Car manufacturers are being called to evolve alongside new environmental legislation to help to reduce harmful fuel emissions and try to save the planet.
In 2015, the government passed legislation requiring diesel cars to use AdBlue – an exhaust fluid that reduces harmful emissions produced by vehicles. But if you’re wondering ‘what is AdBlue?’ or ‘what does AdBlue do?’ keep reading as we answer all your questions and give the low down on this new technology.
More than a third of new car sales each year are diesel vehicles and with AdBlue helping to lower diesel emission rates further, sales are predicted to increase even more. There has never been a better time to make sure you understand AdBlue technology.
AdBlue is a non-toxic, biodegradable diesel exhaust fluid designed to help vehicles to meet the 2016 Euro 6 exhaust emission regulations which required a 67% decrease in nitrogen oxides released from diesel cars.
AdBlue is a liquid additive composed of urea and de-ionised water. It’s an extremely pure man-made solution added to car exhausts. While its name conjures up images of blue skies, it actually refers to the blue filler cap installed on new diesel vehicles with AdBlue capabilities.
AdBlue is kept in its own tank and is injected automatically into the car’s exhaust system. It reacts with dangerous nitrogen oxides produced by the combustion process and breaks this gas down into harmless nitrogen and oxygen, significantly reducing the number of environmentally harmful particles emitted through the exhaust.
AdBlue isn’t considered to be a harmful or dangerous substance. It doesn’t have a discernible smell and is neither toxic nor flammable.
You may be wondering, ‘can you put AdBlue in any diesel car? Well, you can only use AdBlue in Euro 6 compliant diesel vehicles with a SCR system – which stands for Selective Catalytic Reduction. If you’re not sure, take a look at the vehicle handbook to double-check.
The newer your car is the more likely it will use AdBlue. All diesel Audi, Citroën, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar and Peugeot cars made from 2016 onwards have SCR technology.
Most new diesel models use around a litre of AdBlue every 600 miles, but depending on your car model, this may reduce down to every 350 miles. We recommend checking your vehicle handbook to make sure.
Once opened, AdBlue can last up to 18months. Just make sure to keep it in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight.Once opened, AdBlue can last up to 18months. Just make sure to keep it in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight.
It’s likely you’ll need to top up your AdBlue tank at least once between services - a single litre of the solution costs around £1.15 on average. 10 litres should be enough to refill most AdBlue tanks, but always check with your local centre if you’re not sure. Find your nearest car service garage here.
If you’re running out of AdBlue, your AdBlue warning light will appear on your vehicle dashboard and you’ll have ample warning to top it up before it becomes an issue. However, your car won’t start if you allow the AdBlue tank to run dry, so it’s best to get it filled up as soon as possible after the warning light appears.
You can buy AdBlue from most retailers, garages and fuel stations, or you can order it online and get it delivered straight to you.
However, not every filling station will stock AdBlue, so it’s a good idea to keep a small supply in your car at all times. There are various online locators to help you find your nearest station, or you can visit your local Eurorepar Car Service centre for an AdBlue top-up.
If you’re wondering how to refill AdBlue, just follow these simple steps below:
First, check for the filling port. This should be a small blue cap sitting next to your main diesel port. If it’s not there, check your manual and locate it before you need to fill up, just in case the location requires you to purchase a funnel.
Tip the fluid into the car carefully, making sure not to spill any.
Most cars will have a gauge, so you know where to fill up to. If not, your owner’s manual will tell you how much to fill up with, but approximately five litres should ensure you can restart your engine if you’ve run out.
If you put AdBlue in the diesel tank or put diesel in the AdBlue tank, do not start your engine. Call your breakdown provider immediately and they will drain the tank and flush the fluid out. Starting your engine with the wrong liquid can mean expensive repair bills for the damage caused to your fuel system.
The Euro 1-6 fuel emission legislation is one step towards positively impacting environmental change within the motor industry. The legislation applies to motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles and passenger cars. However, not all vehicles need to meet the same standards yet. As concerns for our environment intensify, we predict that the rise of AdBlue will give way to even more mandatory requirements that will significantly reduce harmful fuel emissions for years to come.
Yes! Call your local Eurorepar Car Service centre and ask away – we’re always here to help with any queries or carry out any maintenance checks for all makes and models of vehicles. We’ve also introduced a new easy-to-use 5-litre AdBlue container that can be purchased at participating Eurorepar centres for just £6.99, including VAT.