4 risks of using cheap AdBlue

Running a fleet of commercial vehicles is an expensive business, so we understand why organisations might look for cost savings where they can, be it cheap AdBlue® or any number of measures. However, there are many dangers involved in using cheap AdBlue products that you need to be aware of. That’s why we’re going to explore these risks and the steps you can take to mitigate these to save your money.

Here are the 4 risks you are taking when using cheap AdBlue:

1. Non-accredited AdBlue

Spotting a gap in the market, many fluid blenders took to making cheap AdBlue reproductions to undercut the genuine, branded article. This, in itself, is perhaps not a problem, as long as the product is labelled correctly. But that is where the trouble begins. Some unscrupulous manufacturers are passing their unlicenced product off as the real thing and are flogging it at knock-down prices. So widespread is the problem, that if you’ve ever put AdBlue into Google, you will have seen companies selling non-accredited products without even realising it!

What’s more, non-accredited fluids are often less diluted than real AdBlue, meaning that you will end up needing to purchase the fluid more regularly, making it not so cost-efficient in the long-run.

2. Repair Bills

Another major issue with non-accredited urea solutions is that it is impossible to tell what’s actually in it. This means that many of the products don’t do the job they’re supposed to do.

Here at Rix, we know that fleet managers are under constant pressure to keep a lid on costs, as by not doing so, they can soon start to spiral. However, managing costs should never become an excuse for cutting corners, and this is particularly the case where vehicles are concerned.

It’s possible that badly blended solutions could even damage your catalytic converter and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, and in turn, boost your repair bill to several thousand pounds. To comply with Euro 6 emission standards, SCR systems involve injecting tiny and precise amounts of AdBlue into the car’s exhaust gases to create a chemical reaction which neutralises emissions that are harmful to the planet.

SCR systems are significantly sensitive to any impurities in the urea solution, and this is why real AdBlue is manufactured and stored in exceptionally pure conditions to avoid contamination. Cheap AdBlue has likely not been approved following these standards, therefore putting you at risk. For more information on Euro 6 Adblue regulations, read our latest blog post.

3. Breach Emission Legislation

Purchasing cheap AdBlue that’s ingenuine could leave you breaching emissions legislation and opening your company up to fines and the accompanying reputational damage. Also, although the UK is still negotiating an exit from the EU, the current emissions standards are unlikely to be changed.

4. Invalidate your Warranty

Buying cheap AdBlue to save a small amount of money could drastically backfire. Using non-accredited urea solutions (cheap AdBlue) is fraught with problems and will immediately invalidate your warranty. If anything goes wrong with a vehicle, as soon as the manufacturer sees you’ve used an unlicensed product, they will void the warranty, leaving you with no comeback and probably a huge repair bill.

Remember, it’s not just one vehicle it affects. If you use it across your entire fleet, then the warranties across your entire fleet will be void.

However, it is not always easy to tell what is genuine and what is not. Not all AdBlue is created equally, and with clever branding, products can often look just like the real thing. So how do you avoid buying inferior products by accident?

3 Tips to Ensure you’re Purchasing Real AdBlue:

  • Check ISO Number

To ensure you are purchasing real AdBlue, you must at first examine the product packaging to check that it has been produced in compliance with ISO 22241. This may also appear as ISO-22241-1, ISO-22241-2 or ISO-22241-3.

If there’s no mention of an ISO number, then take this as a warning sign that the product is likely not genuine.

Also, a traceable batch number will be visible if the product is real AdBlue.

  • Check the label

Look out for the label saying “urea solution” or similar names to this. Usually, this the suppliers’ way of deceiving potential customers and getting around not being able to legally name their product AdBlue.

  • Buy your AdBlue from a Reputable Supplier

The answer to that is to find a reputable supplier that only stocks real AdBlue VDA accredited products.

Cheaper non-licensed AdBlue cannot actually be legally called AdBlue. In order for AdBlue to be real AdBlue, it must be first accredited by the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) – the German Association of the Automotive Industry.

At Rix Petroleum, all of our AdBlue products are VDA accredited, and this is stated on the labels alongside the ISO number. So, you can be totally confident when buying from us that all your warranties will remain intact, you will meet emission regulations, and you won’t damage your catalytic converter.

Extra Cost Burden Of AdBlue®

The introduction of AdBlue for commercial vehicles added an extra cost burden to businesses operating fleets. And with heavy fines in place for anyone breaching the Euro 6 emission regulations, there is little that can be done to avoid those costs. However, that hasn’t stopped many hauliers trying. In 2018, the DVLA announced a crackdown on haulage companies using so-called ‘AdBlue emulators’ to cheat the system after finding widespread non-compliance across the UK.

As specialist suppliers of commercial fuels, fuel additives and lubricants, we know how important cost-saving is. Maintaining a good fleet is often the lifeblood of a company, so doing anything that jeopardises that, even in the name of efficiencies, is a false economy. By working with us, you will never have to look for quick fixes to reduce the running costs. Instead, we can help you manage your costs on an ongoing basis and help to ensure your vehicles stay where they ought to be – on the road.

To find out how we can help you, fill in an AdBlue enquiry form and our AdBlue experts will be happy to provide you with more information and a quote. Alternatively, please feel free to contact us on 0800 542 42.