At last June’s ASTM meeting in Seattle, Washington, we learned that ILSAC would soon request the next passenger car engine oil upgrade for introduction in the first half of 2028. As promised, the official request came in August, signed by Mike Deegan of Ford on behalf of ILSAC members.
A parallel request by the American Petroleum Institute to add the licensing of new low-viscosity grades was presented at the same meeting as part of an ILSAC GF-6B supplement. API announced the reactivation of the Auto Oil Advisory Panel in August, with the first meetings taking place in late October and early December. (Figure 1 summarizes the initial request by ILSAC versus the current standard.) Although no concrete progress has been made to develop the next ILSAC category, serious discussion concerning next steps is now underway.
Looking back, ILSAC GF-6 was introduced on May 1, 2020, and ILSAC GF-5 became obsolete on May 1, 2021. ILSAC GF-5 was the longest-serving ILSAC category since the system was introduced in the early 1990s and the first to exceed a six-year life, lasting nearly 10 years. (See Figure 2.) For some original equipment manufacturers, upgrades have not come fast enough, leading to some OEMs being dissatisfied with the system and introducing their own specifications, such as GM dexos1 or the recently formed International Fluids Consortium. Oil companies counter that test development is the key reason new industry specifications are delayed, and many are skeptical of having yet another set of specifications or licensee fees to pay with more new specifications. There does not appear to be any expectation that the ILSAC and API licensing system will be replaced.