Bracing for GF-5 Already?


Bob Olree of General Motors, who chaired the ILSAC/Oil Committee that shepherded the GF-4 passenger car engine oil specification to approval, is signaling that work toward the next upgrade – GF-5 – may soon get under way. The GF-4 specification was approved on Jan. 14 and begins licensing under the American Petroleum Institute on July 31.

At its semiannual gathering last month in Salt Lake City, Olree advised ASTM Committee D-2 that he and his auto industry colleagues who comprise ILSAC (the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee) are only in the pre-discussion stage on GF-5. However, he declared, GF-5s target implementation date is 2009. Hence a meeting will be held shortly to review the approval process for GF-4 under ILSAC/Oil, and see where it needs to be tweaked to make it more efficient.

A new category will be needed in 2009 because several of the GF-4 tests will no longer be available, Olree asserted. But at this point, rather than just focusing on individual new or replacement tests, we could step back and take a broader look at where we want to go and how to get there in terms of overall need and justification – who will develop the new tests, how we can bring them to closure, and what will be the funding sources.

He also told the ASTM attendees, Were looking at 0.05 percent for phosphorus. That phosphorus level initially was favored by automakers for GF-4, but changed to 0.08 percent in the end.

Finally, Olree drew attention to the issue of field correlation for engine sequence tests. How much traditional field correlation for the new tests is really needed? he asked rhetorically and answered, A strict insistence on rigorous correlation is cost prohibitive. Engineering judgment must play an increasing role in test development. In addition, substituting bench tests for engine tests in some situations may be possible; for example, the ball rust bench test was substituted for Sequence II a few years ago.

Frank Fernandez, chairman of the ASTM Passenger Car Engine Oil Classification Panel, encouraged Olree to issue a timetable for GF-5 as soon as possible.

Related Topics

Market Topics