AdBlue® and Car care > AdBlue® warning light > AdBlue® / Urea warning light on: What should I do?

AdBlue® / Urea warning light on: What should I do?

AdBlue warning light

Has your vehicle’s AdBlue® or Urea warning light just come on? Find out what this warning light means and how to react following its display.

AdBlue® warning light on: what does it mean?

When the AdBlue® or Urea warning light appears on the dashboard of your diesel vehicle, it simply means that you have not much AdBlue® left in your tank.

As soon as this first warning light appears, you should know that you have 2,400 km (1,491 miles) to go before your AdBlue® tank is empty. It is therefore necessary to top up with AdBlue® as soon as you get the chance.

Unlike fuel, very few vehicle models have a gauge that shows the amount of AdBlue® in the tank in real time. If you have a fairly recent vehicle, a warning message will appear on your dashboard each time you start up, indicating the remaining AdBlue® range. You can expect to use between 1 and 2 litres of AdBlue® every 1,000 km (621 miles), depending on your vehicle and your driving style.

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What does the AdBlue® indicator light look like?

Depending on the manufacturer of your vehicle and the year of the car model, the AdBlue® (or Urea) warning light can take different forms:

  • a blue petrol pump (with or without the word “AdBlue”)
  • a bottle pouring liquid
  • the word “UREA”
  • the word “AdBlue” alone
  • a petrol pump that goes from black to orange to red.

On the most recent vehicles, the symbol is generally associated with a message such as: “Refill AdBlue! No engine start in 2400 km”. To recognise your vehicle’s AdBlue® warning light, the best thing to do is to consult its service manual.

How do I fill up with AdBlue®?

You can now be sure that the light on your dashboard corresponds to an AdBlue® warning. Now let’s see how to fill up with AdBlue®!

To fill up with AdBlue®, there are 2 main solutions :

The simplest solution is to buy a can (ideally 10 litres, to be on the safe side for a while), which you pour directly into the dedicated tank. AdBlue® pumps are not yet widely available.

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Your AdBlue® light stays on after filling… What should I do?

For the AdBlue® light to disappear, you need to refill your tank with at least 4 litres of liquid. If you have added at least this amount of AdBlue®, be aware that the light may remain on for a few minutes before disappearing.

If this is not the case, we advise you to make an appointment with your mechanic as soon as possible. Among the solutions that may be considered by the latter to permanently extinguish the Urea or AdBlue® warning light is the use of an anti-crystallising AdBlue®. Crystals may have formed in various parts of the SCR system (AdBlue® tank, injectors, catalyst, etc.) and are preventing it from working properly.

What is the risk if I don’t add AdBlue® despite the warning light?

If the AdBlue® warning light is on and you’ve used up your AdBlue® supply, in most cases the vehicle’s electronic system will prevent it from starting. You will therefore no longer be able to start your engine.

The only solution is to buy a can of AdBlue® and pour at least 5 litres into the dedicated tank. In some cases, you may need to call in a professional (garage) to unlock the system before you can start your vehicle again. If you want to avoid this inconvenience, don’t wait until the last moment to fill up with AdBlue®…

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This article is produced entirely independently of the brands mentioned. Certain links are likely to generate a commission intended to finance the operation of our site. Prices are given for information only and are subject to change.


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