Company car and van drivers could find themselves going nowhere if they fail to react to a dashboard warning light reminding them of the urgent need to fill up with diesel exhaust fluid, warns Venson Automotive Solutions.
With many fleets now using Euro 6 compliant cars and light commercial vehicles, Venson has issued a guide to using AdBlue, the exhaust fluid often used in low emission diesel models equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology.
Fleet managers need to ensure AdBlue tanks are kept topped up, said Gil Kelly, operations director of Venson.
“Motor manufacturers are fitting diesel vehicles with SCR technology to meet Euro 6 emission standards, which focus on the reduction of NOx which is more prevalent in diesel than petrol-engined models,” he said.
“These new-generation low emission diesel models use AdBlue, which is continuously sprayed into the exhaust gas, upstream of the catalytic converter to assist in the breakdown of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx).
"The problem is, if the AdBlue fluid runs out, the vehicle won’t start.”
Kelly added: “If a car is equipped with SCR technology it will have an AdBlue tank.
"The location of the tank varies across manufacturers and from model to model, but is often close to the diesel tank or in the boot, under the carpet, or in the engine compartment. It can usually by identified by a blue cover.
“Manufacturers will typically top up the tank at time of service, but consumption of AdBlue can vary enormously according to vehicle type and model, vehicle load, environmental conditions, driving requirements and driving style
“For instance, a vehicle may use more fluid on mountain roads or towing or if a driver accelerates a lot, just like with fuel.
“Additionally, with many of today’s diesel vehicles having variable servicing intervals, fleet managers need to encourage drivers to keep a watchful eye on tank levels to ensure their vehicle will start.
“To further complicate matters, AdBlue tank capacities vary from model to model, with motor manufacturers calculating the average miles a tank of AdBlue will last.
“The more economically a car is driven, the less AdBlue will be used. Vehicles using AdBlue are equipped with special dashboard warning lights, but again the message displayed varies across manufacturers, despite everyone agreeing that if the tank is allowed to run dry, the vehicle will not start.
“Adding to the confusion, the price of AdBlue varies considerably.
“It can be bought at retail outlets, dealerships or service stations, with some manufacturers providing AdBlue free of charge, if supplied through one of their dealerships.
“The advice we’re giving our fleet customers is to have drivers call their dedicated Venson driver hotline number, as soon as the warning light appears, so we can schedule a visit to a dealer, allowing the AdBlue tank to be refilled without delay.
“This will help ensure the vehicle is kept on the road without incurring unnecessary costs.”