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API Announces Improved Standards For Engine Oils

The standards will provide greater protection and fuel efficiency for today’s gasoline-engine-powered cars and trucks, according to API.


API announced the approval of improved performance standards for engine oils.

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The standards will provide greater protection and fuel efficiency for today’s gasoline-engine-powered cars and trucks, according to API.

Two of the new standards – ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B – are the latest in a line of more stringent performance specifications put forward by the International Lubricant Standardization Advisory Committee (ILSAC), and a third standard – AP SP – is API’s latest standard for engine-oil performance.

API SP includes all of the ILSAC requirements and provides performance requirements for oils that don’t fall under ILSAC-member recommendations, the organization said. The new standards specify more stringent engine-oil performance requirements for spark-ignited internal combustion engines.

All three of the standards can be licensed under API’s Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System beginning May 1, 2020.

“API developed these new performance standards in response to a request from automakers to introduce more robust engine oils that would be capable of meeting the needs of current and future gasoline engines,” said Kevin Ferrick, director, API Product Programs. “ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and API SP represent the fruits of the oil, additive and automobile industries’ labors to introduce such essential products for the people who use these vehicles every day.”


The development of ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and API SP was done over the course of seven years. In that time, seven new tests were developed, evaluated and measured for precision, and companies ran tests to demonstrate that oils can meet the more stringent requirements. Now, oil marketing companies are working to bring the oils that meet these standards to market to ensure current and future engines perform as designed.

Licensed oils that meet the ILSAC GF-6A standard will be allowed to display the API Certification Mark “starburst” and may be used where oils meeting GF-5 or earlier gasoline engine oil standards had been recommended, according to API.

Oils that meet ILSAC GF-6B will be allowed to display a new mark, the API Certification Mark “shield,” and may be used where SAE 0W-16 oils meeting API SN had been recommended. API is introducing this new “shield” at the request of automakers to prevent confusion and ensure that 0W-16 oils are used only in applications where they are recommended, API noted. 

API standards are developed under API’s American National Standards Institute-accredited process, ensuring that the API standards are recognized not only for their technical rigor but also their third-party accreditation that facilitates acceptance by state, federal and increasingly international regulators, according to the institute. API’s GIS division is responsible for standards setting, certification, training, events, publications and safety programs for industry operations.




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