GF-6, SP Hit Market May 1

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First licensing for ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B and API SP is scheduled to begin May 1. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s impacts, hundreds of licensed GF-6 products are expected to be added to the American Petroleum Institute’s online Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System this Friday, according to an API official.

The new standards specify more stringent engine oil performance requirements for spark-ignited internal combustion engines.

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“As of today, it looks like nearly 700 licensed ILSAC GF-6A or GF-6B products will be added to the online EOLCS directory on May 1, and there are more applications coming in as we speak,” Jeffrey Harmening, manager for API’s EOLCS program, told Lube Report yesterday. “While there certainly must be some impacts felt by everyone at this time [from the Covid-19 pandemic], marketers and formulators, fortunately, appear to have been ahead of the crisis with respect to getting ready for May 1. We expect to see plenty of oils meeting the new standards on shelves and in bulk tanks as we move into May.”

For ILSAC GF-6, companies were able to submit their products for early review and approval since Feb. 11, according to Harmening. He noted that API administers the licensing and aftermarket audits of ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B oils through its EOLCS program, as it has done in the past for ILSAC GF-5 and earlier specifications.

Licensed oils that meet the ILSAC GF-6A standard will be allowed to display the API starburst certification mark and may be used where oils meeting GF-5 or earlier gasoline engine oil standards had been recommended, API stated in a June 2019 press release. Oils that meet ILSAC GF-6B will be allowed to display a new mark, a shield, and may be used where SAE 0W-16 oils meeting API SN had been recommended. API said it introduced the shield at the request of automakers to prevent confusion and to ensure that 0W-16 oils are used only in applications where they are recommended.

“Companies and consumers alike should be aware that the starburst is permitted to appear on licensed products meeting both API ILSAC GF-5 and GF-6A until May 1, 2021,” Harmening explained yesterday. “That is the date that GF-5 will be officially obsolete, and it should allow the existing GF-5 inventory to sell out of the marketplace. This is in line with the standard transition plan followed when new ILSAC specifications are introduced.”

API SP includes all of the ILSAC requirements and at the same time provides performance requirements for oils that do not fall under ILSAC-member recommendations.

“Marketers should be aware that they will automatically be awarded ‘SN Plus’ when their API SP products are approved, since the SN Plus tests are part of API SP,” Harmening noted. “It is at the marketers’ discretion, however, to decide to include it in the API Donut.”

GF-6 is North Americas’s next light-duty engine oil specification from the International Lubricant Standardization and Advisory Committee. The new spec was divided into two – ILSAC GF-6B for SAE 0W-16 oils and GF-6A for other legacy viscosity grades.