ACEA 2018 Delayed Until 2020

Keywords: ACEA

STUTTGART – The European Automobile Manufacturers Association's 2018 engine oil sequences will be delayed until at least mid-2020, ACEA’s heavy-duty diesel chairman told a conference in Germany last week. He added, though, that the delay would not cause significant problems.

“All oils in the market place today are fine and adequate,” Volvo Trucks’ Bengt Otterholm told Lube Report on the sidelines of the UNITI Mineral Oil Technology Congress here. “Furthermore, there is no rush. We’d rather wait and be done with the process as opposed to issuing something that contains nothing new. We [ACEA] are in full agreement on it, and that’s what we’ll do.”

The 2018 sequences were originally due to be adopted before the end of last year.

Commenting on the heavy-duty oils side, Otterholm said ACEA will introduce two new developed for the American Petroleum Institute's API CK-4 and API FA-4 specifications, the Volvo T13 Oxidation test and the CAT Oil Aeration test. In addition, the Mercedes-Benz OM501LA will be replaced by the OM471LA.

As announced last year, ACEA still intends to introduce a new class for low-viscosity oils, the F Class. Replacements for the E8 plus and E11 plus subcategories, F8 and F11 offer fuel benefits through lower high-temperature/high-sheer viscosities between 3.2 and 2.9 centiPoise, the same viscosity limits as FA-4.

Work also continues on a new wear test for light-duty oils for wear on contacts between piston rings and cylinder liners along with wear on journal bearings. The Coordinating European Council, an organization that develops methods for performance testing, is presently tailoring tests for the mentioned areas of concern.

Phase 1 of the repeatability and discrimination study for the OM471LA is still ongoing, with the reproducibility study to be initiated by the CEC as a part of Phase 2. Finally, there is the matter of alignment with the Light Duty team that handles A/B and C classes.

The specifications update has also been delayed by hold-ups on the North American side. ACEA’s 2018 sequences are set to include several engine tests developed by the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee for ILSAC GF-6, the next passenger car motor oil sequences for North America. ILSAC originally meant to introduce GF-6 by 2016, but first allowable use is now targeted for 2020. Otterholm acknowledged substantial confusion surrounding ACEA’s 2018 sequences due to miscommunication. “Apparently, certain things were communicated on the ACEA side surrounding the Sequence X [for light-duty chain wear] while the ILSAC tests were still ongoing. This created a lot of confusion. However, everything is sorted now.”

Last November, ILSAC and the American Petroleum Institute felt it necessary to urge ACEA not to approve sequences with North American tests before the North Americans finalized limits for them.

“As member of the heavy-duty team I don’t have full insight into what happened, but I am sure this was a one-time event brought on by poor communication that will not be repeated in the future, as we’ve already been able to establish better lines of communication with our American partners,” Otterholm said.

“Additionally, the two members from the ACEA Light Duty team that suddenly retired at the end of last year have been replaced by Americans, so the problem might even resolve itself.”

ACEA does not intend to move away from including tests developed by ILSAC. “Hopefully, there will be more mutual usages of engine tests,” Otterholm added. “It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify hardware and OEMs that can support the process. In the future, we’ll have to do more to coordinate our efforts than we do today.”