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VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+) Discussion area for the 2012+ Passat TDI (North American and rest of world versions versions). The North American model was previously codenamed NMS (New Midsize Sedan) and the version the rest of the world gets is sometimes referred to as B7.

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Old March 13th, 2015, 06:40   #1
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boulder, CO
Default AdBlue: tank consumed in 4,000 miles?

Long time reader, very infrequent poster. Here goes...

I have a 2013 Passat TDI SE with about 65,000 miles on the clock. It's been very methodically maintained by my dealer at each interval. Up until now, I hadn't even touched the DEF/AdBlue port - the dealer filled it at each 10,000 mile service. They top it off and of course charge me now that the initial warranty is up.

At around 48,000 miles (last summer) my turbocharger blew up. This was *right* after the warranty extension letter came in the mail. I had the same dealer make the repairs. I described this in the appropriate thread for the sake of science...

From about 45,000 to 60,000 I began to put the car in a different type of service... Uber/Lyft driving. This is like any other livery service... lots of city use, starts and stops. I try to limit idling as much as practical (no more than a minute or so.)

Only at around 60,000 miles did I receive my first low AdBlue warning. The dealer topped of the DEF at the scheduled service, no problem, all is well, right?

At about 63,800 I received another AdBlue warning. It ominously did the "starts will be disabled" countdown. Surely enough, the tank was dry. I bought the appropriate filler bottle and a 2.5 gallon jug and refilled it myself.

Sorry for the novel, but my question - would one really consume a tank's worth of DEF in under 4,000 miles, even with part-time livery driving conditions? I mentioned it to my service advisor and his response - "it will vary based on driving conditions." He mentioned some of the Touaregs gulp the stuff.

Maybe they just didn't fill the tank completely at 60K? Is it related to age? New turbo? Wondering what others have experienced.

(PS I'm pretty much done abusing my car for livery, but I wanted to try it out. The Passat is wonderful for it, but it doesn't compensate me enough to wear down a beautiful car.)
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Old March 13th, 2015, 07:58   #2
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A full tank should last over 20k miles averaging low 40mpgs (adblue usage should be proportional to fuel). 2.5gallon (or 5 if it was full!) in 4k miles sounds extremely high unless you are averaging something like 10-15mpgs? (or leaving a trail of it down the road)

I'm guessing they only put one gallon in to get you back out of the refill notification zone and sent you on your way.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 08:27   #3
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^^^my opinion, as well. You'll never get an accurate rate of consumption unless YOU fill the tank yourself.
Now that you have it filled, "drive more, worry less", unless your car tells you otherwise!
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Old March 13th, 2015, 08:41   #4
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Location: Springfield, VA
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Your dealer probably didn't fill it all the way up last time.

Also, I'm of the opposite opinion on your idling practice... if I were an Uber driver with a TDI, I'd let it run instead of starting and stopping the engine constantly, but that's just me.

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Old March 13th, 2015, 10:25   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Prairieville, LA

I would question if the dealer filled it all the way up, or just dropped a .5-2.5 gallon jug in and called it a day.

As for usage, it is my understanding that low usage occurs if you are doing mainly light interstate/hwy driving. If you are doing a lot of stop and go with the livery work, that will increase usage significantly as you are putting more load on the engine. That said I though VW designed the 5 gallon capacity to go 10,000 miles, so the short usage was probably not on a full tank.

Additionally, you need to make sure you get some hwy trips in. If you do too much stop and go, the car may never complete a regen.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 11:57   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Maryland

You can watch for "regens" if you purchase a ScanGauge II and program it with to monitor your exhaust temps. Just do not shut it off during a regen noted by a higher exhaust #2 temp than usual at idle. You can also tell right now if you shut it off and the engine fan continues to run after the shutdown...... that usually means that you interrupted the regen.
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Old March 13th, 2015, 13:04   #7
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Top the tank off and then report back, probably in 20K or so.

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Old March 15th, 2015, 11:58   #8
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Boulder, CO

Good stuff, thanks!
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Old March 16th, 2015, 16:12   #9
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Location: toronto

IN VCDS...under engine 01/ goto advanced measurements, check off items 448 & 453
it'll show you how full is the tank....

Assuming you have a VCDS, and if you think she is beautiful, then you need to communicate with her...
for a long and lasting love....and VCDS will pay for itself in no time....

Last edited by shak911; March 16th, 2015 at 16:18.
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