Software Patch in Place to Prevent Diesel Engine Shutdown Due to Faulty DEF Fluid Sensors
Major diesel engine manufacturers have come together with the EPA to implement a temporary software patch that will prevent many heavy duty diesel engines from automatically shutting down due to faulty DEF fluid sensors. COVID has resulted in a nationwide shortage of the necessary microchips needed to repair faulty sensors that have left thousands of heavy duty trucks stranded. The DEF fluid sensors are designed to illuminate indicator lamps inside the cab at three intervals to signal when DEF level is low. 1). “low” 2). empty 3). “empty and ignored”. After the third warning is illuminated, the resulting warning light then reduces power of the engine to a maximum output of 5 mph until DEF fluid levels are replaced to a sufficient amount, or unit the faulty DEF fluid sensor is replaced. COVID has resulted in the market becoming scarce for replacement DEF fluid sensors. Trucks that do not have sensors replaced leave companies with fleets overwhelmed with down and inoperable trucks.
This is a temporary fix to the nationwide shortage of the required microchips. The bypass is only available to vehicle owners after the DEF sensor fault light indicator signals the first of three warnings before the engine is shutdown. Software patches will not be made available if no sensor lamp is illuminated. EPA has approved all the software solutions provided to us by the engine manufacturers, and manufacturers have already begun implementing many of them. Each manufacturer has numerous engine families, and each family typically requires a unique software solution. Manufacturers are determining the pace and sequence in which they complete software deployment for each of their engine families. Vehicle owners should contact their local dealership’s service department for information about when a solution for their specific vehicle will be available.