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Oil Categories

The current and previous API Service Categories are summarized in convenient charts. Vehicle owners should refer to their owner's manuals before consulting these charts. Oils may have more than one performance level. For automotive gasoline engines, the latest engine oil service category includes the performance properties of each earlier category. If an automotive owner's manual calls for an API SJ or SL oil, an API SM oil will provide full protection. For diesel engines, the latest category usually - but not always - includes the performance properties of an earlier category.

Service Category API CJ-4 describes oils for use in high-speed four-stroke cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2007 model year on-highway exhaust emission standards as well as for previous model years. These oils are especially effective at sustaining emission control system durability where particulate filters and other advanced aftertreatment systems are used. For more information on API CJ-4 including frequently asked questions, please visit www.apicj-4.org.


ILSAC Standard For Passenger Car Engine Oils

The current and previous ILSAC standards and API Service Categories are listed here. Vehicle owners should refer to their owner’s manuals before consulting these charts. Oils may have more than one performance level.

Name

Status

Service

GF-5 Current Introduced in October 2010, designed to provide improved high temperature deposit protection for pistons and turbochargers, more stringent sludge control, improved fuel economy, enhanced emission control system compatibility, seal compatibility, and protection of engines operating on ethanol-containing fuels up to E85.
GF-4 Obsolete Use GF-5 where GF-4 is recommended.
GF-3 Obsolete Use GF-5 where GF-3 is recommended.
GF-2 Obsolete Use GF-5 where GF-2 is recommended.
GF-1 Obsolete Use GF-5 where GF-1 is recommended.

Gasoline Engines

For automotive gasoline engines, the latest ILSAC standard or API Service Category includes the performance properties of each earlier category and can be used to service older engines where earlier category oils were recommended. (Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations on oil performance levels)

Category

Status

Service

SN Current Introduced in October 2010, designed to provide improved high temperature deposit protection for pistons, more stringent sludge control, and seal compatibility. API SN with Resource Conserving matches ILSAC GF-5 by combining API SN performance with improved fuel economy, turbocharger protection, emission control system compatibility, and protection of engines operating on ethanol-containing fuels up to E85.
SM Current For 2010 and older automotive engines.
SL Current For 2004 and older automotive engines.
SJ Current For 2001 and older automotive engines.
SH Obsolete OBSOLETE: For 1996 and older automotive engines.
SG Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1993. May not provide adequate protection against build-up of engine sludge, oxidation, or wear.
SF Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1988. May not provide adequate protection against build-up of engine sludge.
SE Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1979.
SD Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1971. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.
SC Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1967. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.
SB Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1951. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.
SA Obsolete CAUTION: Contains no additives. Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1930. Use in modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.

Diesel Engines

(Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations on oil performance levels)

Category

Status

Service

CJ-4 Current For high-speed four-stroke cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2010 model year on-highway and Tier 4 nonroad exhaust emission standards as well as for previous model year diesel engines. These oils are formulated for use in all applications with diesel fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 500 ppm (0.05% by weight). However, the use of these oils with greater than 15 ppm (0.0015% by weight) sulfur fuel may impact exhaust aftertreatment system durability and/or drain interval. CJ-4 oils are especially effective at sustaining emission control system durability where particulate filters and other advanced aftertreatment systems are used. Optimum protection is provided for control of catalyst poisoning, particulate filter blocking, engine wear, piston deposits, low- and high-temperature stability, soot handling properties, oxidative thickening, foaming, and viscosity loss due to shear. API CJ-4 oils exceed the performance criteria of API CI-4 with CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, CH-4, CG-4 and CF-4 and can effectively lubricate engines calling for those API Service Categories. When using CJ-4 oil with higher than 15 ppm sulfur fuel, consult the engine manufacturer for service interval.
CI-4  Current Introduced in 2002. For high-speed, four-stroke engines designed to meet 2004 exhaust emission standards implemented in 2002. CI-4 oils are formulated to sustain engine durability where exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is used and are intended for use with diesel fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 0.5% weight. Can be used in place of CD, CE, CF-4, CG-4, and CH-4 oils. Some CI-4 oils may also qualify for the CI-4 PLUS designation.
CH-4 Current Introduced in 1998. For high-speed, four-stroke engines designed to meet 1998 exhaust emission standards. CH-4 oils are specifically compounded for use with diesel fuels ranging in sulfur content up to 0.5% weight. Can be used in place of CD, CE, CF-4, and CG-4 oils.
CG-4 Obsolete OBSOLETE: Introduced in 1995. For severe duty, high-speed, four-stroke engines using fuel with less than 0.5% weight sulfur. CG-4 oils are required for engines meeting 1994 emission standards. Can be used in place of CD, CE, and CF-4 oils. 
CF-4 Obsolete OBSOLETE: Introduced in 1990. For high-speed, four-stroke, naturally aspirated and turbocharged engines. Can be used in place of CD and CE oils.
CF-2 Obsolete OBSOLETE: Introduced in 1994. For severe duty, two-stroke-cycle engines. Can be used in place of CD-II oils.
CF Obsolete OBSOLETE: Introduced in 1994. For off-road, indirect-injected and other diesel engines including those using fuel with over 0.5% weight sulfur. Can be used in place of CD oils.
CE Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered automotive engines built after 1994.
CD-II Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered automotive engines built after 1994.
CD Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered automotive engines built after 1994.
CC Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered engines built after 1990.
CB Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered engines built after 1961. 
CA Obsolete  CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered engines built after 1959