API question

Joined
Oct 8, 2021
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45
Location
Southwest Virginia
My recently deceased cousin’s wife has a Cub Cadet with a Kawasaki engine, still under warranty. I am going to perform an oil change for her and intended to use Kawasaki oil & filter in case of any problems under warranty. Local dealer had the recommended 10w40 in stock but it is rated SL. I thought it was probably just old stock. Shopped ebay & Amazon and several of the pictures online showed the back of the bottle, also with the SL rating. I am inclined to buy some brand of 10w30 full syn at WM with the SP rating. Why would the Kawasaki OEM oil have that old of an API rating?
 

OVERKILL

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Apr 28, 2008
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53,061
Location
Ontario, Canada
My recently deceased cousin’s wife has a Cub Cadet with a Kawasaki engine, still under warranty. I am going to perform an oil change for her and intended to use Kawasaki oil & filter in case of any problems under warranty. Local dealer had the recommended 10w40 in stock but it is rated SL. I thought it was probably just old stock. Shopped ebay & Amazon and several of the pictures online showed the back of the bottle, also with the SL rating. I am inclined to buy some brand of 10w30 full syn at WM with the SP rating. Why would the Kawasaki OEM oil have that old of an API rating?
Many applications including Euro ones and OPE, ATV's, UTV's...etc don't concern themselves with the API approvals because they have their own, or the additive level concentrations limited by the API don't align with what they want in their product. SL didn't limit phosphorous like SM and later did, but that doesn't matter with an xW-40 because the limit only applies to xW-30's and below.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2003
Messages
5,346
Location
Decatur AL USA
My recently deceased cousin’s wife has a Cub Cadet with a Kawasaki engine, still under warranty. I am going to perform an oil change for her and intended to use Kawasaki oil & filter in case of any problems under warranty. Local dealer had the recommended 10w40 in stock but it is rated SL. I thought it was probably just old stock. Shopped ebay & Amazon and several of the pictures online showed the back of the bottle, also with the SL rating. I am inclined to buy some brand of 10w30 full syn at WM with the SP rating. Why would the Kawasaki OEM oil have that old of an API rating?

Many equipment manufacturers will choose to rate to an older standard because they prefer a more robust oil that will not meet current phosphorus and sulfated ash limits. Those limits have been placed to protect emissions equipment so manufacturers have to pay less emissions equipment warranty claims. If you don't have emissions equipment you might not choose to handicap yourself.

In some cases the oil might meet current API standards but equipment users have been conditioned or instructed in the manual not to buy oils rated to the newer standards so they are trying to avoid confusing the consumer. Most consumers would not have a clue with instructions like minimum 1.2% Sulfated Ash and 1200 ppm zinc.
 
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