What is Adblue® and Why Do I Need It?

If you drive a diesel, you’ve got an extra fluid to think about compared with petrol car drivers, and that’s Adblue®. While you’ll rarely have to worry about topping up Adblue®, it’s important to know what it is and how to fill it up in case you ever run out.

Here, we give you general information on Adblue®, including what it is, why you need it and how you can easily top it up yourself without the need to take it to a garage.

What is Adblue®?

Adblue® (also known as diesel exhaust fluid) is a fluid which reduces harmful NOx emissions from your car’s exhaust by converting them into nitrogen and steam.

It can reduce emissions by up to 80% in diesel engines. Car manufacturers have to meet certain standards regarding emissions, and an EU directive issued in September 2014 made Adblue® tanks a legal requirement on all new diesel cars.

How does Adblue® work?

Adblue® is a clear liquid solution made from demineralised water and automotive urea, which together help to remove hazardous emissions from diesel exhaust systems.

It’s injected into the fuel system to transfer harmful NOx emissions into hydrogen, therefore reducing a car’s emissions and making its exhaust fumes more environmentally friendly.

To transform NOx into H20, Adblue® is mixed with exhaust vapours in a component called the SCR catalyst, which is found in all modern diesel exhaust systems.

Here, a chemical reaction takes place to clean up the exhaust gases before they’re expelled into the atmosphere by the tailpipe.

Do all diesel cars need Adblue®?

As mentioned earlier, in the EU, Adblue® only became a legal requirement from September 2014 onwards, meaning that many diesel vehicles manufactured before this may not require it. If you’re unsure whether your diesel car needs Adblue®, you should refer to your car’s owner’s manual.

Do petrol cars need Adblue®?

Petrol engines do not produce the same harmful pollutants that diesel engines do and so do not need Adblue® to help eliminate these.

What happens if my car runs out of Adblue®?

Running out of Adblue® will cause your car to stop, so having a spare bottle to hand is sensible and will help to keep your car running for longer.

It’s a good way to make sure your car is always topped up and healthy to keep you on the road.

Because Adblue® is essential for a lot of vehicles on the road, it is readily available at several retailers as well as at petrol stations.

How often should I top up Adblue®?

As mentioned, keeping your Adblue® levels at a safe level is a crucial part of diesel car maintenance. With this in mind, manufacturers generally recommend a conservative 6,000-8,000 miles, although this will differ based on manufacturer and driving style.

For more information on your specific vehicle, refer to the owner’s manual.

How do I add Adblue® to My Car (& Demo Video)

Depending on the layout of your car’s engine, Adblue® may be quite difficult to top up and refill, with the tank often located in a hard-to-reach area of the car.

On modern cars, manufacturers are making it much easier to get at the Adblue® tank, but on older models, you may struggle.

When topping up Adblue®, it’s important not to spill it as it’s quite an unpleasant liquid, and contaminants in the tank can cause damage, so you shouldn’t use funnels or dirty bottles.

The easiest solution to this is to buy our special 4 or 5l Adblue® which comes with its own easy-pour spout. Just attach the spout to the bottle and it will help you to pour it cleanly into the tank. This means you won’t spill any, and you don’t need any other equipment. The bottle can be stored easily in your car or garage until it’s needed.

Watch this video from Rebecca Racer for a demo.

How do I know when the Adblue® tank is full?

In some modern cars, the Adblue® level will be displayed on the dashboard similar to the diesel level, however, other cars will simply flash a warning light when the level is too low.

Once the level is low, check your user manual to see the size of the fuel tank and pour in as much as is required. Be careful not to overfill because this can prevent the Adblue® working properly.

Does Adblue® freeze?

Adblue® can, in fact, freeze if temperatures are low enough. The freezing point of Adblue® is -11.5°C. Rest assured, however, because it returns entirely to its working state once the car has warmed up and it has returned to a liquid.

At Redex, our quality fuel additives are developed to improve engine health and performance, whether you drive a petrol or a diesel car. For more information or to browse our complete product line, visit the Redex homepage now.

Adblue® 4L and 5L are manufactured in the UK under licence from Greenox (Part of Tennants Distribution Ltd.). Adblue® 10L is manufactured in the UK under licence from Yara International.) AdBlue® is a registered trade mark of the Verbrand der Automobilindustrie e.V. (VDA).