Two New Oil Standards Debut in 2011
Being someone who works in the oil industry, I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know about these new developments in oil until recently. It wasn’t until a coworker was chatting about this new General Motor’s oil standard called “dexos” that my ears perked up. Car companies just don’t make their own oil standards – well, until now that is. So I began to investigate the matter a little further and found some very important information that I’d like to share with you blog readers.
The processes of grading and setting specifications for oils have been around for years. The International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) has worked with the American Petroleum Institute (API) since the end of World War I to identify the need for motor oil improvements and set testing standards. And as one could expect, oils have improved vastly over the years.
2011 marks a new step up in the advancement of motor oils with the introduction of two new oil standards – GF-5 and General Motor’s dexos.
ILSAC is an organization made up of auto manufacturers who set standards for oil used in their engines. When they introduce a new standard, like GF-5, they do so because they want better performance from oil. Better oil helps the engines in their cars perform better. So it makes sense that auto manufacturers would want to continuously set new standards for oil as the technology in engines advance. The previous standard, GF-4, has been around for about 6 years. When ILSAC began to develop the new standard, they wanted to develop an oil standard that would improve fuel economy, help prevent engine sludge, protect emission systems and a variety of other advances.
How does this affect me?
Since the auto manufacturers helped develop GF-5, they want you to use it in their vehicles. In fact, Ford, Chrysler, and Japanese auto manufacturers expect you to use it if you want to keep your engine warranty in good standing. If your engine fails while still under warranty, these manufacturers may test the oil in the engine to be sure its GF-5 before they honor the warranty. In addition, these brands of cars will be coming straight from the factory with GF-5 oils in them starting in 2011.
This year, General Motors decided to start setting their own specification for oil used in their vehicles. They have developed their own specifically formulated and licensed standard called dexos.
How does this affect me?
General Motors developed dexos specifically with their engines in mind. So of course, they recommend it for all GM cars. And, if your GM engine is still under warranty, they expect you to use dexos approved oils when you change your oil. Not doing so can adversely affect your warranty. Customers could probably expect manufacturers to take an oil sample from the engine should problems occur with the engine while it’s under warranty.
But what if I like the oil I’m currently using now and don’t want to switch?
Your choice of oil is entirely up to you. MasterLube is happy to use whatever brand and type of oil you prefer in your vehicle. Just be aware that the choices you make could affect the engine warranty if your vehicle has one.
Are there benefits to using these new oils?
Auto manufacturers set out to demand higher specifications for oil when they developed these new standards. They wanted to improve over the past GF-4 standard in the following ways:
- Fuel economy
- Emission systems protection
- Rust protection when using ethanol/gasoline blends
- Turbocharger protection
- Avoiding engine sludge
- Engine robustness
- Compatibility with sealing materials
- Piston cleanliness
- Wear protection
Can I use GF-5 or dexos in my older car?
Yes. Both new standards are backwards compatible.
For a quick reference guide to these changes, feel free to download this informational flyer we made to help explain these new standards.