What Is ADBlue?

What is AdBlue Fluid?

AdBlue is an essential component of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology used in the reduction of Nitrogen Oxide levels in the exhaust fumes of diesel engines. In simpler terms, AdBlue is injected into the SCR catalyst in order to break down the unburnt fuel or soot into nitrogen and water. This way , unwanted components can exit the engine through the exhaust system without causing any damage. You can very delicately refer to it as a cleanser.

Initially, AdBlue was designed to be a dealer service item which drivers didn’t need to be bothered about. A full tank of AdBlue can drive the engine up to 10,000 miles , and it can be refilled during any service period between that time. However, with the increase of service as well as the weight penalty of carrying up to 60-litres in CO2 emissions and tax rates , AdBlue was made into smaller tanks that you would need to fill over time.

Having justified the terminology, there are other things you should know about this solution, most of which are expressed in subsections below :


What is AdBlue made of?

Firstly, you should understand that AdBlue is neither a fuel type nor a fuel additive. It is  stored separately in its own tank and joined by the link between the engine itself and the exhaust pipe which is where the selective catalytic reduction takes place.

Manufacturers preset  AdBlue workings on a preset metered system, so all you need to know is when and how to fill it up. AdBlue is made up of 67.5% ionized water and 32.5% automotive urea.

Automotive urea is a factory manufactured liquid substance created by exposing the mixture of carbon dioxide and synthetic ammonia to heat.


Does Your Car use AdBlue?

Given how helpful towards the overall performance of your engine , you might be wondering whether or not you have it in your car. Adblue is integrated into recently manufactured diesel engine vehicles and even though it’s not openly advertised, prominent makers such as Volkswagen, Mercedes, Audi, Peugeot and Jaguar make use of AdBlue technology.

You can simply check your cars’ handbook to see if it’s there or not. The location varies among brands. For some vehicles such as the Audi A4 and above, it is located next to the fuel filler cap. For others, it is located under the boot floor or as the side of the boot. It’s important that you discover this at early stages so that you don’t run out and it becomes a bigger problem.

How to Top Up?

Like your fuel indicator, you should get a warning flash on your dashboard when you’re running low. Also, you would likely realize this when you run a maintenance check using an updated OBD 2 diagnostics tool.

Only little amounts of AdBlue is required to keep your engine running fine so you won’t necessarily need to top up as frequently as regular fuel. You might need to check your owner’s manual to get specific dosages for your engine.

For Volkswagen Passat, 1.5litres of AdBlue is consumed every 620 miles. Given the tank size to be 13litres, you should be okay for 8000miles or thereabout. Vehicles like Peugeot only require refilling every 12,500 miles and would be mostly part of the (yearly) scheduled maintenance depending on your driving consistency.

More importantly, when you refill, be careful of spills because while it isn’t exactly harmful to human touch and it is  very corrosive towards the paint job of your vehicle. So if you get some on your hands or on the vehicle’s body, make sure you wash thoroughly.

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