As I’m sure you’re fully aware, especially after the recent long-term report on the A4 Avant 2.0 TDI ultra, the majority of vehicle manufacturers have chosen selective catalyst reduction (SCR) technology (together with the Urea Solution, AdBlue) in order to meet the latest European emissions legislation. Whilst seeing plenty of new models spoken about in both your own and other consumer magazines, I do feel that there is very little information being provided for the motorist to ensure he fully appreciates that, although most times (dependent upon mileage/driving style) the AdBlue will be suitably topped at service, and at their cost of course, many motorists will still need to top-up their AdBlue tanks on their car or van themselves, to ensure that the vehicle doesn’t run dry. By the way – if the vehicle does run out of AdBlue, our understanding is that the vehicle’s engine won’t actually start. Having spoken to a number of people recently who’ve taken delivery of new diesel SCR equipped vehicles, apparently no mention of AdBlue was made to them by the relevant dealership, which is quite worrying. As someone who spent his formative years working with many franchised dealers, and even for two car manufacturers, I have been asked to see if you wish to have some additional information available about this new and important addition to the motorist’s possible concerns. This isn’t a traditional sell in all honesty, but since we are the UK’s largest manufacturer of AdBlue, and both a European and worldwide provider, we perhaps need to do our bit. To help motorists, we’ve recently produced a two-to-three minute YouTube information video on SCR in cars, on our new website at http://en.greenchem-adblue.com/passenger-cars-vans
Rowland Cook, GreenChem Solutions
Many thanks for your letter, the relevance of which is quite obvious. I shall discuss this subject with Ian Robertson within the next few days, and post the links to your website in this column. For retailers to be supplying new cars that employ selective catalyst reduction systems without fully briefing owners of the situation with AdBlue is indeed quite unacceptable, and quite worrying.
I should add that equally there are many new Euro-6 diesel cars that don’t use SCR, but one of several variations of the alternative system of lean NOx storage and treatment (LNT) that require no additives like AdBlue. Rowland, quite generously I felt, did not actually mention that there are considerable variations in the price of AdBlue. As one might well expect, it will probably cost you a lot more (with some costly labour charges) if you allow your Adblue tank to be topped up during a service, rather than if you find an alternative source of AdBlue and take responsibility yourself for keeping the tank topped up. This is not too difficult once you understand how the system works, which you will if you read your owner manual, and even better if you take a look at the Greenchem website.