Testing

Precision matrix testing for ILSAC GF-6 awaits funding

With two out of six tests having been cleared for precision matrix testing, the industry’s next North American and Japanese passenger car engine oil category known as ILSAC GF-6, is getting closer to becoming a reality and first licensing by January 2018.

The main hurdle left before precision matrix testing can begin is the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) by the following signatories: the labs involved in the testing, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Petroleum Institute (API), ASTM International, the International Lubricants Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC) and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (JAMA). The MOA is a legal document outlining their respective funding responsibilities.

However, there is currently a funding shortfall of USD 47,000 because not all of the signatories have signed the updated version of the MOA.

The ACC and the API each contribute one-third of the funding for the matrix testing. The other third is evenly split between ILSAC and JAMA. The budget is based on how much the contributing labs calculate that the tests will cost.

In 2013, a draft version of the MOA was signed by all the signatories, with each party agreeing to contribute to the outlined funding. However, the tests in the category are not fixed. Some tests have since become longer in duration, meaning that they will use more fuel; thus additional funds will be required to run the tests.

In the past few weeks, according to Dennis Bachelder, a senior engineer with the API, another draft was sent out to the signatories. JAMA has indicated that it cannot pay the revised amount until the next budget cycle in 2016.

At last week’s meeting in Trenton, Mich., U.S.A. between the Auto Oil Advisory Panel (AOAP) and the ASTM Passenger Car Engine Oil Classification Panel (PCEOCP), it was mentioned that this could be an ongoing issue, because the tests will likely continue to change and become more expensive. Although two tests are now ready for precision matrix testing, they can’t start until the funding is in place. API said that it plans to draft another revision of the MOA to see if that will increase the likelihood of getting it signed. Funding would first be allocated for the Chrysler Oxidation and Deposit Test, then for the Toyota Valvetrain Wear Test.

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