Auto Service World
News   June 10, 2019   by Renee Montague

API releases identifying symbols for new motor oil standards

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has announced the approval of improved performance standards for engine oils intended to provide greater protection and fuel efficiency for today’s gasoline-engine-powered cars and trucks.

Two of the new standards, ILSAC GF-6A and GF-6B, are the latest in a line of more stringent performance specifications put forward by the International Lubricant Standardization Advisory Committee (ILSAC), and a third standard, AP SP, is API’s latest engine oil performance standard.

API SP includes all of the ILSAC requirements while at the same time provides performance requirements for oils that do not fall under ILSAC-member recommendations.

The new standards specify more stringent engine oil performance requirements for spark-ignited internal combustion engines.

All three of these standards can be licensed under API’s Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System beginning May 1, 2020.

“API developed these new performance standards in response to a request from automakers to introduce more robust engine oils that would be capable of meeting the needs of current and future gasoline engines. ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and API SP represent the fruits of the oil, additive, and automobile industries’ labors to introduce such essential products for the people who use these vehicles every day,” said Kevin Ferrick, director, API product programs.

The development of ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B and API SP was done over the course of seven years. In that time, seven new tests were developed, evaluated, and measured for precision, and companies ran tests to demonstrate that oils can meet the more stringent requirements.

API certification mark “Shield” that meet ILSAC GF-6B standard

Now, oil marketing companies are working to bring the oils that meet these standards to market to ensure current and future engines perform as designed.

Licensed oils that meet the ILSAC GF-6A standard will be allowed to display the API Certification Mark “Starburst” and may be used where oils meeting GF-5 or earlier gasoline engine oil standards had been recommended.

API certification mark “Starburst” that meet ILSAC GF-6A standard

Oils that meet ILSAC GF-6B will be allowed to display a new mark, the API Certification Mark “Shield” and may be used where SAE 0W-16 oils meeting API SN had been recommended.

API is introducing this new “Shield” at the request of automakers to prevent confusion and ensure that 0W-16 oils are used only in applications where they are recommended.

API certification mark that meet AP SP standard

API standards are developed under API’s American National Standards Institute accredited process, ensuring that the API standards are recognized not only for their technical rigor but also their third-party accreditation which facilitates acceptance by state, federal, and increasingly international regulators.

API’s GIS division is responsible for standards setting, certification, training, events, publications and safety programs for industry operations.


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1 Comment » for API releases identifying symbols for new motor oil standards
  1. Alicia Banks says:

    I have had my 2011 Chevy Malibu for 4 years and now the oil change places are telling me that they can only put synthetic oil in my car, when my manual calls for SAE 5w30 why?

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