Delayed GF-6 tests are nearly complete, but delays are inevitable.
With the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pushing emissions regulations and automakers under pressure to improve fuel economy, the latest ILSAC GF-6 spec is going to have to work hard to keep the lubricants sector ahead of the game.
Essentially, GF-6 needs to improve on its predecessor in a number of key areas:
- fuel economy and fuel economy retention
- engine durability
- wear protection for idle-stop
- low-speed pre-ignition minimisation
- engine oil aeration reduction
- turbo charger deposit control
According to Lube Report, hitting these targets is going to require even more stringent tests including:
- Sequence IVB for valvetrain wear
- Sequence VIE and VIF which measure engine oil contribution to fuel economy
- Sequence IIIH oxidation and deposit test - needed not only for GF-6 but to replace the Sequence IIIG and IIIF before those tests run out of parts to keep existing equipment functioning
- Base Oil Interchange/Viscosity Grade Read Across (BOI/VGRA) guidelines for the VIE/VIF tests
Although many of the tests are on schedule, or at least very close, as OATS has previously reported the new API SN Plus supplemental category could delay progress.
Lube Report's latest analysis suggests that the latest realistic introduction date for GF-6 will not be before the first half of 2020.