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Technical Paper

Gasoline Engine Oil Specifications, Past, Present and Global

Engine oil specifications have been changing since the invention of the automobile and the internal combustion engine. The industry associations that have played a key role in engine oil specification development have changed or evolved in fairly regular time intervals. The specifications, the tests behind the specifications, and the groups involved in shaping the specifications are discussed from a historical and present day perspective.
Technical Paper

Development of the Sequence IIIG Engine Oil Certification Test

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Sequence III Engine Oil Certification Tests have been used for the past forty-five years to evaluate lubricant performance characteristics for valvetrain wear, viscosity increase, and piston deposit formation. Minimum performance standards for passenger car light duty gasoline engine oil categories are set by the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) (1) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) (2). This paper describes the development of the new ASTM Sequence IIIG Engine Oil Certification Test for use in evaluating the performance characteristics of engine oils meeting the next generation, low sulfur, low phosphorus, ILSAC GF-4 and API licensing requirements.
Technical Paper

How Much ZDP is Enough?

Zinc dithiophosphate, or ZDP, for over 60 years has been used as an additive in engine oils to provide wear protection and oxidation stability in an efficient and cost effective manner. Unfortunately, ZDP contains phosphorus, and phosphorus is a widely known and accepted poison of automotive catalysts and other emissions system components. Because of this, phosphorus (and ZDP) levels in automotive engine oils have been gradually reduced by about 35% over the last 10-15 years, and further reductions are likely in the future. This paper traces the history of ZDP use in automotive engine oils, and addresses the issue of how much (if any) ZDP is actually required to provide wear protection in today's, as well as yesterday's, engines. The focus in the paper is on wear (including scuffing) protection, and not on the other aspects of ZDP performance, such as providing oxidation stability of the oil.
Technical Paper

Engine Oil Effects on Fuel Economy in GM Vehicles -- Separation of Viscosity and Friction Modifier Effects

Eight engine oils were evaluated in four GM vehicles in standard EPA fuel economy (FE), vehicle-dynamometer tests. The results were compared with the FE obtained with a standard ASTM reference oil (BC). The viscosity and the friction modification effects of engine oil on vehicle FE were quantified. Combined FE performance in the vehicles ranged from almost 2 percent improvement for an SAE 0W-10 oil, to over 1.5 percent poorer FE than the reference oil for an SAE 10W-40 oil. FE in three engines (3.1L, 3.8L, and 2.3L) showed a strong dependence on the viscosity of the oil (HTHS at either 100° or 150°C). This dependence was stronger during the city portion of the EPA test (lower temperatures) than the highway portion (higher temperatures). For the 5.7L engine no significant effect of oil viscosity on FE was observed although the highest FE seemed to be obtained at an HTHS (at 150°C) viscosity near 3.1 cP.