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Adblue in new diesel cars

  x123 19:14 22 Jan 2017

From reading the thread on 4 year MOT's. It made me think, has any one got one of these new cars that have two fillers in under the fuel filler cap?

We picked up a new Audi in September and I asked about how the system works. I was told not to worry, they would top it up when the car was due for a service. Well around 1500 miles ago (8,500 on the clock ) I had a warning light flash up saying I had 1500 miles left of adblue and if the tank was not replenished, the car would refuse to start.

Reading the manual, it said it was a simple matter to fill the tank. So I looked on line and people were quoting around £100 to top up the system, others said just buy it from a motor factors. I ordered a 10 litre drum from halfords, £14.

There have been reports of the adblue tank running out after a few thousand miles, it looks with my high mileage it uses it more frugally.

But should the car refuse to start if you do run out of adblue?

  OTT_B 19:33 22 Jan 2017

Petrol stations are beginning to stock Adblue in car size containers now. A lot have smallish bottles of it, but some with larger pump type dispensers.

The Adblue standards are defined by the VDA. It appears they also imply in their informtion that the engine should not be able to start without Adblue in the system, but should also give warnings similar to the one you have received. More info here

  Jollyjohn 19:54 22 Jan 2017

Certainly in HGV's that run on AdBlue there is a problem if they run out. The engine power is reduced dramatically to "Limp Home" mode. Haven't had it happen to me yet.

On a car, trust the messages and consider carrying a 5 litre can of AdBlue, with a funnel / tube to be able to top up if needed.

  bumpkin 21:30 22 Jan 2017

What does it do, never heard of it, just interested.

  OTT_B 21:48 22 Jan 2017


the link I gave above gives quite a lot of information, but here's a short extract:

A selective catalytic converter reduces nitrogen oxides using an additional, finely dosed fluid. It is a synthetically produced aqueous solution of urea that is marketed under the name of AdBlue® and stored in an extra tank on the vehicle. A controlled amount of AdBlue® is injected from the tank into the exhaust system, where it releases ammonia (NH3 ) that reacts with nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2 ) in the catalytic converter to form nitrogen (N2 ) and water (H2 O). With this technology the German automotive industry is once again setting standards around the world in reducing exhaust emissions, and already enabling its customers to drive diesel vehicles complying with Euro 6 long before they are legally obliged to do so.

Basically Adblue is a urea mix, which is used to convert NOx gases in the exhaust into harmless nitrogen and water. Might be worth noting that it refers to the German auto industry. This is because it is defined by the VDA, which is the association of German Automotive Manufacturers. In reality, the standard is in the process of being adopted by almost all European manufacturers. It's been in use on HGVs for a number of years.

  bumpkin 12:19 23 Jan 2017

thanks ott

  daz60 13:40 23 Jan 2017

This is from a company website.Buses use this and any if an issue comes to light it must be reported to the engineers immediately.

What happens if the tank runs out of AdBlue? This will result in crossing the allowed emission levels. If this limit is exceeded when running without AdBlue, you may be running illegally. Legislation does not allow an engine to be started without AdBlue, this is managed electronically. .

If you run out of AdBlue while driving, your engine will not shut down, but your vehicle will lose power and reduce emission according to legal standards. The vehicle’s performance will be restored when the AdBlue tank is refilled. Some engines will not start after you have run out of AdBlue. Make sure you carry an emergency supply on board or continue to the next dispensing point without shutting down your engine.

What do I do when I have accidentally put diesel in my AdBlue tank? Do not start your engine! Even the slightest drop of diesel will pollute the AdBlue in your tank. One drop of diesel will pollute up to 20 liters of AdBlue. Running with polluted AdBlue will disrupt your SCR system. To prevent further damage to your vehicle, it is best to contact your vehicle manufacturer. You may have to replace certain AdBlue components.

What do I do when I have accidentally put AdBlue in my diesel tank? Do not start your engine! Depending on the amount of AdBlue, you may damage your engine when you start it. You should empty and clean your tank. You will have to empty the whole tank and discard the mixture. For further instructions on emptying and cleaning your tank, please contact your vehicle supplier.

  oresome 13:48 23 Jan 2017

I drive around 7000 miles per year and the AdBlu warning hasn't shown prior to the annual service when it gets topped up.

Mine's not that convenient to top up on a forecourt, particularly with a full boot as the filler cap is in the bottom of the spare wheel well. It could be worse, but as they don't supply a spare wheel at least that doesn't have to be moved.

The handbook warns that after the advanced warning has run out, the engine cuts out as it no longer meets the emission standards

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