AdBlue is a Diesel Exhaust Fluid
That’s DEF for short. It’s a colourless liquid stored in a separate tank, usually next to your diesel tank. If you don’t know where yours is, your vehicle handbook will help you to find it on your car.
Most importantly, it is NOT a fuel additive. Mixing AdBlue and diesel can be a very costly mistake. If you suspect they have mixed in the same tank, DO NOT start the car. Call your recovery provider and get them to tow you to a garage where a mechanic can assess the damage.
AdBlue is Made of Water and Urea
This Diesel Exhaust Fluid contains 2 parts deionised water and 1/3 concentrated automotive urea (made of Ammonia and Carbon Dioxide). AdBlue is non-toxic, perfectly safe and a special mixture created for chemical reactions.
It is not, as some people claim, made of pig urine or pure urine.
Each different type of AdBlue has a different International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 22241 number. This is to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the Diesel Exhaust Fluid. Modern diesel cars run on ISO-22241-1, -2 or -3 AdBlue.
Diesel Exhaust Fluid Reduces Harmful Exhaust Emissions
In late 2015, the EU introduced their strictest emissions standard yet: Euro 6. This targeted diesel vehicles in particular because they naturally produce more CO2 and Nitrous Oxide (NOx) than petrol vehicles.
These are the main gases choking the environment, and cause an excess 40,000 deaths in UK cities each year!
The solution to this problem was reducing the exhaust emissions at source. This involves AdBlue and another diesel specific part, the Diesel Particulate Filter.
Your Car Will Break Down Without a Top-up
AdBlue is integral to diesel vehicles. This means your car treats it like fuel and won’t run without it.
While the engine won’t cut out as dramatically as it would if you run out of fuel, it will enter ‘limp home’ mode. This limits your vehicle’s power and performance, allowing you to get home or to a garage safely. However, once you switch the engine off, it won’t restart until you fill up your AdBlue tank.
Part 2 coming next week…