Motor Oils On Your Mind? SAE Plans Forum


If you are itching to unload opinions about unlicensed motor oils, if you have ideas about the fuel economy requirements of the next passenger car motor oil upgrade, then SAE International is planning a meeting for you.

In an effort to address what they see as a lack of public discourse on industry issues, members of SAEs Fuels and Lubricants Council are organizing a pair of forums to coincide with SAEs World Congress in Detroit in April. Officials say the forums are meant to encourage a sharing of ideas on topics that are important and yet generally not aired.

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There doesnt seem to be a really good place nowadays where critical issues can be aired in an open forum, said Afton Chemicals Dewey Szemenyei, chairman of the councils Technical Committee 1. There are a lot of meetings where people discuss technical details, but then we end up having votes on things without really having a chance to get up and say what we think about general issues.

The forums are scheduled for April 12. The first will be about the role of unlicensed motor oils in the market. The second will cover fuel economy requirements and tests for ILSAC GF-5, the next PCMO standard, which is now being developed. Szemenyei said both topics stir strong feelings in the industry.

There are two sides to the issue of obsolete oils, he said. Certainly there are people who feel that [API-]SA oils, for example, do not protect engines and are a problem in the market. But there are also people who make them who believe that they do have a targeted role to play.

Referring to the second topic, Szemenyei said automakers – which set goals for standards – are expected to seek significant improvements in fuel economy from GF-5. At the same time, he said, industry will likely have to develop a new engine test for fuel economy retention.

Everyone knows that theres going to be a lot going on with fuel economy, he said. This is a chance to properly debate the issues early in the process, before [automakers] get so far down the road that its difficult to change direction.

The council said each forum will include a series of short presentations, a panel discussion and time for questions and comments from the audience. Attendance will be free and open to anyone. A General Motors representative has already agreed to present the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers position on SA and SB motor oils. [See last week’s Lube Report.]

The council has issued a call for presentations. Interested parties can contact Szemenyei by phone at (804) 788-5204 or by e-mail at

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