ACEA C3-21

ACEA C3 oils are Top Tier mid Sulphated Ash, Phosphorus and Sulphur (SAPS) lubricants. They are designed for use in high performance gasoline and light duty diesel engines where advanced aftertreatment systems such as Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) and Three Way Catalysts (TWC) are used.

ACEA C3 oils are typically SAE 5W-30 or SAE 5W-40 based on API Group III base oils.

The main physical and chemical requirements for ACEA C3 are shown below:

Requirement Method Unit Limit
HTHS viscosity CEC L-36-90 cP ≥ 3.5
Sulphated Ash ASTM D874 %m/m ≤ 0.8
Phosphorus ASTM D5185 or
ASTM D4951
%m/m ≥ 0.070 and ≤ 0.090
Sulphur ASTM D5185 or
ASTM D4951
%m/m ≤ 0.3
Evaporation loss (NOACK) CEC L-40-93 % ≤ 13
Total Base Number ASTM D2896 or
ASTM D4739
mgKOH/g ≥ 6.0 Report

The specification of ACEA C3 has allowed many OEMs to align their specifications with its performance requirements.

  • VW 50400 / 50700
  • VW 50500 / 50501
  • Porsche C30
  • BMW LL-04
  • MB 229.52
  • MB 229.51
  • MB 229.31
  • MB 226.52
  • Opel OV0401547
  • GM dexos2™
  • RN 17
  • PSA B71 2290

ACEA C3 was first introduced into the ACEA Oil Sequences in 2004 and has seen several changes since its introduction, most recently in the ACEA 2021 update.

The inclusion of the new VW TDI3 Engine Test and M271 Evo Sludge Test represent two of the more significant changes to the category, updating test requirements to match modern engine hardware including the increased usage of Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (TDGI) Engines.

The changes for ACEA 2021 are summarised below:

Test Additional tests for ACEA 2021
CEC L-107-19 M271 Evo Black Sludge  
CEC L-117-20 VW TDI Piston Cleanliness (TDI3)
ASTM D8256 Sequence VH Low Temperature Sludge
ASTM D8350 Sequence IVB Valvetrain Wear