ACEA-2021, Light Services Unprecedented degree of change!

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ACEA–2021ACEA–2021

ACEA–2021 – The new ACEA Engine Oil Sequences for Light Services were published, as planned, during the European spring of 2021, and the degree of change is unprecedented.

Two categories have been removed to make room for two new categories. The new categories came with additional engine tests on three new performance parameters for the ACEA Sequences, in addition to a new fuel economy test for the ACEA C6. At the same time, maintenance activities were carried out to replace three end-of-life tests with successor tests, to reintroduce a test for gasoline engine valve wear and to remove two tests whose hardware availability is limited. Not to mention tighter limits for elastomer and some other minor changes.

Some of the new tests are ASTM tests “borrowed” from the American API Engine Oil Specification standard, the new fuel economy test comes from the Japanese standard JASO and the Coordinating European Council, CEC, also contributes with new and replacement tests. ACEA strings are clearly going global.

ACEA–2021 – The structure of the Sequence

There was a pragmatic direction in the sense of removing some “old” categories to make room for new categories. Just adding more categories would create high complexity and a specification system difficult for the end user to understand.

Categories A3 / B3 and C1 have been made obsolete. This reflects how needs and markets have evolved. When introduced in the 1990s, the differentiation between A3 / B3 and A3 / B4 was in diesel engine technology, with A3 / B3 for pre-chamber diesel engines and A3 / B4 targeting direct injection diesel engines. As the previous technology is now history, the need for A3 / B3 has become questionable.

As for the C1 category, the line of thought is different, here the decision not to continue is more a reflection of the limited adoption by the OEMs and the lubricants market for products with low phosphorus and sulfated ash requirements, stipulated in the C1. The guiding principle here is that ACEA categories should reflect the common needs of OEM members of ACEA, rather than the specific needs of individual OEMs.

What’s new in ACEA 2021 for the previous categories that have been retained?

The VH Sequence at the API SP limits replaces the VG Sequence at the API SM limits as well as the low temperature sludge test and the M271 EVO (CEC L-107) replaces the Daimler M271 as the black sludge test.

The M271 EVO is intended to replace the M271 with the same severity, although the M271 EVO test method itself is more severe. Therefore, the work done was compensated with appropriate limits. The limits were defined in the context of the ACEA 2016 sequence update and transferred to the 2021 Sequences.

The VW TDI3 (CEC L-117) replaces the TDI test in effect until then. Again, the objective is to maintain the severity of the previous category and we now face the situation where the successor test is more severe. ACEA, in collaboration with ATC and ATIEL (AAA), defined the appropriate limits for the objective to be achieved.

ACEA–2021

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