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Old 01-24-2019, 08:42 AM   #1
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DEF System Failure

My 2015 Chevy Diesel recently had a DEF system failure. About two weeks prior to the failure I put 2 gallon of Auto Zone DEF fluid into the tank, it may have been the problem but not sure of that. The truck display came up with the message that the system needed service and gave me 98 miles until speed would be limited to 65 mph. I took it in, the dealer replaced the DEF tank as he said the heaters in the tank failed and that the only way to replace the heaters was to replace the tank. The tank was covered under the drive train warranty (80,000 miles on the truck) but the cost to test the system after replacement was not ($150.00). Anyone else had this issue?
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:22 AM   #2
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DEF System Failure

My Silverado had the msg poor quality DEF fluid. Dealer said it was something else. I had not put any DEF fluid in for two thousand miles. They had already replaced the tank under warranty. This time I didnít have any warranty left. The time the dealer replaced the tank the tank was $800 bucks plus labor. Total over a thousand bucks. Cost me $125 bucks for the tow. Was going to cost me $1300 bucks to delete all the DEF stuff and never have a DEF problem again, a no brainer. I have a deleted Silverado. Truck runs better gets a little better fuel mileage .Iím glad you got yours fixed under warranty. This was the second time I had a poor quality DEF, the first was outside of Tok Alaska but the light went out
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:39 AM   #3
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My 2015 Chevy Diesel recently had a DEF system failure. About two weeks prior to the failure I put 2 gallon of Auto Zone DEF fluid into the tank, it may have been the problem but not sure of that. The truck display came up with the message that the system needed service and gave me 98 miles until speed would be limited to 65 mph. I took it in, the dealer replaced the DEF tank as he said the heaters in the tank failed and that the only way to replace the heaters was to replace the tank. The tank was covered under the drive train warranty (80,000 miles on the truck) but the cost to test the system after replacement was not ($150.00). Anyone else had this issue?
If the DEF was poor quality, you would have a message saying that, with the obligatory light, and it should not cause a heater issue. Just this week, I had the DEF heater in my '16 2500HD (56K miles) replaced under warranty for no cost. It sounds like you got screwed by the dealer, unless you had something else wrong that was not covered.

Chevy warranty covers the diagnosis, replacement, and testing to make sure the system is working properly. The dealer I went to said they would charge me $120 diagnosis, if it wasn't covered under the warranty (I already knew the code and problem).
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:47 AM   #4
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My DEF heater failed last winter on my 2014 GMC 2500HD 46K. Dealer replaced heater and didn't have to replace tank. Read where the factory heaters were garbage and failing. Can't remember the replacement they put in, but it was the recommended replacement by most of the Diesel guys on the forums I got on. My extended warranty covered the cost. I only use Blue-DEF
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:58 AM   #5
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The dealer told me the first time it was a heater in the tank and the whole tank had to be replaced. It was covered under warranty
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:56 AM   #6
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My Silverado had the msg poor quality DEF fluid. Dealer said it was something else. I had not put any DEF fluid in for two thousand miles. They had already replaced the tank under warranty. This time I didnít have any warranty left. The time the dealer replaced the tank the tank was $800 bucks plus labor. Total over a thousand bucks. Cost me $125 bucks for the tow. Was going to cost me $1300 bucks to delete all the DEF stuff and never have a DEF problem again, a no brainer. I have a deleted Silverado. Truck runs better gets a little better fuel mileage .Iím glad you got yours fixed under warranty. This was the second time I had a poor quality DEF, the first was outside of Tok Alaska but the light went out
Thanks, I've been thinking about the delete option. Did you do the delete work yourself? If so what kit did you buy to get the parts?
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Old 01-24-2019, 06:10 PM   #7
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Thanks, I've been thinking about the delete option. Did you do the delete work yourself? If so what kit did you buy to get the parts?


Not me, I have no mechanical skills other than changing the oil
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:27 PM   #8
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The heater issue is not anything you did. It is a known issue. Had mine do the same thing a few months ago. 100% covered, even filled my Def tank. They swap out the tank for the modern version of the tank. It is the heater that melts the Def when it is cold failed to pass its internal test and throws the code. They also extended the emissions warranty to 112,000 miles for the effected years.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:50 PM   #9
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And it's not just Chevy. My '11 Ford had the issue. All replaced under warranty. I don't remember if the diagnostic was covered also, but I don't remember giving any money, so it must have been.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:52 PM   #10
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For me there was no diagnostic.. The code was for the heater 2 failure (or maybe heater 1). They knew right off the bat and had me back on the road in 2 hours. I'd fight that diagnostic fee..
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:30 PM   #11
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For me there was no diagnostic.. The code was for the heater 2 failure (or maybe heater 1). They knew right off the bat and had me back on the road in 2 hours. I'd fight that diagnostic fee..
Mine was for the heater 1, which is P21dd code. And like doc, they replaced the tank on mine. Maybe somebody knows if the new tank is not only updated, but the heaters in them are also.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:38 PM   #12
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Mine was for the heater 1, which is P21dd code. And like doc, they replaced the tank on mine. Maybe somebody knows if the new tank is not only updated, but the heaters in them are also.
Yes it is the current design (ones on current models) that is installed. The heater that fails is inside a screen like cylinder where the pickup is for the fluid.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:43 PM   #13
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I do quite a few of these, new def reservoir for the heater 1 internal fault, GM covers diag., replacement, full tank of DEF. and service regen if needed, it's not the whole tank per say, just the internals, why they call it a "reservoir" is beyond me, one of our new to us parts guy wanted to order me a tank, told him we stock them and do 5ish a week, small dealer too.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:13 PM   #14
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Turned out it was a knock sensor this time.
The first time it happened to me, I was quite a ways from home and it ended up they just had to run an update on my computer. The problem with that was it had to sit for 10 hours so they could flash it cold. That was on a Saturday and they couldn't do it until Monday.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-24-2019, 11:27 PM   #15
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Thanks for your input. Got the dealer to cut the testing charge after I told him that several others in our group had it covered in their warranties.
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Old 01-25-2019, 12:07 AM   #16
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I've had it happen twice on my 2012 2500HD Duramax. Both times I was on the road. Thankfully it was covered under warranty, however, as soon as I am out of warranty, I will be doing a full delete. Actually thinking about doing it sooner as the stress of it happening on the road is not something I enjoyed.

Glad you got it resolved.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:31 AM   #17
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Thanks for your input. Got the dealer to cut the testing charge after I told him that several others in our group had it covered in their warranties.


Although sad that they were trying to extract money out of you, even though the cost was covered by the warranty (and they knew). You just caught them.
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Old 01-25-2019, 07:35 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Crusadernoob View Post
I do quite a few of these, new def reservoir for the heater 1 internal fault, GM covers diag., replacement, full tank of DEF. and service regen if needed, it's not the whole tank per say, just the internals, why they call it a "reservoir" is beyond me, one of our new to us parts guy wanted to order me a tank, told him we stock them and do 5ish a week, small dealer too.
Do you know if they have "improved" the heater?
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:15 AM   #19
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Do you know if they have "improved" the heater?
Wish I could remember the brand name they installed on mine, but most shops are using this brand and GM is using it as a replacement as it seems to be a Top of the Line product. I'll see if I can dig up the name today.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:21 AM   #20
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Wish I could remember the brand name they installed on mine, but most shops are using this brand and GM is using it as a replacement as it seems to be a Top of the Line product. I'll see if I can dig up the name today.
Want to say DORMAN, but not quite sure.
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