“AdBlue” blues.

The other day, I was tasked with refilling a Volkswagen diesel using a substance known as “Adblue”. As mechanical chores go, this a relatively simple one (to some degree at least). Easy enough to explain the process of doing so in this article without it sounding like a meeting with SpaceX. On this particular Volkswagen, the “Adblue” is not fed to the car through the bonnet, instead the “Adblue filler cap” is found under the spare wheel, which you will find in the boot. Why is this so? Perhaps the designers couldn’t quite be bothered to make space under the bonnet to put this seemingly unnecessary feature? Or maybe it is because the boot happened to be closer when developing the car?

All things considered, this “Adblue” business is a bit of a faff, …especially when you bear in mind that…there isn’t a single vehicle in the universe that mechanically requires “Adblue”. So why would anyone want to spend what can often equate to around £2.00 per litre on a liquid that is basically a mixture of water and urea (yes, part of the stuff you find in your urine) that simply isn’t needed?

You’ve possibly worked out by now that the answer is to do with “the environment”, but if you haven’t, well an A for effort.

File:AdBlue retail containers.jpg
Unfortunately, “Adblue” isn’t really blue, knowing what’s in it however means we can be thankful that it isn’t “Adyellow”.      Photo credit: By Lenborje [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons
 When filling up with “Adblue”,  you may notice on the container or around the cap; a text that reads “ISO 22241-1”. This of course refers to the International Organization for Standardization’s document that focuses on the details of substances such as “Adblue” and how and why it should work. If you have been suffering from insomnia, I highly suggest you invest in this document, It will only cost you around £42 GBP, or about $60 USD, it is bound to put you sleep within the first paragraph, no matter who or where you are.

By now you may be asking “But what’s to stop you just ignoring the Adblue and carrying on regardless of what the ISO tries to bore you with?” The answer, nothing, apart from the driver warning system constantly bleeping at you and threatening to disable the engine. You heard right, the car that you worked hard to buy, maintain, tax, insure and pay high fuel prices for, forcing you to reach into your pockets once more, before you exchange what little money you have left on an overpriced bottle of water and urine that works by mildly diluting the car’s emissions when dropped into the exhaust.


Sources: Carbuyer, International Organization for Standardization.









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