Diesel Exhaust Fluid Represents Opportunity for Retailers

Jay Gagnon of Old World Industries discusses how DEF reduces emissions for diesel engines. 

July 16, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “What You Need to Know About DEF,” hosts Carolyn Schnare, NACS director of strategic initiatives, and Donovan Woods, director of operations for the Fuels Institute, talk with Jay Gagnon, senior product manager at Old World Industries, about diesel cars and trucks.

Diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) “is necessary for any diesel engine manufactured post-2006 because it helps engine manufacturers achieve stringent fuel emissions standards put in place by the EPA back in 2010,” Gagnon explained.

DEF is highly regulated. “All high quality brands have API standards [American Petroleum Institute],” Gagnon said. “DEF is very easy to contaminate. One teaspoon of salt could contaminate 5,000 gallons of diesel exhaust fluid.”

When a consumer fills up with diesel fuel, most will have a second, blue cap next to the diesel one. Some vehicles have a DEF gauge on their dash. “DEF is readily available to consumers, even in the c-store, … DEF is typically readily available,” Gagnon said.

Retailers have an opportunity to help consumers with DEF, perhaps by reminding diesel customers at the pump to check on DEF inside the store. “Some retailers offer promotions like that or give a reduced price[s] if the customer buys two at a time,” Gagnon said. “When you get low on DEF, there’s a risk that your vehicle will shut down, so it’s good to top off your DEF tank.”

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.