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The successor organization of the CCMC - the ACEA ( Association des Constructeurs Européens d'Automobiles ) - is an interest group of the European automotive industry. Since the beginning of the 1990s, engine oil classifications for European vehicles have been developed and published there, taking into account the usual US test runs and the API classifications to ensure that the results can be transferred.

  • ACEA Class A - engine oil for gasoline engines in passenger cars

  • ACEA Class B - engine oil for diesel engines in passenger cars and light commercial vehicles

  • ACEA Class C - engine oil for gasoline and diesel engines with new exhaust gas aftertreatment systems (e.g. diesel particulate filters)

  • ACEA class E - engine oil for diesel engines in commercial vehicles and trucks

The class is supplemented by a numerical code. Example: an A1 / B1-04 would be an engine oil for gasoline engines (class A) and diesel engines (class B) in standard quality (1), tested according to the ACEA classification issued in 2004 (-04).

However, the value of the oil cannot be inferred from the numerical value. An A3 or B3 classified oil is higher quality than an A1 or B1 oil. An A1, B1 or C1 oil is an oil with a reduced HTHS viscosity. Due to the reduced friction, a fuel saving of approx. 2.5% is achieved compared to a 15W-40. It is not correct that a C3 is therefore of higher quality, but a class C1 engine oil burns with fewer residues than a class C3 engine oil - if a C3 oil was used here instead of the prescribed C1 oil, the particle filter could clog.

The former CCMC classifications (CCMC D, CCMC G, CCMC PD etc.) have expired and are no longer checked



The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the largest interest group for the US oil and gas industry. It has been developing technical standards and issuing technical guidelines there since the 1940s, including for engine oil.

  • API - S (Service or Spark-Plug ignition): For gasoline engines in passenger cars, currently applicable standards are API - SJ and API - SL. API - SM has been on the market since 2007 to meet increased requirements for low-viscosity oils and emission standards.

  • API - C (Commercial or Combustion ignition = compression ignition = compression ignition): for diesel engines in commercial vehicles and trucks, currently valid standards are API - CF and API - CI-4 for four-stroke diesel engines and API - CF-2 for two-stroke diesel engines.

  • API - GL = gear oil

All older letter or number codes are no longer valid. Nevertheless, they are still used and identified for special engine oils, e.g. B. in engine oils for vintage and veteran vehicles.

Diesel engines in cars are rarely found in the USA. Therefore there are no special test standards for their engine oil.


ILSAC together with JAMA

Motor oils according to the specification of ILSAC (International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee), JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) and others are common in Asia.

  • ILSAC GF 1 roughly corresponds to API - SH

  • ILSAC GF 2 roughly corresponds to API - SJ

  • ILSAC GF 3 roughly corresponds to API - SL

  • ILSAC GF 4 roughly corresponds to API - SM



This Japanese organization JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization) also issues its own oil specifications. The JASO specifications for two-stroke oils and the JASO specification T 903 from 1999 are important. In this - based on the API / ACEA specifications - certain requirements for Otto four-stroke motorcycle engines are checked. All motorcycle oils tested in accordance with JASO T 903 must meet special lubricant properties that are important for motorcycle engines with integrated gears. This test pays special attention to the shear gradient (HTHS viscosity), shear, evaporation and viscosity stability at high temperatures. In addition, special coefficient of friction requirements are checked in order to determine which oil is suitable for oil bath clutches. After that, denotes the class

  • JASO MA oils with a high coefficient of friction, which are recommended for oil bath clutches and

  • JASO MB oils with a low coefficient of friction, which should not be used for oil bath clutches.


Special standards from vehicle manufacturers

Some vehicle and engine manufacturers have published their own specifications, which are generally based on an ACEA or API classification. Special practical driving tests and road tests are also often prescribed.

The in-house standards of the following vehicle manufacturers are particularly important on the German market:

  • BMW

  • ford

  • Mercedes Benz

  • Opel (GM-LL (−2010), dexos (from 2010))

  • Porsche

  • Renault

  • VW (Audi, Seat, Skoda)

With the increasing technical sophistication of modern engines, the demands on engine oils and their properties have also changed. The use of simple oils in newer vehicles (or, conversely, modern oils in older engines) can potentially cause problems.

Modern filter systems such as soot particle filters need special, residue-free combustion engine oils. However, these are unsuitable for many older engines because their lubricating properties are insufficient there. A new VW standard is designed to be downward compatible - but not generally: some older engines with pump-nozzle injection technology are explicitly excluded.



Source: Extract from "Wikipedia" - Motoröl ( )

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