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How do I fill a can with AdBlue® at the petrol station?

Fill a can with AdBlue at the petrol station

Have you tried filling a canister or jerrycan with AdBlue® at the pump but failed? With the price of AdBlue® cans soaring, it can be tempting to try and reduce your bill by filling your can directly at a service station. Filling up with AdBlue® at the pump is still cheaper than buying a can of the precious liquid. Unfortunately, by default, service stations prevent the use of AdBlue® nozzles for filling cans or jerrycans. Rest assured, there is a way around this restriction, even if it’s not perfect or recommended by AdBlue® distributors. Here’s how.

Filling a can with AdBlue® at the petrol station pump: why is this impossible by default?

Service stations normally restrict the use of AdBlue® pumps to the vehicles for which they are intended:

  • HGV AdBlue® pumps for trucks
  • light vehicle AdBlue® pumps for cars and vans.

To prevent the filling of containers other than a vehicle tank, AdBlue® pumps only work if they detect a magnetic orifice, such as those fitted to AdBlue® tanks. In theory, therefore, it is not possible to fill a can of AdBlue® using a pump.

There are several reasons why service stations take this precaution:

  • cross-contamination: since AdBlue® is a very pure solution, injecting it into a non-sterile can would risk exposing the liquid to impurities, and thus impairing its quality. Altered AdBlue® could damage the vehicle’s SCR system.
  • mishandling: limiting the use of AdBlue® pumps to dedicated tanks protects against incidents linked to mishandling: overflow, leakage from the canister, various types of damage, etc.
  • economic reasons: it is more profitable for service stations and distributors to sell cans of AdBlue®.

The AdBlue® magnetic adaptor: an interesting solution, but not infallible

Some companies have developed a particularly useful accessory to bypass the safety device that prevents cans from being filled with AdBlue® at the pump (or severely limits the flow rate): the AdBlue® magnetic adaptor. It’s easy to use:

  1. the adaptor or magnetic tip is fitted to the nozzle of an AdBlue® pump for heavy goods vehicles (make sure the device is correctly adapted to the diameter of the nozzle)
  2. once fitted to the gun, the AdBlue® adaptor will simulate the presence of a magnetic tank
  3. the gun will be able to dispense AdBlue® at a rapid rate, making it easy to fill a can or jerrycan.

As well as being able to fill cans with AdBlue®, the nozzle adapter can also be used to fill a car’s AdBlue® tank with a dedicated HGV pump. This is a particularly interesting argument, given that AdBlue® pumps dedicated to light vehicles are much rarer than those for HGVs.

However, using an AdBlue® pump for HGVs in a car or van is not without risk: the particularly high flow rate of this type of pump can cause the tank to overflow and damage it. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the AdBlue® de-icer is not a 100% reliable accessory: it can sometimes fail to work (due to incorrect use, the wrong shape of nozzle or a defect in the accessory).

What AdBlue® nozzle adaptor should I choose to fill a can?

As there are few references on the AdBlue® adaptors market, it’s fairly easy to distinguish between those that are really effective and those that are not. For our part, we were able to test two, which proved particularly effective for filling a canister with AdBlue® at the pump. Here they are:

1. The Elafix 40 magnetic adapter: the most popular AdBlue® adapter

If you’re looking for a tried-and-tested AdBlue® adapter, look no further: the Elafix 40 magnetic adapter is probably the best-selling on the internet.


  • a high-quality plastic structure, renowned for its sturdiness
  • a handy format.


  • incomplete instructions: you have to push it in a specific direction until you reach the gun’s stop for it to work
  • relatively expensive (but soon pays for itself if you fill up regularly with AdBlue®).

Elafix 40 Magnetic Adapter for Tank Filler Necks for AdBlue®

as of 21/07/2024 13:37

2. AdBlue® Boxaflow adapter: more ergonomic and made in France

If you’re sensitive to design and want to buy a product made in a neighbouring country, opt for the AdBlue® Boxaflow magnetic adapter!


  • perfect ergonomics: easy to hold and insert on the nozzle
  • easy to use (the direction is clearly indicated on the adapter)
  • a material that seems robust.


  • significantly more expensive than its competitor (but more practical).

Boxaflow Adblue Adaptor, Magnetic Fuel Nozzle Collar

£27.84  out of stock
as of 21/07/2024 13:37

As you can see, we have a soft spot for Boxaflow’s AdBlue® adaptor, even though these two magnetic adapters are both effective in use. It’s up to you to make your choice based on the features that matter most to you!

5/5 (12 votes)
This article is produced entirely independently of the brands mentioned. Certain links are likely to generate a commission intended to finance the operation of our site. Prices are given for information only and are subject to change.


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