Industry, Auto Sector Join Forces on State-of-the-Art Engine Oil – But is There a Movie Deal In It?
John D. Siciliano
Posted December 9, 2019
The recent box office success of 20th Century Fox’s “Ford vs Ferrari” helped moviegoers understand just what it took for the Ford Motor Company to build a world-class supercar and win the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in the 1960s.
But the movie also made me recall the oil industry’s ties to these champions. And the link between Ford and the energy sector when it comes to upping a car’s engine performance and making cars more environmentally sustainable.
Look no further than Carroll Shelby himself – played by actor Matt Damon in last month’s film – to understand how deep the auto industry’s ties to the oil industry go. Shelby, who designed the Ford GT40, which (spoiler alert) bested Ferrari in 1966, had reluctantly spent time working in the oilfields of Texas before moving on to design performance racers.
However, Ford’s ties to the oil industry go further than Shelby’s six months spent in the oil patch. In fact, Ford has had a hand in developing engine oil standards with the American Petroleum Institute (API) for years. And that includes API’s latest engine oil standard that goes into effect in the spring.
Let’s back up:
Yes, that’s correct, API certifies and licenses much of the motor oil that lubricates North America’s car engines. An API Certification Mark, or stamp, can be clearly seen on packages of motor oil.
The “API” mark on the bottle means the oil marketer has demonstrated to API that the oil meets the specifications API has established in cooperation with engine manufacturers, oil marketers, and engine oil additive suppliers. The mark also means the oil will help a car to run optimally and function at its best.
The API standard is not a prescription for a champion oil, but rather the target motor oils must hit to meet the needs of today’s cars and trucks.
Ford & API:
API has been teaming up with Ford and other automakers for years to develop engine oil standards. The API group charged with the effort routinely updates the standards to take into consideration ever evolving changes made to car engines.
Using the correct oil specification for a vehicle will not only help a driver go farther on a tank of gasoline, but it also helps to protect the engine and the environment. To that point: API’s engine oil standards require oils to pass a stringent fuel economy test and protect emissions systems.
This means API-spec oil can help a driver use less fuel while helping to lower emissions. The new API engine oil is also renewable-fuel friendly, handling ethanol-containing fuels up to E85.
Sellers of motor oil who wish to display the much-coveted API mark must meet the specifications outlined in the latest edition of API’s engine oil standard – API 1509.
Beginning May 1, properly licensed oil marketers will be introducing oils that meet the newest API engine oil standard. These oils will provide the fuel economy improvement, wear protection, and emission system protection necessary for today’s passenger cars, SUVs, vans, and light-duty trucks powered by gasoline.
This is good for the drivers, the communities they live in, and the environment.
About The Author
John Siciliano is a writer for API Global Industry Services’ Marketing and Communications Department. He joined API after 14 years as an energy and environment reporter and editor. Most recently, he was senior energy and environment writer for the Washington Examiner and the Daily on Energy newsletter. He began full-time reporting in Washington in 2001 as a foreign affairs correspondent, also covering national security and defense. His coverage of the Mideast and Saudi Arabia led him to become a full-time energy reporter. He earned a bachelors degree in psychology from Ohio Northern University, and he also holds a Masters of Science degree in education from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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