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AdBlue Exhaust Fluids and DPF's

If you are considering leasing a car or van with a diesel engine, it’s worth noting that most diesel vehicles are fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and/or require Adblue Solution/exhaust fluid. This is so that the vehicle can meet strict emission rules. You can find more information on DPF's here.

The purpose of this information is to highlight that AdBlue Solution/exhaust fluid requires topping up at regular intervals, and it is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty or a maintenance contract. 

AdBlue/exhaust fluid and your leased vehicle. 

If your choice of lease vehicle has a diesel engine, chances are it requires AdBlue solution/exhaust fluid. 

It’s worth taking a few minutes to understand what AdBlue/exhaust fluid is and how it needs to be maintained throughout your leasing contract.

What is AdBlue?

AdBlue (which is a registered trademark) is not a fuel additive as some people mistakenly think. It is a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) that helps reduce exhaust emissions so that they comply with Euro 6 emissions standards. 

It's stored in a separate reservoir and is topped up via a (usually) blue filler cap located either next to your fuel filler, in the boot or under the bonnet.

Which vehicles require AdBlue/exhaust fluid?

Whilst it can be difficult to tell which vehicles require AdBlue/exhaust fluid just by looking at the model description, if your vehicle is a modern diesel vehicle using SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology, it will most likely require AdBlue/exhaust fluid. 

It is best to check with the manufacturer directly, or contact your Fleetprices sales associate.

How does AdBlue/exhaust fluid work?

Nitrogen Oxide gases cause respiratory problems and contribute to the formation of particulate matter, smog, acid rain and ground-level ozone. 

Vehicles have to meet strict exhaust emissions limits and the latest standard, Euro 6, is very challenging on Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) limits. Most cars can only meet the Euro 6 standard when fitted with emissions technology known as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). 

This technology uses AdBlue to break down and reduce harmful emissions. Tiny amounts of AdBlue are injected into the flow of exhaust gases. At high temperatures AdBlue turns to ammonia and carbon dioxide. Inside the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) catalyst, NOx in the exhaust reacts with the ammonia and is transformed into harmless nitrogen and water. 

Similar technology has been used effectively for years in buses and heavy lorries.

How long does it last?

The rate at which you use AdBlue depends on your engine and how economically you drive. 

Typical consumption is around a litre of AdBlue every 600 miles. But it could be as high as a litre every 350 miles. Tank size varies too, so you could need to refill somewhere between 3,000 and 12,000 miles depending on the car and your driving style.

This means that most drivers will have to top-up their AdBlue reservoir at least once between normal service visits to the dealer. If a warning light informs you that the AdBlue solution/exhaust fluid needs refilling, it is important that this is carried out at the earliest opportunity. 

The warning should not be ignored. Most vehicles will not restart if you run out of AdBlue/exhaust fluid.

Is replacing AdBlue/exhaust fluid covered as part of my maintenance contract?

AdBlue/exhaust fluid is not covered under the majority of maintenance contracts. 

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that AdBlue/exhaust fluid is kept topped up and to pay any costs for doing this. 

You can purchase a litre of AdBlue from most petrol stations for around £1 but do shop around.

How is AdBlue/exhaust fluid topped up?

Each vehicle manufacturer has a different method of topping up AdBlue/exhaust fluid. 

Follow any instructions given in your handbook or on the pack. Your handbook should tell you how much AdBlue the tank holds. 

5 litres should be enough to make sure your car will restart if you’ve run really low. You may need a funnel depending on where the AdBlue filler cap is located (next to the fuel filler, in the boot, or under the bonnet) and the size or design of the AdBlue pack you’ve got. 

Wash your hands and rinse any spills from the bodywork – AdBlue’s non-toxic but can cause irritation to your skin and eyes and will damage the paintwork.

Important points to note:

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that AdBlue/exhaust fluid is kept topped-up.

It is the driver’s responsibility to pay for any AdBlue/exhaust fluid top-ups – this is not covered under maintenance plans.

Ensure the AdBlue/exhaust fluid tank is refilled as soon as the warning light comes on.

If the AdBlue solution/exhaust fluid runs out the vehicle will not restart once it has been switched off.

To restart the engine, AdBlue solution/exhaust fluid must be added first. 

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