Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM

2014 BMW 328d xDrive Wagon Long-Term Update 6

Diesel Exhaust Fluid?

Carlos Lago
Mar 16, 2015
While nearing the end of the 328d's stay in the Motor Trend garage, I had a realization: Not once has the car asked for a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) fill-up. In truth, I had forgotten the car needed the stuff.
Most modern diesel engines use DEF to help reduce tailpipe emissions (NOx specifically). The fluid sits in a separate reservoir and is injected in small amounts into the exhaust stream. When it runs low, the car gives you a warning. Ignore that warning, and the car won't start until the fluid is refilled.
The 328d gives you a warning 1,000 miles before empty -- or so I'm told. I've never seen it. If I did, I'd go to my local dealer, who would top it off for free under BMW's free 4-year/50,000-mile maintenance program. If you're outside of that program window or just a die-hard DIYer, you can buy a gallon of DEF at your local parts store for less than $10 and pour it into the blue-capped nozzle next to the diesel filler neck.
Photo 2/12   |   2014 BMW 328d XDrive Wagon Engine 02
Why hasn't the 328d required a DEF refill? Because BMW refills the reservoir during normal service intervals. This is convenient more than anything else, as DEF isn't expensive. But what's more interesting is the byproduct: This convenient service/fill-up overlap eliminates some of the special care your normal consumer might think about when comparing a diesel engine to a gas engine. It helps eliminate concern.
That concern is easy to point a finger at and mock, but it's worth considering. When the 328d first showed up, for example, I felt I had to scan every gas station for that green sign that denotes diesel availability. After a few months of driving the 328d, I found diesel fuel was available nearly everywhere -- though the quality of some diesel pumps left a bit to be desired.
You can drive the 328d like any other car; it requires no special attention. If it weren't for the small amount of audible clatter, you might just think it was a decently powerful station wagon with great fuel economy and range but a curiously low redline.
More on our long-term 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Wagon:
Photo 3/12   |   2014 BMW 328d XDrive Wagon Instrument Cluster

POPULAR TRUCKS

MOST POPULAR

Subscribe Today and Save up to 83%!

Subscribe Truck Trend Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truck Trend
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Diesel Power Magazine

Subscribe to:

Diesel Power
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
Subscribe Truckin Magazine

Subscribe to:

Truckin
Magazine

PRINT DIGITAL
SUBSCRIBE TO A MAGAZINE
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS