talk about "simplicity").... (I'm thinking about my electric vehicle which only requires windshield wiper fluid - which Ram needs as well... I guess)
  • wyoungerwyounger Member Posts: 3
    Shouldn't you be buying DEF from a bulk dispenser at truck stops like people who have to pay for the stuff with their own money?
  • ek900ek900 Member Posts: 39
    boloti - I'd be curious if you have any actually experience with cars, because that comment really makes just about no sense? Oil-powered vehicles actually require far less maintenance and extra fluids than they did just 20-30 years ago. As someone who has greased points, changed hosts of fluids (most of which now have much, much longer change intervals or no required changes), and done a lot of maintenance, I can tell you I'd expect all vehicles to continue to get easier to maintain, not harder.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    DEF was definitely comical in the beginning - I don't know why you guys were burning through it so fast. Now with gas prices hitting bottoms, the Diesel fuel cost is the main concern. I would NOT want to sell a diesel vehicle right now as where I live, Unleaded is down to $1.81 per gallon, but the cheapest Diesel is $2.73 which represents an over 50% difference. Fill up 20 gallons and know you just spent an extra $20. In the grand scheme of things, it might be a small deal but psychologically it's huge. Just like people that buy SUVs when gas is cheap and sell them when its expensive.
  • kirkhilles1kirkhilles1 Member Posts: 863
    wyounger said:

    Shouldn't you be buying DEF from a bulk dispenser at truck stops like people who have to pay for the stuff with their own money?

    Why, how much is it per gallon there? Most people with a Diesel passenger vehicle aren't going to go to truck stops to fill up their DEF. They'll buy it on Amazon (like the article stated) and just deal with it every 4-5 months.
  • iamthestigiamthestig Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 85
    wyounger said:

    Shouldn't you be buying DEF from a bulk dispenser at truck stops like people who have to pay for the stuff with their own money?

    Someone who pays the $50,000 purchase price of this truck isn't going to sweat a $46 DEF fill-up, especially if it's only needed every 4-5 months.

  • s197gts197gt Member Posts: 486
    edited January 2015
    my OCD self would not let me fill it only "mostly" full. that picture of it almost there but not quite full is killing me...
  • joqewljoqewl Member Posts: 1
    A. $2.50 a gallon @ bulk dispensers, & you buy exactly as much as you need, no empty jugs to dispose of, etc. B. no oil change means no maintenance on an electric vehicle?? Let's talk again after you put a 100K on that thing...
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Green Car Reports quotes a German study that says EVs are a third cheaper to maintain than ICE cars.

    A hybrid still has an ICE component so you're stuck with oil changes there. But the brakes last longer.

    They'll all need tires.
  • bolotiboloti Member Posts: 47
    I've been driving since 2002... and had 5 gas cars since then... still have one gas car now... So no, I don't have experience from the 50-s and 80-s... But back to the making sense: I'm thinking about 2030-s... and my hope is that EV's would be much easier to own (and the range / cost issues will be fully resolved) compared to diesel / gas cars which will have to further reduce the emissions by that time (which may come at a cost of additional complexities).
    ek900 said:

    boloti - I'd be curious if you have any actually experience with cars, because that comment really makes just about no sense? Oil-powered vehicles actually require far less maintenance and extra fluids than they did just 20-30 years ago. As someone who has greased points, changed hosts of fluids (most of which now have much, much longer change intervals or no required changes), and done a lot of maintenance, I can tell you I'd expect all vehicles to continue to get easier to maintain, not harder.

  • actualsizeactualsize Santa Ana, CaliforniaMember Posts: 451
    edited January 2015
    I think the appeal of civilian diesel decreases if you need to go to a truck stop to get your DEF. I imagine that your average casual 1/2-ton truck owner just wants to go to a regular filling station. Now, if you live in such a place that's semi rural and would go to a truck stop anyway, fine, sure, why not. Around here the bulk DEF I see is at commercial Cardlock stations.

    And I have to think it is frankly easier to pour DEF into a commercial truck (with its huge tank and large filler opening) than is is with the tiny opening and remotely-located DEF tank on a truck like this. There's no way to really tell it's full until it's over-full, which is why I was a bit timid with my 6 gallons

    I'll try it a commercial dispenser next time, but it seems like more of a hassle in my neck of the woods. And I don't want to have to use a funnel, which would stink up the cab afterward. At this point I'm fine with doing it at home or in the parking lot of my local auto parts store, of which there are many.

    It's early days with DEF. As more vehicles need it, more options will open up. It will only get easier (and possibly cheaper) as time goes on, and it doesn't seem like a big hassle now.

    Twitter: @Edmunds_Test

  • wyoungerwyounger Member Posts: 3
    Diesel owners that don't pass by truck stops on a regular basis anyway have two choices- either go to an in-town main line gas station or go a little out of their way to stop off at a truck stop. The main line stations that carry diesel charge an even-more premium price for it, since it's a specialty product, not their main line product. As a slow-moving product at those stations, it also tends to sit in the tanks for long periods, at which point it has typically accumulated water, sediment, algae, etc., that at best tends to clog fuel filters (inconvenient more than expensive) and at worst tends to hurt expensive parts. Stopping at a truck stop gets a rock-bottiom volume price on the fuel, which truckers demand, and fuel that was probably delivered from the deopt no more than a day or two ago. Then you get the option of bulk DEF at reasonable prices from an actual dispenser and the possibility to buy other diesel-specific specialties, like oil that's actually rated to be used in a diesel engine without plugging up a DPF with ash. A person that spends some real life time living with a real diesel will do some research and find that there's a spot not far out of the way from their routine haunts that's a truck stop. They're not all ginormous TA's out on rural interstates- there are smaller ones here and there inside metro areas. But until you have a reason to know where they are (because your daily driver is a diesel of some sort), you generally won't know where they are, and assume that your only choice is the little side pump down at corner store.
  • jbowen52jbowen52 Member Posts: 1

    DEF was definitely comical in the beginning - I don't know why you guys were burning through it so fast. Now with gas prices hitting bottoms, the Diesel fuel cost is the main concern. I would NOT want to sell a diesel vehicle right now as where I live, Unleaded is down to $1.81 per gallon, but the cheapest Diesel is $2.73 which represents an over 50% difference. Fill up 20 gallons and know you just spent an extra $20. In the grand scheme of things, it might be a small deal but psychologically it's huge. Just like people that buy SUVs when gas is cheap and sell them when its expensive.

    Thanks for helping me feel better about my gas V6 Crewcab 4X4. The performance of the gas V6 and very close to diesel fuel mileage, 23-24 on trips with the added cost and maintenance of DEF makes the gas V6 version the right combo for me with just light duty in mind. With the recent drop in fuel prices, it just gets better and better!

  • rwthomas1rwthomas1 Member Posts: 4
    boloti said:

    This truck requires: 1) diesel fuel; 2) DEF fluid; 3) Oil changes. And this is something "traditional" which does not require much convincing for people to buy.... I wonder if in 20 years oil powered vehicles will need a list of 5-6 fluids to pour into them (at different intervals, from different places at different prices... talk about "simplicity").... (I'm thinking about my electric vehicle which only requires windshield wiper fluid - which Ram needs as well... I guess)

    How much can your EV tow? I tow almost every day and haul stuff when I'm not towing. So hows your EV do with that? Your EV is not a pickup, has none of the capabilities besides hauling you about. Your comparisons are laughable.
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