How many miles will 10 Litres of AdBlue last?

AdBlue is a diesel exhaust fluid used in modern diesel vehicles to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. It works by converting nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and water vapor. AdBlue consumption depends on several factors, including driving style, vehicle type, engine size, and exhaust after-treatment system. On average, most diesel cars will use around 1 litre of AdBlue every 600 to 1000 miles. So for 10 litres of AdBlue, you can expect it to last approximately 6000 to 10,000 miles. However, actual AdBlue usage can vary significantly. Here’s a more in-depth look at how many miles 10 litres of AdBlue could last.

Typical AdBlue Consumption Rates

Most diesel cars built after 2010 are equipped with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems that require AdBlue. AdBlue injection rates into the exhaust are controlled by the vehicle’s engine management system. Under normal driving conditions, consumption averages around 2-3% of diesel fuel usage. So for every 100 litres of diesel, a car will typically use 2 to 3 litres of AdBlue. Some key AdBlue consumption factors include:

  • Vehicle size – Larger and heavier vehicles like SUVs tend to use more AdBlue compared to smaller cars.
  • Driving style – Aggressive acceleration and high speeds will lead to higher AdBlue usage.
  • Towing loads – Towing a heavy trailer increases fuel usage and therefore AdBlue consumption.
  • Urban vs highway driving – More stop-start driving in cities causes more AdBlue use than steady highway cruising.
  • Diesel engine size – Vehicles with larger diesel engines will consume more AdBlue over the same distance.
  • Exhaust system – More advanced SCR systems require higher dosing rates of AdBlue to reduce NOx.
  • Ambient temperatures – Colder conditions can increase AdBlue consumption in some vehicles.

Taking these factors into account, a good rule of thumb is that most passenger diesel cars will use around 1 litre of AdBlue every 600 to 1000 miles (1000 to 1600 km). Larger vehicles and heavy-duty diesel trucks will consume AdBlue more quickly, using 1 litre every 300 to 600 miles (500 to 1000 km).

How Far 10 Litres of AdBlue Will Last

Based on typical consumption rates, here are some rough estimates for how many miles 10 litres of AdBlue could last in different vehicle types:

  • Small diesel car – 6000 to 10,000 miles (10,000 to 16,000 km)
  • Midsize diesel car – 5000 to 8000 miles (8000 to 13,000 km)
  • Large diesel SUV – 3000 to 6000 miles (5000 to 10,000 km)
  • Diesel pickup truck – 3000 to 5000 miles (5000 to 8000 km)
  • Heavy-duty diesel truck – 2000 to 4000 miles (3000 to 6500 km)

Of course, these are just general estimates. The actual driving range from 10 litres of AdBlue could be higher or lower depending on your specific vehicle condition, driving habits, and operational factors. Aggressive city driving or frequently towing heavy loads will use up AdBlue quicker. Steady highway cruising or eco-friendly driving extends the mileage per litre. Checking your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s AdBlue consumption specifications provides a more tailored estimate.

Factors That Affect AdBlue Usage

To help estimate how far 10 litres of AdBlue will go in your own vehicle, it’s useful to understand the key factors that impact consumption:

Vehicle Type

Larger and heavier vehicles that burn more diesel fuel will inevitably use more AdBlue over a given distance. For example, a small 1.5L diesel hatchback will consume AdBlue much more slowly than a 3.0L diesel pickup truck. The engine size, weight, aerodynamics and powertrain efficiency all contribute to AdBlue usage.

Driving Style

Aggressive driving with rapid acceleration, high speeds, and constant stopping/starting significantly increases fuel and AdBlue consumption. Maintaining reasonable speeds and smooth acceleration extends the miles per litre. Optimal driving habits like avoiding excessive idling, anticipation braking, and efficient route planning helps minimize AdBlue usage.

Towing Loads

The extra load of towing a heavy trailer or caravan adds to the engine workload, increasing diesel and AdBlue consumption. For vehicles that frequently tow near their maximum capacity, AdBlue usage could potentially double compared to unladen highway driving.

Urban vs Highway Driving

Stop-start urban driving uses more AdBlue than steady high speed cruising. Traffic conditions with many accelerations from standstill lead to higher consumption, as the SCR system has to work harder to treat NOx emissions during unstable engine loads. Maintaining optimal combustion also helps reduce AdBlue usage.

Ambient Temperatures

Some diesel vehicles may increase AdBlue dosing rates in cold weather to aid heating of the SCR catalyst. This protects the exhaust system but results in higher AdBlue consumption. Testing shows winter driving can increase usage by 10-25% in very cold climates. However, other cars show minimal seasonal variation in AdBlue consumption.

Condition of SCR System

Faults in the SCR system like a blocked injector, leaking lines, or failed NOx sensor could all contribute to elevated AdBlue usage as the engine management system attempts to compensate. Well maintained components ensure optimal AdBlue dosing and economy.

Service Intervals

Manufacturers specify optimal AdBlue refill intervals for good reason. Leaving it longer between top-ups allows concentration to drop, potentially causing higher consumption. Always refilling at the recommended service interval ensures purity and intended dosing.

How to Check AdBlue Levels

Monitoring your AdBlue levels is the best way to understand average consumption rates in your vehicle and driving conditions. Here are some ways to check AdBlue levels:

  • Dashboard warning lights – Most cars display a low AdBlue warning telling you to refill soon.
  • Multi-function display – AdBlue percentage or litres remaining may be shown in the dashboard menu.
  • Smartphone apps – Some apps can read AdBlue levels through the OBD port.
  • Diagnostic tool – Workshops can check AdBlue via diagnostic scan tools.
  • Dipstick – Aftermarket dipsticks can be purchased to manually check the AdBlue tank.
  • Estimate from fuel usage – Check litres used against miles driven.

Tracking AdBlue consumption over a few tanks of fuel will give you a good idea of miles per litre. This allows you to better predict expected range from a full refill, plan top-ups, and budget running costs.

Tips for Improving AdBlue Economy

If your AdBlue seems to disappear quickly, there are some driving techniques and maintenance steps you can take to help improve economy:

  • Accelerate gently – Aggressive starts use more fuel and AdBlue.
  • Maintain steady speeds – Constant speed cruising optimizes consumption.
  • Anticipate traffic flow – Avoid unnecessary braking then acceleration.
  • Reduce heavy loads – Take out roof racks and storage when not needed.
  • Check tire pressures – Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance.
  • Service vehicle on schedule – Replace worn components causing higher fuel consumption.
  • Fix SCR system faults – Any issues should be promptly diagnosed and repaired.
  • Use recommended AdBlue – Poor quality or diluted fluid impacts dosing.
  • Top up before empty – Running the tank dry can damage SCR components.


In summary, 10 litres of AdBlue will typically last around 6000 to 10,000 miles (10,000 to 16,000 km) in an average diesel car. But actual usage depends greatly on your specific vehicle, engine, driving conditions and habits. Monitoring consumption levels will give you the best estimate for your situation. Following economical driving practices, maintaining the SCR system, and always using quality AdBlue will help maximize the miles from a tank. Understanding how far 10 litres of AdBlue will go in your own diesel helps plan ahead for timely top-ups.

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