AdBlue: The Dangerous Downsides of Your Diesel Car’s Savior

If you drive a diesel vehicle, you may be familiar with AdBlue, a commonly used additive that's intended to limit the amount of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) released into the atmosphere. But the isn't without its challenges.

The primary role of AdBlue, a mixture of purified water and high purity urea, is to reduce NOx emissions. It's typically used in diesel vehicles equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. The additive is injected into the exhaust system, where it decomposes into carbon dioxide and ammonia. Following this transformation, it reacts with NOx, turning them into harmless nitrogen and water vapor.

How AdBlue Works

The injection process requires high temperatures and needs to be repeated at regular intervals – typically every 10,000 to 20,000 kilometers. When utilized properly, the DeNOx catalyst can function by emitting 90% less NOx. The typical consumption of AdBlue is approximately 5 to 10% that of diesel fuel.

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A Costly Solution

Although AdBlue is designed to significantly cut emissions, it is not without its issues. Drivers have reported recurring breakdowns, leading to hefty repair costs. These issues are not confined to any specific vehicle make or model, suggesting a wider problem with the technology.

Maintenance related to AdBlue can be expensive. The only fix for an AdBlue issue is the replacement of the tank, which can cost up to 2,000 euros. As a result, some drivers choose to disconnect the device completely to save fuel and money. But this is not without risks.

The Penalty for Disconnecting AdBlue

Choosing to operate a vehicle without AdBlue, if it has been fitted with an SCR system, is illegal. Drivers caught doing this can face fines of up to 7,500 euros. Despite the challenges associated with the technology, it is not advisable to bypass it in the pursuit of short-term savings.

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