WHAT IS ACEA?
ACEA is the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association and represents Europe’s car, van, truck and bus manufacturers. They are the European equivalent of the United States’ API (American Petroleum Institute). The ACEA Oil Sequences define the minimum quality level for service fill engine oils. Service manuals regularly recommend ACEA as well as API and JASO specifications. If an OEM mandates these specifications, using products without the required ACEA specifications can void the warranty and may provide inadequate engine protection.
For lubricant manufacturers to claim official ACEA specifications they must submit a Letter of Conformance to ATIEL. Castrol is a proud member of ATIEL and signatory to ATIEL’s Letter of Conformance. If your lubricant manufacturer is not a signatory to ATIEL’s Letter of Conformance then any ACEA claims listed for their products are void. You can check if your lubricant manufacturer is a signatory here: https://sail-europe.eu/registrations/lubricant-marketers
THE IMPORTANCE OF INDUSTRY AND OEM RELATIONSHIPS
Castrol works very closely with a number of OEMs globally, including Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Mazda and Volkswagen, to develop advanced lubricants that meet all the requirements of each OEM. This demonstrates Castrol’s ongoing commitment to providing high quality lubricants that have been developed through key industry and OEM relationships. Industry and OEM relationships provide hard evidence that a lubricant manufacturer’s products will perform in today’s advanced technology engines, protecting your customer’s vehicle throughout its entire life cycle and long after the warranty period has expired.
ACEA SEQUENCES AND AFTER TREATMENT DEVICES
The latest version of the ACEA Oil Sequences focus on improved robustness and biodiesel compatibility.
ACEA defines three engine classes:
Each ACEA Sequence is governed by a set of parameters including fuel economy and SAPS levels (Sulphated Ash, Phosphorus and Sulphur). These are outlined in Figure 1. The terms Low, Mid & High SAPS refer to the ACEA limits on certain additives that can be incorporated into an oil. The limits are set to protect after treatment devices (i.e. particulate filters and three way catalysts). Always use a lubricant specified by your OEM to avoid damage. All ‘C’ approved oils are catalyst compatible oils, however various technologies are employed by manufacturers to meet relevant emission levels. This results in different chemical limits and fuel economy limits within the C classification. Note that HTHS (High Temperature, High Shear) is the best indicator of fuel economy. As per Figure 1, a lower HTHS value indicates greater fuel efficiency.
COMBINED PERFORMANCE CLAIMS
Multiple ACEA specifications for the same lubricant formulation are possible where ALL the associated chemical limits and physical testing requirements are met. Certain combined claims are technically impossible due to the conflicting demands of two or more specifications (i.e. C3 cannot be claimed with A3/B4). The potential combination of claims that can be made against the ACEA Sequences can be viewed at the ATIEL website (https://atiel.org).
If your lubricant manufacturer lists non-compatible combined claims then this is a cause for concern as you may inadvertently be using the wrong product.
OEMS ARE MANDATING PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS ABOVE AND BEYOND THOSE SPECIFIED BY ACEA.
Where both OEM approval and ACEA performance are specified it is crucial both claims are met. For example, Castrol Magnatec Professional A5 5W-30 is approved against the Ford WSS-M2C-913D standard. This specification is based on ACEA A5/B5 with the addition of Ford’s requirements for fuel efficiency and timing chain wear tests which go beyond the ACEA requirements. Adhering to OEM requirements benefits performance and helps to extend the life of the engine.
"By using lubricants that have been extensively tested and developed through strong Industry and OEM partnerships, such as those marketed by Castrol, your customers are offered the highest level of protection and performance. Lubricant manufacturers that are registered with ATIEL and carry certified ACEA claims will protect you and your customers throughout and beyond the vehicle’s warranty period. Using anything else is not worth the risk!"