ACEA Updates Light-Duty Oil Sequences for 2023


ACEA Updates Light-Duty Oil Sequences for 2023
Engines lined up on an automotive assembly line. © Jasen Wright

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association on Sept. 12 announced the commercialization of the latest updates to its ACEA engine oil sequences for light-duty engines, made to address needs for low-viscosity engine oils – lower than 0W-20 grades – as part of the efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2023 ACEA Oil Sequences for Light-Duty Engines were initially released on July 31, and Aug. 1 was the first allowable use, meaning the date on which lubricant marketers could begin promoting products as meeting the specification.

Aug. 1, 2024 is the date from which all claims for new oil formulations must be made. Oil marketers may continue to promote products as meeting the previous light-duty sequences – ACEA 2021 – until Aug. 1, 2025.

According to ACEA’s Sept. 12 update in its website’s publications section, ACEA’s Light-duty Lubricants Taskforce surveyed the association’s light-duty vehicle members. “That resulted in a 0W-16 grade oil usable for gasoline and diesel applications,” ACEA stated. “Hence, the C7-23 oil category was formed. C7-23 is based on the C6-21 performance level. To formulate a C7-23, a viscosity adjustment down to the 0W-16 grade is sufficient, with no need to change the base oil or develop a new formulation.”

The C6 and C7 engine oils contain medium levels of sulfated ash, phosphorus and sulfur, collectively referred to as SAPS, and are formulated to provide improved fuel economy and extended oil drain intervals in passenger car and light-duty gasoline and direct-injection diesel engines. C7 is based on C6 performance levels, with the exception of enhanced fuel economy.

The association said it expects two tests included in the 2023 Sequence – the L-111 and L-106 – to continue to be available until 2028. CEC L-111-16 tests for ability to preserve cleanliness in gasoline direct-injection engines, while CEC L-106-14 gauges oil dispersion at medium temperatures in direct-injection diesel engines. The group also announced it was able to extend the life of the CEC L-099 diesel wear test, which was previously in doubt.

“This test was eliminated in the 2021 edition of the ACEA Light-Duty Oil Sequences due to lifetime restrictions,” ACEA said. “Recently, the lifetime could be extended until at least 2027. ACEA’s light-duty members welcome the possibility of using the CEC L-099 for legacy oil categories (A3/B4, A5/B5, C2, C3,C4 and C5).”

A/B are gasoline and diesel engine oils that have high SAPS levels. C category oils are meant to be low in SAPS to be compatible with emissions control catalysts and particulate filters.