ADVANCED ENGINE TECHNOLOGY DRIVING CHANGES FOR GASOLINE OIL SPECIFICATIONS
Tightening fuel economy standards and the subsequent advances in engine technologies are pushing big changes in the passenger car motor oil (PCMO) market.
Increasingly strict regulations on fuel economy and emissions have pushed the automotive industry to develop smaller, more efficient engines. By 2020, industry experts predict that nearly every new vehicle will feature direct-injection technology (GDI), and the vast majority will be turbocharged (TGDI). The most recent corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards require a fleet-wide average of 54.5 mpg by 2025 in the United States, necessitating a 5 percent annual improvement.
These factors contribute to the following:
- Severe engine knock, also called lowspeed pre-ignition (LSPI)
- Increased engine temperatures • Compromised fuel injectors
- Greater overall stress and dependence on engine oil
Two new gasoline engine oil specifications are in development to address these issues: General Motors’ (GM)* proprietary dexos1™: 2015 and API SP/ILSAC GF-6.
Both specifications place a major focus on limiting the impact of low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI). This will be an essential feature of engine oil in the coming years. Similar to traditional engine knock, LSPI occurs when fuel/air spontaneously ignites prior to the spark ignition. The pressure created by this ill-timed combustion pushes down on the piston as the connecting rod and crankshaft work to move it upward. These conflicting forces can result in severe engine damage beyond that of typical engine knock. LSPI is an issue unique to newer turbocharged and GDI engines and occurs under low-speed and high-torque conditions. However, a properly formulated motor oil can prevent its effects.
GM’s second-generation dexos1 specification is a global specification that aims to standardize the quality of oil installed in GM vehicles regardless of location. Similar to the GF-6 specification, dexos1: 2015 will address fuel economy and LSPI. It will also include new tests unique to GM focused on oxidative thickening, piston deposits, turbocharger deposits and wear control. It is due to be released in late August 2017.
- Designed for 2011 model-year and newer engines
- Targets higher levels of performance in all areas
NEW DEXOS1: 2015 & ILSAC GF-6 SPECIFICATIONS
- Low speed pre-ignition protection preventing severe engine damage
- Added piston deposit prevention for fuel economy and horsepower retention
- Improved turbocharger protection to prevent turbocoking and increase longevity
- Increased wear protection for maintaining like-new performance
- Increased sludge protection for cleaner engines
Replacing the ILSAC GF-5 specification, the primary focus of ILSAC GF-6 will be increased fuel economy, oil robustness and protecting GDI and TGDI engines from LSPI and timing-chain wear. The spec will be split into GF-6A and GF- 6B to accommodate the trend toward lower-viscosity oils. GF-6B will provide a new category of oil designed for newer vehicles that require low hightemperature/high-shear (HTHS) and viscosities of 0W-20 or less. GF-6 is expected to be released in mid-2019.
- GF-6A is designed for current modelyear engines and older requiring a traditional viscosity oil
- GF-6B is designed for newer engines requiring lower viscosity oil
The International Lubricant Standardization Approval Committee (ILSAC) is a partnership between U.S. and Japanese automobile manufacturers. ILSAC and the American Petroleum Institute (API) work in tandem to develop engine protection standards and fuel economy requirements. Oils displaying the API Certification Mark, or “Starburst,” meet these requirements.
As new requirements are revealed and the technology evolves, many standardized engine tests are being overhauled or replaced. GF-6 will feature at least six new engine tests while dexos1: 2015 will gain five. The tests encompass issues from low-temperature valvetrain wear (GF-6) to turbocharger deposits (dexos1: 2015).
AMSOIL Prepared for Change
AMSOIL Dealers can be well-assured that we will be ready for the implementation of the new specs with top-performing synthetic formulations. Details will be unveiled in upcoming issues of AMSOIL Magazine.