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Problems with Adblue

Most modern diesel cars will come with AdBlue installed. Essentially, AdBlue helps to reduce the amount of NOx (Nitrous oxide) in the diesel exhaust gases. This system will often consist of the following components: AdBlue Tank, pump, heating system, NOx sensor, an additional catalytic converter and an AdBlue system control unit.

AdBlue in Fuel Tank

Did you happen to put AdBlue in your fuel tank by mistake? This is one of the most common AdBlue problems and removal is a must as this fluid should never be mixed with diesel. However, if you do happen to make this mistake, the most important thing you should do is to not start the engine. Turning on the engine with AdBlue in the tank can cause severe damage to the engine. As a result, you could be paying a lot of money to repair the entire engine.

You need to make sure that a mechanic drives out to you and that you don’t drive to the garage. Driving with AdBlue in your system will cause the fluid to be circulated throughout the fuel system. This can cause corrosion to some metals, and this will degrade the components of the fuel system.

If this happens to you, then the first step you need to take is contacting a mechanic to drain the tank. The fuel and AdBlue needs to be flushed out of the engine system before repairs can start to be carried out.

Spilled AdBlue

If you happen to spill AdBlue on your vehicle’s engine system, then you need to clean it up straight away. You can get specialised kits that can clean up any AdBlue spill on your vehicle. If you don’t have one of these kits, then you can use a clean towel to wipe it off. Ensure you clean the surfaces that it has meet to avoid crystallisation of the fluid.

As previously mentioned, AdBlue can cause metal corrosion due to the presence of ammonia. Do not leave any spills to dry on their own as it can damage other vehicle components.

You should also wear gloves when handling AdBlue. Although it is not a hazardous fluid, wearing gloves will avoid any potential irritation to your skin.

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Contaminated AdBlue

For AdBlue to be able to do its job, it needs to be pure. However, it can be easy for contaminants to enter through the fluid tank’s cap area. If these contaminants get mixed into the fluid, this can cause damage to the engine.

But how do you know if the AdBlue has been contaminated? This will be evident when the amount of AdBlue your consuming is on the increase. It could also lead to the malfunction of the selective catalytic reduction system. The worst-case scenario is that the entire engine shuts down.

You should aim to make it a habit to test and monitor the purity of your AdBlue. To do this, you can use a digital refractometer. Ideally, the AdBlue concentration needs to be between 32% and 37%. If the recorded ratio is off, then this could indicate a potential contamination.

Additionally, you need to constantly clean the tank cap area for AdBlue when carrying out maintenance work or your vehicle. This will get rid of any potential contaminants that may enter the tank. You should also have a dedicated container for AdBlue if you currently use similar containers for other types of fluids. This is because AdBlue can be contaminated in this process, even if you clean your container thoroughly.

Adding Water Instead of AdBlue

Another frequent issue that is associated with AdBlue is the accidental use of water instead of the fluid to fill your tank. Similarly, to how adding AdBlue to your fuel tank can have damaging effects, this is also the case when you accidentally add water to the fluid tank.

If water happens to get into the AdBlue injector, this can result in a blockage. Water will cause a negative reaction to the catalyst and ultimately the malfunction of the entire Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. These scenarios will often lead to an engine failure.

Even prior to your engines eventual failure, using water in your tank can cause your vehicle to increase its fuel consumption and can lead to several emission violations for your vehicle.

It is also important to consider that AdBlue tanks are prone to a build up of condensation and this water can lead to contamination. Topping off the AdBlue tank at the end of the day will avoid this.

If water happens to be in your AdBlue tank for any reason, then you need to contact an expert immediately. They will be able to remove the water from the tank. Otherwise, the longer you leave water in the tank, the more expensive the repair bill is likely to be.

Preventing AdBlue issues

The most important way to prevent any AdBlue related issues to your vehicle is through proper handling. We recommend that you review the manufacturer’s instructions on proper handling, use, and storage. This ensures that the fluid does not degrade in quality and that you can get the best performance out of it.

If you do happen to encounter any of the issues above, then you need to keep in touch with an expert on AdBlue removal. They will address the issues to prevent any long-term damage to your vehicle engine. Just remember, when you are in doubt, never start the engine. Ensure you wait for a professional to arrive and let them inspect the vehicle.