Engine Oil Performance and Engine Service Classification (Other than “Energy Conserving” or “Resource Conserving”)
This SAE Standard outlines the engine oil performance categories and classifications developed through the efforts of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), American Petroleum Institute (API), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), the International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC), and SAE. The verbal descriptions by API and ASTM, along with prescribed test methods and limits, are shown for active categories in Table 1 and obsolete categories in Table A1. Appendix A is thus a historical documentation of the obsolete categories.
For purposes of this document, active categories are defined as those (a) for which the required test equipment and test support materials, including reference engine oils and reference fuels, are readily available, or for which the Category Life Oversight Group has established equivalencies between unavailable tests and newer, available tests; (b) which ASTM or the test developer monitors precision for all tests; and (c) which are available for licensing by API EOLCS at time of writing.
The current processes for initiating new classifications were developed through the cooperative efforts of the Alliance, API, ASTM, EMA, ILSAC, and SAE. New ILSAC classifications are developed using the procedure defined in API 1509 Annex C. New API “C” categories are added using the procedure defined in API 1509 Annex D. New API “S” categories are added by the API Lubricants Group.
This revision of SAE J183 had four objectives: First, to incorporate the SN PLUS Classification requirements. Second, to introduce ILSAC GF-6A, GF-6B specifications and the corresponding API SP Category. Third, to update various Categories in light of the activities of the Category Life Oversight Group (CLOG) as well as the ASTM D4485 Surveillance Panel. CLOG reviews the applicability of newer tests to support the ongoing licensing of older Categories (for example, using Sequence IIIH in lieu of Sequence IIIG to support API SN licensing). The ASTM D4485 Surveillance Panel aims to provide prompt updates to ASTM D4485 using Information Letters. Finally, the title of the document had to be updated, since API no longer introduces “Energy Conserving” Categories; rather, the most recent gasoline engine oils displaying the right performance levels are referred to as “Resource Conserving.”