ACEA Upgrade for Light Duty Engine Lubricants Is Coming

ACEA Upgrade for Light Duty Engine Lubricants Is Coming

ACEA Upgrade for Light Duty Engine Lubricants Is Coming

Nov 23, 2020

Since their introduction in 1996, the ACEA 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.

Expected for release during Q2 2021, performance changes required by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) together with the replacement of four key tests will see a major upgrade from today’s ACEA 2016 Oil Sequences for light duty engines.

Following are the anticipated headline changes within the ACEA A/B classes for high sulphated ash, sulphur and phosphorous (“High SAPS”) gasoline and diesel engine lubricants:

  • New ACEA A7/B7 high-performing, high SAPS category, likely to have global applicability. Builds on the requirements and updates of ACEA A5/B5, with three new performance tests
  • Removal of the ACEA A3/B3 category
  • Introduction of four replacement tests across all categories

Within the “Low SAPS” ACEA C class for catalyst and GPF/DPF-compatible engine lubricants for gasoline and diesel engines, the following anticipated changes are included:

  • New ACEA C6 category, for high-performance engines requiring advanced levels of protection. Builds on the requirements and updates of ACEA C5 with four new performance tests
  • Removal of the ACEA C1 category
  • Introduction of four replacement tests across all categories

The anticipated upgrade is also expected to see the linkage between used oil analysis to fresh oil analysis. This will be introduced through an additional measurement of Total Base Number (TBN) using the ASTM D4739 method. The method will be used in the following categories:

  • ACEA A7/B7 category: ≥ 6.0 mgKOH/g
  • ACEA C6 category: ≥ 4.0 mgKOH/g
  • All other A, B and C categories: Report only

In addition to the Letter of Conformance process run by the Association Technique de l’Industrie Europeenne des Lubricants (ATIEL), there is also the potential for a new quality monitoring registration system which may impact upon the registration process in the future; details are expected from ACEA in due course.

Over the years, ACEA upgrades have incorporated the replacement of old tests with more up-to-date engine tests, better reflecting the technologies and hardware being used in the vehicle parc. The ACEA 2020 upgrade is no exception and is expected to include a new VW TDI3 piston deposit test, a new Daimler M271 EVO sludge performance test, as well as two tests adopted from North America, namely the Sequence VH low temperature sludge test and the Sequence IVB valve train wear test. Directly replacing existing tests, these will be applicable across all ACEA A/, B and C categories.

Three important new tests are expected for the industry, reflecting the introduction of new engine technology and the challenges facing present-day high-performance engines:

  • Sequence IX Low Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI) test
  • Sequence X chain wear test
  • Toyota turbocharger deposit test

Given the increased move towards hotter operating turbocharged gasoline direct injection engines, the LSPI test is a significant inclusion in the ACEA 2021 release. The test is designed to ensure engine lubricants are formulated to reduce the occurrence of LSPI, addressing the concerns of uncontrolled combustion events that take place in the combustion chamber prior to spark in GDI engines, potentially violent enough to result in catastrophic engine.

As ACEA’s guidelines state that a new performance requirement necessitates a new category, these three tests are expected to be included in the new ACEA A7/B7 and ACEA C6 categories.

ACEA C6 is also likely to have a new Toyota 2ZR-FXE fuel economy test based on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). This test will be the first Japanese test procedure to be adopted by ACEA and will result in the new ACEA C6 category representing a significant performance upgrade over ACEA C5.

For the lubricant marketer, ACEA 2021 claims will be possible as soon as the upgrade is released, expected Q2 2021. New ACEA 2016 claims can continue to be made for 12 months and all claims 24 months after the release date must conform to ACEA 2021 by Q2 2023.

Our View

We expect the next ACEA Light Duty Engine Oil Sequences to be released during Q2 2021, bringing with it upgrades in performance across both new and existing categories. The ACEA 2021 upgrade is forward looking and incorporates important new tests for the industry including LSPI, chain wear and turbocharger deposits.

Following the release of ACEA 2021, industry stakeholders will be better placed to fully embrace the upgrade and the benefits it is anticipated to deliver. ACEA is having increased importance as the OEM engine hardware continues to expand into global markets.

Surpassing, rather than just meeting, the rigorous performance demands of the expected upgrade enables oil marketers to deliver higher-performing engine lubricants that exceed the new specifications, providing additional protection and performance benefits to light duty vehicles around the world.

For more information on the anticipated ACEA 2021 upgrade for light duty engines, please contact your Lubrizol representative.

Or, for more information on the anticipated ACEA 2021 upgrade for heavy duty diesel engines, click here or contact your Lubrizol representative.

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