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ACEA Car Engine Oil Specification Explained

ACEA Spec is a very common sight, in fact you'll find one on almost all engine oil, but what does it all mean?

ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) have a system of rating oils, which you will find on the container of almost every oil on the market. These are the current specifications,previously oils were given separate petrol and diesel ratings, but from November 2004 onwards, those have been combined (A still refers to Petrol and B to Diesel engines).

ACEA's Mission Statement is defined as:

  • Define and advocate the common interests, policies and positions of the European automobile industry;
  • Engage in dialogue with the European institutions and other stakeholders in order to advance understanding of industry-related issues, and to contribute to effective policy and legislation at both European and global levels;
  • Act as a portal for expert knowledge on vehicle-related regulation;
  • Communicate the role and importance of the industry, using reliable data and information;
  • Monitor activities that affect the automobile industry, cooperating with the other stakeholders involved; and Undertake strategic reflection on the increasingly global challenges of mobility, sustainability and competitiveness.

ACEA Specifications - Standard Petrol and Diesel Engines

ACEA A1/B1

Category for Fuel Economy engine oils with especially low High Temperature High Shear viscosity. HTHS of 2.6 to 3.5 mPas applies to XW-20, 2.9 to 3. 5 mPas for all others. Corresponds to the old A1 and B1 specifications with some new engine tests

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use at extended drain intervals in petrol engines and car & light van diesel engines specifically designed to be capable of using low friction low viscosity oils with a high temperature / high shear rate viscosity of 2.6 mPa*s for xW/20 and 2.9 to 3.5 mPa.s for all other viscosity grades. These oils are unsuitable for use in some engines. Consult owner manual or handbook if in doubt

Shop for ACEA A1/B1 Spec Car Engine Oil

ACEA A2/B2

OBSOLETE - Basic requirements. Will be replaced by the GLOBAL DLD-1 specification.

ACEA A3/B3

Category for high-performance and Fuel Economy engine oils. Exceeds ACEA A1/B1 with regard to Noack (evaporation losses), piston cleanliness and oxidation stability. Extended oil change intervals possible.

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance petrol engines and car & light van diesel engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low viscosity oils, and/or for severe operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer

Shop for ACEA A3/B3 Spec Car Engine Oil

ACEA A3/B4

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance petrol and direct injection diesel engines, but also suitable for applications described under A3/B3

ACEA A5/B5

Category for high-performance engine oils. For TDI engines with Fuel Economy Performance. In addition with lowered HTHS (2.9 to 3.5). Extended oil change intervals possible.

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use at extended drain intervals in high performance petrol engines and car & light van diesel engines designed to be capable of using low friction low viscosity oils with a High temperature / High shear rate (HTHS) viscosity of 2.9 to 3.5 mPa.s. These oils are unsuitable for use in some engines. Consult owner manual or handbook if in doubt

SHop For ACEA A5/B5 Spec Car Engine Oil

Low SAPS Diesel Engines

An additional category appears in these specifications in which sulphate ash, phosphorous and sulphur content (SAPS) are limited.

Warning: these oils have the lowest SAPS limits and are unsuitable for use in some engines. Consult owner manual or handbook if in doubt

ACEA C1

Largely based on the ACEA A5/B5. Strict limitation of SAPS content. Low HTHS viscosity of >2.9 mPas.

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use as catalyst compatible oil in vehicles with DPF and TWC in high performance car and light van diesel and petrol engines requiring low friction, low viscosity, low SAPS oils with a minimum HTHS viscosity of 2.9 mPa.s. These oils will increase the DPF and TWC life and maintain the vehicles fuel economy

Shop For ACEA C1 Spec Car Engine Oil

ACEA C2

Same as C1 but with somewhat higher SAPS content permissible (as with C3).

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use as catalyst compatible oil in vehicles with DPF and TWC in high performance car and light van diesel and petrol engines designed to be capable of using low friction, low viscosity oils with a minimum HTHS viscosity of 2.9mPa.s. These oils will increase the DPF and TWC life and maintain the vehicles fuel economy.

Shop For ACEA C2 Spec Car Engine Oil

ACEA C3

Same as C2 except for HTHS > 3.5 and without Fuel Economy performance.

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use as catalyst compatible oil in vehicles with DPF and TWC in high performance car and light van diesel and petrol engines, with a minimum HTHS viscosity of 3.5mPa.s. These oils will increase the DPF and TWC life

Shop For ACEA C3 Spec Car Engine Oil

ACEA C4

Same SAPS content as C3, HTHS viscosity as C1.

Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use as catalyst compatible oil in vehicles with DPF and TWC in high performance car and light van diesel and petrol engines requiring low SAPS oil with a minimum HTHS viscosity of 3.5mPa.s. These oils will increase the DPF and TWC life

Shop For ACEA C4 Car Engine Oil

Key:

  • SAPS: Sulphated Ash, Phosphorus, Sulphur
  • DPF: Diesel Particulate Filter
  • TWC: Three way catalyst
  • HTHS : High temperature / High shear rate viscosity
Download - ACEA Spec Car Engine Oil Explained

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