By October 2, 2019Blog

If you’ve bought a new diesel car in the last couple of years, the chances are it’ll need AdBlue at some point. Our guide explains all

For many people, AdBlue remains a mystery. So, what is it? Why does my car need it, and what happens if I don’t put it in?

AdBlue is a fluid made up of a mix of urea and deionized water which is squirted into the exhaust system, helping to reduce nitrous oxide emissions produced by diesel engines. With car manufacturers having to adhere to ever more stringent emissions targets, AdBlue is vital to make sure diesel cars pass tests and produce less harmful pollution.

If you cover low mileages, it’s possible that you won’t have to make any changes to your annual servicing routine to allow for AdBlue, as the fluid is topped up as part of a normal service. However, be prepared to top up the AdBlue yourself occasionally, as the more you use the car, the quicker the AdBlue will need replacing. Most cars will have an AdBlue fluid level gauge and will give you a warning when it is running low. If you ignore it and it runs dry, the car will refuse to start. Fortunately, topping up your car’s AdBlue is straightforward and can be inexpensive, especially if you shop around and are prepared to do it yourself.

What does AdBlue do and why do we need it?

Car manufacturers are governed by various rules, and increasingly these are driven by environmental concerns. The latest emissions regulations, referred to as Euro 6, came into force in 2016 and represented a particular challenge for the development of diesel engines. Much of this required new ways to minimise nitrogen-oxide emissions.

The technology employed is called selective catalytic reduction, or SCR, which involves injecting precise amounts of a liquid into the vehicle exhaust gases to produce a chemical reaction which neutralises harmful emissions.

How does AdBlue work?

To comply with Euro 6 regulations, many new diesel-powered cars built since 2006 use SCR technology to inject tiny quantities of AdBlue into the car’s exhaust gases. When this solution combines with exhaust emissions, it breaks down the harmful mono-nitrogen oxides in diesel exhaust. This technology has been used in buses and heavy lorries for a long time, so its effectiveness has been proven and its reliability is better than ever.

You can pop in or give us a call and we can top up your AdBlue for you. It’s located in a different place for lots of cars – so sometimes it’s easier for us to do it for you!