ILSAC Motor Oil Specifications

ILSAC

The International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) also has standards for motor oil. Introduced in 2004, GF-4 applies to SAE 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30, 5W-30, and 10W-30 viscosity grade oils. In general, ILSAC works with API in creating the newest gasoline oil specification, with ILSAC adding an extra requirement of fuel economy testing to their specification. For GF-4, a Sequence VIB Fuel Economy Test (ASTM D6837) is required that is not required in API service category SM.

A key new test for GF-4, which is also required for API SM, is the Sequence IIIG, which involves running a 3.8 L (232 in3), GM 3.8 L V-6 at 125 hp (93 kW), 3,600 rpm, and 150 °C (300 °F) oil temperature for 100 hours. These are much more severe conditions than any API-specified oil was designed for: cars which typically push their oil temperature consistently above 100 °C (212 °F) are most turbocharged engines, along with most engines of European or Japanese origin, particularly small capacity, high power output.

The IIIG test is about 50% more difficult than the previous IIIF test, used in GF-3 and API SL oils. Engine oils bearing the API starburst symbol since 2005 are ILSAC GF-4 compliant.

To help consumers recognize that an oil meets the ILSAC requirements, API developed a "starburst" certification mark.

A new set of specifications, GF-5, took effect in October 2010. The industry has one year to convert their oils to GF-5 and in September 2011, ILSAC will no longer offer licensing for GF-4.