API revokes provisional licensing for API CK-4 and API FA-4
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Ford Motor Co. requests API to label low phosphorus CK-4 products

Ford Motor Co.’s Ron Romano has requested the American Petroleum Institute (API) to include the words “low phosphorus” on the label of API CK-4 products containing lower than 1,000 parts per million (ppm) phosphorus.

Since API started licensing the new heavy-duty engine oil categories on December 1, 2016, it has licensed 133 API CK-4 products and 24 API FA-4 products.

In a presentation to the API Lubricants Group yesterday in Orlando, Fla., U.S.A., Romano said that Ford will not be recommending API CK-4 and FA-4 due to wear concerns. However, the previous category that preceded CK-4, API CJ-4, provides adequate wear protection for its diesel engines, Ford believes.

Ford has also issued its own service-fill diesel engine oil specification, WSS-M2C171-F1, which the company recommends for all Ford North American diesel vehicles, F-Series Super Duty and Transit, and has already approved more than 200 products so far. One key component of the specification, the Ford 6.7L valve train wear test, won’t be available until February 2017, however.

“These 200 products are essentially CJ-4 products that passed CK-4 or have been boosted to pass CK-4 and have 1,000 parts per million phosphorus,” Romano explained.

Lubricant manufacturers who wish to get Ford approval will need to submit data to show that it is an existing CJ-4 chemistry and has 1,000 ppm phosphorus, Romano said. There is no license fee and the approval process is relatively quick, “within a couple of days,” he said.

In the meantime, the API Lubricants Group plans to address Ford’s request in January 2017. Several suggestions were floated during the meeting, including a sticker on the bottle instead as a stop-gap measure, as labels take much longer to create, approve and produce and for the most part, are already done for products that have received an API license.

Additionally, when Ford completes the development of the Ford 6.7L valve train wear test in the first quarter, it may be that the newer CK-4 formulations will meet the Ford valve train wear requirement after all, which may make the “low phosphorus” issue moot. So far, API has not licensed any API CK-4 with an API SN claim, which has a maximum phosphorus limit of 800 ppm.