Diesel drivers: The warning sign that could grind your car to a halt if ignored
Cars may grind to a halt if signs are ignored
Many diesel-car drivers remain unaware that their vehicles may stop if they run dry of a special emissions' control fluid.
Judging from expert and anecdotal evidence, a sizeable number still seem not to know, or to have forgotten, that their car needs the AdBlue additive to help rid exhaust fumes of toxic gases.
Most cars have a small filler cap for the fluid near the diesel fuel inlet but, it appears, many owners disregard it.
When the fluid is running low, a dashboard warning light should come on - like a 'low fuel' alert (pictured) - and there can be an audible tone. Inexplicably, there is evidence to suggest people are ignoring the lot.
If AdBlue runs too low, the car will slow down and eventually come to a halt. AdBlue turns harmful exhaust gasses into harmless nitrogen and water and is a vital component on the emissions' cleansing system in diesels. It is not injected into the engine, but directly into a specially modified part of the exhaust
In many cases, a tank of AdBlue will stretch between regular services, with the dealer/garage filling up.
But much depends on the number of kilometres driven, whether it is long-distance or stop/start and the driving style of individual motorists. Many big-mileage cars require topping up much more frequently.
We at Independent Motors have had several queries about the issue while Maxol is the latest to raise the matter publicly.
They report that many drivers are still unaware of the need for the product and this is leading to customers "experiencing their car breaking down".
The clear message is: check with your local garage, mechanic or dealer to make sure you are not stranded.
Meanwhile the days of having to put AdBlue into diesel cars may be numbered.
Or at least that is the hope being held out by Toyota.
Their chief engineer on the new Hilux pickup, Hiroki Nakajima, told Motors recently that his company is aiming for cleaner engines without the need for AdBlue.
Without giving too much detail, he said the company is developing a system that won't need the special fluid. He declined to estimate when we might see it in our cars but he seemed positive about a successful outcome.
In the case of the new Hilux, the AdBlue tank is under the bonnet and not alongside the diesel cap - another indication that serious moves are afoot to develop an alternative.