ILMA Compoundings - April 2020 - 48

IN NETWORK

Cross Connections
Season of Change for Gasoline Engine Oils
By Jeffrey Harmening

T

he seasons are changing and so, too, will the gasoline
engine oils available in the marketplace. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has approved two new
ILSAC engine oil performance standards, officially designated as ILSAC-6A and ILSAC-6B, in conjunction with
a new API SP engine oil performance standard, and first
licensing against these new standards will occur May 1.
API developed these new performance standards in
response to a request from automakers to introduce more
robust engine oils capable of meeting the needs of current
and future gasoline engines. API publishes all of these
standards in API 1509, which is available free under the
Document section on the API website, www.api.org/eolcs.
This is the first time that the industry has introduced a
"split" ILSAC specification. ILSAC-6A and ILSAC-6B arose
from automakers' concern that the trend toward low-viscosity engine oils (in this case, SAE 0W-16) warranted not
only a separate specification with differing fuel economy
requirements, but also a new API certification mark to avoid
the misapplication of these oils in their engines.
To meet these concerns, API is introducing the API
Certification Mark "shield" for use on SAE 0W-16 gasoline engine oils that have been licensed against the ILSAC
GF-6B specification. Licensed oils displaying the shield will
be backward compatible for applications where SAE 0W-16
API SN-licensed oils are recommended.
Oils licensed against the ILSAC GF-6A specification will
be eligible to display the API Certification Mark "starburst."
These oils will be backward compatible for applications
where oils meeting GF-5 or earlier gasoline engine oil
standards are recommended.
The new API SP standard is the overarching standard
that includes GF-6A, GF-6B and a range of other gasoline
engine oil viscosity grades that can't meet the Sequence VIE
or VIF fuel-economy requirements. Oils that are licensed as
API SP - that is, oils meeting GF-6A, GF-6B or just API
SP requirements - may be licensed against this standard
and will be eligible to display API SP in the API Service

48

APRIL 2020

| COMPOUNDINGS | ILMA.ORG

Symbol "donut." These oils will be backward compatible
with API SN and earlier service categories. Marketers will
also be able to continue to license their oils with the additional designations of SN PLUS and resource conserving.
There are some key points to keep in mind with the
rollout of the new standards:
*	Licensed oils will be allowed to display API SP in the
donut beginning May 1.
*	Between May 1 and April 30, 2021, oils licensed
against the ILSAC GF-5 and GF-6A standards will
be permitted to display the starburst. After this GF-5
phase-out period concludes, the starburst will no longer
be permitted for use on GF-5 oils.
*	Oil formulations meeting ILSAC GF-6A, ILSAC GF6B and API SP may be licensed as products meeting
the API SN standard in advance of May 1.
*	Marketers may claim that the oils meet ILSAC GF-6A,
ILSAC GF-6B and API SP - they just can't place API
SP in the donut or display the API Certification Mark
shield on their products or marketing materials.
We know there will be a lot of questions around the specific use of the trademarks, including the shield, so to help,
API has developed a Branding Guide. This manual provides
guidelines that describe how to use the marks and make
sure labels meet API requirements. The Branding Guide is
publicly available on the API website.
Unfortunately, what will not change with the seasons is
the propensity for bad actors to counterfeit API trademarks
and/or falsely make claims to be licensed by API. To combat
this, API monitors the marketplace for such oils through its
Aftermarket Audit Program, or AMAP.
When encountered in the marketplace, suspect oils are
sampled and tested for conformance to claims. API calls these
oils and their marketers to task by posting them on the Unauthorized Oils web page, which was created to alert the public to
				 Continued on page 51


http://www.api.org/eolcs http://www.ILMA.ORG

ILMA Compoundings - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings - April 2020

ILMA Compoundings - April 2020 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings - April 2020 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings - April 2020 - 1
ILMA Compoundings - April 2020 - 2
ILMA Compoundings - April 2020 - 3
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