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Discussion Starter #1
Partially in the name of science, and partially out of laziness, I did not fill the AdBlue tank at the 70,000 mile service.

This is on my 2013 NMS Passat TDI SEL.

Previously, I've added very nearly 2 1/2 gallons at each service. Once the dealer quit doing it for free, I've found one jug from Wally-World did fine. I'd start with a full 1/2 gallon Kruse bottle full and end with a full bottle.

The 1500 mile warning came on at 76,000 miles.

VCDS showed 33% full, and 2020km remaining.

Adding 1/2 gallon went from 1/3rd full to 2/3rds full. Distance remaining did not change.

I put in the rest of the AdBlue I had, and VCDS shows full, and 5,000+ kms remaining.

I have VCDS logs during the fill.

I added 3 gallons (six 1/2 gallon Kruse bottles, filled from 2.5 gallon jugs). The tank is not full (the Kruse bottle is empty).

Conclusions:

I have 3 1/2 gallons minimum in the tank.

1/2 gallon equals about 1250 miles.

The car doesn't know how big the tank really is. The sensor likely doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the tank either.

100% on the gauge is about 1.5 gallons, or about 3700-4500 miles to go (more or less).
 

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Any opinion on brand if ordering off Amazon? Was considering Valvoline's Diesel exhaust fluid (price/value and on Prime).
-Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Any opinion on brand if ordering off Amazon? Was considering Valvoline's Diesel exhaust fluid (price/value and on Prime).
-Thanks!
Diesel Exhaust fuel is a mix of two chemicals, Urea ((NH2)2CO) and water (H2O). It's 32.5% Urea.

If it meets ISO 22241, it's as good as any.

You want one Kruse bottle, at about $30 for a half gallon. You can re-use it forever, it's just hard to unscrew the first time. Got mine from IDparts along with oil and filters for the 50,000 mile change.

"AdBlue" is a trademark, so AdBlue costs more than ISO 22241 generic DEF -- because you're paying trademark fees.

I buy this at WalMart for about a third of the Amazon price. Autozone is closer to half what Amazon wants.

Here is the exact same product at Walmart..

P.S. {Edit): Don't buy 5 gallons. If you drive like me, you'll need one 2.5 gallon jug at each oil change. It's not worth storing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very Good Sir,
-all of this is information I can use!
Thank you.
... and just in case it wasn't obvious, you buy one 1/2 gallon in the fancy Kruse bottle because that screws onto the filler in the trunk.

Kruse bottles are spillproof. Refilling the 1/2 gallon bottle from the jug takes time, but it's easier than cleaning up the trunk.

You're very welcome.
 

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Have a simple Harbor Freight fluid transfer pump, exclusively dedicated for that very purpose. I keep several around anyway: they are items that I find are necessary to include in my family's hurricane emergency kit/supplies.
-will this be sufficient?
 

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While I'm fishing for some more information; even though this thread was initially focused on Add-Blue maintenance & recommendations:
-any comments on anti-freeze/coolant? Your recommendation for where to purchase, dilution?
Again, my thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have a simple Harbor Freight fluid transfer pump, exclusively dedicated for that very purpose. I keep several around anyway: they are items that I find are necessary to include in my family's hurricane emergency kit/supplies.
-will this be sufficient?
If you use a transfer pump, and overfill the tank, you have a mess in the trunk.

If you use a Kruse bottle, the excess stays in the bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While I'm fishing for some more information; even though this thread was initially focused on Add-Blue maintenance & recommendations:
-any comments on anti-freeze/coolant? Your recommendation for where to purchase, dilution?
Again, my thanks.
There is a specific VW specification for coolant. Use the wrong stuff and you'll have corrosion issues.

Same with oil: VW 507.01 won't kill your DPF. Something else likely will.

You don't have to buy OEM necessarily, but what you do buy needs to meet VW specs.
 

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Taking a used Kruse bottle, if you take a hacksaw and cut all the way around just above where the ratchet mechanism is on the top of the bottle, then the top unscrews easily and the bottle can be reused over and over.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Taking a used Kruse bottle, if you take a hacksaw and cut all the way around just above where the ratchet mechanism is on the top of the bottle, then the top unscrews easily and the bottle can be reused over and over.
Actually, I think that's a mistake.

The first time you unscrew the cap, it's a little difficult, but by the 3rd or 4th time, it gets easier.

The ratchet part makes it easier to unscrew the bottle and the cap from the car instead of unscrewing the bottle, leaving the cap and spilling a partial bottle of AdBlue in the trunk.

I cut mine off after filling the tank twice because I thought it would be easier, I wish I could put it back on.
 

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I have to admit, I haven't reused the bottle that I cut the ratchet off of. You have a good point about the bottle unscrewing from the cap instead of the car.
 

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I use one bottle every 5,000 mi. I guess you are suppose to use 2 bottles at 10,000. One time a VW Dealer changed the oil in Columbus,Ohio and he said he topped the fluid off but didn't know how much. I have used Diesel Exhaust Fluid since 13 and the light has never came on. I drive about 15,000 mi. a year. I just unscrew the top on the ID Parts Bottle and refill it and now it comes off real easy. I never have trouble with it freezing up in Ohio with 20 below temperatures as some have.I love the Diesel Passat.
 

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Partially in the name of science, and partially out of laziness, I did not fill the AdBlue tank at the 70,000 mile service.

This is on my 2013 NMS Passat TDI SEL.

Previously, I've added very nearly 2 1/2 gallons at each service. Once the dealer quit doing it for free, I've found one jug from Wally-World did fine. I'd start with a full 1/2 gallon Kruse bottle full and end with a full bottle.

The 1500 mile warning came on at 76,000 miles.

VCDS showed 33% full, and 2020km remaining.

Adding 1/2 gallon went from 1/3rd full to 2/3rds full. Distance remaining did not change.

I put in the rest of the AdBlue I had, and VCDS shows full, and 5,000+ kms remaining.

I have VCDS logs during the fill.

I added 3 gallons (six 1/2 gallon Kruse bottles, filled from 2.5 gallon jugs). The tank is not full (the Kruse bottle is empty).

Conclusions:

I have 3 1/2 gallons minimum in the tank.

1/2 gallon equals about 1250 miles.

The car doesn't know how big the tank really is. The sensor likely doesn't go all the way to the bottom of the tank either.

100% on the gauge is about 1.5 gallons, or about 3700-4500 miles to go (more or less).
Where in the world do you see actual AdBlue levels? It's always been my understanding that there's only a low switch on the float and not a full range like some other VW's and Audi's. My VCDS shows %100.7 or something all the time.
 

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I don't know if it is true but they say the more throttle you use, you use more Ad Blue. I don't drive over 70 much so I have never had the light to fill come on. But I have read about people's car stopping and then they have problems starting it. I have refilled the ID Parts bottle at least 6 times.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Where in the world do you see actual AdBlue levels? It's always been my understanding that there's only a low switch on the float and not a full range like some other VW's and Audi's. My VCDS shows %100.7 or something all the time.
If you top-up AdBlue every 10,000 miles (when you change the oil per factory recommendations) you'll never see anything but 100%.

The sender only seems to measure the bottom third of the tank or thereabouts -- the last 4,500 miles or so.

When you think about it, that's more than enough to produce the 1,500 warning in the MFD accurately.

Going back to my original post, the car said 1400 miles, and the sender said 33%. Add a gallon and it says "full" but it took two more gallons above "full."

I've read that the tank holds 5 1/2 gallons. If a half-gallon goes from 1/3rd to 2/3rds, I suspect that I could add two more gallons.

Since my car has routinely taken 2 1/2 gallons at 10,000, that means topping up at 10,000 never lets the tank go much below 3 gallons -- a gallon and a half above the top of the sensor.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I don't know if it is true but they say the more throttle you use, you use more Ad Blue. I don't drive over 70 much so I have never had the light to fill come on. But I have read about people's car stopping and then they have problems starting it. I have refilled the ID Parts bottle at least 6 times.
I haven't tested this, but the documented behavior is that the car will not start when it's completely out of AdBlue.

Once the tank is empty, you need to put a significant amount of AdBlue in, and give the car time to see that the tank has been filled.

Since the sensor only sees the bottom third of the tank, I suspect it wants to see "full" on the sensor.

If you're putting in 1/2 gallon every 5000 miles, I suspect that you're adding a bit less than you're using each time. Eventually, you'll see the 1,500 mile warning.
 
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