AdBlue filler
The AdBlue filler beside the diesel fuel filler - expect to see more vans using this to reduce emissions
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THINK that AdBlue is just a diesel fuel additive put in when your vehicle is serviced?

Well, you’re wrong. If your vehicle is Euro 6 compliant, it is a necessary fluid which is used with the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to reduce the exhaust emissions.

How does it work? you might ask. Well basically, what AdBlue does is converts more than 90% of harmful nitrogen oxide emissions into harmless nitrogen and steam and reducing these nitrogen oxides should lead to less pollution and smog in urban areas.

It is not the only emission control feature and will often work in conjunction with a diesel particulate filter that collects soot particles – but that’s another story.

Originally just seen in commercial vehicles, with diesel emissions targets becoming more stringent the AdBlue injection systems have now become a feature of modern diesel-powered cars and vans.

Here are six important facts about AdBlue:

1. Will I need to top up AdBlue tank between services?

Mercedes AdBlue Graphic

The AdBlue tank will be refilled at every service, but the size of the tank will vary whatever vehicle you choose – therefore top-ups between services might be necessary, as indicated by dashboard warnings and explained in this Mercedes-Benz graphic.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, for example, has an 18-litre AdBlue tank that should be good for 3,000 miles, with under-bonnet filler. As the level gets low first an initial warning will be followed by another accompanied by torque reduction and finally a 12mph maximum speed.

On new Vito, usually good for 1,900 miles AdBlue range, the first warning comes at 500 miles to go and then it’s a countdown to when the van will not restart – not to be ignored!

Factors such as the mileage covered, journey types, driving style and environmental conditions will have an affect on how AdBlue is consumed by a Euro 6 engine.

2. How do I find and fill the AdBlue tank?

Check your owner’s manual for the location of the AdBlue tank, although it is most likely to be located next to the fuel tank or under the rear floor, with filler near the fuel filler, although it can be in the engine bay on a van.

AdBlue is very easy to use and is not a fuel or fuel additive, but a high purity urea solution. AdBlue is non flammable, and non-explosive, and considered a transportable fluid.

3. AdBlue needs to be handled with care

If handling AdBlue, wear suitable protective clothing such as rubber gloves and glasses.

AdBlue damages surfaces such as painted vehicle parts, plastic, items of clothing and carpets and should be removed as quickly as possible using a damp cloth and plenty of cold water. Any spillage can make a floor slippery and cause staining.

If AdBlue comes into contact with eyes and skin, rinse for at least 15 minutes with plenty of water and seek medical help. If AdBlue is swallowed, wash the mouth with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes.

Do not try to induce vomiting unless recommended by a doctor. Seek medical advice immediately.

AdBlue damages surfaces such as painted vehicle parts, plastic, items of clothing and carpets and should be removed as quickly as possible using a damp cloth and plenty of cold water. Any spillage can make a floor slippery and cause staining.

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