Are Adblue Diesels Clean?< Back to blog
Modern diesel cars tend to use Adblue (a mix of deionized water and the chemical compound urea) to reduce nitrous oxide emissions produced by the engine. When used, the non-toxic fluid helps make diesel-fuelled vehicles cleaner than they otherwise would be.
How much of a green impact does Adblue have compared to standard diesels? And should you choose one over alternative fuel cars? Read on to find out all you need to know about this technology.
Why AdBlue is used
Manufacturers are increasingly scrutinised for the work they do to create cleaner vehicles that meet emissions standards. In 2016 the latest standard was set by the European Union (EU) for new petrol and diesel cars (named Euro 4 for the former and Euro 6 for the latter).
What this means for diesel cars is that they need to meet the following criteria:
- CO (Carbon Monoxide): 0.50g/km
- HC (Hydrogen Carbon) + NOx (Nitric Oxide): 0.17g/km
- NOx: 0.08g/km
- PM (Particulate Matter): 0.005g/km
AdBlue was a solution which manufacturers added to their newly registered vehicles as of September 2015 in order to meet this new standard.
How AdBlue works
For the past 14 years many new diesel models have been produced with what’s known as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). This clever technology injects AdBlue solution into the exhaust gases using a catalyst. When this happens, a chemical reaction then break downs harmful gases from the pipe.
Lots of HGVs (heavy goods vehicles) and buses use the technology due to them relying on big diesel engines to move their large bodies and carry loads/lots of passengers.
However, you can see from the table above that modern family cars such as the Peugeot 3008 implement it too. In this case, the similarly modelled Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca, both of which use standard diesel units, show how much cleaner AdBlue is.
What AdBlue do I need?
If you’re driving a clean emission Euro6 diesel car, you’ll need to know what the right additive is when it comes to topping it up. Just like when you add engine oil to your vehicle, you need a particular type to avoid causing extensive damage to the engine.
Not all manufacturers will require you to use a specific type of AdBlue, but premium brands such as BMW and Audi will recommend you use certain brands. If you’re unsure, refer back to the manufacturer handbook for guidance.
How to fill up AdBlue
- Open the fuel cap cover and locate the AdBlue tank (it will be bright blue and next to your regular fuel tank)
- Warning lights should tell you if the car is running on insufficient additive, so top it up steadily and start the car to check the levels and add more if needed
- If you accidentally add the fluid to the fuel tank, don’t start the car – contact emergency support for your vehicle for advice on what to do. The same applies if you accidentally put fuel in the AdBlue filler.
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