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

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




Bestseller No. 1
PEAK BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid, 2.5 U.S. Gallon
  • ENGINEERED: For use in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems on diesel engines
  • EFFICIENCY: BlueDEF diesel exhaust fluid is key to helping improve fuel economy by up to five percent
  • PROTECTION: Diesel exhaust fluid is non-toxic and safe to handle
  • QUALITY: Stable, colorless and odorless, and also meets ISO Standards 22241 for purity and composition
  • EFFORTLESS: Easily Inject the fluid into your exhaust stream with a specialized dosing module
Bestseller No. 2
Hopkins FloTool 10732WR Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Funnel
  • Designed to fit DEF ports
  • No-mess splash guard
  • Speed channels for quick pouring
  • To prevent contamination, clean before each use
  • Wide basin for clean no mess pouring
Bestseller No. 3
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. 4
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
SaleBestseller No. 5
ACDelco GM Original Equipment 10-4022 Diesel Exhaust Emissions Reduction (DEF) Fluid - 1 gal
  • 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. 6
ACDelco GM Original Equipment 10-4023 Diesel Exhaust Emissions Reduction (DEF) Fluid - 2.5 gal (Pack of 2)
  • 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
  • High quality formula is made from high purity urea and deionized water. It contains no chemical additives or other components that could cause SCR system failure
  • Includes vented nozzle(s) that make pouring easy by helping to prevent glugging
  • Has 1 complimentary nozzle. Extra nozzles sold separately
Bestseller No. 7
(Pack of 30) BlueDEF DEF002 Diesel Exhaust Fluid - 2.5 Gallon Jug
  • Pack of 30, Main image is for representation purpose only
SaleBestseller No. 8
OTC 5025 Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Refractometer
  • The refractometer is a portable precision optical instrument used for measuring the diesel exhaust fluid concentration
  • When a liquid sample is placed on the prism the light passing through it is bent and the more concentrated the liquid the more the light will bend
  • The refractometer contains a reticle or scale that is enlarged through the eyepiece to measure this light and the values on the scale have been established to evaluate the DEF condition
  • EPA regulations require all diesel engines manufactured on or after January 1 2010 to meet lowered NOx emissions standards
  • Most heavy duty engine manufacturers have chosen to utilize SCR including Detroit Diesel DD13 DD15 DD16 Cummins ISX line PACCAR and Volvo-Mack
Bestseller No. 9
Genuine Ford Fluid PM-27-JUG Diesel Exhaust Fluid - 2.5 Gallon
  • Required for diesel vehicles equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions after treatment system
  • Reduces NOx emissions in diesel vehicles with an SCR catalyst
  • AUS32 fluid meeting all the requirements and purity standards of ISO 22241 and DIN70071
  • Nozzle specifically designed to fit the DEF filler opening of 2011MY and forward Ford diesel vehicles (as well as many competitive vehicles) and prevent over filling the DEF tank
  • Use only dispensing systems that are compatible with DEF
SaleBestseller No. 10
Peak Original Diesel Exhaust Fluid, Jug, 2.5 gal

Last update on 2023-06-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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