AdBlue in diesel tank: The issues and solution

We all know how easy it can be to mistakenly put petrol into your diesel car, so it’s no surprise that a similar thing has been known to happen with AdBlue! Some vehicles come with safeguards to prevent this from happening, but for those that don’t there is a danger of misfuelling.

What is AdBlue, and what is it used for?

One of the latest techniques used to clean up diesel emissions is known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR). A solution of urea in water is used to treat exhaust gases and remove harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), of which nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is the most harmful.

The fluid used in most vehicles is known as AdBlue, a registered trademark owned by the German Association of the Automobile Industry (VDA), which ensures standards are maintained. AdBlue is also referred to as Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF). The fluid is stored in a tank in the car, but unlike petrol or diesel it is not injected into the engine; instead it is fed into part of the vehicle’s exhaust. A chemical reaction converts the harmful NOx exhaust gases into harmless nitrogen and water.

How do I know if my car uses AdBlue?

When you buy a new or used diesel car from a dealership, the sales person should explain what features it has and specifically whether it uses AdBlue. Some cars have a blue or black screw cap for AdBlue next to the black diesel filler cap. In others, the cap is in the boot, or in the engine compartment. The vehicle handbook will explain the requirements of your car’s system.

Why can’t AdBlue be put into your diesel tank?

The most important thing to remember is AdBlue is not a Fuel Additive and cannot be added directly to the diesel. Many people mistakenly believe AdBlue can be added similar to a fuel additive, directly into the diesel tank, rather than into its own tank. Whereas diesel is for the running of the engine, AdBlue is designed for the SCR system in the vehicle exhaust This is not the case and is the number one reason AdBlue damage occurs. 

What happens when AdBlue is put into your fuel tank?

AdBlue contamination can cause crystallisation in your fuel system, resulting in poorly performing or outright damages. As AdBlue flows through the fuel system and mixes with the diesel it turns to a milky substance which sticks to all materials and causes excessive damage to parts that require constant lubricant, after minutes of being mixed the adblue will start to crystalize.

Therefore causing blockages and serious damage to high pressure components such as high pressure fuel pumps, injectors, fuel lines, fuel tanks, possibly causing your engine to fail completely. A manufacturers normal process for rectifying such a big issue would be to replace every component that has been contaminated. The entire fuel system can be at risk to damage.  

How can Wrong Fuel Expert help with AdBlue Contamination? 

The nature of the AdBlue, it can penetrate deep into the fuel system very quickly, and will not be removed by simply draining. 

Wrong Fuel Expert can help with the ever-growing problem, first step is to remove the adBlue from the fuel tank and flush throughout the fuel system. Using specialist technology and diagnostics equipment we can deal with any adBlue contamination and safely fix the issue roadside or at one of our approved workshops if required.

Call Wrong Fuel Expert at 0330 010 0511

We can be at your side faster than you might expect, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and anywhere in the UK. We’ll bring everything we need to drain off bad or contaminated fuel, remove all traces of it from your fuel system and injectors, and dispose of it all in a safe and environmentally responsible fashion.

Experts Warn of Rising Levels of AdBlue Contamination

AdBlue contamination is becoming more common every year, as more and more diesel vehicles with AdBlue tanks are sold. Worse, the total cost to the UKs drivers is skyrocketing as not all cases of contamination are dealt with quickly enough.

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