SM Licensing Starts


The American Petroleum Institute yesterday began licensing its much-awaited new gasoline engine oil quality upgrade, designated SM.

At its Lubricants Committee meeting Nov. 8 in Houston, API staffer Kevin Ferrick reported that 59 applicant engine oils were in the system at the end of October, awaiting the start of licensing. He noted later that these oils were on a fast track for licensing, and pointed out that oils which had passed all SM testing requirements could claim SM quality on the label prior to licensing. Licensing allows marketers to go the further step of displaying SM within the API “donut” service symbol.

Also effective yesterday, engine oils meeting SM’s fuel-efficiency requirements (determined by passing the Sequence VIB engine test) may be licensed to display the words “Energy Conserving” in the lower portion of the donut symbol, with SM in the upper portion.

In late September, the Lubricants Committee had voted to begin SM licensing on Sept. 30, but API staff overruled the committee and pushed licensing back two months because of concerns expressed by some engine oil marketers — primarily smaller ones represented by the Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association — that they did not have sufficient time to complete engine test programs by the earlier date and would be disadvantaged in the marketplace.

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