Diesel cars produced from late 2015 will most likely have an exhaust treatment system that requires AdBlue. This specially formulated liquid is injected into the exhaust system of the car to help neutralise harmful emissions.
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In everyday driving the AdBlue system works automatically and goes unnoticed, but it does require refilling over time. If you haven’t had a diesel car before, this guide will help explain everything you need to know about AdBlue.
One of the latest techniques used to clean up diesel emissions is known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR). A liquid is used to treat exhaust gases and remove harmful pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), of which nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is the most harmful. This is why AdbBlue is utilised. The fluid is stored in a tank in the car, but unlike petrol or diesel it is not injected into the engine; instead it is fed into part of the vehicle’s exhaust. A chemical reaction converts the harmful NOx exhaust gases into harmless nitrogen and water.
The tank that holds the AdBlue solution varies in size between makes and models of car. As a guide, a Volkswagen Tiguan SUV and Passat family car have a 12 and 13-litre AdBlue tank respectively.
The rate at which it is consumed depends on the size of the car and the driving style; the more economical the car and driver, the slower it will be used. VW estimates that the Tiguan and Passat use 1.5 litres of AdBlue every 620 miles, and suggests that a tankful of AdBlue gives a driving range of 3,000-4,000 miles for the Tiguan, and 4,000-6,500 miles for the Passat.
By contrast, Peugeot estimates that its cars can travel 12,000 miles between refills — the same as its servicing intervals.