With a fuel efficiency standard of 54.5mpg set for 2025, passenger cars and light truck manufacturers are working to gain every advantage possible in pursuit of fuel efficiency while maintaining engine protection and performance.
One way the auto industry is doing this is with ever-thinner engine oils, namely the ILSAC (International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee)-spec GF-6. First license for this engine oil is currently September 1, 2018.
Here are some things auto service shop owners need to know about GF-6:
• GF-6 engine oils will offer better protection for new technologies such as GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) and TGDI (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection). It is estimated that by 2020 39-percent of vehicles sold will be powered by GDI/TGDI engines
• GF-6 will be split into two categories:
GF-6A – will address traditional viscosities and will be backwards compatible
GF-6B – will represent viscosity grades 0W-16 and lower, known as Ultra-Low Viscosity (ULV) lubricants, and will not be backwards compatible
• GF-6 engine oils will address the need for increased engine protection for more severe engine designs
• ILSAC developed six new engine tests to verify GF-6 engine oils for use in fuel economy and new technologies
• A reduction in GF-6 HTHS (High-Temperature, High-Shear) viscosity limits will help fuel economy but this will mean oil manufacturers will have to address engine protection with technologically-advanced additives
Implemented in 2012, the 2025 fuel standards mean a 5-percent increase in fuel economy every year. This is a huge hurdle for manufacturers, one that engine oil, particularly GF-6, will play a big role in making happen.
Important Points Regarding GF-6 Engine Oils
Avoid Using Ultra-Low Viscosity Engine Oils In Older Vehicles
• GF-6 engine oils will be split into two specifications – GF-6A and GF-6B
• GF-6A will be approved to replace more traditional viscosity grades and is backwards compatible
• GF-6B will fall into ULV category reserved for engine oils lower than 0W-20
Both of these lubricants will have to pass the same durability tests, but GF-6B will result in higher fuel economy numbers. However, the lower viscosity will require unique formulation in order to provide proper engine wear protection.