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Old 25 Feb 2020, 17:05 (Ref:3959831)   #601
grantp
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Originally Posted by delcomb View Post
Grant, this sounds like the tank level sensor is the discrete type. I did some work on testing the pump systems for one of the manufacturers. There were some with ultrasonic level sensors that gave a continuous output. Others had a magnetic float and several reed switches to indicate only certain level points (empty, almost-empty, 1/2 full and full). Looks like Volvo uses the float/reed switch type. So the tank had to be filled enough to trigger the right switch to reset the fault.

Doug

Hi Doug,

I think you are right. The digital display for the Ad-blue tank seems to have 4 sectors. After tipping in 3.5 ltrs to a not completely empty tank (and with no idea of its total capacity) it was showing half full and the warning message was gone. I did wonder if the slight slope on which the car was parked might be enough to confuse the sensor - but heck, this is a rugged 4x4 so if parking with 2 wheels on a low kerb was enough to cause a problem with an apparently half full tank what would some real off-roading do?

We did actually try rocking the car side to side to see if it might just trip something. Or might clear an air lock (there was a warning about potential air locks in the documentation). The rocking worked in so far as we could get the car to move and jiggle fluids around. But no luck with it getting the engine started by allowing the reset - unless the very specific steps of the systems reset would mean the rocking was never going to work with the check sequence.

I even considered trying to tow it a couple of vehicle lengths so it was off the kerb but decided that my Saab and tow rope might not be up to the job for an XC90 with parking brake applied!
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Old 25 Feb 2020, 17:19 (Ref:3959836)   #602
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I've seen big tanks of Ad Blue at fuel stations and wondered what it was. What does it do? How do I know if my diesel engines need it?

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Old 25 Feb 2020, 17:25 (Ref:3959839)   #603
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I've seen big tanks of Ad Blue at fuel stations and wondered what it was. What does it do? How do I know if my diesel engines need it?

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If built after 2015 it probably is euro6, which requires adblue. A good combat indicator is a reference to blue in the model. Such as bluetec, etc.

It's urea (pig ****), injected into the exhaust to reduce nox.
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Old 25 Feb 2020, 17:42 (Ref:3959843)   #604
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Well we thought that would be enough as explained above but it turns out it's now 4.5 ltrs. But why? When I went to pick some up from out local shop the standard size was 3.5 ltrs - and I thought that was a lot! (Not realising how big the tank is.)

Even more annoying was that the car was reporting nearly 400 miles range to empty only 12 mile before it decided not to start.

So one way or another the series of events, for the uninitiated, did not point to an obviously logical conclusion.

I don't think daughter is very impressed with this particular car. It has already suffered from a large windscreen crack that started from an A pillar when the car was parked outside their house one morning. No obvious reason for that either. Where do they manufacture the XC90s these days I wonder? Must check the chassis plate next time I have an opportunity.
Grant, I am very sorry that the 3 litres that I mentioned (with the caveat word of "minimum") were inaccurate information. I took them off the German Volvo website (online manuals for the XC90), so there You go
Personally I would brim Addblue everytime in a case like this if possible, because it simply removes one variable from the fault finding process
I should have made that clearer

At least we as a swarm pointed You in the right direction and in the end You managed to suss it

Make Your daughter carry a spare container of the stuff

I was lucky enough in that, last year I took some motorbikes in a modern rented van from Hamburg to an event in Italy, 3.800 kms round trip
my (Motogiro, the Mille Miglia for bikes, wonderful, do it when You have a chance)

A friend came along to share the driving, he inquired into the add blue use and tank volume when we picked up the van from the rental company and insisted on buying a spare container of the stuff as he had worked out that the onboard volume wont cover the trip. He was expecting that anyway "We dont want to get stranded somewhere in the Italian Alps in the middle of the night as it will simply stop without it and is usually a complete PITA to get it going again, even if You finally find some of the stuff"
He also advised not to run it anywhere near empty, preferebly filling up at half

I still have a half full container in my shed as a memento

Tank level sensors btw are very finicky to design
I have several on modern motorbikes and they are more trouble than worth. the leaning of the bike and the sloshing of the fuel fools them all the time . On filling up a bike, they usually take a minute or more to register full, Yamaha Triumph, all behave the same

The problem with Your Volvo could be that the sensor(s) needs a certain pressure from a mimum level of add blue to overcome capilary effects in refilling the vertical tube in which the sensors are situated from the bottom up (the tube would be intended to minimise the effects of sloshing under g forces)
that would explain why it works at lower levels getting emptied but needs a high level to re initialise

RuE

Last edited by Rudernst; 25 Feb 2020 at 17:48.
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Old 25 Feb 2020, 18:34 (Ref:3959855)   #605
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Ad Blue is an example of not only the complexity in modern engines, but also that information is not fully read by owners/drivers of such cars as to the proper use.

General guidance I have read for Ad Blue is that if you are informed by the car to fill up soon, then do so before turning off the engine (if possible), and let the system acknowledge the new level before switching off the engine.

Another example of this is the introduction of DPFs to Diesel cars.
Without looking it up, or referring to elsewhere, do you know what you would do if any of the following symbols below appeared on your dashboard 5 miles into your next journey? More than 50% of people I ask give the wrong answer!



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Old 25 Feb 2020, 18:54 (Ref:3959860)   #606
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Originally Posted by Rudernst View Post
Grant, I am very sorry that the 3 litres that I mentioned (with the caveat word of "minimum") were inaccurate information. I took them off the German Volvo website (online manuals for the XC90), so there You go
Personally I would brim Addblue everytime in a case like this if possible, because it simply removes one variable from the fault finding process
I should have made that clearer

At least we as a swarm pointed You in the right direction and in the end You managed to suss it

Make Your daughter carry a spare container of the stuff

I was lucky enough in that, last year I took some motorbikes in a modern rented van from Hamburg to an event in Italy, 3.800 kms round trip
my (Motogiro, the Mille Miglia for bikes, wonderful, do it when You have a chance)

A friend came along to share the driving, he inquired into the add blue use and tank volume when we picked up the van from the rental company and insisted on buying a spare container of the stuff as he had worked out that the onboard volume wont cover the trip. He was expecting that anyway "We dont want to get stranded somewhere in the Italian Alps in the middle of the night as it will simply stop without it and is usually a complete PITA to get it going again, even if You finally find some of the stuff"
He also advised not to run it anywhere near empty, preferebly filling up at half

I still have a half full container in my shed as a memento

Tank level sensors btw are very finicky to design
I have several on modern motorbikes and they are more trouble than worth. the leaning of the bike and the sloshing of the fuel fools them all the time . On filling up a bike, they usually take a minute or more to register full, Yamaha Triumph, all behave the same

The problem with Your Volvo could be that the sensor(s) needs a certain pressure from a mimum level of add blue to overcome capilary effects in refilling the vertical tube in which the sensors are situated from the bottom up (the tube would be intended to minimise the effects of sloshing under g forces)
that would explain why it works at lower levels getting emptied but needs a high level to re initialise

RuE
Hi Rudolf,

I'm sorry if my writing suggested I held you to blame for my lower than required Ad-blue volume! Not the case at all. The way the afternoon developed I did not see the responses to my question until after the problem was resolved. Not quite how I planned to monitor the forum but it just turned out that way as I don't see the forum on my phone.

I think your 3 ltrs was extremely reasonable and it fitted neatly with the 3.5 packs available in my local store. It beat the .9ltrs that my daughter found somewhere in the on-line help in the car's systems somewhere and which was the basis for my 3.5 litre purchase.

It was only later that my Son-in-Law discovered the 4.5 litre figure - and I'm not sure exactly where he found that as my on-line searches did not come back with that number.

I think your observation about the on-line manual fits with my observation about what we eventually found. Maybe they relate to a previous model?

Either way it seems to me that they designers (or the regulators) have taken a path that leads to the potential for putting people in peril in unexpected and unreasonable situations in their desire to save a few molecules of NOx pollution.

Not a very smart solution and yet these are the same people who have formerly promoted diesel as a CO2 reducing benefit and are expecting the population of the world to support them in their attempts to control the planet's climate.

However I would have hoped that a "connected" company like Volvo could at least have their in-car and on-line documentation up to date for matters that can, potentially, leave a vehicle inoperative for no really good reason.

I think your analysis of the likely cause of the problem sounds extremely plausible. I had similar thoughts earlier today but considered it unlikely that Volvo - safety conscious Volvo - would subscribe to such constraints without having some sort of well promoted alternative approach. Times seem to have changed and it appears that they do indeed ignore some obvious and unnecessary constraints.
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Old 25 Feb 2020, 19:14 (Ref:3959869)   #607
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Hi Rudolf,

I'm sorry if my writing suggested I held you to blame for my lower than required Ad-blue volume! Not the case at all. The way the afternoon developed I did not see the responses to my question until after the problem was resolved. Not quite how I planned to monitor the forum but it just turned out that way as I don't see the forum on my phone.

I think your 3 ltrs was extremely reasonable and it fitted neatly with the 3.5 packs available in my local store. It beat the .9ltrs that my daughter found somewhere in the on-line help in the car's systems somewhere and which was the basis for my 3.5 litre purchase.

It was only later that my Son-in-Law discovered the 4.5 litre figure - and I'm not sure exactly where he found that as my on-line searches did not come back with that number.

I think your observation about the on-line manual fits with my observation about what we eventually found. Maybe they relate to a previous model?

Either way it seems to me that they designers (or the regulators) have taken a path that leads to the potential for putting people in peril in unexpected and unreasonable situations in their desire to save a few molecules of NOx pollution.

Not a very smart solution and yet these are the same people who have formerly promoted diesel as a CO2 reducing benefit and are expecting the population of the world to support them in their attempts to control the planet's climate.

However I would have hoped that a "connected" company like Volvo could at least have their in-car and on-line documentation up to date for matters that can, potentially, leave a vehicle inoperative for no really good reason.

I think your analysis of the likely cause of the problem sounds extremely plausible. I had similar thoughts earlier today but considered it unlikely that Volvo - safety conscious Volvo - would subscribe to such constraints without having some sort of well promoted alternative approach. Times seem to have changed and it appears that they do indeed ignore some obvious and unnecessary constraints.

Grant, no offence taken whatsoever
If will just remember to be more careful with advice in futiure, especially in critical situations

RuE
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Old 25 Feb 2020, 19:37 (Ref:3959873)   #608
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I for one absolutely hate modern cars.
The last time I bought a new car that was in 2003 (DB7, should have kept that)
I gave it one final shot exchanging the DB7 for a DB9 demonstrator, big mistake, hated that sold it
I ended up picking a 1995 6 litre XJS over the DB9.

At that time i conciously made the decision to never buy a modern car again unless I am forced to by law
Worked out great, I drive classic cars all year, everyday of the week, and enjoy that
Longer trips either in a Porsche 944 S2 or a 1989 R129 SL500 or a 6 litre XJS Coupe
Yes, those youngtimer cars develop electric/electronic issues over time as cable insulations go brittle or electrolytic condensors pack up in a control unit, but I can handle that, intelligent analysis usually works in the end, everything is fixable as long as there is no CAN bus in the car (yes yes, the R129 has an early CAN bus, but that is well documented and not too complicated)

Everytime I pick up a rental car at the airport having to work what strange ritual might possibly start it, I realise why I hate modern cars, how I hate those 8 speed auto boxes that are forever changing gears....

As to, SUVs, dont get me started..
If I were offered a modern day Porsche 911, all 7 feet wide, as a present, for free, id refuse without a second thought.

Motorbikes though, are different
As much as I like classic bikes, modern bikes are simply great, 17 inch wheels, monster brakes ABS, fuel injected engines that pull seamlessly anywhere in the rev range
Love my Triumph Street Triple RS......

The only car that tempts me slightly is the Fiat124 / Mazda MX5 knockoff Spider
Might end up getting one for my son and borrowing it occasionally

What I might do at some stage is to convert a lighter classic such as an MGB to electric drive
Not a rare car that is too precious for a sacrilege like this
My own spec, of course
There is a cottage industry of young wizards growing that can do cool stuff with reclaimed Tesla or GM Volt/Bolt drivetrains, battery packs, controllers for reasonable cost, next they will start on crashed Renault EVs

At the moment though, I will stick, to building or modding motorbike specials, half the fun is in the building, Martin CBX, Spondon XT600 here i come

Rant over..... am getting old

RuE

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Old 25 Feb 2020, 23:11 (Ref:3959917)   #609
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Learnt something about adblue, that's for sure.....


What I find worrying is that the Volvo service people didn't seem to know the minimum level that was needed........
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Old 26 Feb 2020, 04:39 (Ref:3959939)   #610
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If built after 2015 it probably is euro6, which requires adblue. A good combat indicator is a reference to blue in the model. Such as bluetec, etc.



It's urea (pig ****), injected into the exhaust to reduce nox.
Given my current daily driver is 17 years old, it'll be 2032 before I have a car of that era. At which stage I'll be thinking of giving up driving anyway. Doesn't sound like something I'm going to have to worry about.

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Old 26 Feb 2020, 06:37 (Ref:3959946)   #611
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Given my current daily driver is 17 years old, it'll be 2032 before I have a car of that era. At which stage I'll be thinking of giving up driving anyway. Doesn't sound like something I'm going to have to worry about.

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Glad it's not just me! I too have a 17 year-old diesel, although admittedly I have just bought a 12 year-old petrol-engined car which I would like to think of a keeper.

...and I too will be thinking of giving up driving in 2032, especially if petrol stations are even rarer than they are now.
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Old 26 Feb 2020, 07:00 (Ref:3959950)   #612
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Hi Viva,

Many thanks for the offer.

As you can see it's now resolved but as background its an XC90 (Nov '19 iirc) with 2ltr engine Just the regular bottom end of the range model. It's the second one they have had but I don't recall any issues ever being mentioned with the previous one in the 2 years for which it was leased.
Hi Grant, was glad to see you resolved the problem. Out of interest I have just checked on our system but there is no technical information available for that vehicle, I could have maybe requested something but as you've solved the problem there was no point. One bit of advice about these 'modern diesel engined vehicles' is that it is always best to brim the fuel tank once it reaches about ¼ full. The necessary Diesel Particulate Filter regeneration won't happen if there is insufficient fuel in the vehicle, which can then lead to blockages and expensive replacements. The reason for brimming the tank (instead of doing what my wife does, and only puts a fivers worth every time the tank's empty!) is that they generally have a sensor on the fuel filler and every time that's activated it puts a squirt of additive into the system thinking the tank is full. Luckily my wife's car is too old for additives otherwise she'd be using more of that than fuel!
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Old 26 Feb 2020, 07:20 (Ref:3959953)   #613
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Glad you’ve all worked out what adblu is and what it does! I’ve lived with an adblu Merc van for over 3 years, and it really isn’t a big deal. It has a separate gauge that is accessed via the settings menu, and warns when down to 1/4 full. The filler is next to the diesel one, well marked and a different nozzle size (smaller).

I am lucky that my Euro 4 truck was one of the last made not requiring adblu. It did influence my choice! As commented, all truck pump services now have an adblu one next to the diesel one, so one can replenish both at the same time if required. Apart from the extra running cost, most adblu trucks had smaller diesel tanks to accommodate the separate additive one, but they may be engineering round that now.

I do know car owners that weren’t even aware their new wheels required the stuff. One in particular had to have it pointed out to him by his wife....
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Old 26 Feb 2020, 09:32 (Ref:3959970)   #614
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Oh well I'll keep my old Pug 406 HDI until I am forced by the powers that be to junk it. It has got a Cat on it that doesn't regenerate itself and shows nothing on my MOT smoke test. It returns 50/60 mpg and will easily cruise at 90mph with a chip in the injection control set to economy. It's worth nothing on the books and shows no sign of rusting on the body or underneath.
Anyway as it's an estate car I can use it to collect logs for my woodburner !!!!! I'll probably be buried in it
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Old 26 Feb 2020, 09:39 (Ref:3959971)   #615
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Like Rudie I loath modern cars. I run a ten year old Merc diesel and love it - pre-adblu, of course. My wife has an ex-demo diesel Vauxhall and we were told by the salesman that adblu refills were only required about every 20,000 miles (because of my opening statement I knew nothing about adblu) but in truth it requires refilling around the 2,000 mile mark. I'm not sure what size the adblu tank is but I keep a 10 litre container in the garage for regular top-ups (tops-up?).
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