What is AdBlue®?

What is AdBlue®?

05 March 2019 | J.Nixon | 2 min read

What is AdBlue®?

AdBlue® is the registered trademark for a solution that reduces emissions from the exhaust of UK diesel vehicles in order to comply with Euro 6 emissions standards. The odourless, colourless solution is made up of high-purity urea and demineralised water and is neither a fuel nor a fuel additive. AdBlue® is stored and used separately to the vehicle engine in its own dedicated tank. AdBlue® is a consumable and it is, therefore, the driver's responsibility to ensure that the AdBlue® tank is topped up and to pay the associated costs for doing so.

How does AdBlue® work?

AdBlue® works by triggering a chemical reaction during the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) process. This chemical reaction results in significantly reduced levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The AdBlue® tank of the diesel engine must be refilled when required in order for this process to function correctly, as vehicles will not operate adequately without sufficient levels of AdBlue® in the tank. AdBlue® must not be poured into the fuel tank. Only AdBlue® can be poured into the AdBlue® tank. Failure to meet these instructions will result in severe damage to the vehicle.

How do I know if my vehicle needs AdBlue®?

The only way to establish if a vehicle uses AdBlue® is to contact the manufacturer, as this information isn't typically published in the vehicle brochure or technical specification.

When does the AdBlue® tank need to be refilled?

AdBlue® solution should last anywhere between 3,500 and 13,000 miles but is dependent on the make and model of the vehicle. Driving styles and road conditions need to be taken into account and will affect the maximum range of a tank. All vehicles that require AdBlue® solutions will have warning systems to notify drivers when a top-up is required. These warnings must not be ignored or dismissed, as vehicles will not restart once they run out of AdBlue®. On average, the consumption ratio of AdBlue® use to diesel use in the UK is 5 litres of AdBlue® to every 100 litres of diesel.

How is AdBlue® topped up?

The method by which AdBlue® is replenished can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, as the tanks can be located in different areas of the vehicle. Always refer to your vehicle handbook before attempting to top up AdBlue® yourself, or alternatively contact your vehicle manufacturer for more information.

How much does AdBlue® cost?

The cost of AdBlue® is dependent on both the quantity purchased and the place of purchase. AdBlue® refill bottles can be purchased from dealerships and some retail shops. Typically, it will cost more to top the AdBlue® tank litre by litre than it will cost to refill the entire tank.
Adblue dashboard

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