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Common AdBlue Problems and Removal Guide

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Filed under Automotive, Automotive Help, Editorial

The permissible amount of harmful pollutants that can be emitted from diesel cars has seen a significant improvement over recent years. The new market standard sees up to 67% decrease in nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engine vehicles. A method known as selective catalytic reduction is one of the recommended methods to reduce harmful exhaust emissions. This requires the use of an exhaust fluid, such as the common trade name AdBlue. This fluid is designed to break the nitrogen oxide in the exhaust gas so that there are less of the harmful substances that are expelled from your vehicle.

While they play an important role, there are also common issues that could arise from the use of AdBlue. Take time to learn about it so that you can optimize the use of this fluid and reduce the harmful environmental impact when driving your vehicle.

AdBlue in Fuel Tank

Did you mistakenly put AdBlue in your fuel tank? This is one of the most common AdBlue problems and removal is a must. This fluid should never be mixed with diesel. However, if you inadvertently pour the liquid into the fuel tank, the most important thing you should do is to never start the engine.

In the event you turn on the engine with AdBlue in the tank, this can cause severe damage to the engine. As a result, you could end up paying a lot of money in order to repair the entire engine. Never ever drive the car to a repair shop – let them come to you. If you drive your vehicle with the AdBlue in the tank, this can cause the fluid to be circulated throughout the fuel system. The fluid can cause corrosion to some metals and that will degrade the components of the fuel system.

The first thing you need to do is to contact a mechanic to drain the tank. Make sure that the fuel and the AdBlue is flushed out of the engine system in order for repairs to be carried out.

There is a real possibility for AdBlue to be filled into the fuel tank because they are located close to each other in most vehicle models. However, it is important to identify the cap for the AdBlue tank and that it is comparably smaller than the fuel hole.

Contaminated AdBlue

It is a must for AdBlue to be pure in order for it to do its job. However, it is easy for contaminants to enter through the fluid tank’s cap area. If contaminants get mixed into the fluid, this could cause damage to the engine.

How do you know that the AdBlue has been contaminated? You will know this when there is an uptick in your AdBlue consumption. It could also lead to the malfunction of the selective catalytic reduction system. The worst case scenario is that the entire engine shuts down.

Make it a habit to test and monitor the purity of your AdBlue. You can do this with the use of a digital refractometer. Ideally, the AdBlue concentration should be 32 to 37%. If the ratio is off, this could indicate a potential contamination.

Always clean the tank cap area for AdBlue when doing maintenance work for your vehicle. This will get rid of any potential contaminants that can enter the tank. It is also recommended that you have a dedicated container for AdBlue. If you use a similar container for other types of fluids, AdBlue can be contaminated in this process, even if you clean the container thoroughly.

This simple preventive step can avoid one of the most common AdBlue problems and removal.

Adding Water Instead of AdBlue

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

If water gets into the AdBlue injector, it can result in a blockage. Water can cause a negative reaction to the catalyst and ultimately the malfunction of the entire Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system. All of these scenarios can eventually lead to engine failure.

Even before your engine could suffer extreme damage, the use of water can cause your vehicle to increase its fuel consumption. It could also potentially lead to several emission violations for your vehicle.

If you suspect that you mistakenly added water to your AdBlue tank, contact an expert immediately. They will be able to remove the water from the tank. Otherwise, you could cause potential damage that will cost you a lot of money to repair.

Spilled AdBlue

Accidental spills of AdBlue on your vehicle’s engine system could happen but this should be cleaned right away. There are specialized spill kits available to clean up any AdBlue spill on your vehicle. If you do not have one, you can use a clean towel to wipe it off. Make sure to clean the surfaces that it had come into contact with to avoid crystallization of the fluid.

As mentioned earlier, AdBlue can cause metal corrosion due to the presence of ammonia. You cannot leave any spills to dry on its own as it can damage other vehicle components.

It is also important to wear gloves when handling AdBlue. This fluid is not hazardous but wearing gloves can avoid any potential irritation to your skin.

How to Prevent Issues

Proper handling is the most important way to prevent any AdBlue-related issues on your vehicle. It is recommended that you review the manufacturer’s instructions on proper handling, use, and storage. This will ensure that the fluid does not degrade in quality and that you can get the best performance out of it.

In the event you encounter any of the issues above, keep in touch with an expert on AdBlue removal. They can help address the issues so that you can prevent any long-term damage to your vehicle engine. When you are in doubt, never start the engine. Instead, let the professional come in and inspect the vehicle.

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