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Evolution of European passenger car engine oil specifications

The European passenger car engine oil market is one of the most complicated in the world. Not only is there a diverse mix of cars and light duty vehicle manufacturers, there is a combination of gasoline and diesel engines. Also, the requirements for Fuel Economy and Long Drain capability are among the strictest globally.

The European OEMs tend to require engine oils based on ACEA specifications with unique OEM requirements added on top of the ACEA requirements. European OEMs present in the Asia Pacific region often require OEM approved engine oils or, if they arenโ€™t available, ACEA engine oils. In many cases, neither the OEM nor the ACEA oil is widely available in the market.

In the Asia Pacific region, most engine oils today are based on API engine oil specifications. With the growing presence of European OEMโ€™s in Asia Pacific the need for European OEM approved products becomes stronger. In addition, in markets such as Australia, India, South Korea, and Thailand, there has been significant growth and penetration of light duty diesel engines. There are currently no API specifications for light duty diesel engine oils. Therefore, engine oils meeting ACEA specifications which are designed for use in diesel and gasoline engines are gaining in importance and market share.

In this paper, we will review the evolution of ACEA passenger car specifications and provide an overview of the related OEM specifications. In addition, we will discuss some recent developments in reduced viscosity engine oils designed to meet the increasingly severe CO2 and fuel economy regulations in Europe.