• Why GF-5?
  • Performance
  • Ingredients
  • Testing
  • Global Impact
  • Timeline

Why GF-5?

How U.S. Government regulations drive the future of the automotive and lubricant industries

GF-5 timelime

Regulation drives vehicle design, which in turn drives new enabling technology.

In 2011, all new passenger vehicles manufactured in the United States were required to meet government regulations put in place to further improve fuel economy and reduce exhaust gas emissions.

Why create new regulations?

In the past 40 years, U.S. government regulations have brought about significant fuel economy and emission improvements through required mechanical and chemical component redesigns. While these regulations were successful, more progress is needed. The number of vehicles on the road continues to increase, resulting in negative environmental impacts. And, the cost of fuel continues to increase, resulting in amplified public demand for improved fuel economy. These factors accelerate the cycle of regulation and the performance upgrade of engine oils.

New vehicle designs require new technologies from supporting industries

Automotive manufacturers are not the only ones required to carry out the regulation-driven redesign. Supporting industries and technologies, such as oil marketers and lubricant additive industries, worked together to develop and define the motor oil specification known as ILSAC GF-5. GF-5 oils are designed to improve the function and performance of engine and emission designs and help ensure compliance with government regulations.

GF-5 beyond the U.S.

The GF-5 specification has a global impact. As with the previous GF-4 specification, Japan, Korea and Canada adopted GF-5, and global marketers of motor oils added GF-5 to their requirements.

Consumers and GF-5

For consumers, their owner’s manual tells them to use only motor oil carrying the API certification mark (Starburst). Motor oils carrying the API certification mark are ILSAC GF-5 quality.

GF-5 Performance Requirements

To learn more about our performance enhancements, click on the graphic below.


Emissions System Protection

The ILSAC GF-5 Needs Statement indicated that the ILSAC GF-5 performance must provide improvements to ILSAC GF-4 in Emission System Durability.


For GF-5, phosphorus was reduced from GF-4 (0.06% wt) due to potential wear concerns. As such, a minimum on phosphorus content still exists. Additionally, a phosphorus retention test was incorporated into GF-5, with the objective of minimizing phosphorus leaving the engine and entering the After-Treatment Devices (ATDs). Previously, only a chemical limit was used.

The phosphorus retention test measures the amount of phosphorus retained in the engine lubricant using the current Sequence IIIG engine test @ 100 hours.

High phosphorus retention oils are beneficial for:

  • Extending the life of the ATD such as catalytic converters and oxygen sensors
  • Improved Oxidation prevention to minimize oil thickening
  • Improved protection against Copper and Lead corrosion
  • Retention of the multifunctional benefits of the Zinc dialkydithiophosphate, or ZDP, such as anti-wear, anti-oxidant, anti-corrosion, and lowering the long term Tail-pipe NOx, CO, and HC emissions

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Seal Compatibility

Seal compatibility performance was not new to lubricants.


OEMs had their own seal compatibility specifications for their factory-fill and service-fill oils. However, there were GF-4 oils that did not meet the targeted seal compatibility performance. OEMs were looking for a performance upgrade so that all oils met the targeted elastomer compatibility performance.

In GF-5, the compilation of the OEM specs became a part of the ILSAC/API GF-5 specification. In addition, a new seal material commonly used by OEMs was added.

Oil leakage can result from a combination of chemical incompatibility of the oil, aging of the seal material and mechanical wear on the seal material. By increasing the number of seal materials evaluated and using a more stringent test, elastomer compatibility can be assured. Preventing oil leaks is also good for the environment and it keeps the oil where it is needed most — in the engine’s lubrication system.

The performance requirement of seal compatibility had a measurable impact on the formulating challenge of GF-5.

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Fuel Economy

The ILSAC GF-5 Needs Statement indicates the ILSAC GF-5 performance must surpass ILSAC GF-4 in fuel economy and fuel economy retention.

Previously in GF-2 and GF-1, the Sequence VIA test was used; it evaluated only fresh oil fuel economy. In GF-3 and GF-4, the Sequence VIB test was used; it measured fuel economy on both fresh and aged oil. Fuel economy deteriorates over time, which is why aged oil is also measured in the Sequence VIB.

The industry decided a more modern engine representative of current technology was required for GF-5, so the GM High Feature 3.6 liter engine was selected. The fuel economy test was identified as the Sequence VID engine test. Previously, the Sequence VIB test used a Ford 4.6 liter V-8 engine. The more modern V-6 engine was needed in order to improve the precision of the fuel economy test.

Congress has passed legislation mandating CAFÉ requirements to be set at 54.5 mpg by the year 2025. The auto industry is under tremendous pressure to increase MPG and will look to the oil and additives industries to help achieve this goal.


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E-85 Rust Protection (Rust protection when using Biofuel)

Many vehicles are built to be flexible fuel vehicles. They are capable of running on conventional unleaded regular gasoline; on E85, which is 85% Ethanol plus 15% conventional unleaded gasoline; or on any mixture in between.


Although very few vehicles actually run on E85 the majority of the time, the OEMs want to ensure they do not have detrimental performance when using E85. The two areas of concern are rust protection and emulsion retention.
A bench test was added to GF-5 to ensure sufficient protection from rust caused by biofuels such as E-85 in Flexible Fuel Vehicles.

Biofuels such as E-85 are different from gasoline and may cause engine rust to occur in Flexible Fuel Vehicles, so it is important that GF-5 formulations are fortified to prevent rust. Biofuels such as E-85 are coming into wider use and GF-5 oils must be able to address this potential rust issue.

The performance requirement of E-85 rust protection has had a measurable impact on the formulating challenges of GF-5.

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E-85 Emulsion Retention


An emulsion retention test was included in GF-5 to ensure emulsion retention occurs when biofuels such as E85 are used in FFV.

The byproducts of combustion of biofuels such as E85 are water and acids that tend to be very corrosive if not controlled. The retention of the E-85 emulsion is necessary, as it helps to minimize the corrosion that the water and acids from combustion and condensation may cause.

The performance requirement of E85 emulsion retention has had a measurable impact on the formulating challenges of GF-5.

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5W-XX Volatility


Controlling oil consumption (keeping oil in the engine) is necessary to ensure proper engine performance; oil consumption is related to oil volatility. The GF-5 standard for oil volatility remains at the GF-4 level of 15% maximum. Other factors influencing oil consumption include engine age, engine design and proper maintenance.

Oil volatility is directly related to the selection of proper base oil components and not additives.

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Engine Sludge Protection

The Sequence VG test evaluates the lubricant's ability to prevent sludge and varnish formation. The Sequence VG test simulates moderate temperature taxicab service, urban and suburban delivery service or commuting back and forth to your job. Sludge leads to deposit buildup in the engine and can lead to engine failure. The Sequence VG test also looks at piston deposits and oil screen plugging from sludge.


For GF-5, engine sludge protection is measured by the Sequence VG test, which was the same test used in GF-4. Dispersants are used to control the formation of sludge, but negatively impact fuel economy.

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Piston Cleanliness

The ILSAC GF-5 Needs Statement indicated that the ILSAC GF-5 performance had to provide improvements to ILSAC GF-4 in engine oil robustness, which includes piston cleanliness along with engine sludge protection and turbocharger protection.


A piston cleanliness test is required, as piston deposits can get behind and around the piston rings, which can cause the rings to stick and be sluggish. As a result, the deposits in the ring area displace gas, which is required for ring pressurization. When deposits get behind and around piston rings, a lack of compression occurs. This usually results in increased emissions, decreased fuel economy and decreased performance.

A piston cleanliness test is also required because deposits can build on the piston crown, causing pre ignition. Deposits can also build up on the piston undercrown, which increases piston temperature. Both can result in decreased performance.

To address this issue, the Sequence IIIG engine test was developed to evaluate high temperature deposits. The Sequence IIIG test is an oil thickening and piston deposit test run under high-temperature/high-load conditions. This test also provides information about valve train wear. The test simulates high-speed service under relatively high-temperature conditions.

Piston cleanliness is measured by the weighted piston deposit rating in the Sequence IIIG test.

Detergents are used to prevent piston deposit build-up, but trade off exists between increased piston cleanliness and fuel economy. The detergent components that go the metal surfaces to keep the engine's parts clean compete against the friction modifier components that go to the metal surfaces to reduce friction and improve fuel economy.

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Turbocharger Protection

The TEOST 33C deposit bench test evaluates turbocharger protection for GF-5.


During this test, problems were observed with oxidative degradation/thermal coking of the engine oil in the turbocharger bearing area during hot shut-down. It is necessary to protect the bearing from deposits, because deposit build-up in the turbocharger bearing area can lead to loss of engine performance and possibly engine failure.

Turbocharger protection is important, but there are tradeoffs when it comes to fuel economy. The detergent and dispersant components that go the metal surfaces to keep the engine's parts clean and prevent deposit build-up in the turbocharger compete against the friction modifier components that go to the metal surfaces to reduce friction and improve fuel economy.

It is estimated that 15 to 25% of all Ford, GM and Chrysler engines have turbochargers.

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Oxidative Thickening


Oil oxidation leads to oil thickening and potential pumpability problems. Think about pumping water vs. honey. As oil oxidizes, it gets more viscous and can negatively impact fuel economy. In addition, oil oxidation makes it difficult for the oil to circulate through the lubricating passages of the engine and may lead to oil starvation. Oil starvation can result in engine failure.

To address oxidative thickening, the Sequence IIIG test is used, which was the same test used for GF-4. The Sequence IIIG is more severe than the previous Sequence IIIE and IIIF, as the engine test is hotter and longer to simulate modern engines.

No differences in oxidative thickening limits exist between GF-5 and GF-4. The formulating challenge is to prevent oxidative thickening while not negatively affecting fuel economy or engine oil robustness.

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Wear Protection

Zinc Dialkydithiophosphate, commonly referred to as ZDP, is a classic and proven component for wear protection.

Existing technology is available to address the wear protection needs of GF-5; however, many of the additives used to inhibit wear contain phosphorus. Phosphorus in the exhaust gas has been shown to harm after-treatment devices.

The engine lubricant must protect from premature wear. The Sequence IVA is a flat follower valve train wear test and has proven to be adequate.

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The Impact on Lubricant Ingredients

What types of lubricant ingredients does GF-5 require?

Additive companies and oil marketers determine the appropriate lubricant ingredients to meet GF-5 performance requirements. The Needs Statement for GF-5, approved by ILSAC/OIL, shapes the level of performance required over and above GF-4.


Performance Additives

In order to meet GF-5 performance requirements, lubricant additives must provide:

  • Improved phosphorous retention (ZDP) to enable emission system durability while maintaining engine protection
  • Increased levels of organic/inorganic Friction Modifiers to meet improved fuel economy and fuel economy retention
  • Enhanced emulsion and rust protection for Flex Fuel Vehicle specifically those that run on ethanol based fuel (E85)
  • Greater seal compatibility to help ensure seal longevity and prevent oil leakage in older vehicles, as demonstrated by a seal test specifically developed for GF-5

Base Oils

There is a greater demand for SAE 0W-20 oils. Formulating SAE 0W-20 oils requires the use of Group III base oils.

Viscosity Modifier

Viscosity modifying additives (VMs) control the temperature-viscosity relationship of engine oils. Viscosity modifiers are susceptible to shear degradation in the engine. Viscosity modifiers with good fuel economy and high temperature deposit performance are needed to meet the requirements of GF-5.

Pour Point Depressant (PPD)

Pour Point Depressants (PPDs) continue to play an important role in managing both the new and used low temperature properties of the finished oil. As base stocks, performance additives and VMs evolve with new specifications, careful selection of PPDs ensures fail-safe low temperatures performance

GF-5 Testing

Performance Characteristics 

Engine Test

GF-4 vs. GF-5 Comparison & Comment 

Test Procedure 

High Temperature Deposits

Average Weighted Piston Deposit (WPD) = 4.0


Oil Thickening

Same as GF-4


Sludge and Varnish

Limits for Average Engine Sludge = 8.0

Limits for Rocker Arm Cover Sludge = 8.3


Oil Screen Clogging

 Limits for Oil Screen Clogging = 15%


Valvetrain Wear

Same as GF-4


Bearing Corrosion

Same as GF-4


Fuel Economy

New to GF-5

SAE XW- 20 viscosity grade

FEI SUM   2.6% minimum

FEI 2         1.2%minimum after 100 hours

SAE XW-30 viscosity grade

FEI SUM   1.9% minimum

FEI 2         0.9% minimum after 100 hours

SAE 10W-30 and all other viscosity grades

FEI SUM   1.5% minimum

FEI 2         0.6% minimum after 100 hours


Bench Tests 

GF-4 vs. GF-5 Comparison & Comment

Test Procedure



Viscosity grades are limited to SAE 0W, 5W, and 10W mulitgrade





Phosphorus, mass % max

Mass % maximum set at 0.08% wt


Sulfur Content, mass % max

0.5% wt maximum for all vis grades except 10W-30 which is 0.6% wt maximum

D4951 OR D2622

Phosphorus Volatility

New to GF-5

ASTM D7320

Percent phosphorus retension = 79%





Phosphorus, mass % min

Same as GF-4

0.06% wt





Noack Volatility

Same as GF-4


GCD Distillation

Same as GF-4






Measuring Foam Stability has changed from 10 minutes to 1 minute

D892 (Option A Modified)

ASTM High Temperature Foam

Same as GF-4

D6082 (Option A)


35 mg maximum Deposit Weight



New to GF-5

30 mg maximum Total Deposit Weight

Note:  No TEOST 33C limit for SAE 0W-20

TEOST 33C, D6335


Same as GF-4



Same as GF-4



Same as GF-4


Homogeneity & Miscibility

Same as GF-4

ASTM D6922


MRV TP-1 is run on drain from Sequence IIIG or ROBO





Ball Rust test (BRT)

Same GF-4

BRT (ASTM D6557)


New to GF-5

Five seals materials are included

Seals (ASTM D7216 Annex A2)


New to GF-5

0 °C, 24 hours  No water separation

25° C, 24 hours  No water separation

Chrysler Emulsion Retention (D7563)




Sequence IIIG Engine Test

The Sequence IIIG is a fired engine test designed to evaluate the candidate oil's performance in three areas:

  • Viscosity Increase
  • High Temperature Piston Deposits
  • Valve Train Wear


For GF-5 the rated performance parameters proposed are:

  • Viscosity Increase as a Percentage of New Oil Viscosity
  • Weighted Piston Deposits
  • Cam and Lifter Wear
  • Hot Stuck Rings

The weighted piston deposit requirement for GF-5 is 5.0 minimum and is a significant upgrade compared to the GF-4 limit of 3.5 minimum.

Sequence IIIG Test Conditions


GM 3.8L (3800 cc) V-6 

Test Length (h) 


Speed (RPM) 


Load (Nm) 


Oil Temperature (°C) 


Coolant Temperature (°C) 


Intake Air Temp (°C) 


Valve Spring Load (lbs) 

205 @ 0.375 inch deflection 

Air/Fuel Ratio 


Initial Oil Charge (ml) 


Oil Check and samples (h) 

0,20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 




Nodular Cast Iron (Phosphated 

Cam Bushing 



Alloy Cast Iron 


Haltermann  Fuel unleaded 

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Sequence VG Engine Test

The Sequence VG is a fired engine test designed to evaluate the candidate oil's ability to prevent sludge and varnish deposits in short trip low temperature operation


The test cycles between low and high temperature operation, simulating the short trip driving conditions which promote the generation of acids and fuel dilution in the crankcase. A special fuel is used which is prone to sludge and varnish generation.

The rated performance parameters for the Sequence VG are:

  • Average Engine Sludge (AES)
  • Rocker Arm Cover Sludge (RACS)
  • Average Engine Varnish (AEV)
  • Average Piston Skirt Varnish (APV)
  • Oil Screen Clogging (Screen Clogging, %)
  • Ring Sticking (RS)

Performance limits for AES, RACS and Oil Screen Clogging are more demanding for GF-5 compared to the limits for GF-4.

Sequence VG Test Conditions


Ford 4.6L SOHC V-8 

Test Length (h) 


Operating Cycles 

54 Cycles, 4 hours/Cycle

3 Stages / Cycle  

Time (Minutes) 


Speed (RPM) 


Manifold Pressure (KPa absolute) 


Oil Temperature (°C) 


Rocker Cover Coolant Temperature (°C) 


Engine Coolant Temperature (°C) 


Intake Air Temp (°C) 



Haltermann  Fuel unleaded 

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Sequence IVA Engine Test

The Sequence IVA is a fired engine test designed to measure the crankcase oil's ability to prevent valve train wear encountered during "Stop and Go" or short trip driving conditions and extended idling. The test evaluates cam lobe wear at low temperature and low speed conditions.


The rated parameter is the average Cam Lobe Wear and is measured at seven locations on each of the twelve cam lobes.

Sequence IVA Test Conditions


Nissan 2.4L inline 4 cylinder 

Test Length (h) 



 2 (Low and High speed) 

Stage Duration (minutes) 


Speed (RPM) 


Manifold Pressure (KPa absolute) 


Oil Temperature  


Coolant Temperature (°C) 



Haltermann  Fuel unleaded (Dyed Green) 

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Sequence VIII Engine Test

The Sequence VIII is a fired engine test used to evaluate candidate oil's ability to prevent Copper /Lead bearing corrosion. In addition this test is used to evaluate lubricant's resistance to viscosity loss due to mechanical shearing.


Test performance parameters are Bearing Weight Loss after 40 hours and the viscosity @ 100°C of the "vacuum stripped" oil sample taken after 10 hours of operation.

Sequence VIII Test Conditions


LABECO Single Cylinder 

Test Length (h)


Speed (RPM)

3150 ± 25 

Oil Temperature (°C)

143.5 ± 1 

Coolant Temperature (°C)

93.5 ± 1  

Fuel Consumption (kg/h)

2.15 ± 0.11 

Air/Fuel Ratio

14.0 ± 0.5 


Haltermann Unleaded Fuel (Dyed Green) 

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Engine Oil Aeration Test (ASTM D6894)

ASTM D6894, Engine Oil Aeration Test, is a standard test method for evaluation of the oils resistance to Oil Aeration. Commonly referred to as HEUI or EOAT, the test was originally developed in 1994 to measure the aeration tendencies of heavy duty diesel engine oils. It was intended to replace the ASTM high temperature foam test D6082 in API CG-4 requirements, API CG-4 was implemented and it was discovered that the ASTM foam tests did not correlate with engine oil aeration in field service. The Engine Oil Aeration test is run in a fired engine for 20 hours and the aeration is measured as a % volume of the oil.

This test has not been used for PCMO specification and it is not know if this test would be suitable for the proposed GF-5 application.

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Sequence VID Engine Test

The Sequence VID test replaced the Sequence VIB as the Fuel Economy test for ILSAC GF-5. As an outcome of discussions within ILSAC/OIL, a Consortium was formed to oversee and fund the Sequence VID development.

The members were:

Automotive Companies

Oil Companies

Additive Companies

General Motors Corp.



Ford Motor Co.


Afton Chemical









R. T. Vanderbilt

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VID Development Program Status


GM 3.6L High Feature V6 Engine

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HTHS Bench Test

New for GF-5: SAE 0W, SAE 5W, SAE 10W-40 changed from 2.9 to 3.5 cSt minimum at 150°C.

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D4951 Bench Test


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Sequence IIIGB (EOT) Bench Test


Emissions System Durability

An ASTM committee, Emissions System Compatibility Improvement Team (ESCIT) developed a process to identify the amount of phosphorus that escapes the engine and finds its way into the emissions systems (catalytic converter and other after-treatment devices). It is known that volatilized phosphorus impairs catalyst efficiency.


The ESCIT recommended measuring the % phosphorus retention in the EOT (100 hour) sample from the Sequence IIIG test.

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D5800 Bench Test


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D6417 Bench Test


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D892 (Option A Modified) Bench Test


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D6082 (Option A) Bench Test


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MHT-4 TEOST Bench Test


The MHT-4 TEOST (ASTM D7097) is a bench test used to evaluate oil performance relative to forming Moderately High Temperature Piston Deposits when subjected to high power and temperature operating conditions.

The performance parameter is the weight of deposits on a heated metal rod.

MHT-4 TEOST Test Conditions



Test Length, hours 


Oil Sample volume, g 


Depositor rod Temperature, °C 


Air Flow, ml/minute 


Depositor Oil Flow, g/minute 



Liquid Napthenates (Pb/Fe/Sn) 

Catalyst Concentration 

0.114g/g oil 

The TEOST 33C and TEOST MHT-4 tests are designed to measure high temperature deposit forming tendencies of lubricating oils but the procedures are quite different. The TEOST 33C version cycles between 200°C and 480°C for two hours and is primarily designed to protect turbochargers. The MHT-4 is run at a constant temperature of 285°C for 24 hours and is to evaluate piston deposits.



Together the test results from both versions paint a picture of the candidate oil's high temperature deposit forming tendency.

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TEOST 33C (ASTM 6335) Bench Test

The Thermo-Oxidation Engine Oil Simulation Test (TEOST®) 33C was originally developed for and made part of GF-2 to evaluate turbocharger deposit formation. This test was not included in GF-3 or GF-4, but was included in GF-5. The GF-2 performance limit was 60 mg maximum and the GF-5 is 25 mg maximum. This test is meant to evaluate the high temperature deposit forming tendencies of crankcase oil.


This test simulates the cyclic temperatures encountered by lubricating oil in a turbocharged gasoline fueled engine. About 100 ml of test oil is used in a 12 cycle/2 hour test. The test piece is a hollow heated rod (TEOST® Depositor Rod) that will accumulate deposits over the 2 hour test period. The test oil flows over the rod at about 0.5 g/minute, while the test piece is cycled 12 times over a temperature range of 200°C to 480°C. The increase in the weight of the rod is the performance parameter measured for this procedure. The greater the weight gain, the poorer the performance.

TEOST 33C Test Conditions



Test Length, hours 

Number of Cycles 


Cycle Duration, minutes 


Depositor Rod Temperature, °C 

200 to 480 

Depositor Oil Flow, g/minute 


Oil Sample volume, ml 



Ferric Napthenate 

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EOWTT & EOFT Bench Tests


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ASTM D6922 Bench Test


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ROBO Bench Test

The ROBO test is a bench test for evaluation of the used engine oil low temperature viscosity performance. This test was developed by Degussa Rhomax Additives and was accepted by ILSAC/OIL as a Sequence IIIGA replacement.

Test Procedure


Test oil is combined with Iron Ferrocene catalyst is placed in a reaction vessel. The mixture is reacted under vacuum with Nitrogen Dioxide and air for 40 hours at 170°C, while being stirred with a paddle stirrer.
The performance parameter evaluated is low temperature viscosity as measured by the ASTM D4684 MRV-TP1.

ROBO Bench Test Conditions

Test Length, h 


Temperature, °C 


Test Oil charge, g 


Stirrer speed, RPM 


Catalyst, Iron Ferrocene, ppm 


Airflow, ml/minute 


Nitrogen Dioxide (Liquid Phase) 

2ml/h for 12 h 

Vacuum for test vessel, mm Hg 


Volatility (Loss) % 


The ROBO test is included in GF-5.



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Ball Rust Test ASTM D6557 Bench Test

The BRT (Ball Rust Test) ASTM D6557 is a bench test developed to replace the Sequence IID engine test for measuring rust of iron or steel parts in an engine. It is used to measure a candidate oils ability to prevent corrosion of the internal engine parts in service where water and acid build-up occur.


The BRT is an 18 hour procedure during which the actual Lifter Ball from a hydraulic tappet is exposed to an acid/water solution in air. The performance parameter in this procedure is called the Gray Value Rating. The Gray Value Rating is obtained from an instrument that measures reflective intensity which is an indicator of surface area corrosion.

Ball Rust Test Conditions


Hydraulic Lifter Ball in a 20cc glass containers with 10 ml of test oil on a shaker table 

Test Length 

18 hours 



Shaker Speed 

300 RPM 

Air Flow 

40 cc / minute 

Acid Solution 

Acetic/Hydrobromic/Hydrochloric Acids in deionized water 

Acid Add Rate 

0.19 ml/hour 

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Humidity Cabinet Rust Test (ASTM D1748)

ASTM D1748 is a standard procedure for evaluating corrosion protection capacity of lubricating oil under high humidity conditions.

Testing is conducted in a sealed chamber called a Humidity Cabinet that provides a moisture saturated environment causing continuous condensation and evaporation. Test panels are suspended from a rotating stage and air temperature is maintained at 48.9 ± 1.1°C.

Performance parameter is the degree of rusting that occurs and is a visual assessment. Proposed limit has been "No Rust".

This test was officially dropped by ILSAC/OIL.

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Seal Compatibility (ASTM D7216-05) Bench Test

ASTM D7216 is a standard procedure for evaluating oil compatibility with typical seal materials used in automotive applications.


The HDEO categories have had seal compatibility included since the API CH-4 service category and GM has had a requirement for a few years for their passenger car engine oils. Seal compatibility has been proposed for GF-5 in order to provide a leak free engine which is good for the environment.

The current proposal is to evaluate the seal materials after 336 hours of immersion in the candidate oil. The seal material proposed and the test temperature are listed below:

Seal Compatibility Test Conditions

Seal Material 

Temperature, °C 

Polyacrlate Rubber



Hydrogenated Nitrile Rubber



Silicone Rubber



Fluorocarbon Rubber (FKM-1)


Ethylene Acrylic Rubber



The properties measured for each material are:

  1.  Volume Change, % ∆
  2. Hardness Change, Points
  3. Tensile Strength, % ∆
  4. Elongation at Break, % ∆
  5. Tensile Stress at 50% Elongation, % ∆

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Emulsion Retention Bench Test

Emulsion Retention is an ILSAC GF-5 issue due to the increasing use of BioFuels such as E-85 in Flexible

Fuel Vehicles.
Chrysler developed a bench test to evaluate emulsion retention in the presence of water and ethanol in gasoline.

The procedure uses the candidate oil blended* with 10% water and 10% E-85 fuel. The expectation is to have the following occur:


Emulsion Retention Test Conditions

24 hours @ 0°C 

No water separation 

24 hours @ 25°C 

No water separation 

*blended using a Waring blender or equivalent for 1 minute at room Temperature.
E-85 fuel is 85% Ethanol and 15% gasoline.



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Global Implications of ILSAC GF-5


How does the global marketplace accept new specifications?

When a new North American Passenger Car Engine Oil Specification becomes officially available it will appear in other parts of the world concurrently. The new performance standards developed by the International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) and certified by the American Petroleum Institute (API), are generally accepted by the rest of the world.


Source: Directory of Licenses: API Engine Oil and Licensing Certification Committee, API publication 1520.

In Asia Pacific and Latin America, motor oils follow the API performance level and as a result have ILSAC GF-5 oil in some of their markets. JAMA (Japan Automotive Manufacturers Association) is part of ILSAC and has a vote in the development of new specifications. When oils are officially licensed and in the market in the U.S., oils of the same performance level are immediately in the market in Japan and simultaneously in Korea, Australia and Canada

In Europe the ACEA (European Automobile Manufactures Association) specifications are primarily followed.

GF-5 Specification Upgrade Process

GF-5 Timeline

GF-5 Milestones

The list below represents activities critical to the creation of the ILSAC GF-5 performance specification, from inception to API first licensing.

Action Timing
Complete Test Development 3Q to 4Q 2008
Run Test Precision Matrices 4Q 2008 to 1Q 2009
ASTM Test Acceptance 2Q 2009
ACC Test Registration 2Q 2009
Technology Demonstration 3Q 2009
ILSAC/OIL Approval 3Q 2009
API 1st License Date 4Q 2010