Information on Excessive Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Usage – 2019-2023 Cadillac Chevrolet GMC

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NHTSA ID Number: 10222782

Manufacturer Communication Number: 20-NA-082


This informational bulletin explains why more DEF is being used in diesel engines due to new emission standards.



Some customers may comment that excessive DEF is being used.

Some technicians may find no codes set or messages on the DIC.



The current 2020 Silverado/Sierra is the first to have a DEF level gauge on the IP. This is the first time a customer can see a representation of how much DEF is in the tank up to the full capacity of the tank. This gauge does not operate like the float style gauge that you have in your fuel tank. Because of this, you may see some fluctuation in the gauge. It may also take a few key cycles to register the correct amount in the tank after a fill event. With the new segmented DEF level gauge, it is possible that after adding 5 gallons (18.9 L) of DEF that the gauge reads as a full tank after the fill event. However, if the actual level of DEF is just entering the last segment on the gauge, the gauge is likely to drop by one segment shortly after driving after the fill event. This could give an initial impression that the vehicle consumes a lot of DEF.

Every year that GM produces vehicles with diesel engines, the requirements to reduce Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) in the vehicle exhaust continue to get more aggressive. Because DEF is required to reduce the NOx in the exhaust, DEF consumption will increase as NOx reduction requirements increase. When customers trade in an older model year diesel Silverado/Sierra for a newer model year, there will likely be an increase in DEF usage. DEF consumption increases as the newer vehicles meet the more stringent emission requirements for that model year.

The amount of DEF usage is also a function of how hard the engine is working, or engine load. Because of this, it is more representative to compare DEF usage to the amount of fuel used, also a function of engine load, instead of miles traveled. In addition to engine load, other factors that affect the DEF usage rate are the humidity, temperature, and altitude where the vehicle is operating.

Under certain conditions, the ECM will increase or decrease the amount of DEF used based on learning or adaptive algorithms. In the event of a malfunction and SES light, the ECM may double or even eliminate the amount of DEF that is being used. This will continue until the vehicle is repaired and until the learned value in the ECM is reset. When towing a trailer or when the vehicle is heavily loaded, the vehicle will use more DEF per mile. While the DEF usage at any one moment is calculated instantaneously based on the amount of NOx the engine produces, the average DEF consumed takes much longer to adjust down after the heavy load is removed from the vehicle. When a customer sees a message stating XXX miles to empty, this is based roughly on the average amount of DEF used. If the vehicle is heavily loaded during that XXX miles, the range will be lower. Conversely if the vehicle is not heavily loaded, the range will be more than XXX. For some customer usage scenarios, this can give the impression that the vehicle is using too much DEF when in actuality if you measure the amount of DEF consumed based on fuel consumption you will get a much more accurate measurement.


70 Affected Products


GMC CANYON 2020-2022
GMC SAVANA 2020-2022
GMC SIERRA 1500 2020-2023
GMC SIERRA 2500 2020-2023
GMC SIERRA 3500 2020-2023
GMC YUKON 2021-2023
GMC YUKON XL 2021-2022


1 Associated Document

Manufacturer Communications

Bulletin No.: 20-NA-082
Date: September, 2022

MC-10222782-0001.pdf 515.843KB

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“This site contains affiliate links for which OEMDTC may be compensated”
SaleBestseller No. 1
Blue Def DEF002-4PK Diesel Exhaust Fluid, 2.5 Gallon, 4 Pack
  • One gallon of is used approximately every 300 miles
  • A truck with a 20 gallon DEF tank can go up to 6000 miles between fill-ups
  • When used in an SCR system will reduce the levels of NOx emissions of those engines
  • Fit type: Universal
Bestseller No. 2
Blue Def DEF002-2PK Diesel Exhaust Fluid, 2.5 Gallon, 2 Pack
  • One gallon of is used approximately every 300 miles
  • A truck with a 20 gallon DEF tank can go up to 6000 miles between fill-ups
  • When used in an SCR system will reduce the levels of NOx emissions of those engines
Bestseller No. 3
Prime Guard PRIM00250 DEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid, 2.5 Gallon Box
  • Prime Guard DEF is a safe, environmentally friendly solution for Selective Catalytic Reduction
Bestseller No. 4
Peak Original Diesel Exhaust Fluid, Jug, 2.5 gal
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid is sprayed into the diesel exhaust streams of diesel engines to lower the concentration of nitrogen oxide, NOx, in emissions
  • Engineered for use in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems on diesel engines, BlueDEF diesel exhaust fluid is comprised of a high-purity synthetic urea and deionized water mixture that improves emissions and fuel economy
  • When injected into the exhaust stream with a specialized dosing module, BlueDEF's water vaporzies, leaving ammonia molecules en route to the catalytic converter; once there, it converts NOx molecules into harmless nitrogen and water vapor - making for cleaner emissions
  • To ensure Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) performance, diesel exhaust fluids must adhere to the ISO 22241 standards
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is made with 32.5% urea, (NH2)2CO, and 67.5% deionized water. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is non-toxic and safe to handle, but it can corrode some metals, so it must be stored and transported carefully
SaleBestseller No. 5
Bestseller No. 6
BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid Synthetic Urea Deionized Water 2.5 Gallon (4 Pack)
  • Mixture of 32.5 percent high purity synthetic urea and 67.5 percent deionized water
  • Helps convert nitrogen oxide into harmless nitrogen gas and water vapor for cleaner emissions
  • Improves fuel economy by up to 5 percent
  • Inject the fluid into your exhaust stream with a specialized dosing module
  • Stable, colorless, odorless, and meets ISO standards 22241 for purity and composition
Bestseller No. 7
ACDelco GM Original Equipment 10-4022 Diesel Exhaust Emissions Reduction (DEF) Fluid - 1 gal, white
  • Meets GM Original Equipment specifications to be approved for use in GM vehicles as well as in non-GM diesel vehicles that have an SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) system to meet regulated NOx emissions (Based on EPA certification testing. Your actual emissions will vary based on several factors including temperature, terrain, and driving conditions).
  • High quality formula is made from high purity urea and deionized water.
  • Meets API regulations and ISO 22241 standard for purity and concentration
  • Nozzles sold separately
Bestseller No. 8
BlueDEF Peak Platinum Diesel Exhaust Fluid 2.5 Gallon (2 Pack)
  • Ensures that your diesel engine operates at its best fuel efficiency by reducing NOx emissions. Helps to maintain optimum fuel economy and reduces fuel consumption
  • By reducing NOx emissions, this fluid helps to protect the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system from damage, which can lead to costly repairs
  • Helps to sustain the life of your SCR system by reducing deposits and buildup that can lead to clogging or malfunctioning of the system
  • Compatible with all diesel SCR systems, a versatile choice for a wide range of diesel engine users. Used in heavy-duty trucks, buses, and other diesel-powered vehicles
  • Meets or exceed the strictest OEM standards for quality and performance. Conforms to the ISO-22241-1 specification for DEF. An American Petroleum Institute (API) certified diesel exhaust fluid
Bestseller No. 9
(Pack of 40) Diesel Exhaust Fluid DEF 2.5 U.S. Gallon Box
  • 40 - 2.5 Gallon Boxes of DEF
  • Dispensing nozzle for easy pouring
  • Meets or exceeds all EPA standards
  • Meets the stringent AUS 32, DIN 70070, ISO 22241 purity and concentration standards
  • Product can be used without removing from the box
Bestseller No. 10
(40 Pack) - BlueDEF 2.5 Gallon DEF002 - Diesel Exhaust Fluid Jug
  • 40 Individual 2.5 Gallon Jugs of BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid (100 Gallons)
  • One gallon of BlueDEF is used approximately every 300 miles
  • Vented nozzle helps reduce fluid glugging and improves flow rate
  • A truck with a 20 gallon DEF tank can go up to 6000 miles between fill-ups
  • Approved for use in all diesel SCR systems

Last update on 2024-06-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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