ACEA European Oil Sequences Update

ACEA European Oil Sequences Update

Apr 30, 2019

Lubrizol has previously reported on proposed revisions to the ACEA Oil Sequences for both light-duty and heavy-duty engines. The targeted release date of the end of 2018 has now been pushed back to 2020. Here we explain the reasons for the delay in the release of the next ACEA Oil Sequences and discuss why future revisions benefit our industry and the end users.

Since their introduction in 1996, the ACEA European Oil Sequences have prescribed the minimum quality level of service-fill oils demanded by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) members for use in their vehicles.

In the first major update for four years, ACEA 2016 was introduced with revisions to both the light-duty and heavy-duty oil sequences. This resulted in the requirement for all engine lubricant formulations making ACEA performance claims to comply with the latest ACEA 2016 European Oil Sequences from December 1, 2018.

ACEA has been working on the next revisions to ensure the engine lubricants used in service-fill continue to satisfy the demands of increasingly advanced engine hardware and aftertreatment systems. While ACEA initially targeted a publish date of late 2018, this is now expected to be mid-2020.

Light-Duty Oil Sequences

Revisions to the light-duty oil sequences are expected to address concerns of low speed pre-ignition (LSPI) in turbocharged gasoline direct injection engines, as well as introduce increased protection against chain wear and turbocharger deposits.

These requirements are expected to lead to the introduction of two new light-duty engine oil categories ACEA C6 and ACEA A7 / B7, however category naming is not confirmed at this time.

  • ACEA C6 will be a significant upgrade over ACEA C5 with the inclusion of three new performance tests: LSPI, Chain Wear and Turbocharger Deposits.
  • ACEA A7 / B7 will be an upgrade in performance over ACEA A5 / B5 with the same performance testing requirements as ACEA C6. ACEA A5 / B5 will be removed.

Numerous OEMs have their specifications written around ACEA C5 performance, so this category is expected to stay.

ACEA has agreed to remove two categories in order to reduce complexity:

  • ACEA A3 / B3 will be removed. This category has historically been used for older vehicles and as such ACEA A3 / B4 oils will now be recommended in place of ACEA A3 / B3.
  • ACEA C1 category will also be removed, as this is primarily only specified by one OEM.

Discussion was held over the need to introduce a lower viscosity category for SAE 0W-12 and SAE 0W-16 grade engine lubricants. Whilst OEMs are heavily researching the CO2 savings such fluids can offer, it has been deemed too early for an ACEA baseline to be introduced. The subsequent ACEA update (post ACEA 2020) will likely see a new category introduced to address this need once OEMs fully understand their individual requirements.

ACEA understands that balancing the need to maintain older specifications for the existing vehicle fleet and introducing new specifications is a complex challenge the industry faces and is one which still needs to be addressed before the next ACEA Oil Sequences are released.

Heavy-Duty Oil Sequences

The heavy-duty ACEA Oil Sequences will focus on replacing ACEA E6 and ACEA E9 with new categories ACEA E8 and ACEA E11, respectively. These new categories will build off ACEA E6 and ACEA E9 with the inclusion of established ASTM engine tests specifically developed for API CK-4. The OM471 test is also expected to be included as a new CEC engine test to replace the OM501LA.

ACEA E8 and ACEA E11 will bring increased protection against oxidation, viscosity increase and piston deposits for the latest generation of engine hardware.

ACEA E7 and ACEA E4 will remain in their current form to serve legacy engines.

The introduction of a new heavy-duty ACEA F Oil Sequence is also expected. ACEA F8 and ACEA F11 will require lubricants to meet a HTHS viscosity of 2.9 to 3.2 mPa.s to provide additional fuel economy benefits whilst ensuring engine protection and durability remains uncompromised.

What’s Next?

Future revisions of the ACEA European Oil Sequences will continue the industry’s journey to increased efficiency without compromising durability, with each upgrade presenting significant opportunities for oil marketers to differentiate with higher performing lubricants that meet and exceed the new specifications.

For more information on ACEA Oil Sequences, contact your Lubrizol representative.


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