GF-7 Process Formally Begins


GF-7 Process Formally Begins
© PongMoji

Automakers and representatives of the lubricants industry have taken the first formal step toward developing the next gasoline engine oil specification for North America, setting a goal of bringing the standard to market in less than six years.

The American Petroleum Institute’s Lubricants Standards Group and the Auto/Oil Advisory Panel – which represents the automobile and lube industries – received a request Tuesday to develop the specification, according to a news release from API. The two panels agreed to begin the process of developing the request, which came from the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee, which represents American and Japanese automakers.

ILSAC several things that it would like the new spec to address. It wants GF-7 to require a higher level of protection against oil oxidation and deposit formation. It also wants a new test to measure an oil’s ability to prevent low-speed pre-ignition over the oil’s entire drain interval.

Low-speed pre-ignition is a phenomenon that occurs in turbocharged direct-injected engines in which combustion occurs earlier than intended, creating excessive pressure in the engine’s cylinders. If great enough, that pressure can damage the engine. The problem has been growing enough to make the phenomenon a major focus of automakers in recent years. In 2018 the automobile and lubricant industries introduced API SN Plus, a supplement to ILSAC GF-5 companion engine oil spec API SN, written specifically to incorporate the first test of an oil’s ability to prevent low-speed pre-ignition.

However, that test, Sequence IX, only gauges the ability of fresh oils, and there is concern that such performance can lessen as an oil ages.

ILSAC said it also wants GF-7 to incorporate new tests for oil compatibility with seals; to replace the Sequence V and Sequence VI tests because they are running low on parts; to evaluate the possibility of dropping the Sequence VIII test for corrosion prevention; and to review what to do about parts running low for the Sequence X chain wear test.

Automakers also want the new spec to ensure that engine oils help meet future vehicle emissions standards.

ILSAC asked that the new spec be brought to market by the second quarter of 2028. It took eight years to bring GF-6 to market in 2020, twice as long as the original goal when the process of developing it began in 2012.