Article By Eden Motor Group

Eden - What is AdBlue for cars?

If you drive a modern diesel tank car or van, the chances are that you will need to know what AdBlue is, how it works and what happens if AdBlue runs out.

In this article, the experts from Eden will talk you through all you need to know about AdBlue, and make sure you don’t get caught short.

What is AdBlue and why do I need it?

In order to meet stricter exhaust emission regulations – called Euro 6 - most diesel engine powered vehicles built after September 2015 will have needed Adblue tank to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxide they emit. This gas is harmful to the environment as it is a potent ‘greenhouse’ gas and is also harmful to the ozone layer.

The AdBlue is a special mixture of purified water and a chemical called urea.

This mixture is sprayed in carefully-controlled amounts into the catalytic converter in the exhaust to create a chemical reaction which neutralises the harmful gases. This process is called selective catalytic reduction (SCR). It has been used in trucks and buses for many years and is a reliable scr system.

The AdBlue fluid is kept in a tank and needs to be topped up when the level runs low. Your car will give you plenty of warning that you are running out, with a message or a warning light. Some cars will even tell you how many more miles (or engine starts) you have until the tank runs dry. Even if you are a high mileage driver, you will have plenty of time to find a refill.

What happens if AdBlue runs out?

Your AdBlue filler cap will be topped up as part of your scheduled service at Eden, but it is possible that you will need to refill the tank between services. If you are not confident doing this yourself, then our technicians will be happy to help and it only takes a few minutes.

If you ignore the messages and carry on driving, eventually the tank will run dry and the system will no longer be able to neutralise the harmful emissions. The car will then usually go into a ‘limp home’ mode with restricted performance and will not start once the engine has been stopped.

You will then have to refill the tank immediately and may have to reset the system.

How do I top up AdBlue fluid?

You can buy AdBlue fluid at your nearest Eden aftersales department, but also at service stations and hardware stores. You can even buy it online, and some filling stations dispense it on a pump, just like fuel. This is designed for users of larger vehicles generally, but can be used by anyone.

When you take delivery of your new car or van, ask the Eden expert to show you where the filler cap is located. It is sometimes an extra, smaller, blue cap next to the fuel filler, or it can be in the luggage area or under the bonnet.

You can use a clean funnel or the special nozzle to fill the tank, but try not to spill any of the fluid.

Can I use any other fluid in an emergency?

No – although AdBlue is colourless and smells just like water, it is purified and contains urea, which is an essential ingredient in the chemical reaction. It is vital that you only use proper AdBlue fluid with the necessary ISO 22241 marks on the packaging. Anything else could damage the emissions equipment and cause a breakdown.

Contact Eden Motor Group now to get technical advice on your vehicle

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