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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N57 / M57 Turbo Diesel Discussions - 335d > Urea refill



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      08-21-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
Jhayd11
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Urea refill

I just got the notice and it will not be inline with a service schedule.
Anyone have a suggestion on if/how to do this myself???
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      08-21-2012, 10:54 AM   #2
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go to VW dealer, get bottle of urea, pop bumper cover off, open tank, attach bottle, fill.
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      08-21-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concentric190
go to VW dealer, get bottle of urea, pop bumper cover off, open tank, attach bottle, fill.
Why a VW dealer? Is it cheaper there?
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      08-21-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
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If you're still under maintenance they'll cover it free. If not, keep in mind you dont want to get in the habit of just refilling it. When you take it in for service they actually flush the tank to prevent crystal deposits from forming and ruining the pumps and metering valve.
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      08-21-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybird124 View Post
If you're still under maintenance they'll cover it free. If not, keep in mind you dont want to get in the habit of just refilling it. When you take it in for service they actually flush the tank to prevent crystal deposits from forming and ruining the pumps and metering valve.
This.

I will add, at some point you may need to top it off yourself between service visits (I did). Go to your local VW dealer and pick up a jug of urea (I forgot how many oz it is) for like $12. The jug will come with the right attachement to hook up to your tank inlet. It's a bit of a pain since the jug does not have a valve to relieve the suction, but if you squeeze real hard you can get most of it in, then unscrew the jug and let it suck in more air.

I kept the jug so I can reuse it and then I bought a 5 gallon container of urea from AutoZone to re-fill it.
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      08-21-2012, 11:34 AM   #6
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BMW just said unless I need an oil change I will have to pay for the urea. This isn't covered under the service warranty?
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      08-21-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhayd11 View Post
BMW just said unless I need an oil change I will have to pay for the urea. This isn't covered under the service warranty?
This is true, the dealer does not cover re-fill in between service intervals - sorry mis-read your first post. Go to you local VW dealer and pick up that jug - it's less $ than what BMW will charge you for the same thing.
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      08-21-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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I have a newbie question. How do you know when to take your car in for scheduled maintenance? Is this dependent on the service info found on your iDrive or instrument cluster? Or are there actually intervals such as every 15000 miles regardless if the car says its time for service. My car is just over 15k and the service info display says oil should be changed in 8000 miles. I assume they will flush the DEF system and replace the fluid when the oil gets changed.

I'm wondering if it's absolutely required to have your DEF system flushed every oil change, even after the complimentary maintenance has expired. Wouldn't it be sufficient to continue just topping up with AdBlue urea fluid? If flushing the system at every oil change is required to maintain the DEF system long term it would be nice if there was a user friendly way to flush your own DEF system. At least for those that do all their own maintenance after the complimentary maintenance.
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      08-21-2012, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cssnms View Post
This is true, the dealer does not cover re-fill in between service intervals - sorry mis-read your first post. Go to you local VW dealer and pick up that jug - it's less $ than what BMW will charge you for the same thing.
Depends on the dealer
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      08-21-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merv View Post
I have a newbie question. How do you know when to take your car in for scheduled maintenance? Is this dependent on the service info found on your iDrive or instrument cluster? Or are there actually intervals such as every 15000 miles regardless if the car says its time for service. My car is just over 15k and the service info display says oil should be changed in 8000 miles. I assume they will flush the DEF system and replace the fluid when the oil gets changed.

I'm wondering if it's absolutely required to have your DEF system flushed every oil change, even after the complimentary maintenance has expired. Wouldn't it be sufficient to continue just topping up with AdBlue urea fluid? If flushing the system at every oil change is required to maintain the DEF system long term it would be nice if there was a user friendly way to flush your own DEF system. At least for those that do all their own maintenance after the complimentary maintenance.
The service intervals are dictated by the mileage countdown on the i-drive/cluster. Everyone's is different it depends on how you drive your car.

My dealer did not flush the DEF the last time or the time before.
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      08-21-2012, 03:10 PM   #11
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cssnms Thanks for the info. That's what I was assuming would be the case.

For the OP, I found this thread that gives some info on DEF refill. Apparently this guy paid $40 for some from BMW.

http://forums.mwerks.com/zerothread?id=4519018
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      08-21-2012, 07:06 PM   #12
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As others have said get the exact same 1/2 gallon bottle of add-blue/DEF from VW for $10 instead of $30 from BMW. Use the plastic handle of the screwdriver from the (minimal) tool kit in the trunk to unscrew the lower filler port cap (active tank). Pop the top off the 1/2 gallon bottle, screw into the port, and push in to open the fill valve. Replace the filler port cap when done.

Keep the filler bottle for future use. Unscrew the valve off the bottle (use a lot of force, some plastic will crack but the top will come off) Flush it out with water or any remining urea will crystalize. You can get 1 gallon and 2.5 gallon jugs of DEF from Autozone for about $5 per gallon to refill the special filler bottle. Do not buy more than you need, it has a shelf life.

I got the 999 miles to no start at 2100 miles to service. Added 1/2 gallon and I'm now at 900 miles to service and it has still not come back on. I expect it will on the way for the oil/DEF service tomorrow.
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      08-22-2012, 12:04 AM   #13
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http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=628825
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      08-22-2012, 06:42 PM   #14
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my dealer has never flushed DEF. my dealer never refilled my urea either. I always ended up going back after each oil change when the light turned on. I dont think mechanics understand they have to do this. I have 52k so i am on my own from now on. ive gotten the impression there is a lack of care for diesels.

Last edited by rogerdiaz; 08-22-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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      08-23-2012, 07:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerdiaz View Post
my dealer has never flushed DEF. my dealer never refilled my urea either. I always ended up going back after each oil change when the light turned on. I dont think mechanics understand they have to do this. I have 52k so i am on my own from now on. ive gotten the impression there is a lack of care for diesels.
The need/requirement to flush the DEF has been removed by BMW. Just fill it up. My dealer always fills on the oil change. Was done yesterday, put in 2 full 2.5 Gal jugs.
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      08-23-2012, 09:57 AM   #16
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Posted this on another thread, but figured I would add it to mine. When filling up on your own, how do you know how much you have and when it is full?
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      08-23-2012, 10:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jhayd11 View Post
Posted this on another thread, but figured I would add it to mine. When filling up on your own, how do you know how much you have and when it is full?
Good question... found a thread showing active and passive tank capacities, dont know them off hand. and i guess it will overflow once they are full.
wonder how dealer does it
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      08-23-2012, 02:42 PM   #18
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You think there would be a meter in there... you know like with every other fluid the car needs refills on...
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      08-23-2012, 06:13 PM   #19
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If you have happened to keep track the total number of gallons of fuel you burn, the amount of Urea used is approximately 2% the fuel you have burned.

Otherwise I have no idea how to tell its full except some overflowing.
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      08-24-2012, 07:32 AM   #20
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It's full when it stops flowing in as long as the fill source is the same height as the fill port (this is how the dealer does it). If you fill with the source elevated, such as with a jug on chair and a hose connection, you can overfill the tanks and the DEF will come out the tank vent. This is bad becasue it will crystalize and may plug the vent.

Also if you do the math of the 5.5 gallons of DEF that should last 13K miles at 30 MPG, you come out with a ratio of 1.3% (0.013) of DEF to fuel used.
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      08-24-2012, 05:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
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This.

I will add, at some point you may need to top it off yourself between service visits...though you should not need to.
Source: BMW Product Technology Manager, with whom I have personally spoken regarding the issue. The synopsis was; The X5 might need occasionally top-offs between normal services if routinely engaged in heavy driving (towing for instance). The 335 should not. If the 335 needs a urea fill it usually indicates a short fill at the previous service or a problem transferring fluid between the tanks.
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      09-13-2012, 08:28 AM   #22
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Has anyone looked into refilling at a truck stop? Flying-J, for example, has DEF pumps at many of their stations. According to the Flying-J web site, on 9/12/12, DEF was only $2.799 a gallon at the pump. It would be interesting to take a look at what kind of nozzle the pump has to see if it could work.

The fluid itself is not that special. It is a highly concentrated solution of ammonia and water. With that in mind, flushing the DEF tank should be easy with distilled water, available at any grocery store.

This also means that while the concentration isn't close to DEF, it is not outside of the realms of possibility to be able to fill the tank with nothing more than household ammonia. Obviously there is no way that a lower concentration of ammonia would reduce the levels of NOx as much as it would be reduced when the designed concentration is used. But if you are not worried about what comes out the pipe...

I've a BSME so I had a pretty good understanding of mechanics and chemistry. I also have turned alot of wrenches in my day. With that being said, I have every reason to believe that, as long as your car doesn't have to pass an emission test, not only will a solution of house hold ammonia and distilled water trick the DEF system sensors into thinking that it has plenty of DEF in the tank, over the long term, by being far less corrosive, would prevent long term damage to every part of the DEF and exhaust system.

All we need now is a test platform, do we have any volunteers?
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