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Diesel Particulate Filters and Ad Blue

Diesel Particulate Filters

Particulate filters are important to reduce the number of harmful particles released from diesel vehicles. Although particulate filters are very effective in decreasing the number of particulates emitted from diesel vehicles, most filters need to burn the trapped particulates off fairly regularly, known as regeneration. This usually requires the vehicle to be driven at over 50mph for a short period of time. This fact sheet will help you decide whether vehicles using particulate filters are suitable for your drivers.

The purpose of diesel particulate is to diminish the fumes discharges as required by European Legislation, particularly particulate issue. A particulate filter traps the greater part of the soot that is created amid diesel burning and would typically go down the fumes and into the atmosphere. These particulates can cause respiratory issues if individuals are presented to high fixations after some time.


A filter can hold a specific measure of soot, yet not an immense amount, so it needs to routinely experience a procedure of recovery so as to get out the residue and enable the vehicle to work successfully. Regeneration happens when the filter achieves an adequately high temperature, enabling the soot to be changed over to a lot littler measure of ash. On most frameworks, to enable the filter to automatically regenerate, the motor ought to be utilized consistently at an adequate speed, to guarantee a sufficiently high temperature of the exhaust gas is reached.

Despite the fact it may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, typically a vehicle must be driven at 50mph or above for at least 20 minutes in order to automatically regenerate the filter. During the regeneration phase, high temperatures in the filter may cause a slight smell, especially during the first regeneration.

What happens if it doesn’t regenerate?

If the vehicle isn't driven in a way that automatically regenerates the particulate filter, it will develop an over the top measure of ash, which, if not settled, will lessen the execution of the vehicle and harm the filter. If the filter builds up an excessive amount of ash, a vehicle cautioning light will seem to alarm the driver. The issue can generally be settled by enabling the channel to consequently recover until the notice light goes out – for example by driving the vehicle at 50mph or above for no less than 20 minutes. The vehicle handbook will have specific guidance for the vehicle. If traffic conditions and speed limits do not allow the vehicle to be driven so that the filter regenerates, it will have to be returned to a dealer for a forced regeneration to clear the filter. In the event that the notice light is overlooked and the vehicle is driven without recovering the filter, it will make damage the vehicle, which won't be secured by guarantee or our upkeep understanding.

Self Heating Particulate Filters

A large amount of vehicle manufacturers now has diesel particulate filters that require the regeneration cycle to be driven, but not all. Some have systems that can warm up the particulate filter and regenerate it without the need for a higher speed drive cycle. Some inject fuel straight into the filter which burns and therefore increases the temperature in the filter, and others have heaters built into the filter.

Which drivers should order these vehicles?

Diesel particulate filters reduce harmful emissions and are essential for diesel vehicles meeting European tailpipe emissions, but care is needed when using this technology in predominantly urban driving conditions. Therefore, check the type of particulate filter on any diesel car with an urban drive-cycle and make sure it's suitable, otherwise consider a different fuel type or vehicle technology.

Ad Blue

As part of the overall drive to reduce emissions, and to comply with the new Euro 6 standards, more and more diesel cars now include SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology. Used in the rightway, SCR can help to reduce Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions by as much as 90%, with fuel efficiency also increasing by between 3% and 5%. For the technology to work, vehicles need to be ftted with a special tank for storing a liquid-reductant agent AdBlue So if your vehicle is fitted with Adblue there are a few things you’ll need to know.

What is AdBlue?

AdBlue is a mixture of water and urea, which you top up periodically, as you do with fuel. As you drive, AdBlue flows from the tank into the exhaust pipe via a dedicated catalyst. The effect is a chemical reaction that converts most of the NOx moleculesinto. Nitrogen and water. This is then released into the atmosphere as steam.

How do I fill up the AdBlue tank?

AdBlue is available from an increasing number of fuel stations and motorway services, but your dealer will also be able to supply AdBlue. New vehicles tend to have a filling point next to the fuel cap, however it does vary depending on the manufacturer and model so it’s best to refer to the owner’s manual before you start.

How will I know when it’s needed?

It’s important to take action as soon as you see any relevant warning lights on your dashboard. There are three possible warnings.
First warning – advises you that AdBlue tank is getting low.
Second warning – will give you a mileage range and sometimes is accompanied by an acoustic warning
Final Warning – at this point the vehicle will either go into limp home mode (run at reduced power) or will not restart once the ignition has been switched off.

Who pays for AdBlue?

Because it’s a solution you top up periodically, as you do with fuel, the costs are not covered by the maintenance contract and are therefore payable by the driver of the vehicle. The only exception to this is if the service schedule states that the fluid needs to be changed (rather than topped up).

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