Do We Focus Too Much on the ACEA 3 Standard ?

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922
Location
Ontario , Canada
Going through some different oils today at a local store and it seems that the ACEA 3 standard is more about viscosity than anything else. Looks like just about any 40 weight synthetic oil can pass that standard. I seen some of the old school Castrol Syntec 5w-50 oil and it meets the standard, but I wouldnt regard that oil to be very good based on some of the UOA's we've seen on it. I would say some of the better brand 30 weight oils would outperform the Syntec 5w-50 by a long shot if put to the test, despite the different ratings. I've contemplated going to a 5w-40 syn. oil thinking the ACEA 3 rating is all that, but now that I've seen Castrol 5w-50 with the rating endorsement makes me wonder why I should bother worrying about that standard/spec. any opinions on this ?
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
I agee. A5/B5 is what works for me, because I use a 30 wt. An A3 wouldn't be better, just thicker. Either A5 or A3 suggest to me a better oil than if only A1 rated, however.
 
Messages
11,247
Location
PA
Your preconceptions about Castrol are affecting your judgment. A3-spec is like 250 hours in an oil-eating machine, API SL is like 25 hours with make-up oil. If you think an oil is bad after passing this test, you are smoking something.
 

GSV

Messages
696
Location
Utah
You have to match your oil to your engine. Hondas seem to be quite easy on motor oil. If I drove a Honda I wouldn't worry about it. I have a Nissan engine that really beats the snot out of it's oil. For this engine I really like the A3-98 and A3-02 specs. Everything considered I think the A3 spec is better for my engine than A5. see http://www.acea.be/ACEA/20020618PublicationsOilSequences.pdf on page 5 the HT/HS specs are discussed. [Cheers!] [Patriot]
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
quote:
Originally posted by GSV: You have to match your oil to your engine. Hondas seem to be quite easy on motor oil. If I drove a Honda I wouldn't worry about it. I have a Nissan engine that really beats the snot out of it's oil. For this engine I really like the A3-98 and A3-02 specs. Everything considered I think the A3 spec is better for my engine than A5. see http://www.acea.be/ACEA/20020618PublicationsOilSequences.pdf on page 5 the HT/HS specs are discussed. [Cheers!] [Patriot]
Very true. Engine, Ambient, Driving syle. I agree. One size does not fit all.
 
The bottle of M1 0w30 I have is rated ACEA A5, and for most engines that is just fine. Seems that it's the dino oils and the synthetic-wannabe oils that are rated ACEA A1. The significant difference between the A5 & A3 standards is the HT/HS, as discussed in many previous threads. A higher HT/HS is not always better; it's not a "more is better" thing rather it's an engine-specific issue.
 
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11,247
Location
PA
Is there any such thing as a BAD A3 oil? [I dont know] Sorry for the snap judgment before, but it seems like A3 is the only usable spec. It divides the pack quite accurately, I bet, if some one did a UOA study normalized for miles-diven-per-quart or something like that. [Big Grin] I guess maybe a weak link might be Valvoline SynPower 5w-40. I used it, but my question is why is an oil considered poor in VOA when it has low adds (SynPower) when a better basestock ~reduces~ the need for adds in the first place. [Confused]
 
Messages
34,391
Location
NJ
YES. Not all cars need an A3 rated oil. The new 20wts are providing excellent protection in the engines they are called for. It's an extremely over valued spec. I like the A3 rating and think the oils are very good that have one, but again, its not the end all be all.
 
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2,602
Location
The Tropics of Antartica
I keep going to thinner and thinner oils . It works like this kinda sorta [Smile] . If time after time I keep jumping out of an airplane while lowering the altitude by 500ft per jump soon I'll not need a parachute .
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
For low vis, xw-20/xw-30 oils, you want ACEA "A5/B5" ...for applications where you need a thicker xw-30/xw-40, the "A3/B4" lubes are preferred. I'd specifically also look for the B4 or B5 specs, which means the formulation is suitable for use in high performance, turbocharged, direct injection, diesels. The B4/B5 oils have much better detergency and acid neutralizing properties than gas engine oils. This is critical to running long drain intervals and maintaining excellent engine cleanliness. The ACEA A3 spec by itself isn't that tough to meet, in fact some $2.25/qt, synthetic blends meet it with perhaps 10% synthetic basestock in the mix.
 
Messages
19
Location
Montréal
quote:
Originally posted by williar: The bottle of M1 0w30 I have is rated ACEA A5, and for most engines that is just fine. Seems that it's the dino oils and the synthetic-wannabe oils that are rated ACEA A1.
The "dino" Castrol GTX 5W30 & 10W30 sold here is A5 rated. The only problem with "dino" is that it doesn't come in 0W30 too. [Canada]
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by Audi Junkie: but my question is why is an oil considered poor in VOA when it has low adds (SynPower) when a better basestock ~reduces~ the need for adds in the first place. [Confused]
Excellent point and worthy of its own thread. Valvoline gets ripped for low adds, but seems to performs well in UOAs. Also, why does Chevron Supreme, which is supposed to be all Group II base oil (pretty good stuff), have moly? To pass the "Energy Conserving" test? If so, maybe 10w40 Chevron Supreme does not have any moly.
 
Messages
2,480
quote:
I would say some of the better brand 30 weight oils would outperform the Syntec 5w-50 by a long shot if put to the test, despite the different ratings.[/QB]
I agree with Audie Junkie. Statements like this are preconceived. You obviously have never used Syntec 5-50. Which 30 weights are you referring to that can 'outperform' it? And to answer your question, yes I believe that currently an A3 rated oil is the best you can get whatever the grade behind it's rating. eg. the A3-rated GC 0-30 is a better oil than a A-1 rated M-1 0-30. Why? Because it has a higher standard to answer to.
 
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