Next API designation?

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Staff member
May 27, 2002
Guelph, Ontario
I know the SL designation hasn't been out too long but does anyone know when the next one is scheduled to come out?

Auto, oil and lubricant additive industry representatives are continuing their work to draft GF-4, which would be the biggest upgrade of passenger car motor oils since adoption of the Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System in 1993. Automakers have set several goals for the category. One is to lower phosphorus levels to avoid poisoning catalysts in new emissions control devices. OEMs also want oils to provide greater oxidative stability, better fuel economy and better deposit control

Very interesting! Thanks Ken!
There is tentative agreement on a phosphorus level of .08 for API SM/ILSAC GF-4. I also read somewhere that the new target date for the introduction of the latest spec will be February or March of 2004. See the link. web page

[ April 04, 2003, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
The backward compatability issue is an interesting one. It could be that future cars, 2004 or 2005, require GF-4 oils and cannot use GF-3 oils. If GF-4 oils are only 5W-20 or 0W-10 or whatever, it'll make for some interesting commentary. And, some folks will insist on using the wrong oils and blame the car makers for the future failures. Other folks will just be ignorant and use the wrong oils. Of course, only time will tell if the new oils are suitable for engine longevity--it seems that the car makers are only interested in 100,000 miles to cover the extended warranties they sell, and many consumers still think that 100k is an adequate life for an engine.

The introduction of the GF-4 spec has been delayed, since they can't agree on phosphorus limits. I believe they are going to end up with a limit of 800 ppm and not 500 ppm, to ensure backwards compatability.

I'd like to see something like the ACEA A3/B4 ratings, but that would eliminate all the petroleum lubes from making the grade. Of course, that would be fine with me ...

dixie synthetics
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