Pennzoil Q&A GF-6 and GF-7 with the American Petroleum Institute (API) - Answers

wwillson

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BITOG Pennzoil/API Forum Q&A – Questions

Q - ILSAC GF-7 will apparently be here in ~ 2028. 0W12 & 0W8 will now be included. Sustaining backward compatibility is also a stated goal. Are there any general comments you might have about future basestocks and add packs?

A - API RESPONSE: ILSAC GF-7 includes two new, low viscosity grade engine oils, SAE 0W-8 and SAE 0W-12. Engines must be designed to effectively use these low viscosity grade engine oils. As a result, their application will be limited to new engine designs from Automotive OEMs. Today, there are few engines in North America that are designed to use these low viscosity grade oils. As new engine designs, typically small displacement and high speed are introduced, there will be interest in these low viscosity oils to maximize fuel economy. SAE 0W-8 and SAE 0W-12 engine oils generally use API Group III and Group IV base stocks paired with high-performance additive packages.

Q - With the problem of fuel dilution with many direct injected engines, will the viscosities be increased towards the top of the viscosity ratings instead of closer to the bottoms or are the MPGs more important?

A - API RESPONSE: Fuel dilution is considered a malfunction and would not be a design consideration for engine oil viscosity. Engine oil stay-in-grade performance is evaluated as part of the API Category testing. Engine oils meeting API SP and ILSAC GF-6 should stay in grade for gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines operating as designed.

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: Pennzoil formulations are designed to maintain viscosity during the entire motor oil drain interval while still helping to maintain fuel economy. Fuel dilution is an issue associated with driving cycle, engine design and possible wear issues. Pennzoil Platinum is formulated to stay in grade during the entire drain interval; resisting viscosity changes associated with extreme temperatures and operating conditions. When we combine this with our high-performance additives, the combination helps provide protection for engine efficiency and performance.


Q - Will any HTHS information be provided for the new, lower viscosity oils?

A - API RESPONSE: HTHS specification limits for SAE 8 and SAE 12 have been defined in SAE J300 since the 2015 edition as 1.7 and 2.0 mPa·s minimum, respectively.

Q - Will the maximum Noack limit be changed for ILSAC GF-7? If so, what will the max limit be?

A - API RESPONSE: The request from ILSAC considers a new procedure and proposes that the Noack test temperature be reduced from 250°C to 150°C. Considering these proposed changes, the Noack limit could be changed from the GF-6 limit of 15% maximum evaporation loss. However, until the Auto-Oil Advisory Panel (AOAP), the industry group charged with evaluating the request and eventually developing the category, really dives into this request at the technical level, this remains to be determined.

Q - What updates have been implemented in GF-6?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: With the introduction of ILSAC GF-6, OEMs have made hardware and specification changes (ACEA, GM dexos, etc). Thus, Pennzoil has responded accordingly to meet the needs of our manufacturers as well as consumers. Here is a detailed article on the changes made for the GF-6 specification: https://www.pennzoil.com/en_us/education/what-you-need-to-know-about-ilsac-gf-6.html.

A - API RESPONSE: To date, ILSAC GF-6 was the largest undertaking in PCMO that the industry has accomplished. Couple that with the fact that the industry developed 7 new engine tests and for the first time ever, split the category into ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B, and the improvements were decidedly vast.

Development of the new engine performance tests alone was a daunting task. Tests updated for ILSAC GF-6 included the Sequence IIIH (evaluates oxidation and deposits), the Sequence IVB (wear), the Sequence VH (sludge and varnish), Sequences VIE and VIF (fuel economy) and the Sequence VIII (corrosion). Two new tests were also added: the Sequence IX (low speed pre-ignition, a.k.a. LSPI) and the Sequence X (chain wear).


The splitting of the categories resulted from an ILSAC desire to introduce a specification for lower viscosity oils, in this case, SAE 0W-16. Oils meeting the ILSAC GF-6B specification can be licensed by API to use the new API Certification Mark known as “the Shield” to clearly identify oils and to prevent misapplication of these oils into older equipment requiring more “traditional” engine oil viscosities.


Q - What are the major changes with GF-7?

A - API RESPONSE: ILSAC GF-7 has been requested to include multiple improvements. Among them include developing a replacement for the Sequence VH sludge test, which has been using the same engine since ILSAC GF-4. For this performance test, the engine components are in short supply, and there is a need to update the test procedure to better reflect current engine platforms. The Sequence VIE/F Fuel Economy tests also require an updated engine platform. ILSAC has also requested the new specification delivers increased oxidation protection, meaning a modification or replacement of the Sequence IIIH may be imminent. They also would like to introduce a stand-alone LSPI durability test to ensure oils of the future will mitigate “low speed pre-ignition” events throughout the oil drain interval. These are certainly not the only improvements for the industry to consider for ILSAC GF-7, but they are some of the most challenging tasks they will face in the coming year.

Q - Why were the updates and changes to GF-6 and GF-7 made?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: The launch of GF-6 came from regulatory and performance needs from manufacturers (OEMs) seeking motor oils to provide improved fuel economy and protection for modern day engines compared to prior specifications. Newer, smaller Turbocharged Direct Gasoline Injection (TDGI) engines require increased protection against Low-Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI) and timing chain wear. As the OEMs make these improvements in their engine designs, oil manufacturers like Pennzoil will work to provide the motor oil needed for these new category changes.

A - API RESPONSE: The ILSAC GF-6 passenger car engine oil category development was driven by a combination of regulatory and performance needs. The same basic drivers are, of course, the catalyst for the latest request from ILSAC to develop GF-7. From the regulatory side of the shop, OEMs continue to strive to produce cleaner, more fuel-efficient internal combustion engines. However, a delicate balancing act is necessary if this is to be accomplished without sacrificing the performance demands that their customers expect from their vehicles.


Q - What is Pennzoil's strategy in terms of evolving the anti-wear additive package?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: As a leader in the motor oil industry, Pennzoil is always on the lookout for new technology to help reduce motor oil’s effect on a vehicle’s emissions system. Over the years, the lowering of phosphorus, sulfur and other metals in the oil formulation has helped to extend the life of the emission systems. Thus, Pennzoil works closely with our additive suppliers to identify and source additives that will meet the needs of our OEMs and our future products. We have learned to incorporate new anti-wear technology that has helped with emissions control while protecting the engine from damaging wear. In fact, Pennzoil Platinum provides unsurpassed wear protection, a direct reflection of how we’re evolving the anti-wear additive package (Based on Sequence IVA wear test using SAE 5W-30).

Q - What anti-wear additives, if any, has Pennzoil found to have comparable properties to ZDDP?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: Specifics on our anti-wear additive technology is proprietary, but you can rest assured that we are constantly working with our additive suppliers to identify new and potential applications for all our additives; from detergents and dispersants to anti-wear.

Q - Which Pennzoil synthetic oils can provide adequate anti-wear protection in high-revving (>8,000 RPM), flat-tappet engines with high-tension valve springs given that Pennzoil oils typically contain the lowest amount of ZDDP compared with other oil brands?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: Pennzoil does not currently produce a motor oil for flat-tappets engines. However, we recommend using Shell Rotella T4, T5 and T6 products which are designed for older, flat tappet engines.

Q - Why are Pennzoil API synthetic oils (Platinum 5W30, Ultra Platinum 5W30) produced at the very low end of viscosity specifications given the well documented issues with oil shear and fuel dilution, which contributes to the oil's viscosity quickly dropping below spec?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: Inherently, Pennzoil Full Synthetic motor oils have high VI and extreme temperature performance, so this should not be the case. We then use our performance additive package and premium viscosity index improve to extend the performance of our motor oil to help resist shearing and viscosity loss during the drain interval. If you have any concerns, please feel free to send the Pennzoil BITOG account a direct message with details on the documented issue and we’d be happy to connect you with a technical representative.
 
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Q - Will the maximum Noack limit be changed for ILSAC GF-7? If so, what will the max limit be?

A - API RESPONSE: The request from ILSAC considers a new procedure and proposes that the Noack test temperature be reduced from 250°C to 150°C. Considering these proposed changes, the Noack limit could be changed from the GF-6 limit of 15% maximum evaporation loss. However, until the Auto-Oil Advisory Panel (AOAP), the industry group charged with evaluating the request and eventually developing the category, really dives into this request at the technical level, this remains to be determined.

As it is, almost no one reports NOACK for the lubricants they sell. I'm not sure what such a change would accomplish. However, maybe this is a change that shouldn't happen. What purpose could skewing the numbers serve in the context of not many people being actually aware of the new testing methodology? :unsure:
 
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As it is, almost no one reports NOACK for the lubricants they sell. I'm not sure what such a change would accomplish. However, maybe this is a change that shouldn't happen. What purpose could skewing the numbers serve in the context of not many people being actually aware of the new testing methodology? :unsure:
Ability to use cheaper basestock? I guess it'll depend on where the limit is set for evap loss.
 

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Ability to use cheaper basestock? I guess it'll depend on where the limit is set for evap loss.
That was my thought, with the push for lighter oils, and Noack subsequently becoming harder to suppress, it would make sense that pushing to modify the test to "fix" that in the name of the almighty dollar would be considered.
 
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First of all, big thanks to the Pennzoil and API teams for taking the time to answer all the questions. Much appreciated!

Q - Which Pennzoil synthetic oils can provide adequate anti-wear protection in high-revving (>8,000 RPM), flat-tappet engines with high-tension valve springs given that Pennzoil oils typically contain the lowest amount of ZDDP compared with other oil brands?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: Pennzoil does not currently produce a motor oil for flat-tappets engines. However, we recommend using Shell Rotella T4, T5 and T6 products which are designed for older, flat tappet engines.
Wow. Pennzoil makes no motor oil suitable for my two cars with Toyota/Yamaha 2ZZ-GE engines. Not even the PP Euro 0W-40 I had already purchased and was hoping might be recommended. Only Rotella makes the cut, the last SOPUS product with high ZDDP content.

Q - What anti-wear additives, if any, has Pennzoil found to have comparable properties to ZDDP?

A - PENNZOIL RESPONSE: Specifics on our anti-wear additive technology is proprietary, but you can rest assured that we are constantly working with our additive suppliers to identify new and potential applications for all our additives; from detergents and dispersants to anti-wear.
My interpretation: "none, yet." Based on the answer to previous Q.
 
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That was my thought, with the push for lighter oils, and Noack subsequently becoming harder to suppress, it would make sense that pushing to modify the test to "fix" that in the name of the almighty dollar would be considered.
We're already at the point of diminishing returns when it comes to oil viscosity in consumer and commercial vehicles. Them skewing the perceived performance of motor oil ain't gonna help matters.

However, to quote Einstein:

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”

Low viscosity group III base oils are incredible volatile. That's why they want to change the rules. However, this is becoming a futile exercise.

If you make fuel affordable and vehicles more efficient, people will just drive more. To make engines and transmissions work with even thinner lubricants, their manufacturing costs will increase, probably drastically.

Wow. Pennzoil makes no motor oil suitable for my two cars with Toyota/Yamaha 2ZZ-GE engines. Not even the PP Euro 0W-40 I had already purchased and was hoping might be recommended. Only Rotella makes the cut, the last SOPUS product with high ZDDP content.
Flat tappet engines don't need a crazy amount of ZDDP.

My interpretation: "none, yet." Based on the answer to previous Q.
There are ZDDP substitutes, but they are more expensive. ZDDP is cheap by comparison.

Obviously their PR person issued canned responses, and most likely this PR person is not a lube nerd. The corporate world is different and their people aren't passionate about the products they're making and selling. They are passionate about meeting quotas and projections.
 
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The evolving world of our oils to meet the demands of our times. To those that think thinner oils don't hurt anything... Please don't run 0w8 in your older cars. It states right here that the engine needs to be "designed" for these oils to work.

It does claim backwards compatibility so I'm assuming that one of these weights might be compatible to 0w16 weight oils but not much further out than that.
 
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0W-8 is the future.
and the future is ticking lifters and electric motors.............there is not a thing anyone can say that would convince me that these lighter oils are for greater proctection, but for greater fuel economy,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,at the price of durability.................we the lowly consumer always pays the price.
 
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