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ACEA passenger car motor oil sequences

introduction to european PCMO categories

High quality engine oils and lubricants are formulated to meet the current needs of the automotive industry. High quality lubricants are required to protect modern engines and give them the highest level of reliability. For the European automotive industry, a baseline of engine oil specifications has been developed by ACEA. The ACEA European Oil Sequences define the minimum quality level of service oils as defined and requested by the ACEA members for use in their vehicles. On top of the ACEA European Oil Sequences, OEMs have their own specifications and distinct requirements. Once successfully tested and approved by the respective OEMs, these specific OEM approvals can be added to the ACEA claims.

A/B category

Conventional oils

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C2/C3 category

Oils compatible with after-treatment

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C5 category

High fuel economy oils compatible with after-treatment

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A/B category

The ACEA A and B categories are designed for high performance gasoline and light duty diesel engines and provide the minimum performance required for many OEM specifications. The ACEA A and B categories are considered conventional oils and are full sulfated ash, phosphorus and sulfur (SAPS) formulations to ensure maximum engine performance and engine protection.

For most vehicles in today’s European market, it is common to have full SAPS oil recommendations as these vehicles do not use advanced emission systems, which are highly sensitive to high SAPS levels. Outside of Europe, there are still markets with even lower fuel quality requirements. Lower fuel qualities (e.g., higher sulfur levels) can contribute to higher SOX levels and particulate matter emissions, where some SOX emissions can be converted in the atmosphere to sulfate particulate matter. The reactive nature of such components requires a different balance of performance additives (higher SAPS levels) to reduce degradation of the lubricant.

Automotive industry trends and governmental regulations are resulting in lower SAPS levels in automotive engine oils. SAPS levels of engine oils are directly related to the additives and additive levels used in engine oils that are providing desirable performance properties including detergency and wear and oxidation protection.

Typical examples within the Oronite product range: OLOA® 54120 and OLOA 54050.

C2/C3 categories

Over the past decades, new car models have been subjected to increasingly more stringent exhaust emission limits. Modern clean cars combine low CO2 emission with low particulate emissions to meet the latest European regulations. To achieve those goals of lower CO2 and particulate emissions, modern cars, gasoline and diesel, are equipped with aftertreatment systems to eliminate most particulate and NOX emissions. To ensure compatibility with aftertreatment devices, the SAPS limits of lubricants have been significantly reduced as they can negatively influence the performance of aftertreatment devices.

That is the main reason why, in addition to the conventional ACEA A/B categories, the ACEA European Oil Sequences also includes the C categories. ACEA C category oils are stable, stay-in-grade engine oils with mid SAPS-level, intended for use as a catalyst compatible oil in vehicles with all types of modern aftertreatment systems. The ACEA C categories were first introduced in the 2004 edition of the ACEA European Oil Sequences. An example is the ACEA C3 category. ACEA C3 oils are top tier lower SAPS lubricants designed for use in high performance gasoline and light duty diesel engines with advanced after treatment systems.

Typical examples within the Oronite product range: OLOA® 54510 and OLOA 54499.

C5 category

European Union (EU) legislation sets mandatory reduced CO2 emission targets for new cars. This legislation is the cornerstone of the EU's strategy to improve the fuel economy of cars sold on the European market. The average emissions level of a new car sold in 2016 was 118.1 grams (g) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer (km), significantly below the 2015 target of 130 g CO2 per km. By 2021, phased in from 2020, the fleet average to be achieved by all new cars is 95 g of CO2 per km. The 2015 and 2021 targets represent reductions of 18 and 40 percent, respectively, compared with the 2007 fleet average of 158.7 g CO2 per km.

To meet the continued demands for reduced emission and better fuel economy made by the European requirements, oil also has a significant role to play. As such, ACEA has introduced its new ACEA C5 category within their latest ACEA 2016 specifications. This ACEA C5 category involves very low viscosity (high-temperature, high-shear (HTHS) minimum 2.6 mPas) engine oils, providing improved fuel economy. These mid SAPS oils are aftertreatment compatible and intended for use in highly loaded direct-injection gasoline and diesel engines. In addition to delivering high fuel economy, this ACEA C5 specification includes additional tests, such as a test to ensure high oxidation stability and compatibility with bio-fuels

European OEMs have introduced their OEM specific, high fuel economy specifications based on this new ACEA C5 claim. In most cases, they have added more requirements to protect their newest, highly loaded, engine technology needed to meet the legislative lower emissions and better fuel economy targets. These additional lubricant requirements include tests to avoid low speed pre-ignition (LSPI), such as in Daimler MB 229.71, and ensure long-drain protection and excellent deposit control as in BMW LL17FE+.

Typical examples within the Oronite product range: OLOA® 54720

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