Do you need to refill AdBlue in a rented car or van?

Do you need to refill AdBlue in a rented car or van?

If you’ve ever gone to fill up a diesel that’s relatively new, you may have noticed a second cap below the fuel filler. It’s for a substance called AdBlue. In this piece we’re discussing AdBlue, namely what it is, what it does and everything you need to know about it when renting a vehicle from us. So, for those who are unfamiliar with AdBlue, allow us to give you the whistle stop tour.

First though, do you need to refill AdBlue in a rented car or van? The answer is no - not from Intack Self Drive anyway. Like we said, we like to make our customers' experience with us as easy as possible, so there’s no need to worry about refilling the AdBlue when you pick up your vehicle/before you return it to us. Not every vehicle we supply needs it, but rest assured the ones that do will be taken care of by us! So, now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s discuss what AdBlue actually is.

What is AdBlue?

Simply put, AdBlue is a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF). While it’s by no means a new invention, the purpose of AdBlue is to help diesel vehicles fall in line with the latest Euro 6 exhaust emission regulations, which in 2016 stated that the “ air pollutant emissions from transport” were hindering the “overall state of air quality in Europe.”

The blue/black smoke produced by diesel car exhausts made in bygone eras is incredibly toxic, not only for people but for the environment too. So to counteract this concern, the non-toxic, non-flammable, odourless and biodegradable AdBlue has been made commonplace in the diesel vehicle industry. Essentially, it’s a highly-purified mixture of water and urea that is by converting potentially harmful NOx emissions in exhaust gases into a mixture of water vapour and nitrogen (which is far better for the environment). And while it doesn’t totally eliminate the emissions from vehicles, it does significantly reduce them. 

Most newer diesel vehicles are designed to stop working when the AdBlue level falls below a certain point. In fact, if the tank is emptied entirely, then your car won’t restart until there’s been a minimum of 6 litres of AdBlue added back into the tank. So it’s worth keeping on top of. The AdBlue ‘distance to empty’ countdown will be displayed on the dash of your vehicle from around 1500 miles, so you’ll have plenty of time to get it taken care of before your car stops working (just make sure to get it taken care of as soon as possible). There’s also no need to refill the AdBlue until your vehicle indicates that you need to. To be on the safer side, you should check with your manufacturer what you should do in the event of low AdBlue levels because every vehicle is different. 

Can I refill my vehicle’s AdBlue?

Yes, you can refill your vehicle’s AdBlue tank. It’s important to note though, that while AdBlue is great for the environment and is all round a helpful addition to the diesel car industry, it should be handled carefully. AdBlue is still a chemical and, if handled incorrectly, can cause problems such as damaging vehicle parts like paintwork and metals and even irritating the skin. 

Some tips to consider before you start attempting to refill your tank include:

  • Checking your vehicle handbook to see how big your AdBlue tank is
  • Making sure you use an uncontaminated funnel to pour the product in to stop cross contamination
  • Screwing the cap tightly shut after refilling
  • Finish the process by wiping down any residue from your car or hands 

You can also take your car to your local garage and have a professional take care of it for you if you’d rather. And that’s everything you need to know about AdBlue covered! We’d advise keeping your eyes peeled for the ‘distance to empty’ countdown so you can always keep on top of keeping your tank full.

At Intack Self Drive, we’ve been providing reliable car hirevan hire, and minibus hire services for over 50 years now, and we always prioritise keeping our customers in the loop and making their vehicle hire experience as seamless as possible. We know that work, travelling and moving can be stressful enough without any added respon­sibi­lities. So wherever your intended destination is, we’ll have a vehicle that suits your requirements without all the extra work. Ready to get started? You can browse the best hire deals right here on our site, or give us a call on 01254 57811!

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