ACEA has started work on the next revision of the ACEA European Engine Oil Sequences, initially aiming for release in 2018. However, according to the latest issue of Infineum Insight, “there is recognition that the timing is ambitious and it remains to be seen if this timing is feasible.”
The ACEA specifications provide a set of performance requirements that define service-fill engine oils that offer baseline protection for the majority of the European vehicle fleet.
The last revisions to the ACEA Oil Sequences, published in December 2016, introduced measures to ensure lubricants continue to deliver sufficient protection to heavy and light-duty engines. These sequences became mandatory for new claims on 1 December 2017. Oils with ACEA 2012 claims may be marketed until 1 December 2018.
The ACEA 2016 European Oil Sequences for Service-fill Oils comprise three sets (classes) of sequences: one for gasoline and light duty diesel engines; one specifically for gasoline and light duty diesel engines with after treatment devices and one for heavy-duty diesel engines. Within each of these sets there are categories which reflect different performance requirements – three (A3/B3, A3/B4 and A5/B5) for gasoline and light duty diesel engines, five (C1, C2, C3, C4, C5) specifically for engines with after treatment devices, and four (E4, E6, E7, E9) for heavy-duty diesel engines.
As far as light-duty vehicles are concerned, improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines is high on the agenda of automotive manufacturers, according to the in-house publication of the UK-based additive maker, which is a joint venture between ExxonMobil and Shell.
A new turbocharger deposit test aims to improve turbocharger efficiency and ultimately engine efficiency. Toyota has offered the hardware for the turbocharger deposit test and the draft test procedure. Work is now underway at the Co-ordinating European Council (CEC) so that the test can be adopted as a CEC test, which will enable its introduction into the ACEA Sequences in compliance with the European Engine Lubricant Quality Management System (EELQMS), according to Infineum Insight.
Low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI) is another item of interest that is related to engine efficiency and durability. Lubricants have been found to have an impact on LSPI. This has led to the development of an ASTM LSPI test for the ILSAC GF-6 specification, and this test is now also being considered for introduction into the ACEA Sequences.
To address the unique wear requirements of GDI engines there is also talk about introducing a chain wear test. The ASTM chain wear test, developed for ILSAC GF-6, is also being considered for the next ACEA Oil Sequences update.
In addition, Infineum said they expect the introduction of the M271EVO sludge test, which is currently being developed by CEC, to replace the current non-CEC sludge test.
Replacement tests are also being considered where engine parts are no longer available or will soon be unavailable. The Sequence IVB is being discussed for valve train wear protection, to replace the TU3. The Sequence VH will also relace the Sequence VG.
Infineum said that while it is too early to say what structural changes may be made in the light-duty side, “it is expected that the introduction of new performance requirements, like LSPI, chain wear and turbocharger deposits, will drive the introduction of new categories.”