GF-4... Is this true???

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Jan 16, 2003
Shippensburg, PA
Found this on Lubrizols site:
The demands that ILSAC GF-4 will place on oil performance, fuel economy and engine durability are so rigorous that a new class of motor oils will have to be engineered. In fact, the upgrade of these oils will be so significant that, for the first time in lubrication history, the new oils may not be back-serviceable.
[Eek!] What is so drastic about the GF-4 requirements that would prohibit a GF-4 oil from being used in an engine spec'd for GF-2?
Maybe it means the oils will be 'dumbed down' so much to protect the cats that it won't protect GF-3 spec'd engines and prior? Dave
I take that to infer that the new SX oils after SL may not provide the wear protection offered by SG to SL oils.
If the oils are not back serviceable won't that mean that the oil companies will have to blend an SL and an SM?
That is my impression. Geez... if there are not enough oils on the shelf now between the hi-mileage, syn blend, etc. varities, now I guess we will see SL & SM too. [Roll Eyes] I think I will stick to SL, even in a new car, after seeing how much they plan to lower ZDDP levels.
Nope. After a transition period, "SL" will be a memory. What'll probably happen is more dependence on Group-II+ and Group-III lube base stocks, and moly to compensate for the lower concentration of ZDDP in the new "SM" motor oils. In some ways the 5W-20 "SL" motor oils that have surprised so many Doubting Thomases with their great UOAs were probably a harbinger of things to come with the "SM" motor oils. Recent model year Honda and Ford owners got to be unpaid guinea pigs. In other words, "better living through better chemistry" will force the economy blenders to put some money into better base oil and additive packages. I think those of us who still use conventional motor oils will get along just dandy. I see no reason to believe the Chicken Little, "The sky is falling!" doomsday prophesies. [ February 05, 2004, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: Ray H ]
Originally posted by Ray H: I think those of us who still use conventional motor oils will get along just dandy.
I suppose those of us who use non-API certified oils will also do just fine.
Question I have, is can ZDDP replaced with other additives that are as good or better? Or should I say, do they exist and can they be implemented in quanities that offset the huge reduction in ZDDP? We already see M1 doing this wit borate esters and calcium. [I dont know] If not, I'll be using oils like M1R mixed with some regular M1 or S2k. I don't like the idea of going so low with ZDDP. I'm not a chemist but it seems like they are sacrificing wear for mpg which is just stupid IMO. [ February 05, 2004, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
What about those of us living in the stone ages with flat tappet cams in some of our cars? I want my ZDDP for my cam/lifter interface! [Mad]
Novadude, You had better find a good ZDDP additive! I read some ASE papers that basicly said that for current SL they substituted non-roller hydralic lifters in a Buick 3.8 and got satifactory results. GM is pushing had for oils that do oils that have such low levels of ZDDP, Phosphurous, and sulfur that lifter with out rollers are doomed. GM spoke to Japanesses and European manufactures and they all did not see this as a problem with their designs. SO I would expect to see problems with old flat tappet designs running high nose pressures. You will probably have to buy older spec. oils as time goes on! GM years ago publicly said that they were working on a sealed for life crankcase. I have no idea if this is stil in the works or not!
Well, my flat tappet engine is old and prefers a heavier viscosity, so it looks like I will be going to a 15W40 HD oil. So far, SL 10W-40 has been working well, since the car sees limited use. Actually, I think that I was using SJ oil up until this summer, so I only have about 1k miles on the SL. Good to know about that GM study... I had a 3.8 in an '85 Regal that ran like new at 155k miles. For the 60k miles I owned it, I ran a steady diet of $.99/qt Mobil Drive Clean (this was 1997-2001, so SJ oil), so the current oils obviously work with flat tappets.
A few interesting links, although I don't know how current this info is... "The automakers have referenced their own data indicating that older engines will be able to safely use the new GF-4 oils...(Ford Motor Co.) has said it has settled on a backward-compatible formulation that was successfully tested on 11 existing fleets and eight engine models." " much phosphorus is in the oil may not be as important as how much of it volatilizes and leaves the combustion chamber as part of the exhaust stream...engine oils having sufficient phosphorus additive content to serve the engine in preventing wear could have minor effects on the ability of exhaust stream catalyst to process emissions.” Also, the proposed reduction in phosphorus is apparently related only to cat contamination, and not fuel economy. The level of zinc salts in the various STP oil treatments is typically from 1-5%.
When GF-4 rumors first started they said it would not be backward compatiable. But with some changes to the final testing and formulation, it will be backward compataible. There has alway been two reasons oil companies used ZDDP. It did a good job for what it was designed to do and it was cheap. There are other additives that do as good a job or better than ZDDP. But when the day comes that we have to go this way, you will no longer buy oil on sale for $.98 per quart. More like on sale for $2.75 per quart. It will get expensive.
What does this all mean? That the next generation of oil standards will not protect engines as good as earlier ones? Will they continue to offer GF-3 and SL oils to satisfy earlier requirments?
Originally posted by Johnny: But when the day comes that we have to go this way, you will no longer buy oil on sale for $.98 per quart. More like on sale for $2.75 per quart. It will get expensive.
The good news is maybe people will have second thoughts on dumping oil every 3k miles. I doubt it though. Most people don't change their own oil and the cost of materials won't cause the the final bill to go up that much at a dealer or wimpy lube.
Even the current GF-3 oils have reduced ZDDP and I wont use them in older flat-tappet engines. GF-4 is just another step in the same direction. The good news is that base oils are getting better to meet the standards. Group I wont make it anymore. $1 motor oil may be a thing of the past, but with gasoline selling for nearly $2 a gallon, oil is a negligible part of operating expense. The obvious alternative is "high mileage" oil that is API Sx but not ILSAC GF-x rated.
Here's the GF-4 spec: GF-4 oil will be fully backward compatible. It is designed to reduce engine wear...the car makers get all those vehicles back as lease returns after 3 or 4 years, and they need the engines to be in good condition and suitable to be rewarranted for good resale value. Generally, higher quality base oil will be needed to produce GF-4 than the present GF-3, but, "... an additive company submitted data for a demonstration 10W-30 oil made with 50-percent Group I and which met GF-4 requirements. A second company provided data showing a demonstration oil made with 100 percent Group I that could pass the III-G test, a key requirement of GF-4.",a12MT5WC Ken [ February 06, 2004, 04:51 PM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
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