Added Blue

My AdBlue investigations continue and, as they say in all the best Spoonerisms, the thot plickens.

After Francine thought she saw AdBlue from a pump in a Leclerc service station at 69¢ per litre, I thought I’d look in the supermarkets’ motoring sections for flagons of AdBlue, thinking I might take some home with me. I found some on the shelves of the Carrefour in Bram, close to Fanjeaux. The trouble was, it was €20 for 10 litres, about the same price as flagons back at home. I began to doubt the price at the Leclerc filling station; maybe a “1.” had dropped of before the “69” or we’d just misread it?

Today we unpitched Frodo and drove down avec les bicyclettes to Mirepoix to investigate a piste cyclables. The piste cyclables was certainly flat but was monotonous – dead straight, gravelly and with not much to look at but the trees beside the track; similar to Bassin d’Arcachon. There was a brisk headwind outbound which made it feel like riding uphill. What wimps!

Back in Mirepoix, Frodo was parked near a Total Energies fuel station and, lo, an AdBlue pump. Well, red rag to a bull, I had to go and investigate. Sure enough, the advertised price was €0.699 per litre. Clearly the Leclerc sign had not been misread, was not an aberration and no “1.” had been dropped.

Having emptied my 10ltr flagon into Frodo’s AdBlue tank (capacity 20ltr) I had no idea how much space remained but I wanted to get some for the education. I’d also still got my 10ltr flagon which I thought I might refill at this irresistible price. We found somewhere to turn around and headed for the station forecourt.

As one might expect, the pump was similar to a regular fuel pump – stick in a credit card, decrochet le nozzle – le nozzle was clearly narrower than a fuel nozzle – and start filling.

Or not. Le nozzle trigger kept cutting off. I knew the tank wasn’t full so that wasn’t the problem. I leant on le nozzle against the tank spout with some force, thinking that there might be some plunger device detecting insertion into the spout. Being a little more judicious with my trigger finger I eventually manged to get something of a flow going. Francine called out delivery progress (my back was to the pump and very preoccupied) as I began developing a blister on my nozzle hand from the pressure. Youch! This ain’t easy. I felt like I must be missing something.

Eventually I’d managed to push a little over 8ltr of AdBlue into Frodo. I moved to the flagon. Nothing, nada, nichts, rien. After a miniscule dribble the AdBlue nozzle steadfastly cut off, no matter what I did. Ya can’t press against a plastic flagon with such force. I surrendered but at least Frodo now had a full AdBlue tank, good for another 5400kms before the bleating started again. I had narrowly avoided a blister.

A little reading suggests that there may be a magnetic device on AdBlue nozzles which needs to marry up with a magnet in the neck of the vehicle’s AdBlue filler tank. Being right beside the diesel tank filler, this is apparently to stop les idiots stuffing AdBlue into their diesel.

It also stops people buying reasonably priced AdBlue from a pump and refilling their expensively priced single-use plastic flagons.

It can’t be that difficult to use. I still feel I’m missing a trick. I’ve got another 5400kms to find out.

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Posted in 2023-09 France