My survey of ACEA 3 oils. 7 syn, 3 semis & a DINO!

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Aug 12, 2003
After a lecture from my mechanic on the virtues of race oils and Castrol GTX 15w-40, I wanted to find out which otc oils would actually meet his customer's specs instead of the olde-school GTX he uses.
Heavy 50w film strength seems to be what racers are obessed with. He uses Valvoline Racing 50w and changes 1000-2000 miles and wants nothing to do with Long-Life oils. As far as M1 15w-50 goes, he experienced a cam bearing failure on his S6 and had a 944T sitting there in the shop with a blown engine, M1 red label jug was visible through the rear hatch. So in 50w that leaves Syntec 5w-50 and Synpower 20w-50 for people who are looking to go the 50w synthetic route.
The surprise here is the dino oil meeting ACEA 3. I have heard synthetic oil proponets say no way can a dino meet ACEA3, here is the proof- it does.
Here is the list I made, please add any ones I missed.

Chevron Delo 400 15w-40
Valvoline SynPower 5w-40, 20w-50
Durablend 10w-40, 20w-50
Castrol Syntec 20w-50, 5w-50, 0w-30 (German only)
Synthetic Blend 10w-40
Mobil 1 0w-40, 15w-50

It was reported here Quaker State Synthetic 5w-30 meets ACEA 3, but the bottle I checked did not say so, few 30w oils do meet the required 3.5 HT/HS value.
Some one should find out if Kendall 5w-40 Full Synth meets it, probally does. I hate PDFs.
I hope this helps people decide, and keep away from non-ACEA 3 oils for cars which require tham.
PENTOSYNTH 5W-40 meets A3/B3, API SJ-EC,CF, Saab cars to 2002, BMW [Longlife], DaimlerChrysler (MB 229.1), VW 502/505 and Porsche. Sounds good to me.
All Q.S. labels have the same lingo....meets European ACEA specs....etc....however, the A3 comes from the PDF file on their website showing the specs of their oils.

Oh, and you forgot Syntec 10-40. Where on the dino oils did you see an A3 qualification?
Some more ACEA A3 oils, although you probably won't find them in the US:

Castrol TWS Motorsport 10w-60
Castrol TXT Softec Plus 5w-30
Castrol Formula RS 0w-40
Castrol GTX Magnatec 5w-40 and 10w-40 (blend)
Motul 8100 Ester E-Tech 0w-40 (meets VW 502 00 / 505 00 / 503.01, Mercedes Benz 229.3 by the way)
Motul 8100 X-cess 5w-40 (meets VW 502 00 / 505 00, BMW ‘Long Life’, PORSCHE, Mercedes Benz 229.3)
Motul 6100 Synergie 10w-40 and 15w-50
Motul 4100 Turbolight 10w-40
Motul 4100 Power 15w-50
Castrol TXT Softec+ 5W-30 (aka BMW High Performance Synthetic) is ACEA A3

edit: Quattro Pete beat me to it
this can be found at BMW dealerships

[ August 21, 2003, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: quadrun1 ]
I wouldnt rule out M1 15w-50. In fact, I would bet it's better then most if not all of these other oils. Amsoil S2k 20w-50 is a nice oil too.

[ August 21, 2003, 05:48 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
Don't forget diesel oils like Delvac 1 5W-40 and Shell Rotella T Syn 5W-40, these aren't officially rated ACEA A3 but I think they'd meet this spec.

Many Amsoil & I think most Redline oils are A3 too.
You can use light oils for racing. It depends on what your running. Thicker is not always better. It entirely depends on the output of the engine and conditions it is put under.

Originally posted by **** in Falls Church:
Add AMSOIL ASL 5W-30, ATM 10W-30, TSO 0W-30.

If you look closely at the label and the Amsoil web site, these oils don't MEET the ACEA specs, they are "recommended for applications requiring" them. Big difference.
I'm confused. I just checked out Chevron's site to look into the claim that Delo 400 15W-40 multiweight motor oil is an "ACEA 3" certified product. (The link goes to a PDF.) First of all, what the heck is "ACEA 3"? I'm vaguely aware that ACEA has several alpha-numeric performance qualifications preceeded by "A" and "B" for gasoline fueled engines. The only ACEA qualifiers I found regarding Delo 400 15W-40 heavy duty "fleet" oil were ACEA "E3" & "E5". Aren't these European diesel engine service qualifiers? There were no "A" or "B" ACEA gasoline service qualifiers listed.
"A3--Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low viscosity oils, and/or for severe operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer."

Look at pages 5-11 for the actual requirements for gasoline engine oils (A), light duty diesel engine oils (B), and heavy duty diesel engine oils (E).

The point was that TSoA listed "ACEA" with no alpha performance or engine-type qualifiers in his original post - only a "3" numeric. Absolutely meaningless as presented.
Whoa, Chevron and I both used "ACEA 3" designation, but I guess it is as meaningless as random letters. I guess next time I'll just type whatever letters my alphabet soup says.
In North America, where highway speeds rarely exceed 100mph on average, the A3 spec isnt that important. Take an oil like M1 10w-30, which is not A3 certified. It never goes out of grade, yet there are oils that are A3 rated that do, under similar conditions. So you have to wonder how important it really is. The only reason some oils dont meet this spec is bc they are not thick enough..M1 as an example. If you are concerned, I'd just run a thicker weight oil that meets the spec.
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