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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.

API FA-4 and the FA-4 Donut identify certain XW-30 oils specifically formulated for use in select high-speed four-stroke cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2017 model year on-highway greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards. API FA-4 oils are not interchangeable or backward compatible with API CK-4, CJ-4, CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, and CH-4 oils. Refer to engine manufacturer recommendations to determine if API FA-4 oils are suitable for use.


ILSAC Standard For Passenger Car Engine Oils

The current and previous ILSAC standards are listed here. 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 ILSAC standard includes the performance properties of each earlier category and can be used to service older engines where earlier category oils were recommended.

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

The current and previous 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.

For automotive gasoline engines, the latest 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.

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 CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most gasoline-powered automotive engines built after 1996. May not provide adequate protection against build-up of engine sludge, oxidation, or wear.
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

CK-4 Current API Service Category CK-4 describes oils for use in high-speed four-stroke cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2017 model year on-highway and Tier 4 non-road 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 oil drain interval. These oils are especially effective at sustaining emission control system durability where particulate filters and other advanced aftertreatment systems are used. API CK-4 oils are designed to provide enhanced protection against oil oxidation, viscosity loss due to shear, and oil aeration as well as protection against catalyst poisoning, particulate filter blocking, engine wear, piston deposits, degradation of low- and high-temperature properties, and soot-related viscosity increase. API CK-4 oils exceed the performance criteria of API CJ-4, CI-4 with CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, and CH-4 and can effectively lubricate engines calling for those API Service Categories. When using CK-4 oil with higher than 15 ppm sulfur fuel, consult the engine manufacturer for service interval recommendations.
CJ-4 Current For high-speed four-stroke cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2010 model year on-highway and Tier 4 non-road 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. 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 CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered automotive engines built after 2009.
CF-4 Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered automotive engines built after 2009.
CF-2 Obsolete CAUTION: Not suitable for use in most diesel-powered automotive engines built after 2009. Two-stroke cycle engines may have different lubrication requirements than four-stroke engines, so the manufacturer should be contacted for current lubrication recommendations.
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.

Diesel Engines

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

Category

Status

Service

FA-4 Current API Service Category FA-4 describes certain XW-30 oils specifically formulated for use in select high-speed four-stroke cycle diesel engines designed to meet 2017 model year on-highway greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards. These oils are formulated for use in on-highway applications with diesel fuel sulfur content up to 15 ppm (0.0015% by weight). Refer to individual engine manufacturer recommendations regarding compatibility with API FA-4 oils. These oils are blended to a high temperature high shear (HTHS) viscosity range of 2.9cP–3.2cP to assist in reducing GHG emissions. These oils are especially effective at sustaining emission control system durability where particulate filters and other advanced aftertreatment systems are used. API FA-4 oils are designed to provide enhanced protection against oil oxidation, viscosity loss due to shear, and oil aeration as well as protection against catalyst poisoning, particulate filter blocking, engine wear, piston deposits, degradation of low- and high-temperature properties, and soot-related viscosity increase. API FA-4 oils are not interchangeable or backward compatible with API CK-4, CJ-4, CI-4 with CI-4 PLUS, CI-4, and CH-4 oils. Refer to engine manufacturer recommendations to determine if API FA-4 oils are suitable for use. API FA-4 oils are not recommended for use with fuels having greater than 15 ppm sulfur. For fuels with sulfur content greater than 15 ppm, refer to engine manufacturer recommendations.